We are looking for creative, innovative, thought-provoking and entertaining independent films. We are especially interested in films made in Iowa and the Midwest. The festival has showcased short films, feature-length dramatic films, documentaries as well as student films. Please note, while Music Videos are accepted, they will be treated and judged as a movie.

Awards will be presented for*:
- Best Short
- Best Feature
- Best Documentary
- Best Women Filmmaker
- Best Student
- Best Local Film
- Best Iowa Made Film
- Best Foreign Film
- Best Animation

Various Critic's Choice Awards will also be awarded.

*assuming acceptable number of entries in the category.

Movies must have been created (finished post-production) since January 2018. Movies outside of this time frame may be submitted for screening consideration but may not be eligible for awards.

Overall Rating
  • Bruce G. McKee

    A great film festival and well-run by a small group of dedicated volunteers.

    December 2020
  • Josh Rosenberg

    Iowa Independent did a great job navigating this very difficult year of pandemic. I'm grateful to Joshua and the IIFF team for a great experience. Highly recommend this festival. Hope to see you in Mason City soon.

    October 2020
  • Timothy Jacobson

    Our creative team at Sustainable Driftless, Inc. is thrilled to have had the opportunity to participate in the Iowa Independent Film Festival with our documentary "Decoding the Driftless," and we are so very appreciative of the recognition our film received there! The event was wonderful, and the hospitality for filmmakers was absolutely amazing! The folks at IIFF know how to do things right! A fest not to be missed!

    April 2020
  • We got great feedback from friends who attended the screening of "Found in Korea" at the IIFF19. Great communication w/festival, and we even won "Best Women Filmmaker." We are sad that we could not be there in person, but we highly recommend to all.

    September 2019
  • Stephen Pruitt

    We really like this wonderful, indie festival. We've shown films there twice now, but were unable to attend the first time. Our experiences this year were terrific. The festival organizers are warm, and although the audiences could be larger, they were enthusiastic. And the location in Mason City (and Clear Lake) is absolutely top notch. If you attend, try to stay at the Historic Park Inn (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright). It's a one-of-a-kind experience!

    September 2019