Buy Tickets


We strongly encourage you to purchase your tickets in advance online. Individual tickets can be purchased online through October 15. All online sales are subject to a $1 fee per item plus 3% surcharge on order. To purchase tickets online, click on the desired film program from the schedule page and click the “Buy Tickets” link. Starting October 18, you can also buy tickets onsite at the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas At Hazard Center Box Office.

Questions about festival tickets? Read our Ticket FAQ below or contact us at 619.400.5911 |



Opening & Closing Night Films       Sold Out: rush line only
General Admission                             $11 at door
Panels                                                    $5
Festival 4-Pack                                     $34 (online and at door)
Festival 10-Pack                                   $84 (online and at door)
All Festival Pass                                   Not Available (For Members only)
Free Films                                             Free! You can pick up tickets at the box office starting Oct. 20

SDAFF Members

Opening & Closing Night Films       Sold Out: rush line only
General Admission                             $7.50/door
Panels                                                    Free (must get ticket from box office)
Festival 4-Pack                                     $25
Festival 10-Pack                                   $62
All Festival Pass                                   $175
*To sign up for membership, inquire at membership booth in theater lobby  or contact and take advantage of discounts immediately.


SPECIAL DISCOUNTS $2 discount at box office is available for Seniors/Military/Students

REFUND POLICY No refunds for unused tickets, 4-packs, 10-packs, or all festival passes. Exchanges are only available when a program is oversold.


When a program is sold out, there is a very good chance seats will be available through “rush line” at the theater. Rush lines take place outside the theater as early as 30 minutes before the show. We will offer all open seats 15 minutes before showtime on a first come basis to those waiting in the “rush line.”


Why should I buy my tickets online before the festival?
Avoid the long lines and guarantee yourself a seat (as long as you show up 15 minutes before the scheduled program). Tickets are also discounted online, but there is a small processing fee per ticket. It’s still cheaper and more convenient than buying at the door.

I bought my ticket online. How do I see the show?
If you bought tickets online, you should print out a copy of your receipt that has a bar code. You will use this bar code to get through the ticket line.

What happens if I forgot to bring my tickets with the bar code?
We keep a record of all online sales. So if you forget your printed ticket, just go to our will call desk, and we will locate your record and print out an additional ticket. Note: Once a barcoded ticket is scanned, the system will recognize if a ticket has been used twice.

How early should I show up to the festival?
We strongly suggest you show up at least 15 minutes before the film’s scheduled showtime. For more popular films, you should arrive at least 30-45 minutes before showtime. Any empty seats 15 minutes before each show are released to the public.

What do I do for free films?
Even though the program lists a film as free, a ticket is still required for entry. You can pick up your free tickets at the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas starting the first day of the festival (October 20). If free screenings “sell out,” a rush line will be created and any unfilled seats will be  released 15 minutes before the screening.

I bought a Festival 4-Pack/10-Pack. How do I redeem tickets?
Bring your 4-Pack or 10-Pack to the UltraStar box office starting October 18, and redeem it for the program of your choice, except for the Opening Night film (ALMOST PERFECT) and the Closing Night film (JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI). You can redeem them for multiple tickets to the same program, keep them for yourself, or give them to others.

What if I don’t use up all the tickets on my Festival 4-Pack/10-Pack? Can I get a refund?
Unfortunately, we do not offer refunds. Be sure to use up all the tickets.

Why do tickets for the Opening Night film and Closing Night film cost more?
The Opening and Closing Night film always comes with the cost of the reception. This includes complimentary drinks and food. Also, there are usually valuable giveaways and special guests. Many film festivals charge between $25+ for their Opening and Closing Night events. We charge $15/$20. It’s still a bargain.

Do you sell day passes?
No. We sell All Festival Pass (to members only), Festival 4-Packs, 10-Packs, and individual tickets.

Can I get a group discount if I bring a big group of friends, family, or co-workers?
Yes, we offer group discounts ($8 per ticket) for 10 people and more to the same program. Group tickets are sold online only, and must be purchased by October 17. If you have questions about group ticketing, email us at

Can I get a refund if I buy a ticket, but for some reason, can’t make the screening?
Unfortunately, we do not offer any refunds. However, we do provide exchanges in the rare occasion a show is oversold.

What if a program is listed as sold out online? Is there still a chance I can get in?
Yes! We can only release a limited number of tickets per show online, so there’s a very good chance you can still get into your film through the rush line. Any open seats 15 minutes before showtime are made available to those in the rush line.

Please direct additional ticketing questions to the festival box office manager located at the will call booth.