Voted one of the Top Twenty Coolest Film Festivals in the World by Movie Maker Magazine, the Irish Film Festival, Boston celebrates the very Best of Ireland and the Irish on Screen. Now in its 20th year, the festival screens over fifty films a season and offers great opportunities for filmmakers to exhibit their work in the USA. Unlike other festivals, IFF announces the winners of its awards prior to the festival, in order to fly the recipients to Boston for their screening.

Irish cinema has emerged as a dynamic global phenomenon, expressing a culture focused on the island of Ireland but spread out to all four corners of the globe. Encompassing a near-limitless array of experiences and aspirations, Irish filmmakers from around the world challenge traditional notions of Irishness and force us to expand our understandings of what it means to be Irish in the 21st century.

A non-profit entity with 501(c) 3 status, the festival was established in 1999 to celebrate and promote global Irish cinema. It quickly became the largest event of its kind outside Ireland. The festival provides exhibition, distribution, and educational opportunities for filmmakers; honors their work with awards and offers opportunities to screen their films stateside.

Entries are invited in the following Categories:

Feature Film – Live action and or Animated
Documentary – Feature Docs
Short Films - Live Action Short, Documentary Short or Animated Short

The Annual IFF Awards offer the following:

- The Breakthrough Feature Award

- The Global Vision Documentary

- Most Inspiring Short Film Award

Winners in each category will receive flights and accommodation to attend the festival in Boston. Awards will be presented to the filmmaker during the festival, following a special screening of the winning film.

The Festival is ONLY open to filmmakers who submit through FilmFreeway.

The work should represent the very best of Ireland and the Irish on screen. If the Filmmaker is not Irish, the content needs to have Irish subject matter.

If you are an Irish Film and Television Academy Member submitting for the special IFTN rate, please send proof of membership with your submission

Feature: Min. 60 minutes
Documentary : Min. 60 minutes
Short Fiction/Animation: Max. 30 minutes
Short Doc: Max .45 minutes

Projects completed after January 1, 2018

Projects may originate from anywhere in the world. The work should represent the very best of Ireland and the Irish on screen. If the Filmmaker is not Irish, the content needs to have Irish subject matter.

No premiere requirement

Projects may have distribution

Secure online screener for submissions. If the film is selected, you will be contacted via E-mail. Laurels are available upon request.

Do not send your master files on a DCP to the festival. Do not have more than one project on the DCP submitted, if at all possible. Be sure your film is labeled correctly with your name, address and cell phone # along with an email address.

Should the filmmaker only have a PRO RES file, the festival will convert to DCP for a nominal fee. This will take time so be sure to contact the festival coordinator in advance.

Non-English Language Films
To qualify for selection, all non-English language films must have an English-subtitled screening copy available.

Submissions will be accepted via FilmFreeway only
Only professional quality work accepted.
Submission fee is nonrefundable
By submitting to the festival you confirm that you own the rights of the work submitted.

The entrant agrees that up to three minutes of their film may be used by Irish Film Festival, Boston in promotional activities including screening a clip on television and on the festival’s website.

A press kit is required, but only after acceptance.

Irish Film Festival, Boston and BIFF Inc. does not take responsibility, financial or otherwise, for any film lost in transit. It does not compensate for replacement, time lost for mastering, DCP rendering, or any such work related to a film lost in transit. If you require insurance, please contact the festival print traffic coordinator directly with your Fedex account number.

IFF uses a variety of ways to ship your film. These include Fedex, United States Postal Service, or United Parcel Service. For the Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom, typically films are sent back in a batch shipment via Fedex to the Irish Film Institute in Dublin. The iFI forwards films to the filmmaker upon request. Every effort is made by the Irish Film Festival, Boston/BIFF Inc. to ensure all customs forms are completed correctly so no fees will be incurred by the filmmaker. The Irish Film Festival, Boston and BIFF Inc. are not responsible for any such fees. Except for the US and Ireland, United Postal Service will be used to ship to all other countries, unless sending to another festival screening.

Overall Rating
  • Ian Hunt Duffy

    A brilliant festival. Dawn and the whole team were great to deal with throughout, and my producer Simon who travelled over to attend in 2017 had a great experience. We were delighted to win the 'Most Inspiring Short Film' Award for our film 'Gridlock', so would love to come back next year with our new film!

    October 2019
  • Eamonn Murphy

    I've been to numerous festivals this year however none of these were able to match the warmth, kindness and hospitality that I experienced at the Irish Film Festival Boston. Not a single hour of my time was wasted at the festival. There was always someone to talk to, something to see or somewhere to go. All of the staff and volunteers at the festival were incredibly helpful, friendly and welcoming.

    The festival provides a platform for Irish film to be recognised and heralded on an international level. But more importantly it brings people together. And I've never experienced a festival that did that as pleasantly as yours.

    April 2018
  • Roisin Kearney

    What a fantastic festival. Dawn and the team were a pleasure to deal with and nothing was left to chance. Wonderful atmosphere and some great nights out!! All set in a beautiful theatre with fantastic audiences. I hope to get the opportunity to be back again.

    April 2018
  • As a native Bostonian of Irish descent , having my short selected to screen at the 2018 Irish Film Festival was beyond a doubt ,the most gratifying experience in my foray into the world of filmmaking. Highly recommended!

    April 2018
  • Natasha Waugh

    I had a fantastic time at the Irish Film Festival, Boston. Dawn and her team showed us a great time, and our films were screened in the most beautiful cinema - the Sommerville Theatre, Davis Square. The program had a great line up of quality Irish films throughout the weekend; I'll definitely be submitting my future work, and if not, then I shall be returning to enjoy as an audience member.

    April 2017