We are Cincinnati's home for independent filmmakers. We cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit of filmmaking.

COVID UPDATE: In 2021, we are paying artists to screen their work. We have developed two new programs to accomplish this:

1. 'Reels on Wheels' is a safe, socially-distanced mobile cinema that we are driving around Cincinnati and screening work out of. We have built a projection system inside a cargo trailer and can operate in any location that offers enough space for social distancing.

2. 'Cindependent and Chill' is our curated, monthly, virtual indie film subscription where we release 70-85 minutes of movies + exclusive 'behind-the-scene' content to subscribers each month.

There is more information about each of these programs on our website at www.cindependentfilmfest.org. Your submission will be considered for programming in one of these programs in 2021. We have rolling submissions for 2021, so you may be contacted for screening prior to our deadline.

We are a multi-genre festival and continue accepting all-genre types from all over the world. Screenplays will be adjudicated and a virtual reading series developed in late 2021.

Cindependent awards a minimum of $50.00 to each artist who screens in 2021.

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. We have rolling submissions for 2021, so you may be contacted for screening prior to our deadline.

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 August 2021.
• 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
  • Livia Sampaio

    Thanks very much for the selection of my Documentary Plaits at this festival!!! We, the team, are very happy !!!

    September 2021
  • 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!