The American Indian Film Festival® is the world’s longest-running exposition showcasing independent film exposition dedicated to USA Native American and First Nations people of Canada's cinematic achievement. For the last 47 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 48th annual, the San Francisco based festival has become a trusted guide to contemporary Native American life. A reliable, celebratory and empowering event, the Festival works to replace stereotypes with authentic representations of Native traditions, history and present-day life.

AIFF48 showcases feature films, shorts, documentaries, animation, music videos and public service works of Native American/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.

The 48th Annual American Indian Film Festival will take place November 3 -11, 2023 in San Francisco, CA.



Submission Eligibility:
AIFI accepts films that are made of and about USA American Indian and First Nation Peoples of Canada. Film Submissions for the 48th Annual American Indian Film Festival® must be produced in 2022 - 2023. Please do not send original 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 entry must be accompanied by its own completed submission entry and entry fee.

Submission Formats:
AIFI accepts secure Dropbox/Vimeo/Youtube video's link. We do not accept tapes (DVD's, etc).

There are several levels of entry fees (Student, Early Bird, Regular, and Extended) depending on when your film is submitted. Deadline info included in FilmFreeway submission. Each film entry must be accompanied with an USD entry fee. 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: If submitting as a student fee amount, please include proof of student status.

Press Kit
Film Entrants are required to submit Press Materials for each submission.
Materials include 3-5 high resolution stills of film for marketing purposes (jpg or tiff), Synopsis (short - 50 words) and long - 100 - 150 words), Tag Line ( 1 - 2 sentences).
To maximize exposure for your film, please provide a URL for your trailer, film posters 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:
AIFF48 has the capability to screen mpeg , .mov and mp4
Recommended codecs: Apple ProRes. H264 (high bitrate if possible: minimum 2MBit/s
-1920 x 1080, 48 kHz 24-bit audio
All formats must be in NTSC.
• Our facility does NOT support DVD's, 16mm, Digibeta or HD Cam. No exceptions.

All film contents should be submitted to FilmFreeway.

Festival Screening & Scheduling:
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.

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
  • Sage Romero

    Wonderful event, hope to return for future Film Festival again!

    January 2023
  • What an Epic Film Festival! It's an honor to debut at the oldest running Native Film Fest out there. We made HIStory! Thank you so uch to everyone involved in this year's experience. We can't wait until next year!

    December 2022
  • I have been twice and this is a great festival to attend in San Francisco.

    December 2022
  • We had a wonderful experience at the AIFF. This is a terrific festival for indigenous Native filmmakers. Wopila for selecting our film, "Remember her the Children".

    November 2022
  • Katsi'tsakwas Ellen Gabriel

    Niawenkó:wa - A Big Thank You to the organizers who treated me so kindly and with respect. It was such an honour and privilege to be part of AIFF in fact it has always been a dream of mine to be part of this festival. A festival for Indigenous peoples, by Indigenous peoples. It was a wonderful experience.

    November 2022