IOWF® is a renowned online web festival dedicated to the promotion of short films, new media, and digital arts under 40 minutes in length.
Now in its 9th year, the International Online Web Fest® has grown into an internationally respected annual awards event. It was one of the first web-fest that allowed submission of both categories: Web-Series and Short Films.
The festival’s growing reputation is built upon a commitment to discovering new and diverse voices, with 95% of the lineup coming directly from submissions.

In the first five editions, the Annual Awards Ceremony was held in London (UK). Now in 2023, after the pandemic situation, the IOWF event moved to Milan (Italy).

#IOWF is a festival for independent cinema and creative expression in digital environments for a 360-degree entertainment experience, supports both emerging and established talents, discovers award-winning directors, curates innovative and interactive experiences, and introduces new ideas through round tables, previews, and live performances.
Projects selected from all categories will be presented to the public during the 9th edition of the IOWF Awards scheduled for December 2023 ("IOWF23").

Please visit our IMDb page:

"Official Selections" will receive:
International Online Web Fest Laurel

All winners will receive:
IMDb Award Credit
Winners Laurel
Screening on "IOWF+Play"
Promotion across our Social Media & Website.

Our Award categories are:
- Best Short Film;
- Best Web Series;
- Best Directing;
- Best Screenplay;
- Best Actor;
- Best Actress;
- Best Newcomer Actor;
- Best Newcomer Actress;
- Best Cinematography;
- Best Editing;
- Best Sound Design;
- Best Documentary;
- Best Animation;

nominated by a special jury and selected among all submissions from various Continents.


IOWF showcases short films and web series from emerging talents and established directors with distinctive styles and bold ideas. Projects invited to participate in IOWF 2023 will be shown in the section deemed most appropriate by the Festival programmers, at their sole discretion. Web series and short films will also be considered for our online preview section debuting on our IOWF+ platform.

Eligible projects include web series (each episode less than 30 minutes), and short films (less than 40 minutes), including documentaries, narratives, animations, and music videos.

2. IOWF+: 

IOWF+ is a platform that discovers, highlights, and celebrates independent episodic work, including projects that only have a brief pilot episode (minimum 5 minutes) and longer ones (>15 minutes), of both narrative and documentary genres. Eligible projects include episodic projects created for traditional television and/or streaming, as well as web series. Projects submitted must demonstrate potential for serial growth, and short films will also be considered only if they are potentially developable into a web series.
In addition to considering as an Official Selection* of IOWF 2023, directors submitting their work to IOWF+ will also be considered for the IOWF Plus circuit, a private screening of unreleased content held during IOWF 2023, which brings together emerging directors of short films, series, to pitch new projects and network with a wide range of industry members, including distributors, producers, financiers, and others. Interested participants must have prepared materials for the presentation (e.g. scripts, look books, etc.) prior to the event for IOWF Plus staff to review. All filmmakers chosen as Official Selections* of the IOWF+ section will receive an automatic invitation to the IOWF Plus circuit.
Eligible projects include both longer episodes (>20 minutes) and shorter episodes (<20 minutes), including TV series.

*Every project included in the Official Selection through IOWF+ will still be considered OUT OF COMPETITION, and only in exceptional cases, they may be eligible for an award. Please refer to the Awards section at the bottom of the (downloadable) regulations for more information.

3. IOWF Storytelling Session: 

Recognizing the importance of audiovisual storytelling for the web (vlogs), the Festival will curate an official selection of audiovisual stories, with an emphasis on the discovery, highlighting, and celebration of independent work. The projects selected for IOWF 2023 will be reviewed by a diverse jury of established YouTubers. 

Each selection will receive the official IOWF laurel and will be eligible to audition for a Talent-Show dedicated to future generations of storytellers. Independent content creators who pass the auditions will have the opportunity to participate in a live event (bootcamp) where they will showcase their storytelling skills and be guided by expert coaches and tutors in the world of YouTube.

Content creators will also be considered for the IOWF Storytellers Plus circuit, a unique private sector marketplace that lasts one day and brings together top storytellers to present their projects to a wide range of industry decision-makers, including distributors, community groups, agencies, brands, and more.

Budgets and resources in the audiovisual industry vary greatly, and this year IOWF will offer greater opportunities for both established and independent creators through four separate categories: 1) Summer Sports; 2) Winter Sports; 3) Food, and 4) Travel.

In the submission form, you will apply to one of these four categories.

4. Eligibility

To be considered.


(1) It is necessary to fully comply with these Rules and Participation Regulations, including all deadlines, project duration, entry materials, and other requirements.

(2) Projects in languages other than English must have English subtitles at the time of presentation. Or, they must be accompanied by an .srt or .vtt file for activatable subtitles.

(3) The project MUST maintain at least one "Milan Metropolitan Area" premiere status before IOWF 2023 ("Premiere"; excluding entries to the IOWF Avant-garde Award). "Milan Metropolitan Area" includes the entire urban area of Milan, which in turn includes the metropolitan city of Milan, with its 133 municipalities, and the entire province of Monza and Brianza, with 55 municipalities.

Online Screenings: In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, for IOWF 2023, projects that premiered online in 2022 as part of a digital or online festival can still be considered for the following categories:

- Web Series

- Short Films


These online screenings were only to last for a limited period as part of a festival that did not have a venue in the Lombardy region, as described above. Any project available for sale or pay-per-view in the Milan urban area is not eligible.

Music Videos can remain online indefinitely and maintain eligibility.

Contributions from independent filmmakers who have never received a nomination or award in past IOWF editions can be made publicly available at any time between April 10 and November 10 and remain eligible.

5. How to submit

Submit your project through International Online Web Fest - FilmFreeway. Once you have completed the online submission form, click on "Submit". Note that the online submission form will require you to send a password-protected URL that links to your project, so plan accordingly and ensure that the project has been fully uploaded to the viewing platform and that the link and password are working before completing the online submission form.

Entry Materials

All submissions must include the following:

(1) A properly completed official IOWF 2023 online submission form.

(2) A private and/or password-protected streaming link to the project.

(3) Depending on the case, the submission fee(s) for the project presentation, payable ONLY by credit card (American Express, Visa, MasterCard, or PayPal). If submitting a student-made short film or web series, a student ID scan or enrollment verification must be provided at the time of submission to qualify for the discounted submission fee.

Note: it is your sole responsibility to ensure that the online submission form is successfully submitted. If submitted through FilmFreeway, ensure that the status of your project is marked as "IN CONSIDERATION", otherwise your submission is not complete with us.

It is also the user's responsibility to ensure that the streaming link is functioning and that the submitted link and password are accurate. The password-protected link must be active until at least December 10, 2023. Regardless of the submission method, all submission materials MUST be received by the Festival no later than the deadlines listed on the FilmFreeway website. The Festival reserves the right to disqualify any submission, without refund, if not completed in accordance with these Rules and Participation Regulations.

Overall Rating
  • Great Pleasure and Honor to be Awarded at IOWF! A great festival, wonderful selection of short movies and series from allover the world. Communication always punctual and a great worldwide networking. Grazie IOWF!

    April 2023
  • Brendan Guerin

    Many thanks to Nick, Sarah & Emily for a wonderful festival, which felt more like a cinematic experience than an online event. Excellent program of screenings and Q & A sessions & workshops, details of which were communicated in a timely, professional manner. Would love to attend with Season 2 of LOVING GRASSLANDS which has just secured funding. Thanks again IOWF.

    March 2023
  • Bj Margan

    Very good festival!! Super organisation! Un des meilleurs festival en ligne.

    March 2023
  • Kehan Miller

    On behalf of the team for “Ink And Gold:”An Artist’s Journey To Olympic Glory”, we are humbled and honoured that our film received 3 awards including Best Documentary. We cannot speak highly enough regarding Nick, Sarah, Emily and the entire team. This festival was professional and communicative with a wide selection of inspiring stories. We felt truly supported throughout the entire process from submission to selection to being Q&A panel guests to the final awards ceremony. Nick and the team facilitated much support for the festival participants and made every effort to generate conversation between and about those passionate about visual storytelling. We are looking forward to future editions of the festival!

    March 2023
  • It was an honor to be part of IOWF! They were wonderful and we had great communication with the host. It was amazing to be part of one of their Q&A panels too!

    March 2023