Consider CATE in Santa Monica CATE is an intimate, hometown, festival for independent films. Located in Santa Monica, Hollywood's backyard, it screens narrative and documentary features and blocks of shorts. The films are well-curated. Overall, I saw a higher standard curation than I have seen at much larger festivals.
The festival's mission is to screen independent films with a unique vision and voice. CATE succeeds in selecting films which exemplify its mission. It furthers education of filmmakers and festival attendees with a panel discussion of experts.
The staff is gracious and accommodating to filmmakers. I had no trouble in getting the help I needed to preview my media prior to the screening and check sound levels.
An added, collateral, advantage to screening at CATE is the location - just a few blocks from the Beach and all that goes with being in a beachside community.