The American Indian Film Festival is the world’s longest-running exposition showcasing independent film exposition dedicated to U.S. Native American and First Nations people of Canada's cinematic achievement. For the last 43 years, AIFI has served and celebrated generations of Native American filmmakers, performing artists and audiences, with the best of the most current Native American Cinema while drawing into the circle of Hollywood celebrities, industry professionals, student filmmakers, seasoned festival-goers and newcomers traveling to San Francisco from near and far.

Celebrating its 43rd annual, the San Francisco based festival has become a trusted guide to contemporary Native American life. A reliable, celebratory and empowering event, the Festival’s array of programs – films, workshops, receptions, awards show – work to replace stereotypes with authentic representations of Native traditions, history and present-day life.

AIFF43 showcases features, shorts, documentaries, animation, music videos and experimental works of American Indians by filmmakers all around the world. Highlighted by Indian Country Today's as "Seven Events Worth Experiencing" and Voted as one of the “Best Native American Experience” by USA Today, the American Indian Film Festival is an event not to miss. Come and join us this year for the 43rd Annual American Indian Film Festival, November 2018 in San Francisco.



Submission Eligibility:
AIFI accepts films that are made of and about USA American Indian and First Nation Peoples of Canada.
Film Submissions for the 43rd Annual American Indian Film Festival must be produced in 2017 - 2018.
Do not send film prints, master tapes, or other originals.
Entrants confirm and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry. By entering your work, you agree to this and the responsibilities involved. The American Indian Film Institute, and the American Indian Film Festival assumes no responsibility for violation of copyright law.
You may submit more than one entry, but each must be accompanied by its own completed submission form and entry fee.

Submission Formats:
AIFI prefers a secure Dropbox/Vimeo/Youtube video link. We will also accept a DVD/BluRay (NTSC).
If submitting DVD, it must be clearly labeled with title, running time and contact phone/email.
Do NOT put multiple films on the same DVD.
Entrant is encouraged to send two DVD copies.
Submitted DVD’s will not be returned.

Each film entry must be accompanied with an entry fee of $50 USD.
AIFI does not pay rental fees. Instead, we invest our resources in producing the best possible showcase for your work and promoting as widely as possible.
Please note that submission fees will not be refunded.
Student Fee: $30. If submitting with the student fee amount, please include a letter from your instructor/teacher with your submission copy.

Press Kit
Film Entrants are required to submit Press Materials for each submission.
Materials include 3-5 high resolution stills (jpg or tiff), Synopsis (short - 50 words) and long - 100 - 150 words), Tag Line ( 1 - 2 sentences).
To maximize exposure for your film, we may additionally request any Film Trailer, Poster’s and Director’s photo, per availability.

Selection & Notification
Submissions are reviewed by the American Indian Film Institute Selection Committee under the following criteria.
- Quality of narrative and production values.
- Independent nature of the production.
Chosen films will be notified via email. Please make sure your information is correct and up-to-date.

Festival Presentation Format:
AIFF43 has the capability to screen mpeg , .mov , mp4 / .m4v, BluRay and DVD.
Recommended codecs: MJPEG. Apple ProRes. H264 (high bitrate if possible: minimum 2MBit/s
-1920 x 1080, 48 kHz 24-bit audio
Please provide a back-up - DVD/ or BluRay
All formats must be in NTSC.
• Our facility does NOT support 16mm, Digibeta or HD Cam. No exceptions.

Mail to:

AIFF43 Festival Submissions
American Indian Film Festival
2940 16th St. Ste 304, San Francisco, CA 94103

Festival Screening & Scheduling:
Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of the American Indian Film Festival.
AIFI reserves the right to make any changes to the advertised schedule at any time for any reason and will not accept liability for any costs incurred as a result of change.
No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection.

Travel/Accommodations for Filmmakers:
All filmmakers are encouraged to attend the festival. We wish we could cover everyone’s flight and hotel, but we just don’t have the resources to provide accommodations for everyone. AIFI representatives will communicate information to filmmakers.

Passes/Tickets for Filmmakers:
Complimentary Festival Passes are available to attending filmmakers. Quantities are dependent on film length, category and based on availability. AIFI representatives will communicate this information to filmmakers upon acceptance of film/s.

Overall Rating
  • Sean Owen

    American Indian Film Festival is great I have gone several times when my one of my films was in the festival and was impressed by the professionalism of the staff and the venue!

    December 2017
  • angelo baca

    Great Native American Film Festival! Always quality film and people!

    February 2017
  • Ali Ross

    I absolutely loved the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.
    All of the films included had such diversity, strong messages of hope, heartbreaking and uplifting journeys of self discovery and intensive historical information to better educate ourselves on Native issues and lives. I was amazed by such talented individuals artists and business people' films who seldom get the invitation to be screened in major media sponsored events due to the topics covered which government or major industry may not want others to learn about. I think there should be more attention given to this event as it truly left me inspired and empowered to speak my voice through my art. Most welcoming people in the organization and made lots of friends and new extended family that i will cherish the most from the networking at AIFF41. I highly recommend it!

    November 2016