The International Avant-Garde Film Awards is a showcase of experimental films from across the world. It was born from a series of underground film screenings in the 2010s. It has now grown into an annual event at one of New York City's most iconic arthouse theaters.

We’re interested in the types of films that Hollywood studios fail to see. Films that push creative boundaries, explore rare or controversial subjects, tell compelling stories from a unique angle, or have a bold artistic sensibility. We’re especially interested in films that connect humans to the natural world or bend our sense of reality.

Shorts, features, documentaries, animated films, and music videos are all welcome. The only thing we don’t accept are superhero movies. The top films are screened at Quad Cinema—a mainstay of avant-garde cinema in NYC since 1972.

As indie filmmakers ourselves, we also understand the value of publicity for innovative filmmakers and their films. Awards are given out in 17 different categories. The winning film in each category will be featured on this website, including a published interview with the filmmaker. You can check out our interviews with the award-winning directors from 2023 here:

What We’re Looking For:
-Films that push artistic boundaries.
-Films that tell meaningful stories in unique ways.
-Narrative films framed by the natural world.
-Documentaries that aren’t preachy.
-Films about the changing world we live in.
-Films that reveal hidden aspects of our world.
-Mind-bending films that alter the way we think/feel/perceive.
-Films that highlight big ideas about how we can navigate the many challenges we face as a species and as a society.
-Unconventional environmental films.
-Art films that are compelling to watch.
-Music videos that take an innovative visual and/or narrative approach.

Best Experimental Short
Best Experimental Feature
Best Debut Film
Best Student Film
Best Environmental Film
Best Short Narrative Film
Best Feature Narrative Film
Best Short Documentary
Best Feature Documentary
Best Animated Short
Best Animated Feature
Best Comedy
Best Music Video
Best Cinematography
Best Original Music
Best Sound Design
Best Performance
Best Original Concept

-The International Avant-Garde Film Awards is politically independent. We welcome films from any side of the idealogical spectrum.
-No preference is given to anyone based on race, gender, or ethnicity. All voices are welcome.
-Open to filmmakers from any country.
-If English is not the original language, English subtitles would be helpful (unless it would significantly disrupt the film's aesthetic).
-Open to films completed between October 2022 and October 2024.
-Short films < 40 minutes
-Feature films > 40 minutes

Overall Rating
  • Thank you!! we have been very proud to had the chance to be part of you festival and more to won Awards ! The communication was very pleasant and professional ! Congratulation International avant-garde film awards for your festival and you kindness !!

    May 2024
  • Such a fulfilling experience, seeing my short film The Great Basin! Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Desert projected at the Quad Cinema in NYC. I am honored to have won both Best Environmental Film and Best Editing Awards. Jerry runs an excellent festival, and he is wonderful to work with!

    January 2024