The Anchorage International Film Festival (AIFF) is the largest film festival in Alaska. It was founded in 2001 in order to bring independent and international films to Anchorage, and to showcase the quality independent films made in Alaska. Our mission is to develop, promote, and sustain a film festival that supports new media and independent filmmaking in Alaska and around the world, while enriching cultural and entertainment opportunities for Alaskans.

The AIFF is a cosmopolitan film festival that strives to reflect the diverse character of Anchorage by screening captivating and well-crafted independent films from all over the world. The AIFF also provides a forum for the work of independent Alaska filmmakers and opportunities to network with fellow filmmakers. In the past, several films receiving jury awards from the AIFF have gone on to win Academy Awards and awards at major film festivals, such as Hot Docs, Tribeca, Sundance, South by Southwest, the Sheffield Doc Fest, and the Seattle International Film Festival.

The AIFF programmers look to program a wide variety of quality, independent films as colorful as the Northern Lights themselves, in categories of: Narrative & Documentary Features; Dramatic, Comedy, Documentary and Animated Shorts; and films Made in Alaska. In addition to this, we also have our beloved youth and family programming and our Feature Screenplay competition.

If you've been here before, you know Alaska's an intriguing place. About 40% of the population of Alaska lives in Anchorage (2019 population 293,531), a modern city with differing lifestyles and independent spirit. Situated between the striking Chugach Mountains and the stunning Cook Inlet, Anchorage is known for its outstanding natural beauty. The city is only a short drive away from glaciers, downhill ski resorts, and unparalleled cross-country skiing, hiking, and bike trails. Anchorage has a vibrant arts community, is home to two universities, and hosts the world-class Anchorage Museum. Anchorage is also a culturally and ethnically diverse city. In 2014, as many as 99 different languages were spoken by students enrolled in the Anchorage School District.

The AIFF encourages filmmakers to attend our festival and experience the beauty of an Alaska winter. AIFF attracts filmmakers from all over the world, who spend nine days in Anchorage together, watching films, going on excursions in the winter wonderland and making lifelong friendships. We love to have filmmakers attend the festival so much that we happily help out with travel assistance and sometimes even some stipends.

The enthusiasm, sophistication, and passion of the AIFF audience often impress visiting filmmakers, and the AIFF has received uniformly positive feedback about the care and attention visitors receive from the festival staff. We are the warmest festival in a cold climate!

Our main host venue is the 400-seat Bear Tooth Theatre, a brew-pub where moviegoers are able to enjoy a drink and delicious food while watching films. A variety of other excellent exhibition venues around Anchorage, including the Anchorage Museum, host films and events during the festival.

We encourage you to submit your films and come join us in December, a time when the winter weather creates a dramatic and impressive beauty all its own and where you can discover “Films Worth Freezing For.”

The AIFF-award categories are:*

Narrative Feature
Documentary Feature
Animation Feature
Made in Alaska Narrative Feature
Made in Alaska Documentary Feature

Narrative Short
Documentary Short
Comedy Short
Animation Short
Made in Alaska Narrative Short
Made in Alaska Documentary Short

Screenplay (Feature and Short)

*Some award categories may be combined based on the total number of films accepted in each category.

The 2024 Anchorage International Film Festival is open to any film that has premiered after January 1, 2022, regardless of content, subject, or origin. The film must not have screened or be scheduled to screen on cable or broadcast television in Alaska or any other U.S. state prior to December 31, 2024. The film must not be available to stream to the public for free on any streaming platform, including but not limited to YouTube, Vimeo, NY Times OpDocs, websites, etc. Submitting your film to the 2024 AIFF is not a guarantee of selection.

A film will only be eligible for the 2024 AIFF jury competition if fees and forms are submitted with the film by the August 15, 2024 final deadline. We support independent film and encourage all genres to enter.

The AIFF will not refund any fees if the filmmaker fails to submit the film in the correct category. Films submitted without the correct fees or proper submission media may be deemed ineligible at the discretion of the AIFF programming director or executive director. The AIFF will not refund any fees if the filmmaker fails to submit a suitable exhibition copy in an acceptable format.

Once a film is accepted and becomes an official selection in the festival, AIFF WILL NOT consider screening fees of any kind. If accepted to the festival, the applicant grants the 2024 AIFF the right to show the submitted film publicly in Alaska until December 31, 2024, UNLESS written notice is provided to AIFF. If a selected film is chosen for an outdoor screening, AIFF has the right to play film audio over necessary radio channels. Failure to submit film in the correct category and/or non-payment of submission fees could disqualify film for selection at the discretion of the programming director.

If film is selected, exhibition media MUST BE IN THE REQUESTED FORMAT and should also be clearly marked with the film title, director, and exact running time.
AIFF will ONLY return EXHIBITION MEDIA if the proper packaging with correct postage is provided by the film submitter at the time the film is submitted.

AIFF WILL NOT RETURN OTHER MATERIALS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, i.e. posters, postcards, director statement, or press kits. Send only the type and number of other materials requested by the programming director. Failure to follow any of these guidelines could lead to disqualification of the film, at the discretion of the programming director. Films must be insured by the film submitter. The AIFF is not responsible for damaged or lost media during shipping.

The AIFF is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The film submitter/director/producer shall indemnify and hold harmless AIFF from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening media entered.

Unless negotiated with the festival programming director, all shipping fees are the responsibility of the filmmaker. Any other arrangements must be agreed to in writing by the programming director. If a film is accepted for the festival, the filmmaker will be informed well in advance on the type of exhibition media to provide.

Questions should be directed via email to the AIFF Programming Director at

Overall Rating
  • It is an honor for me to accept the award for the AWARD --- 2nd Runner Up - Best Animation for Love Bubbles. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the festival. However, I had good contact with the festival team and was well informed via social media. Thank you very much!

    June 2024
  • Neal Reddy

    There's something so special about this festival. I can't put it into words. Just submit and go if you get accepted. Yes, sure, there are festivals out there with more industry there, more networking opportunities, more prestige BUT I guarantee there will not be a festival out there more fun and surrounded by better people. I've never attended a festival like this where all the filmmakers hung out together for a week as a family. It's like being on a pirate ship of incredible talented filmmakers and just really awesome people. You end up getting to spend real time with other filmmakers talking, eating, drinking and enjoying the beauty that is Alaska. Go attend the big festivals, but do not sleep on AIFF. Our film has screened at some really big festivals, but AIFF was hands down the best and most unique experience of them all. Ida and John are incredible hosts. Never met two festival directors who spent more time with the filmmakers and getting to know them. The people of Anchorage are so warm. The films are diverse and amazing. The filmmakers are a beyond talented. Screen your film and make some genuine friends? It's a win / win.

    February 2024
  • Emily Niebuhr

    I can't recommend this festival enough! I loved it so much the first year I put in double the effort on my next film to make sure I made it again! This film festival really cares about filmmakers and it is a valuable and enjoyable experience whether you are established or a newer filmmaker. Also many activities in which to connect with other filmmakers and build meaningful connections- including hot springs!

    February 2024
  • Jahmil Eady

    Anchorage is one of my favorite film festivals. It is unparalleled. The films are excellent, the location is stunning, the people are kind, and there are so many opportunities for the filmmakers to get to know one another. My favorite activities were the glacier tour and the filmmaker excursion up north to Chenna Hot Springs. Thank you to Ida, John, AIFF volunteers, hosts, and audience members! AIFF truly is one of the coolest festivals. Fellow filmmakers, submit your work, and if your film gets in, GO!

    December 2023
  • Jack Martin

    I cannot recommend this festival enough. The community is so supportive, the coordinating is so smooth, and the people you meet are so incredibly fun. Ida and John are great leaders who do everything they can to champion their filmmakers and ensure a good time for all. Plus, they have great taste in films! Of all the festivals I've attended in my career, this one reigns supreme. I've made lifelong friends and will carry the memories I have from this festival with me throughout my entire life.

    December 2023