Illinifest Student Film Festival is a celebration of student and professional short-filmmaking, curated by students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Our mission is to create a platform for diverse voices in filmmaking and expose our campus and community audience to short films from all over the globe. We are accepting films in two categories. The Midwest Student category is open to students and recent grads from all over the Midwest. The World Competition is open to everyone from all over the country and globe. Illinifest welcomes all genres and themes. We look forward to the variety of films that will appear in both categories.

Awards & Prizes

Winners in each category will received engraved plaques.

Grand Jury Award ($100 prize)
Best Picture Midwest Student
Best Director Midwest Student
Best Ensemble Cast Midwest Student
Best Cinematography Midwest Student
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Sound Design
Best Screenplay
Illini Student
Social Impact Award
Best Documentary
Best Animated Film
Audience Award ($100 prize)
Best Picture World Cinema
Best Director World Cinema
Best Ensemble Cast World Cinema
Best Cinematography World Cinema

The Illinifest 2017 jurors are:

-- Sam Flancher: Chicago International Film Festival Short Film Programmer/Competitions Coordinator;
-- Alicia Kozma: Media and Cinema Studies Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign;
-- Kathy Byrne: Director of TV/Theatrical at SAG-AFTRA Chicago;
-- Firas Aladai: Adjunct Faculty in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University and short filmmaker;
-- Ramona Curry: English, Media and Cinema Studies Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign;
-- Michael Phillips: Chicago Tribune Film Critic;

Rules & Terms

Eligible participants in the Midwest Student Competition are college students and recent graduates within the U.S. Midwestern states. Submission to the World Competition is $5 and is open to everyone. Entries must exceed one minute and not surpass 20 minutes in duration. All films should be submitted in a digital format via FilmFreeway or the festival’s website. All genres are accepted. Winners in each category will receive an engraved plaque. The Grand Jury Award and Audience Award will receive $100 each.

5 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Aleksei Borovikov

    I couldn't attend, but communications during selection and preparation period was brilliant. Wish them success in conducting new editions.

    May 2017
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    Jeff Vande Zande

    Didn't get to attend, but very smooth communications!

    May 2017
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    Ashley Seering

    I've had films at Illinifest for the past three years but was only able to attend in 2016. My experience at the festival was positive and I was impressed with the overall quality of work. I found the panel discussions held between screenings to be very relevant and helpful for new filmmakers. I wish more universities held events like Illinifest.

    May 2017
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    Anastasia Dyakova

    Great communications, very friendly staff, seems like a very nice place. Thanks for having me and good luck next year

    May 2017
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    Thomas Nicol

    Illinifest is among the best student festivals out there; the selection is great every year, they work hard to make filmmakers welcome, and it's a fantastic opportunity for student filmmakers to connect and spark future collaborations. Plus, you can't get more affordable than free submissions! (Even the non-student entry fee is incredibly reasonable). Highly recommended.

    February 2017