We are Cincinnati's home for independent filmmakers.

The Cindependent Film Festival is a three-day festival focused on the support and development of independent filmmakers in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 2020 festival has been delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic till August 2021. We are working with the FilmFreeway team to completely update the submission dates and deadlines.

We are a multi-genre festival and are accepting all-genre types from all over the world.

The 2021 Festival will screen in the historic 1920s Woodward Theater, which was originally built as a silent movie house. This concert venue will be re-configured to accommodate our audiences and feature top of the line sound and video equipment. We also have additional locations to accommodate our screenplay reads, filmmaker lounge, and masterclasses.

We cultivate the entrepenuerial spirt of filmmaking through fantastic screenings, monetary and non-monetary awards, VIP and networking parties, live entertainment, filmmaker Q&As, live screenplay readings, and hosting artists from all over Ohio, the US, and the world.

Please note we are carefully reviewing for Ohio films (feature and short,) family and children shorts, student films, and music videos.

The Cindependent Film Festival awards five monetary grants during each festival. These are the Development Grant Awards, and are selected for exciting entrepreneurialism and expertise in filmmaking and screenplay writing.

There are additional distinctions awarded each year that do not have monetary attachments: Best Short Screenplay, Best Feature Screenplay, Best International Short, Best Ohio Short, Best US Short, Best Comedy Short, Best Drama Short, Best Family Short, Best Off-Kilter Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Feature Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director of a Short Film, Best Director of a Short Film.

Submitter only needs to submit to ONE genre, but will be considered in all appropriate categories.

You agree to the following terms and conditions of the Cindependent Film Festival.

• All films must be the original work of the filmmakers and all filmmakers must have the necessary rights. The festival is not liable for any rights issues.
• By submitting a film to CFF, you grant the Cindependent Film Festival permission to screen your film, if said film is officially accepted into this year's lineup.
• If your film has been selected, you are automatically considered accepted. If we do not hear from you otherwise within 14 days of notification, your selection will be accepted and intended for playing in the festival.
• All entries must be either in English or subtitled in English. Foreign language films without English subtitles will not be screened.
• Only completed entries (including entry form, payment, and final film) will be considered.
• We are an environmentally friendly festival. We accept digital entries ONLY. Do not send DVD’s, Blu-rays, or physical press kits.
• Films must have been produced no earlier than 2013.
• We have no premiere status requirements.
If accepted, the filmmaker is required to provide the festival a digital file (.mov, .mp4), for exhibition.
• In accordance with the Cindependent Film Festival policy, the entry fee is non-refundable.
• You will not be allowed to enter your work unless you agree to abide by the terms and conditions of the Cindependent Film Festival Festival.
You grant the Cindependent Film Festival the following:
• Permission to exhibit your film. Films must be available for screening during the festival, August 2021; with a special screening of selected festival winners at The Esquire Theaters the following fall.
• Allow photos, posters, highlights or excerpts of your film (e.g. a trailer) to be placed on the Cindependent Film Festival Festival website and used for other marketing and promotional purposes. You also agree to allow CFF to promote the following year's festival with the material listed above. CFF will never solicit or screen your film outside the promotion of the CFF without your approval.
The Festival
• We are accepting short film (under 35 minutes), feature film (under 125 minutes), and screenplay submissions.
• Notification of selections will be made by July 2021.
• The Cindependent Film Festival reserves the right to change our programming without notice. The official selections and screening schedule is at the sole discretion of the festival.
• You may submit as many entries as you like. Each entry requires its own entry fee. Entry fees will not be refunded.
• Entrants are encouraged, but not required, to attend the festival. Entrants receive 2 free full passes to the film festival for the duration of the film festival, and can receive artist pricing on each additional pass.
• Exceptions to these rules will not be made unless we make an exception.
For questions and inquiries, please email allyson@cindependentfilmfest.org

Overall Rating
  • Ryan O'Leary

    The Cindependent Film Festival is a perfect example of a film festival done right. Allyson and her team make it an unforgettable experience. Aside from the well attended screenings at an excellent venue, there were many opportunities to get to know your fellow filmmakers, as well as the community. With this level of organization and personal care, I can't recommend the Cindependent Film Festival more for any filmmaker looking for a place to connect not just with their film, but with other people.

    November 2019
  • Patrick Lee

    Overall, Allyson and her team put together a very charming festival that I recommend you attend if possible. Expect prompt communication and wonderful hospitality from the staff. The lovely venue was a short walk from the hotel (which the festival covered btw); not many festival experiences will get as personable or relaxing so definitely go check this one out.

    October 2019
    Response from festival:

    Patrick, I really love hearing that you found this festival worthwhile and easy to attend. :) Thank you so much for sharing your work with the Cincinnati community. <3

  • Jeremiah Kipp

    Allyson and her team did a fantastic job at creating a welcoming environment for indie filmmakers to network and see great films.

    October 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for being apart of all we can offer!

  • I've been to several festivals with my film, and this was my favorite! Everything was extremely well organized, the hotel was awesome and the workshops were interesting and useful. Great job, guys, and thanks so much for selecting my film!

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Our pleasure, Michelle! We absolutely adored hosting you, and hope that you attend many more festivals with us!

  • Ben Evory

    We had a great experience showing our short film at CFF. The hosts were energetic and extremely generous, providing us with lodging, lunches, and masterclasses. There were MANY guest filmmakers to talk with and learn from. The festival staff does more than just screen your films - they are passionate about helping you find the people and resources to make your next project possible. We made wonderful connections.

    Submit to the fest, then go participate!

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    So pleased to hear this was worth your time! We know it takes a lot of energy to attend festivals, and want to make sure your experience at Cindependent is more than just a "work event." :) Loved having your film, and look forward to seeing more from your team!