"Excellent time at the festival. Ryan Sharp was excellent. The love and care they have for cinema and for Veterans was quite impressive and touching. Definitely a worthwhile experience." – Jeremiah Jahi, Military Veteran Filmmaker

"It is a new and refreshing way to help filmmakers. Thank you very much for accepting my film and thank you even more for the feedback. It was excellent feedback and it is nice to have fresh eyes on this project." – Kevin Almodovar, Director of "Until Death"

“Many thanks for the feedback. Fairly scathing assessment but very much appreciated” – Danny Crossman, Student Filmmaker

“My extreme thanks for your team’s evaluation of my film. It was well taken and lessons learned will be applied to our future films. I agree with much of what was suggested and many of those ideas may be implemented.” – Chuck Fishbein, Director of “Home, With Honors”

"We are humbled by your kind words of The Coming Convergence." – Carrie Miller of Ingenuity Films

"Many thanks and what an honor it is to be included in the fellowship. Thank you for your critique and very useful comments on our production." – Jason Meath, CEO of Meath Television Media LLC

"Again. Thank you. Your evaluation really helped me understand my film more and is also helpful for my future projects." – Roman Sotelo, Producer of "Grief"

"Excellent fellowship with great communication." – Michael Gavino, Writer, Director, and Producer of "For Greater Good."

“Thanks again for the detailed evaluation and to you all for hosting. This is really a unique kind of festival and well worth the investment” – Thomas Brouns, Director

IFI Membership is an entry into an exclusive fellowship of film artisans, enthusiasts, and practitioners.

Independent Film Festival, aka IFI, was created to provide a quality venue for filmmakers to present quality works that illustrate mastery of the craft. The mission of IFI is to provide filmmakers with a platform to connect, learn, and reach people with quality stories via the video and film craft. Our films not only entertain but encourage conversation. They are powerful, thought-provoking, and cover a wide range of topics that you may not find anywhere else. All genre's are represented in various formats, from music videos to dramatic films and comedy to horror in short films, documentaries, animated works, music videos, and other styles. We are proud to be an official fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project and Operation Encore. We encourage donations to these and other worthy Veterans groups. We honor American Veterans by showcasing veteran made films and their stories and providing a discount to veteran filmmakers. We also offer student discounts and senior discounts.

We do everything we can to help filmmakers improve their craft and promote talented filmmakers. There are multiple ways we do this and fulfill our mission:

1) Unlike most festivals and as a thank you to filmmakers who submit their films to us, we provide an evaluation of films under 60 minutes as a courtesy. Our judges panel is made up of professionals who work in various parts of the business. Their evaluations give each filmmaker professional tips, tools, and advice they can use to improve their film and craft.

2) We have educational articles, tips, and advice we share with filmmakers and provide viewer feedback and interaction.

3) Multiple ways and opportunities to connect and build relationships with other filmmakers, movie fans, and friends in the community through round table discussions, online events, and conversations.

4) Script Consultation and Collaborative Services

Instructional films, documentaries, short shorts, shorts, features, and all types of films are accepted. However, films should not contain nudity or strong sexual content, glorified violence or excessive foul language unless such is required to portray the realities of war, persecution, or real life tragedy.


We encourage all filmmakers to submit their work! Films are of various genres and have powerful stories to tell. Our winning films are chosen because they are technically sound, thought-provoking, and powerfully entertaining.

IFI also accepts screenplays for Consultation or Collaboration. Everything starts with a powerful though-provoking script, and IFI wants to help you get off to the right start.

Memberships are also available. Members help review and award our filmmakers. They can vote on their favorite films in each category, and have the opportunity to provide valuable feedback to our filmmakers.


We greatly appreciate all members, donors, and sponsors.

If you would like to inquire about becoming a sponsor, or for more information, please contact IFI Director, Ryan Sharp, at 727-798-1101.

IFI also offers a variety of membership packages for filmmakers and movie fans alike.

See the membership packages and read more at: independentfilminstitute.com

Interested in advertising on our website? We have spots available for businesses and non-profits. Call 727-798-1101.

If you'd like to submit a film, please read the Rules and Terms section first and then submit your film by clicking the "Submit Now" button at the top of this page.

All filmmakers receive an official written evaluation completed by our staff of professionals in the film industry. (However, written evaluations will not be provided for films over 55 minutes although those films will still be reviewed and are still equally considered for inclusion as an IFI Selectee). The evaluation is a courtesy and tool we provide to help filmmakers improve their film and craft. Those films that illustrate a high degree of mastery of the craft and have a unique, powerful, and thought-provoking story to tell are selected by the staff to be part of the Filmmakers Fellowship. A movie poster of their film or image from the film will be added to our official IFI Selectee page where viewers can click to get a brief summary of the film and short bio about cast and crew. Selectees are also invited to join the Filmmakers Fellowship Roundtable giving them exclusive access to articles, tips, and essays from filmmakers.

They are also invited to exclusive events and meetings with the fellowship, and are also provided with "Official Selectee" laurel to use on their film's promotional items. Other promotional material, products, and discounts may be available, including the best price available on future submissions. Special merchandise and free production advice from the most gifted filmmakers is also available to our Fellowship members.

While we do not want to limit creativity, we believe it is possible to produce films that inspire, inform, and teach; and yet do not have nudity, sexual content, excessive profanity, or glorified violence unless such is necessary to portray the realities of war, persecution, or the reality of a story. We seek films that showcase a good understanding of the craft, have a well formulated script, and have an important, unique, or creative message.

Instructional films, documentaries, short shorts, shorts, features, and all types of films are accepted; however, films that exceed a runtime of 55 minutes will not be evaluated although they are still eligible to be selected for IFI membership. The shorter and tighter your film is, the better chance it will have of being selected. Good films cut the fat and deliver a tight punch all the way through.

General Rules:

Due to our cost associated with the film evaluation service we provide and due also to the fact that our prices are already reasonable, especially for students, seniors and veterans, we do not give waivers for any reason. Please do not send waiver requests.

STUDENTS: A digital image of your Driver’s license or student IDs are required and you must be 18 or under to submit as a student. You will find the student rates and submission options under each film category. Make sure you upload your student ID or Driver's License with your photo on it along with your other required images, such as movie poster, stills, etc. when you submit the film as a student or we cannot accept your film as a student and will not provide a refund. If you do not have either of the required items or wish not to upload a digital image of them, then you must submit your film at the regular non-student rate.

Film schools who wish to submit student films can get the student rate for each film and might receive further discounts and incentives if they become a paid sponsor of the event. Film school or camp directors are encouraged to contact us about sponsorship opportunities at 727-798-1101.

We believe that you are never too young or old to pursue your dreams, therefore, special rates are given to seniors over 70 and youth under 18.

SENIORS: If you are over 70 and wish to have your film recognized as a senior film, then you can submit any film under the Seniors category.

VETERANS: All veterans who served in the US Military can submit their film under the Veterans category. (If you are a Veteran from another country, please contact 727-798-1101 and leave a message with your name, email, and country of service. In most cases, you will be eligible to submit your film in the Veterans category as well). A digital image of your Military ID must be uploaded along with your other required images, such as movie poster, stills, etc.

Films must not contain nudity or sexual content for any reason.

Films should not include excessive profanity or violence unless being used in a war picture or to portray reality. Films that seem to needlessly use excessive profanity or glorify violence will not be accepted.

IFI exists for the filmmaker. We do everything we can to promote those films and filmmakers who get selected; however, we encourage filmmakers to do their best as well to promote their film through IFI and to network with fellowship members in order to help promote their film and learn about other projects. The filmmakers represented on IFI are all very talented and its a great opportunity for those selected into the fellowship. So take advantage of it.

As mentioned under Event Description, all submitted films under 55 minutes will be evaluated by our team of professionals. You will be emailed a detailed evaluation that you can use to improve your film.

Films can be submitted by clicking the "Submit Now" button at the top of this page.

We strongly recommend not making your film available to everyone on vimeo, youtube, or other free sites unless and until you receive our evaluation and notice from IFI that your film was not selected. Two reasons: 1) We will provide tips and ideas that you might choose to use to improve your film. 2) If your film is chosen by IFI, we will publish your film to our website. Therefore, we would prefer a film chosen by IFI as an "Official Selectee" not be made available for free to the public, although that is still your choice.

You must submit directly from our website, which will take you to the FilmFreeway submission page. THERE ARE NO WAIVERS, DISCOUNTS BEYOND WHAT WAS PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED, OR COUPONS PROVIDED UNLESS YOUR WORK HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY SELECTED BY IFI. IN WHICH CASE, YOU WILL RECEIVE A SPECIAL EMAIL WITH AN OFFICIAL IFI SELECTEE LAUREL. ALL EMAILS REQUESTING WAIVERS, DISCOUNTS, OR COUPONS AND/OR SHARING LINKS TO THEIR FILM WILL BE IGNORED. SUCH EMAILS ARE CONSIDERED UNLAWFUL SPAM AND MAY BE REPORTED TO AUTHORITIES. All submitters must pay the required fees and will be notified at our discretion of our decision. All paid/qualified films under 55 minutes will receive a detailed evaluation attached to an email with tips and tools to improve the film if you so choose to do so. Our official decision is commonly on the last page of the attached film evaluation, but IF YOU ARE SELECTED, you will also get a follow up congratulatory email with laurel, discount codes, and club invite information.

If we choose your film for inclusion in our festival, we will request a download and will download your film, as well as, images you submit to us through filmfreeway. In rare occasions, if we have difficulties downloading your content, we may also request you send us a usb flash drive in the mail with the film in mp4 along with a trailer and photos of the director, cast, and/or production stills. When submitting online, we highly recommend submitting a png or jpeg of your movie poster along with your film since the first thing viewers will see online is your movie poster. If you do not have one, then please upload an impactful still from your film. A brief plot summary of the film is also required. Additional information about the film, the writer, producer, or director are also recommended when you submit your film along with png images of the same. The more you provide, the more tools we have to promote your film. Please do not physically send photos, posters, or other items in the mail unless requested. The only time we may request a Flash Drive in the mail is in rare cases when we cannot download your film and material online. Initially, submit the required and recommended items along with your film online.

By submitting your film, you agree to allow Independent Film Institute, aka IFI, and the website (independentfilminstitute.com) to use digital images, written summaries of your film, bios, and other information and materials, including your film trailer and full film, to promote your work on their website and where deemed necessary by IFI in order to promote you and to further their mission. You agree to hold harmless IFI aka Independent Film Institute and its founder and employees from copyright violations, liabilities, and any other issues that may arise from using your film, images, and information you provide during submission. IFI agrees to use the film, trailer, images, and/or any other material you provide to promote your film and will never publicly speak, post, or share anything negative about you; the submitter; your film, and/or anyone or anything using your name, crew members, film name, etc. Similarly, you agree that you nor any crew member of your film nor member of your company nor anyone associated will speak, post, or share anything negative about Independent Film Institute, IFI, the website associated with it, nor any members or associates of Independent Film Institute, IFI, and/or their website, nor any members or associates of the same.


We try to be as honest as we can. Therefore, on occasion some comments on the evaluations can seem a bit harsh, especially if you are not used to professional criticism. Good filmmakers must not only learn to accept criticism, but learn to love it because its the only way to improve.

Nothing our staff does is meant to discourage you, but to motivate you and to provide some tools to improve your craft. We regularly receive thank you emails and kind words about our evaluations and detailed feedback. Those are perfectly welcome. However, due to the large volume of films we receive and because of our mission, many films will not be selected. If your film is not selected, you will still get an evaluation that can provide you with some areas that need improvement. Again, this is a service that we provide as a courtesy to you. It takes time and money and our staff does their absolute best to be honest and objective. So please respect our decision and be appreciative of our work because it is a hard task that few provide. (Negative replies or comments about IFI or our staff are unprofessional, and we do not reply to or reward rude behavior.) We thank you for choosing IFI and giving us the opportunity to review your work and to help you on your journey. It is a privilege we greatly appreciate and take seriously.

We want you to be part of our fellowship. If you have a film, please submit it now so we can take a look.


Nothing is as important as a powerful well-written screenplay. IFI offers consultation and collaborative services to help you dynamically improve your work. We offer consultations for those who have a completed script and just want professional detailed notes and verbal advice. For those who need more help, we can collaborate with you to write or rewrite a portion or all of your script, tighten dialogue and scenes, create vibrant real characters, create tension and drama, add necessary scenes or just as important, suggest scenes or portions to delete, and provide you with new motivation and direction to finish your screenplay. You can submit your script and get more information by clicking the green "Submit Now" button.

Overall Rating
  • Jeremiah OC Jahi

    Excellent time at the festival. Ryan Sharp was excellent. The love and care they have for cinema and for Veterans was quite impressive and touching. Definitely a worthwhile experience.

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you. It was an honor to have you.

  • Michael Gavino

    Excellent festival with great communication.

    March 2019
    Response from festival:


  • Excellent first year festival! There was a wide range of foreign and domestic films which were shown in various categories. Ryan Sharp and his staff were very knowledgeable about film making and were helpful in sharing their views and those of the audience about the strengths and weaknesses of our film. We were honored to have won two awards at the festival against such a wide range of films.

    April 2018