State of the Art Venues. Cash Prizes. Lodging Provided for all Official Selections. Iconic & Emerging Voices Grand & Special Jury (see below). Industry Networking Events, Red Carpet Premieres, Panels, Parties and CIFFNV PITCHFEST! featuring in-kind production and cash prizes – we’re a film festival created by filmmakers for filmmakers.

Located in the stunning Reno-Tahoe region of Nevada, the Cordillera Int’l Film Festival prides itself on amazing venues with packed houses – our Friday night screening is the only one that doesn’t take place in a luxury theater because it’s at an outdoor amphitheater, on the water, with an average audience of 1K!

As filmmakers, we understand we are all going through uncertain times, and choosing what festivals are worthwhile can be challenging. Since day one, Cordillera has provided the following to all our Official Selections – yes, all of them:

Lodging – What!? We know - it's awesome – and so is our host hotel!

Filmmakers Lounge – MEALS, SNACKS & DRINKS. The cost of meals can become challenging, so we provide up to 3 meals a day - every day of the festival. The lounge is a perfect place for Filmmakers, VIP Guests and Jury Members to meet-up for great conversations and enjoy drinks and snacks with a Hosted Wine & Beer bar.

5th Day Fun – Film Nevada Initiative VIP Experience - Official Selections are invited on a first-come-first served basis to join us on the Monday after the festival for a day spent on the water and in the mountains, exploring our beautiful region as a VIP.


ONE – In-kind production and cash prizes, including an incredible production package for our CIFFNV PITCHFEST! winner courtesy of our Industry Partners and the Film Nevada Initiative as well as select members of our 2023 Grand Jury and Special Jury.

Notable Awards include our Best Female Focus Film, Best Indigenous & LGBTQIA+ Film, and our Innovate award - all of which come with a $500 - $1000 cash prize.

Our Impact Award (Formerly the John Singleton Impact Award) celebrating stories that inform & inspire change includes a $1,000 cash prize.

TWO – Our Grand Jury & Special Jury! Led by our Chairman of the Board, Disney Legend and beloved voice of Goofy for the last 35+ years, Bill Farmer, we look forward to a prestigious Grand & Special Jury joining us in 2023! Past members include Brian Currie the Oscar wining writer of Green Book; Actor Wes Studi of Dances with Wolves and Last of the Mohicans; Actor, Writer & Director Kristoffer Polaha who was most recently seen in DC's Wonder Women:1984 and Jurassic World: Dominion. For a complete list of past members, please head to:

THREE – CIFFNV PITCHFEST! - Pitch your project to an incredible Line-up of Cordillera Grand & Special Jury Members for a chance to win an impressive Prize Package courtesy of our Industry Partners, the Film Nevada Initiative as well as select members of our 2023 Grand Jury and Special Jury.

Our CIFFNV PITCHFEST! Panelists consist of our 2023 Grand & Special Jury members and will be announced at least 24 hours in advance.

FOUR - Panels, Filmmaker Q&As & Table Readings of our Finalist Screenplays!

At Cordillera, we love what we do and we can't wait to see what the 2023 season brings to us. We look forward to getting to know you and your projects and hope to celebrate your project in July!

Thanks to the support of our amazing sponsors, the Cordillera International Film Festival gives out custom, engraved awards and a series of impressive in-kind production and cash prizes.


2023 Grand Jury Prizes -
Grand Jury Award - Best of Fest - Feature Film - In-Kind Production Package and $1,000 Cash Prize.
Grand Jury Award - Best of Fest - Short Film - In-Kind Production Package and $1,000 Cash Prize.

Special Jury:
Impact Award (Formerly the John Singleton Award) - Stories that inform & inspire change. $1,000 Cash Prize.
Innovate Award - Stories told in bold, refreshing & unexpected ways. $500 Cash Prize.
Best LGBTQIA+ Film - $500 Cash Prize.
Best Female Focus Film - $500 Cash Prize.
Best Indigenous Film - $500 Cash Prize.
Best Nevada Film - $500 Cash Prize.
Best Music Video - $500 Cash Prize.
Best Short Screenplay - Wins option to be produced in Reno, NV by the multiple award-winning Cordillera Films team with an in-kind value up to $10,000 courtesy of the Film Nevada Initiative.

Audience Awards:
Best of Festival - Highest Scoring Project via Audience Vote Overall - $500 Cash Prize
Best Nevada Film
Best Short Film
Best Feature Film
Best Screenplay

Feature Films -
Best Documentary Feature Film
Best Narrative Feature Film
Best Performance Feature Film
Best Director Feature Film

Short Films -
Best Series (Episode or Pilot)
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Family Short Film
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Animated Short Film
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Film
Best Horror
Best Thriller Short Film
Best Comedy Short Film
Best Drama Short Film
Best Int'l Short Film
Best Student Short Film
Best Performance Short Film
Best Director Short Film

Screenplay Awards -
Best of Fest - Screenplay - $1,000.00 Cash Prize.
Best Short Screenplay - Wins option to be produced in Reno, NV by the multiple award-winning Cordillera Films with an in-kind value up to $10,000.00 courtesy of the Film Nevada Initiative.
Best Genre Feature Screenplay
Best Comedy Feature Screenplay
Best Dramatic Feature Screenplay

CIFFNV PITCHFEST! - Pitch your project to an incredible Line-up of Cordillera Grand & Special Jury Members for a chance to win an impressive Prize Package courtesy of our Industry Partners, and the Film Nevada Initiative as well as select members of our 2023 Grand Jury and Special Jury.

Finalists: 10 Projects will be selected to Pitch in-person, on the morning of Sunday, July 30th 2023 during our annual film festival.

Lottery Drawing: Everyone who submits for CIFFNV PITCHFEST! and attends the festival in-person, will be entered into a Lottery Drawing where 5 lucky projects will get selected to Pitch!

Time: This is a 3 minute pitch, followed by 3 minutes of questions/feedback from panelists.

Email with the following information:
1. Your Name.
2. Your FilmFreeway Tracking Number - individuals may submit more than one pitch, but each submission must have it's own tracking number. Note: No individual will be allowed to pitch more than one project during the actual event. CIFF will select which of your submitted projects will be pitched.

Upon verifying your entry, you will be emailed a custom link to upload your materials.
The link will ask you to provide: Project Name, Project Type (Narrative or Documentary. Feature Film or Short. Web or Television Series.) Project Logline & Synopsis. Optional Materials: Pitch Deck and/or One Sheet. Please do NOT send scripts or treatments.

-Cordillera International Film Festival only accepts live-action films and music videos that have been completed after July 2022 and animated films that have been completed by January 2020.
- Our Main Venue is DCP Only. We use Simple DCP. You can use their service to make a DCP for 20% off, or you can upload your own DCP to their service at no cost.
- Online screeners from secure sources are preferred. Include screener link and password in your submission.
- Press kit is optional - electronic only, please.
- Nevada, World and US Premieres are not required, however premiere status may be one of the factors considered when determining a film's inclusion in the Festival.
-The Festival does not screen Feature films available on VOD or any online streaming portal at the time of the festival. However, the festival reserves the right to make exceptions to this rule. Non-Local Short Films & Music Videos can be available online, but films that are not online will be given preference.
-All films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for festival presentation.
-The festival will consider work-in-progress, films with temporary soundtracks, digital outputs, and work that did not originate on film. Filmmakers must deliver final format (as indicated) for Festival screening.
-Future Filmmaker films MUST be works written, directed, and shot by students actively enrolled in school and must be 25 YEARS OLD OR YOUNGER.

Cordillera International Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.
The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.
The individual or corporation submitting the film shall indemnify and hold harmless Cordillera International Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.
Should your film be accepted, we ask permission to keep a copy of the film for our festival library. This request is voluntary and is not conditional. The copy of the film in the CIFF library will not be used for profit. Should we consider re-screening the film for a public paid event, we will notify individuals or corporations representing the film for permission and conditions.

Posters & Marketing Materials - any shipping costs of marketing materials shipped to Cordillera prior to the festival must be borne by the sender and must indicate title, shipper's name, and FilmFreeway tracking number.

Overall Rating
  • Robb Russo

    Well done putting Reno, NV on the map for this festival. Expertly managed and very engaging. Cheers Cordillera!

    September 2022
  • Leonardo Martinez

    The absolute best film festival experience I could have ever asked for!!!!!

    September 2022
  • This festival just keeps growing and growing. Everyone there and involved was so friendly. Such a great time.

    September 2022
  • Philip Musey

    This festival was, without reservation, a smash hit. The entire experience was curated down to the last detail. It was organized and orderly, yet packed with spontaneous, fun, human moments. These five days will be foundational to my career as a filmmaker and I am so grateful to have crossed paths with an outstanding and uncommon mix of incredibly talented and down-to-earth artists and movie-lovers. Thank you, Cordillera!

    August 2022
  • Cordillera is a top-tier film festival, and the world will soon be crowding the streets of Reno to be a part of this film festival's extraordinary events, see the incredible sights and make friendships that will last a lifetime! Cordillera treats each filmmaker like they matter, and for me, an indie film guy propelled forward by nothing more than my morale, being treated with such respect and care is premium gas in my tank. The staff makes your entire team feel like their work is valued. You can tell that love went into planning every phase of the event, and they take the time to get to know each filmmaker by name, which isn't very common at festivals nowadays. I appreciate Cordillera because they appreciate us! Thank you, Cordillera!

    August 2022