Welcome to the 8th year of the Immigration Film Fest (IFF), held in Washington DC in October, 2021.

We seek uplifting, inspiring films that tell the stories of ordinary and extraordinary immigrants and refugees.

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 telling these stories to educate and inspire action at all levels of society. We seek innovative films about immigrants that may not be immediately recognized in more traditional venues. We particularly encourage immigrant 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.

The 2021 Immigration Film Fest will be a hybrid festival with live screenings at area venues and hosted live events online. Selected films will enjoy wide visibility through concerted promotion in national and international media as well as partner social media. Discussion and Q&A at watch parties and studio are designed to engage the audience with filmmakers' creative team, policy makers and immigration experts, on the issues raised by the films. 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 spotlight and honor the stories of immigrants in society. Through the power and artistry of film, we seek to spotlight the human, intimate side of the people, 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 2021.

We welcome you. Submit your film now!

For the 2021 festival, we will be awarding Laurels for all selected films.
Additional awards and introductions will be announced after official selections are made. In partnership with JxJ, we will be hosting an Awards Evening on Saturday, October 16th at 7:00 PM at Cafritz Hall, 1529 16th Street, Washington DC 20036.

The Immigration Film Fest (IFF) is delighted to have you submit your film for consideration to be shown in private live hosted online events and at various theater 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 living or working in a new country, legally or undocumented, or host communities. We seek works that recognize how deeply immigrants affect the lives of those around them. 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 venues and at live hosted online events on dates set by IFF organizers in October 2021 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 laurels, 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 them for further promotion and advertisement of the film.

In 2021, the Immigration Film Fest seeks inspiring and uplifting films of human endeavour and accomplishment - ordinary and extraordinary- in the communities in which they live. The IFF also seeks a cross section of 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
  • Stephanie Willis

    I wasn't able to attend the festival, but communication was very good.

    January 2020
  • Richard E Haywood

    So proud to have been selected for this festival.

    November 2019
  • A top notch festival with top notch staff and volunteers. We were immediately welcomed and taken care of the minute we showed up. The theater was amazing! Thank you SO MUCH for including us in your festival this year!

    October 2019
  • Lauren Sowa

    We had a wonderful time visiting the Immigration Film Festival this year to screen our short film Marisol. The festival staff was lovely and welcoming. The screening venue was beautiful, and we met several people who were very passionate about the issues raised in the block of films. Looking forward to returning!

    October 2019
  • 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