About Us

Catalina Film Institute

The charitable mission of the Catalina Film Institute is to champion IMAGINATION, EDUCATION and DESTINATION with year-round film workshops, industry panels and inspiring events! We are a California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation comprised of industry professionals that love film, the creative process, and the story-tellers that create thought-provoking film and new media. Our goal is to help foster the growth of these creative story-tellers worldwide, but also celebrate, promote and educate on this art-form within film and the film-making process (utilizing all the stages of creation, its components, mediums and distribution channels).

Our Southern California public outreach focuses on providing hands-on educational-based events and workshops, working with like-minded organizations also geared towards this focus, and offering an outlet to our film-minded community of individuals, students, professionals and organizations. With tremendous passion for our namesake resort island, Catalina, we are focused on that same mission while also contributing to the betterment of its off-season economic stimulus, community of residents, charitable organizations, and the island’s rich and long-standing film history.

Catalina Film Festival

CFF is one of MovieMaker Magazine’s 2022 “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth The Entry Fee” (worldwide), and has always been in the TOP 1% Elite festivals on FilmFreeway.com‘s Top 25-40 “Best Reviewed Festivals” (out of 10,000+ festivals worldwide) for almost 10 years straight. Each year the Catalina Film Institute presents the Catalina Film Festival; an annual celebration of film on the only California Coast resort island, features more than 200 films, nightly events and entertainment. From Charlie Chaplin to Marilyn Monroe, celebrities and filmmakers have flocked to Catalina for inspiration. Clear blue water and coastal breezes provide the perfect backdrop for unparalleled premieres, yacht and mansion parties, industry networking and discovering everything that the island has to offer— just 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles.

Long Beach Launch:  The festival launches in our connecting city, Long Beach, inside the all original 1924 art deco Scottish Rite Cultural Centre as its mainland home and headquarters; complete with its iconic 800-seat art deco theatre.  This historic landmark was built by the same masons that built the Avalon Theatre on our namesake island. Both share a lot of architectural similarities, style and elegance.

On Catalina Island: Films are screened at multiple venues around the island, including the iconic, art deco, 1,200-seat Avalon Theatre— the world’s first sound theatre. Catalina Film Festival is a competitive festival with awards in up to 11 film categories, as well as our prestigious industry honors.

For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Youtube

Our platform is based on education, art and entertainment, and supporting the local charities and economic stimulus of Southern California and Catalina Island (during its off-season months). Through amazing independent film screenings and inspiring events, the festival presents a wide spectrum of film making: feature film, documentaries, screenplays, animation, short films, horror, student work, and also focuses on a separate series of films within the festival that are dedicated to conservation, honoring those filmmakers dedicated to nurturing their goals of protecting, restoring, and experience the power of nature all over the planet.

Since 2011, Year-Round Education And Entertainment Efforts Have Included:

As an integral part of the Catalina Film Institute’s educational mission, the Catalina Film & New Media Summit is a part of our non-profit focus to foster the growth of filmmakers so they can learn from industry leaders while being inspired with their surroundings, peers’ creative work, and fun networking events.

Participation includes panels, educational seminars, pitches and networking events with both filmmakers and industry executives participating and collaborating.

Unreleased independent film screenings, festival winners, great historical films, as well as filmmaker Q&A’s and meet-n-greets to explain the process behind their films.

Avalon is a picture-perfect city nestled between the Avalon Canyon and Avalon Bay. Catalina has influenced artists and writers for hundreds of years, and it is at the center of this environment that the Institute happily exists, but the filmmakers also get to utilize the beautiful interior conserved by the Catalina Island Conservancy. There are different programs to take advantage of at the Institute, but all get to be creatively inspired by the enchanting scenery of this historic and beautiful island.

Introspective one-on-one interviews with today’s top independent filmmakers. Every filmmaker’s career is looked into so we can see how they influenced as an artist and how they came to make the films we see on screen.