What makes a film independent? Is it working under a certain budget? An unknown director? A shaky camera? Or could it be the love of the art-form that drives a project?

We, at the ABQ Indie Film Festival, believe that independent cinema is a state of mind. It is ambitious, radical, thought-provoking filmmaking and it is, sadly, hard to come by. In an age of instant media gratification, we aim to re-create a nostalgic space for that state of mind. We bring quality independent cinema from all around the world to the home of eclectic filmmaking in Albuquerque, NM.

Why New Mexico? Albuquerque, New Mexico, is no stranger to the movie industry. In fact, films have been produced in Albuquerque since the late 19th century. In addition to the perfect weather (310 days of sunshine!), talented production community and ability to double as nearly any U.S. location, the state of New Mexico offers some of the nation’s most aggressive financial incentives in the industry. As such, the state has become a popular place to produce movies and television shows. Come for the tax-cuts, stay for the aliens (Roswell!) and the Breaking Bad mementos!

As filmmakers and film professionals ourselves, we know how difficult and alienating it can be to try to break into the industry. This is why ABQ Indie Film Festival is all about building networks and a stronger community. Our festival is more than just a screening space - it is an opportunity to meet like-minded people and to bridge the gap between audiences and film creators from all around the world.

Our panel of international judges will select the best of the best and try to squeeze in as much high-quality indie cinema in one evening as they can. Featuring Q&A's with creators, networking sessions, and a welcoming atmosphere.

So submit your work and join us for an evening of once-in-a-lifetime cinematic experiences!

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ABQ Indie Film Festival is run in association with Close:Up, a collection of international film festivals supporting indie filmmaking. By establishing a working network among filmmakers, producers and marketing professionals, we share one common goal: to forge productive and lasting relationships between independent filmmakers and audiences.

*More news on the upcoming festival will come soon, as we're finalising the venue details*

The festival programmers will carefully select the films to be nominated for the following awards, and will create a selection of nominated films to be screened in front of a live audience. The winners will be announced at the event, on our website and on social media.

☀ ABQ Indie Film Festival is proud to announce that we will be offering a range of prizes, including distribution packages, discounts and waivers for other film festivals, among other treats.

☀ In addition to this, all winners will receive award certificates and goodie bags.

☀ All nominated films will receive official laurels.

☀ In addition to the usual fare, we also have a category celebrating local talent: Best New Mexico Production, which will have discounted entry fees for films made by local filmmakers. Please email the Festival Team with proof that your film is produced in New Mexico to receive the Password for this category!

✓ All films must be submitted in English or with English subtitles (if in a different language).

✓ All films must have been made in or after 2020.

✓ Short films must not exceed 30 minutes.

✓ Filmmakers are responsible for sorting out the copyright on their own materials.

✓ By submitting to us, you give us consent and right to screen your film in front of a live audience, and, under special circumstances, online screening.

✓ Nominations: These are all the films that have been nominated for an award in a category. Not all nominated films will be screened.

Official Selection: These are all the nominated films selected for screening, which will be notified via email. If you received a Nomination email, but no Official Selection email, it means your film will not be screened, but is still a contender for an award in its category.

Award Winners: Chosen from the Nominations (which includes the Official Selection).

✓ We may promote clips from your film on social media, based on the press kits you provide us with.

✓ We retain the right to change the date and venue of the festival under special circumstances. All filmmakers will be informed about any changes through email and our online platforms.

✓ We place no restrictions on your work in terms of premiere status or whether your work has been made available online.

✓ We do not accept partial screeners, trailers, or screener links that require access other than password protected links.

✓ Any technical issues with the submitted films are 100% the responsibility of the filmmakers. If, at the time of judging, your video file doesn’t work or doesn’t have English subtitles (if in a language other than English), it will be automatically rejected, without a refund. Please contact the festival team ASAP if there are any issues with the submission process, and a solution will be found.

✓ We cannot provide refunds.

✓ If you have submitted your project in the previous year, please do not resubmit the same project to the current edition.

✓ By submitting to us you agree to our terms and conditions and to receiving marketing newsletters and discounts about film festivals in the form of emails. We will never sell your information to third parties.

✓ We reserve the right to update our terms and conditions.

Overall Rating
  • Karen Coates Jerry Redfern

    We are honored and thrilled to have been selected for this festival – and an award for Best New Mexico Production! It was a great lineup of films, and I hope next time we can view them in person as well.

    June 2022
  • Sophie SHUI

    It is a fantastic independent film festival and I am so proud to have received The Best Director from them.

    I am very happy with their great communication and thoughtfulness. So proud to have been a winner, thank you very much.

    June 2022
  • Fresh and very pleasant film festival! Great communication! Happy to be selected and awarded with a very cute certificate!

    June 2022
  • Akiko Misaizu

    Dear Central Michigan International Film Festival Team!
    We would like to thank you for rating our project so highly.
    All of our teams are pleased!
    I have no doubt this great, caring festival will become more popular each year!
    Thank you!

    May 2020
  • David Baeumler

    A nice small indie fest with its heart in the right place. I wasn't able to attend, but from what I heard it was a cool space for filmmakers and audience to mix and share their love of film. Good communication with the festival.

    April 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, David, for sharing your work with us and for your nice words!