Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is the next screening?
Face-to-Face with the Filmmaker, indoor quarterly screenings presented in conjunction with the Bernal Heights Branch Library and other venues, launches Tuesday, January, 2021. Film lovers are invited to view an evening program of films and Q&A discussion with the filmmakers. Subsequent screenings are in April and June. Selected titles vary, including shorts, longer-length features, narratives, documentary film, video and multi-media formats. To keep up with both the summer season and the indoor screenings, sign up for our enews.

The 2020 Outdoor Cinema season, the 17th Annual Season, will launch in October (contingent on current updates from the Health Officer).

Q: What is the admission/ticket price?
All screenings and events are free, although donations are always accepted.

Q: Can I submit my film/video? How?
Submissions for the 2021 season open February 1, 2021. To submit your work, download and complete the 2021 Call for Entry form. In addition to the submission, you will be asked for a short bio, headshot and film stills (300dpi, jpegs) and a trailer (high-res quicktime file) if you have one. For the selection process, online links are required. NOTE: Your submission confirms that you own the rights or have permission from the rights owner to share this work.  

Q: How are films/videos selected?
Entries are previewed and selected by a separate Submissions & Selection Committee and are chosen based on the following considerations:

  • production values
  • themes
  • intended audience
  • length
  • association with Bernal (not a requirement for selection)

The Committee reviews approximately 75 submissions over a five-week period. Filmmakers are notified by early August if their film has been chosen as a title to be shown in the summer season.

Q: What awards are given?

  • Best of Bernal Award — is awarded to a local Bernal filmmaker for the Best of this year’s submissions by the Submissions & Selection Committee
  • Spirit of Bernal Award — is awarded to a non-Bernal filmmaker for the film that best resonates with the sentiment/sensibility (political, social, physical locale) of Bernal Heights by the Submission & Selection Committee
  • Bright Star, Emerging Filmmaker Award — is awarded by the Submission & Selection Committee to a member of the future generation of storytellers with the expectation that the winner will make a significant contribution to the art of film and video in the course of her/his/their filmmaking career.
  • Good Life Audience Award — is awarded by vote of the at-large Outdoor Cinema audience following the conclusion of the season

Q: How do I vote for my favorite film of the season?
AAt the end of the outdoor season, you will be able to download the 2019 Audience Ballot to submit your vote. The Audience Award winner along with the Best of Bernal, Spirit of Bernal and Emerging Filmmaker awarded films will screen at Best of Bernal Night.

Q; How can I be involved?
We need volunteers to help with a variety of tasks:

OUTREACH:  Distribute posters/flyers to local businesses, cafes, libraries, bulletin boards, public announcement boards, and other legal posting areas. Drop announcements to businesses/residents located adjacent to screening sites.

SCREENING COORDINATION: Set-up, welcome duties, assisting at Information table, passing out programs/surveys, audience direction, light break-down.

HOSPITALITY: Organize all aspects of the Meet-the-Filmmaker receptions including planning, staging, overseeing food and beverage and site logistics.

AD SALES:  For the official program, website, credits and mobile app.

PUBLICITY: Placement of postings, website listings, announcements in local media outlets.

You can volunteer for any of the above tasks, by responding on our Contact Us page or emailing

Volunteers will have access to Reserved Seating at all outdoors venues and will be invited to the season Wrap party with filmmakers, sponsors and advertisers.

Q; How can I learn about Outdoor Cinema screenings and volunteer opportunities?

Sign up for Enews! We can then keep you informed of opportunities to help us produce, promote and publicize the free screenings.

The screenings are organized and staged by a completely volunteer staff. Join the team, meet some new neighbors! To sign up for the email newsletter, to volunteer, or to provide feedback, go to the Contact Us page.

Q; How can I support the free Outdoor Cinema screenings?
Another way to be involved with little physical effort is to simply help support the free screenings by donating. There are a couple of ways to donate:

  • Click the Donate button at the top of the page. Your credit card donation to our fiscal sponsor, San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council, is tax deductible.
  • If you prefer to give us a donation in the form of a check, write it
    Payable to:  San Francisco Parks Alliance
    Include  Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema in the Memo line
    Mail to:  San Francisco Parks Alliance
    P.O. Box 170160, San Francisco, CA 94117-0160

Q: Can I advertise or sponsor on the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema screen or in the program, bus shelters, advertising, posters, website and enews?
There are a number of different levels of sponsorship and advertising through the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema — from print ads in our official program to full screen exposure at each screening. Please contact

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