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

We are a multi-genre festival and continue accepting all-genre types from all over the world - we love a great story! Come meet directors, producers, filmmakers, artists and community members from all over Cincinnati, the US, and the world!

Cindependent Film Festival returns September 19, 20, and 21, 2024 at Memorial Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio! Cindependent is a filmmaker-focused festival, dedicated to empowering and providing career development resources for accepted artists during our event. We host free coffee networking events, live screenplay readings for accepted screenplays, VIP parties, and an exclusive filmmaker lounge.

Our festival is located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati in walking distance to the many incredible parks, bars, restaurants, museums and energy of the wonderful Queen City!

We provide lodging for filmmakers attending the festival - lodging may be limited and we prioritize film nominees, then out-of-town visitors followed by our precious local filmmakers (we love you!)

There may be - but not yet confirmed for 2024 - five monetary grants awarded during the festival to continue stimulating artistic development in Cincinnati.

A sample festival schedule may run like this:

Wednesday Evening: Welcome Party for visiting Filmmakers and Screenwriters
Thursday: Film Screenings, Workshops, Screenplay readings begin. After Party at 10pm.
Friday: Film Screenings, Workshops, Screenplay readings begin. After Party at 10pm.
Saturday: Film Screenings, Workshops, Screenplay readings continue. After Party at 10pm.
Sunday: Awards Ceremony and Goodbye Brunch

Cindependent may provide five Development Grants during each festival. This is not cash-money provided directly but a development program that works to sustain new works within the Cincinnati region. You do not have to be local to Cincinnati to win one of these awards. Our ability to award this is dependent on our funding progress and we may not offer this in 2024.

There are additional non-monetary 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 Family Film, 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 Feature 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 2016.
• 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 September 2024.
• 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 mid August 2024.
• 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
  • ruhi radke

    Even though I couldn't attend, I felt like I was there because of the amazing communication by the founder of the festival. By far the best and clear communication, they really go above and beyond! Thanks so much for including Brown Sugar in your lineup.

    March 2024
  • It's a great Film Festival in the midwest part of the US. I had a great experience and I look forward to the next one

    January 2024
  • Lexi Jamieson Marsh

    One of my favorite film festivals of all time. I want to keep making movies just so I can come back.

    December 2023
    Response from festival:

    We want that too. <3 Thank you for all the stories you make and how hard you work to support us.

  • I wish to express my strongest recommendation for this festival. My short film was nominated for Best International Short at the festival, and throughout the entire process, we received nothing but support. The team that runs the festival brought incredible integrity to everything they did. To all filmmakers around the globe: this is a truly international film festival, as the juries and curators consist of a very inclusive and diverse group of individuals. I wish them success in the upcoming year.

    November 2023
    Response from festival:

    Aria, thank you so much for this response. We love supporting you!

  • This festival was just outstanding. Incredibly organized, wonderful programming, an abundance of events for filmmakers and film-lovers alike to attend, and overall, just really lovely people. Such a fun festival. Highly recommend.

    October 2023
    Response from festival:

    We loved meeting you and supporting you, Cassie! Thank you so much for all of your work and attendance!