The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival (CIFF) is a three day event with screenings and mixers designed to provide opportunities for both local and international filmmakers to showcase their work and build contacts for future collaborations.

Ever had your films screened to empty theatres? Ever experienced going to a festival and feeling short changed? At CIFF our sole focus is the films and the filmmakers that make it possible. Our first two years saw filmmakers from as far as Mexico and Chicago to across BC descend onto Chilliwack as their films screened to eager audiences. With a heavy focus on quality films and a great vibe, we encourage filmmakers to partake in Q & As and mixers over the course of the weekend as we build relationships that last.

At CIFF you'll find a fun loving intimate atmosphere that sees filmmakers leave with plenty of new connections, experiences and friends. Our sponsors provide events and mixers every night as we provide an arena for filmmakers to screen their films in public and experience some incredible cinema from across the world.

CIFF also has a special focus on local BC filmmakers with an eye on promoting filming opportunities in the Fraser Valley. We're looking for films with a powerful story and distinct voice. Films that dare to challenge, move and inspire.

We accept Features, Shorts, Documentaries, Music Videos and Animations from emerging artists and students to established professionals. CIFF is committed to the celebration of independent film and bringing it to wider audiences.

This year we will also be hosting a Script to Screen competition (10 pages max) with the winner being announced at our third edition late in 2019. We will then provide guidance and in-kind support to help the winning filmmaker complete their short in time for its world premiere at the following edition of the Chilliwack Independent Film Festival. Note: The short can be about anything but must be shot in Chilliwack.

The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival runs every year in November at the Cottonwood Cinema located in the beautiful Fraser Valley.

The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival closes its final night with an illustrious award ceremony (and of course after party) to celebrate. Along with "Official Selection" laurels for your films promotional purposes, there will be awards handed out on the night for:

– Best of Fest
– Best Feature Film
– Best Short Film
– Best Documentary
- Best of BC
- Chilliwack Spirit Award (handcrafted by a local artist)

Other technical awards will be handed out for:

– Best Director
– Best Actor
– Best Actress

- Our panel of industry professionals will choose one short script to be developed and made into a short film. With our guidance and in-kind support from local businesses and professionals, we will help the winner take their idea to the screen. The film will premiere at the following Chilliwack Independent Film Festival (afterwards filmmakers are free to submit to freely to other festivals and retain all rights to their film). Note: Film can be about anything but must be filmed in Chilliwack/Fraser Valley.

(Note: Awards subject to change. You must be present at the ceremony to receive the physical award).

Feature films (narrative & documentary) should run over 40 minutes but not exceed 120 minutes. Short films (narrative & documentary) should be under 30 minutes with a minimum of 1 minute. Music videos should run under 5 minutes. Films must have been completed after January 1st, 2016.

We only accept entries via the FilmFreeway online screener or a private Vimeo link that you can send after submitting. Please check the individual categories for specifics. Whilst there are no premiere requirements, special consideration may be given for films that are having a certain premiere i.e. World Premiere, Canada Premiere, BC Premiere or Fraser Valley Premiere. Films must not be available online. If found to be available online your film will no longer be eligible and your submission fee will not be returned.

Once selected, the filmmaker must make available a DCP or Blu-Ray for exhibition. Must be received by October the 19th.

At least one representative of each competitive project are required to be present. Must be present at the awards ceremony to be handed the physical award.

Participants agree that clips from their film and all other material related to their project may be used and/or published in the event program, CIFF website and for any promotional purposes which CIFF deems appropriate.

No screeners and/or promotional materials will be returned to the filmmaker, unless arranged in advance.

If selected, all commercial/private property including all trademark/copyrighted materials shown or recorded on the project is the responsibility of the filmmaker. CIFF will NOT take responsibility for any infringement of copywritten materials.

The cost of delivery and pick-up of all materials is the responsibility of the filmmakers.

CIFF holds no responsibility for lost or damaged prints. While the utmost care will be taken with regard to prints, it is solely up to the filmmaker to take full responsibility (i.e. insurance).

Rules are subject to change at any time with or without prior notice.

Overall Rating
  • Jordan Barnes-Crouse

    So honoured to have been included in 2018's terrific lineup! The team at CIFF is friendly and communicative, not to mention the great location. Thanks again for the selection, very much hope to attend in the future!

    March 2019
  • Hello CIFF, I wasn't around but represented by our Producer for Grey. Thank you so much for the selection and nominations. Really hoping to attend next year because it looks like a fun festival!

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    Hello SJ, thank you for the kind words! We loved Grey it was a beautiful short (exquisitely shot) about a very important topic. We hope you to get to meet you next year!

  • Kent Donguines

    CIFF is definitely one of the film festivals in British Columbia that everyone should see. Excellent programming, great communication and very accommodating. Thank you CIFF for having us this year with 6 nominations and 2 wins. We will be forever grateful! Hopefully, we have another one next year. - Team Small Fish, Crazy8s Film

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Kent for the wonderful review we're so thrilled to be able to share such powerful stories you and your team create. For only a two year old festival you are technically our most frequent alumni with three incredible projects! Our team of programmers and audiences are already looking forward to what you create next. You're all part of the furniture here now at CIFF!

  • We could not go to Chilliwack but all the exchanges we had with the festival team were very pleasant and warm. The team seems great and very motivated. We hope to be selected again with future projects.

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Nicolas! We were delighted to have the opportunity to share Happy with our audiences who loved it! We're very excited to see what you and your team create next.

  • Brandon Thompson

    We were honoured to have our film selected by the 2018 Chilliwack Independent Film Festival.

    The breadth and quality of films screened at this festival was incredible. The organizers selected a wonderful programme of inspiring, beautiful stories. There is a lot of talent in British Columbia; and simply put, CIFF did it right.

    The amount of effort, passion and professionalism put into this event by its team of volunteers made it quite exceptional. Thank you all for a great festival - we hope to be back next year!

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Brandon for such a lovely review. It was our pleasure to be able to share Coming Home with a great audience. It was a fascinating and very honest documentary with some gorgeous cinematography. We're very much looking forward to seeing what your team create next!