Welcome to the 6th year of the Immigration Film Fest (IFF), held in Washington DC on September 13-14, 2019, October 18th and 20th, 2019 and throughout the year.

This year we are partnering with the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute and others to bring film makers, community leaders and policy makers together with films showcasing a full range of immigrant stories including migration, asylum seeking, refuge, acceptance, borders, resettlement and integration. In 2019, IFF has a thematic focus on the US-Mexico border and Latin America. We encourage you to submit your films about migration, families & children at the border, and Hispanic heritage.

More than ever, immigration is front-page news and is one of the most critical issues confronting us globally and nationally. We need the artists and filmmakers who are delving into this complex issue to educate and inspire action at all levels of society. We seek innovative films about immigrants and our southern borders that may not be immediately recognized in more traditional venues. We encourage Latinx and student filmmakers to submit your films. We provide exposure for worthy films and talented filmmakers in Washington DC, where policy discussions about immigration are held by decision-makers, international media & thought leaders and where there is an enthusiastic audience for unique, creative films.

Selected films will enjoy wide visibility through concerted promotion in national and international media as well as partner social media. We will have discussion and Q&A follow each screening to engage the audience with visiting filmmakers' creative team, policy makers and immigration experts, on the issues raised by the films. This year we will also be hosting workshops for both audience and filmmakers throughout the year. We have invitational screenings and partner events at churches, universities, art houses and Capitol Hill to amplify our Mission and showcase official selections and award winning films. Immigration Film Fest is also a partner in the Films Across Borders series held from October to December each year which offers international exposure for selected films at our screenings in Metro Washington DC

We are a volunteer organization dedicated to bringing the power of film to explore issues of migration. Through the power and artistry of film, we seek to highlight the human, intimate, side of the people involved, to humanize and inform the public debate in a world of people displaced by war, poverty, violence, lack of opportunity, social injustice, arbitrary political boundaries and often dysfunctional or abusive political systems. We appreciate your interest and encourage you to be part of the Immigration Film Fest in 2019.

We welcome you. Submit your film now!

For the 2019 festival, we will be awarding Laurels for all selected films.
Additional awards and introductions will be announced after official selections are made.

The Immigration Film Fest (IFF) is delighted to have you submit your film for consideration to be shown in various venues in the greater Washington DC area. Here are the rules and terms you agree to with your submission:

All films must be submitted on FilmFreeway. The rules and terms of the FilmFreeway web site are incorporated into the Terms and Conditions.

Films must deal with the topics of immigrants, asylum seeking, immigration, borders, living or working in a new country, legally or undocumented, or host communities. They can treat the economic, social, environmental, family, legal, political and other aspects of the topic. We seek works that recognize how deeply migration can affect those involved. These films are ultimately creative works about people's lives, as such, comedy and imagination are greatly encouraged.

Films must be respectful and sensitive to the human needs and issues that arise. They may provide different points of view and show entrenched prejudice but films that have a hate motivation will not be selected and should not be submitted. The IFF is under no obligation to screen any of the films submitted and may reject any entry at its sole discretion.

Films must be available for screening in MP4 format in English or with English language subtitles. Official selections will be screened at various venues and on dates set by IFF organizers from September through November 2019 in metro Washington DC and at educational events during the year.

By submitting your film to IFF, you grant the Immigration Film Fest, at no charge, the right to view, show, advertise, and make internal copies, if necessary, for the evaluation, showing and other functions of the Festival's mission and for promotion of the Festival and its educational purposes.

IFF may charge or accept donations for the viewing of the films at the Festival. All proceeds related to IFF’s promotion and showing of the films will be the property of IFF.

IFF will issue letters or other forms of recognition to selected films, if requested, including acknowledgement of awards and prizes that may have been won, so the filmmaker may use it for further promotion and advertisement of the film.

In 2019, the Immigration Film Fest focus is on the people, places and policies of United States borders, primarily with its southern border. The IFF also seeks a cross section of various topics, nationalities, issues and other criteria in making a final selection. Thus, a very worthwhile film may not be selected. We may consider a film that is not selected for future years. We encourage you to take the IFF into account on any new or on-going projects. If your film is selected for the festival, we may show a preview of your upcoming work, if it meets with the general objectives of the IFF. Pre and post film discussions and workshops are an integral part of our programming, the availability of filmmakers and persons associated with a film during the Festival may also be a selection factor.

Overall Rating
  • Felix Martiz

    A gem of a fest! The audience is receptive warm and awesome. The communication from Mary made the entire trip smooth and fun. Aldo was always around and a great point of contact. When I screened they had special events for the filmmakers which was fantastic since my crew had never been to Washington. Loved the entire experience. The fest is only gonna keep growing and rightfully so, can't wait to go back someday.

    August 2019
  • Oscar Alvarez

    This was one of the best festival experiences I've had. It's wonderful that it brings a community of filmmakers and film lovers together focused on such a relevant, vital, and contemporary theme. The festival itself seems a bit understaffed yet in spite of this the organizers and staff are all CLEARLY giving 110% and are focused on everyone having a good experience. I wish I could help full time! This festival also provides free lodging for filmmakers to attend the festival which is extremely rare. I was able to meet and get acquainted with so many inspiring filmmakers and peers which on its own was worth the submission fee. There are so many gems here if you're lucky to attend. Thank you Immigration Film Fest!

    April 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank YOU Oscar!
    We were proud to screen Broken English and host you at the 2018 Immigration Film Fest. Broken English is an insightful film and had a profound effect on our audience, especially those who work with youth. Keep making great films! You can change the world:-)

  • The Immigration Film Fest is one of the best festival experiences I have ever had! This festival is well curated and provides wonderful hospitality. The organizers provided a special treat by arranging for the filmmakers to see Alejandro Iñárritu's amazing virtual reality museum exhibit, a great way to set the tone of the festival: just one example of how well we were treated. What makes this festival so special is that the organizers aim to not only showcase great films that are all focused on a timely and important topic, but to move viewers to take action for immigrant, refugees and asylum seeker rights. It was inspiring to meet other filmmakers who are very talented and are also passionate about using film as a means of advancing social justice. I'm happy to have made new friends with shared interests and values. Thank you Aldo and Mary for all you do!

    November 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank YOU Val for sharing The Long Ride and your dedication to staying the course for social change with our audience. It was inspirational!

  • This has been one of the best festivals I've attended. Thank you Mary and the entire team for your warm hospitality. I look forward to next year.

    November 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Meschida! Can't wait for your next project - and hope to see you in 2019!

  • I couldn't possible recommend this Festival more. It is on a whole other level as far as being socially relevant, morally conscious and raising globally awareness in a very real way. While many say they want to do accomplish this, Immigration Film Festival actually accomplishes this in an incredible array of well curated films from around the world. They are *SO* filmmaker-centric and provide the most unbelievable experiences you could imagine. I didn't just network, I made true connections with people at this Festival which is the best you could hope ever hope for in attending a Festival. Submit. Go. Be Astounded.

    November 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Jen! We are blushing. Thanks to you for making American Deportation and sharing Chris and Anna with us - what an amazing team.