The Anchorage International Film Festival (AIFF) 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: Features, Documentaries, Shorts, Super Shorts, Animation, and films Made in Alaska. In addition to continued LGBTQ (Gay-La) events and youth and family programming, AIFF is thrilled to announce a new Screenplay competition category this year!

If you've been here before, you know Alaska's an intriguing place. About half of the population of Alaska lives in Anchorage (2013 population 300,950), 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. Last festival, the AIFF had filmmakers visiting from such far-flung locations as Switzerland, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, Portland, New York City, Australia and Vancouver.

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 movie-goers are able to enjoy a drink and delicious food while watching films. A variety of other excellent exhibition venues around Anchorage 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 best film in each category will be awarded an Alaska Native hand-carved walrus oosik (petrified bone) and a certificate of achievement. The AIFF categories are:

Documentary (feature-length)
Documentary (Short)
Short - Narrative Fiction
Super Short - Narrative Fiction
Animation (feature-length, short or super-short)
Made in Alaska Narrative (feature-length, short or super-short)
Made in Alaska Documentary (feature-length, short or super-short)
Screenplay (feature-length)

The 2018 AIFF is open to any film completed after January 1, 2017, regardless of content, subject, or origin. Any film completed after January 1, 2017, that has not screened on cable or broadcast television in Alaska or any other U.S. state prior to December 1, 2017, is eligible for submission. Submitting your film to the 2018 AIFF is not a guarantee of selection.

A film will only be eligible for the 2018 AIFF jury competition if fees and forms are submitted with the film by the September 5, 2018 extended 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 2018 AIFF the right to show the submitted film publicly in Alaska until December 2019, 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.

Submission media should be clearly marked with the tracking number, film title, director, and exact running time. No PAL tapes are accepted. PAL DVDs are accepted. AIFF WILL NOT RETURN SUBMISSION MEDIA UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. If film is selected, exhibition media MUST BE IN THE REQUESTED FORMAT and should also be clearly marked with the tracking number, 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 videos 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. Acceptable presentation formats: AIFF will no longer accept 35 mm film prints. Preferred formats are DCI 2K digital or Blu-Ray for the main venue. For films selected for this venue we will accept compatible digital files or Blu-Ray. All other venues will accept only Blu-Ray, DVD or DV-R, or digital files. 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 2018 AIFF Programming Director at

Overall Rating
  • Yasmin Mistry

    Great festival! The programming was strong, the theaters were full, and the filmmaker events were excellent. The festival does everything they can to help filmmakers, with both short and feature films, be able to attend. the festival and it's definitely worth the trip.

    May 2018
  • Shawn Convey

    Great festival, Great Hospitality. Loved the programing and the programmers. Well worth the admission and the trip... Highly recommend and I personally hope to screen my future films at AIFF!

    January 2018
  • Dita Gruze

    An absolutely fantastic festival. Very well organized, a high quality film line-up, super friendly festival organizers, and tons of fun events for filmmakers. Highly recommended!

    January 2018
  • John Shaw

    This festival does an amazing job programming fantastic screenings and events. Not to mention, its super hospitable to all of its filmmakers!

    December 2017
  • John Burr

    Find a way to get into this festival. It's one of the most unique and wonderful experiences you'll ever have. The filmmaker excursion was only one of the highlights of a weekend that included some of the coolest programmers, the most inspiring films, and an incredibly fun group of creative people -- all in a one-of-a-kind city.

    December 2017