Charleston International Film Festival (CIFF) was created to bring people together through the art and science of film. Through this unique art, which has the power to touch our emotions and provoke thought like no other, we intend to promote the exchange of ideas, a greater cross-cultural awareness and to inspire filmmakers from around the world.

CIFF is an international film competition, dedicated to showcasing the art and talent of emerging filmmakers from the U.S. and around the globe in a city known for its deep-rooted American history. There will also be a screenplay competition.

The 9th Annual CIFF will bring attendees together for 5 days to attend premieres, special events, seminars, after parties and deal making opportunities. The festival will showcase shorts, features, documentaries and animations of all genre and subject matter.

On the 5th and final night of the festival, CIFF will present awards to honor the finest in filmmaking and screenwriting displayed during the competition at the Awards Gala. These awards include a $1,000 cash prize for Best Film and a $500 cash prize for Best Screenplay.

CIFF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose sponsors have included: Charliewood Pictures, Xfinity, Stoli, College of Charleston, The Botanist, The Art Institute of Charleston, Palmetto Brewery, Charleston Magazine, Carolina One, Technical Event Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Trident Technical College, Charleston City Paper, The Art Institute of Charleston, inventivENVIRONMENTS, Legare+Bailey+Hinske, Charleston Magazine, Vouch, Snyder Event Rentals among others.

Best Film
Best Film is the highest honor the CIFF gives out.
Sponsor:Charleston International Film Festival
Cash Award Value: 1,000 U.S. Dollar
This prize is shared with other categories.

Audience Choice Award - Best Short, Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Animation
Judged by the festival audience.
Sponsor:Charleston International Film Festival

Audience Choice Award - Best Foreign Film
Judged by the festival audience.
Sponsor:Charleston International Film Festival
This prize is shared with other categories.

Special Jury Award
Jury's choice for Best Feature, Best Short, Best Documentary.
Sponsor:Charleston International Film Festival

All films submitted to the Charleston International Film Festival are selected by our festival selection committee, which evaluates each film, looking for excellence in quality and originality in new independent cinema. The festival will showcase 85+ of the most auspicious non-studio films, which include features, shorts (including animations and music videos) and documentaries. All winners will be announced at the Closing Awards Ceremony to be held on Sunday, including the winner of the Screenplay Competition.

Please see specific category for all guidelines and requirements. Remember to include your FilmFreeway number on all submissions.

The following is a list of items needed for films, which will be screened at the 2016 CIFF.
For maximum exposure of your film, the festival requests a private screening link for Jury and press requests upon acceptance.
Synopsis of film (3 sentences or less)
One high resolution image from the film for the website and program
Final format of your film – H264.MOV

Overall Rating
  • Alicia Dutton

    I've been to this festival twice and it did not disappoint. I made great contacts and great friends! Although I was there as a screenwriter, I was impressed with all the films presented and thoroughly enjoyed my time in The Holy City!

    August 2018
  • Minter Dial

    Set in beautiful Charleston, the Charleston International Film Festival was very well organized. A great combination of blocks and opportunities to meet filmmakers.

    January 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Minter! It was so nice having you here in Charleston!