Held annually since 2001 in a week-long April event, Ivy Film Festival has grown to become the largest student-run film festival in the world. Festival week features advanced screenings of feature films, panels, keynotes, workshops, and masterclasses with some of the most highly regarded professionals in the industry, culminating with the Official Selection of short student films, screenplays, and virtual reality experiences. In 2016, Ivy Film Festival expanded its reach to partner with dozens of universities across the world through its Satellite Film Festival, bringing its world-renowned Official Selection to audiences throughout the globe.

Each year, thousands of filmmakers and enthusiasts flock to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island to attend Ivy Film Festival. Some of the festival’s most exciting guests to date include Jodie Foster, Wes Anderson, Robert De Niro, Laura Linney, M. Night Shyamalan, Park Chan-wook, Daveed Diggs, and Olivia Wilde, among many others.

The festival features three separate Official Selection categories for student-made work, each with its own individual competitions and awards: short films, screenplays, and new media (virtual or augmented reality films or experiences).

Ivy Film Festival also awards an annual Rising Star Grant to a filmmaker with a project currently in development. Selected by our Diversity and Inclusion team, the Rising Star Grant seeks to highlight systemically sidelined perspectives in the film industry by providing material support to an emerging young artist. The grant provides up to $1,000 to meet the necessary costs of a project at any stage of completion. The film, when completed, will receive priority consideration for inclusion in IFF’s forthcoming 2024 Official Selection. For more information and to apply, please visit this link:

All finalists featured in IFF’s Official Selection are invited to attend the festival week in April on Brown University’s campus. Finalists are provided access to all festival events.

A Best in Category Award (to be determined by the festival’s Programming staff) is awarded to one film from each category (Undergraduate Drama, Undergraduate Experimental, Undergraduate Documentary, Undergraduate Animation, and Graduate).

A Grand Jury Prize (to be determined by the festival’s Grand Jury) is awarded to one film from the entire Official Selection. Ivy Film Festival’s Grand Jury is a panel comprised each year of esteemed industry professionals, including network and studio executives, directors, producers, and actors. In 2020, the Grand Jury Prize winner also won a general meeting at the elite agency, CAA.

A screenplay prize (to be determined by the festival’s Screenplay staff) is awarded to the winner of each of the following categories: Undergraduate Short, Undergraduate Feature, Graduate Short, Graduate Feature, and TV Pilot. A second and third place submission will also be selected for each category.

A Best in Category Award (to be determined by the festival’s New Media staff) is awarded to one project from each category (360 Film, Augmented Reality Film, Roomscale VR Experience, Soundscape Installation, Interactive Display, Projection Mapping).

A Rising Star Grant is awarded to a project at any stage of development. It is intended for young artists from racial and cultural backgrounds that are underrepresented in the industry.

Ivy Film Festival does not accept short films longer than 30 minutes.

Screenwriters are permitted to submit as many eligible screenplays as they would like, including multiple submissions to one competition category. However, each screenwriter is limited to one prize selection per category. Thus, a screenwriter has the potential to win multiple prizes if they submit to multiple categories.

Ivy Film Festival’s New Media initiative was launched to encourage and exhibit student work in nascent media like virtual and augmented reality. The New Media Exhibition has historically included a mix of virtual reality films, augmented reality apps, 3D projection art, interactive displays, sound installations, and other immersive media. Given the inherent nature of New Media as a constantly developing art form, Ivy Film Festival accepts a wide range of projects in this field. Students should not feel bound to the above competition categories for the New Media Official Selection. However, because the festival’s focus is on narrative, we predominantly include new media work that possesses a central storytelling element. Email sylvie_bartusek@brown.edu and/or daniel_zheng@brown.edu with any questions.

All films, screenplays, and new media works submitted to Ivy Film Festival must have been completed while the filmmaker/writer was enrolled in an institution of higher learning.

Please make sure your submission includes the following information:
(1) School you attended while the film/new media work was made/script was written.
(2) Whether the school you have listed is an undergraduate college or university or a graduate college or university (i.e. film school).
(3) Country in which the school you attended is located.

Submissions lacking this information will not be considered. Ivy Film Festival may request additional documentation or verification of enrollment.

If accepted to the Festival, I agree to have my film shown to all attendees of the Ivy Film Festival 2024 and Satellite Film Festivals, and for some clips to be used (and credited) in publicity materials for the Festival.

We strongly encourage all short film submissions to include closed captioning (regardless of the language spoken in the film) to make our screenings as accessible as possible.

Overall Rating
  • Samaneh Nouri

    A wonderful festival with timely notification that I really enjoyed and was happy to win.

    April 2023
  • Rodolfo Salas

    IFF was a great experience. Hearing every writer's work read was truly a sweet feeling. Thank you so much for everything, IFF. It was an honor to be selected.

    April 2021
  • Arapuá Filmes

    Exceptional programming and communication. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, the festival was online, but it was done beautifully and all the programs were very entertaining and thought-provoking. A truly worthy festival.

    April 2020
  • Our short film HIEROPHANY was accepted and although we couldn't attend communication with staff and programmers was excellent. Thank you for the support!

    April 2019