The second (actually fourth) annual official Japan Indies Film Festival is now open for submissions! The Festival will be held on Nov. 22, 23, 2021 at the Capsule theater in Harajuku (depending upon Corona Virus situation) - and online from Nov. 20, 2021, to Nov. 26, 2021).


We are partnered by the Raindance Film Festival London as JIFF Japan Indies Film Festival.

The official JIFF Japan Indies Film Festival is a true independent international film festival supporting young talent around the world.

Creating dreams and hope through cinema is our vision. Returning Japan to the glory days of cinema for young filmmakers and independent artists the goal of the official JIFF Japan Indies Film Festival.

Our Jury includes some of Japan's top filmmakers and other famous filmmakers as well as industry leaders on the Arts as Jury members from around the world.

Jury Members:

*Elliot Grove - Founder and President of Raindance Film Festival in London, England.

*Suzanne Ballantyne - Program Director of Raindance Film Festival in London, England.

*Cica Oyama - Director / Producer / Writer

*Shirley Tomioka - Famous TV/Radio Caster

*Stephen Benham - Singer, songwriter, Performer & Music/TV/Film Producer.

*Mah Masaya Ogawa - Rock Star / Singer / Songwriter / Author

*Hiroshi Matsumoto - Founder of Fan Communications, inc. (E-Marketing company).

*Yujiro Seki - Director / Writer

*Tomoko Taguchi - Director / DJ

*Sheena Rogers - Youtuber

Universal Vision Ltd.

Office Hours:
Weekdays 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturdays: 10:00 AM – 12:30 AM

Best Feature

Best Documentary Feature

Best Short

Best Documentary Short

Best Music Video

Best Virtual Reality

Rules & Terms (Read carefully).

· Selected films must be in English or Japanese and subtitled. (Japanese language films must be dubbed in English and English language films must be subtitled in Japanese.)

· All Entries must include a press pack including a one-paragraph synopsis and short staff biography with a photo of director and producer for promotional use.

· All Entries must include a list of cast including high-quality photos for promotional use.

· All Entries, if selected for competition, not in Japanese language, must include Japanese subtitling, cost to be borne by Filmmaker.

· Every submission has to pick one main category.

· Multiple entries are allowed for each filmmaker and each entry may be entered in multiple categories.

· All movie entries should be sent via FilmFreeway. Please do not send discs or any downloadable files to us.

· All movie scripts should be sent via FilmFreeway.

· By entering festival, filmmaker agrees that The official Japan Indies Film Festival has the right to use any movie stills or promotional photos for The official Japan Indies Film Festival promotional purposes.

* Films made after Jan. 2018 eligible

*Films must be in NTSC format.

*Features in theaters, TV, online streaming services, sales or distribution representation in Japan or winners in any Japanese film festival not eligible.

*If films are in Japanese, dialogue sheets are not necessary. Films in all other languages require dialogue sheets.

*Winners may get distribution offers in Japan (in airlines in-flight movies, theaters and Asia's biggest satellite TV network).

* We do not pay any screening fees.

*All music rights must be cleared through proper channels.

· Entries will not be returned

· Entry fees are non-refundable

* A project being Selected by the Selection Committee does not guarantee screening at the festival. Many factors can cause non-screening of projects, though we do our best to eliminate them.

* Film winners at other Japanese festivals are not eligible.

*Rules are subject to change due to current circumstances.

Overall Rating
  • JIFF is a solid, well produced film festival and I highly recommend submitting to it. You are in good hands with festival director Mike Rogers at the helm. As an indie filmmaker I truly appreciate his passion for and unrelenting hard work on making it happen online in 2020 despite massive obstacles due to COVID. Mike brings real value to the festival; in 2020 the judges included Elliot Grove, one of the founders of Raindance and its current Program Director Suzanne Ballantyne as well as local Japanese industry pros! I am honored to have been part of it. I look forward to when it can take place in person once again!

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    It was an honor and our pleasure working with you, Dorian san! - Mike

  • Anaïs Colpin

    From Koya Kamura (Homesick) : "Thank so much to the Japan Indies Film Festival to give us, directors, the great opportunity to show our films. Even more with global health situation. Even if this 2020 edition was only online, I'm very glad to be part of the selection. The communication with the director went super smooth, and I got great feedback on my film from many people arround the world ! Recommend !"

    December 2020
  • Ken Webb

    I highly recommend the Japan Indies Film Festival. It was curated and put together like a well-established festival. Unfortunately, because of Covid-19, the festival had to forego the live screenings and move to an online-only festival. (Which was sad, of course.) But, through the festival's association with, the quality of the streaming, the interface, and the security for the content was all top-notch. I would not hesitate to submit to this festival. I'm sure it will just keep growing. And I'm sure once the virus releases its grip on the world, sharing your film with a live audience in Tokyo will be a blast! I'd like to thank the festival director, Mike Rogers, for his support and for the hard work it must have taken to pull this festival off in such an uncertain time! You can tell his heart is in the right place in his support of true independent film. Well done! Keep it up!

    November 2020
    Response from festival:

    Hi Ken san!
    Thanks! Did you get your trophy yet? Originally, the base was supposed to be crystal, but DHL wanted $150 for shipping and the post office wanted $85, so I had to opt for a lighter base. I hope you like it. - Mike
    Thanks so much for the

  • Yujiro Seki

    One of the most incredible festivals that I've ever been to. They are excellent I mean truly excellent on communication. Also, this is one of the few film festivals that actually care about filmmakers instead of celebs, politicians, or other unsense. They do not treat filmmakers like numbers. They respect filmmakers like humans. They take pride in selecting quality films while many film festivals choose politically correct films that are not even well-made. I felt welcome comfortable and respected. I felt a part of the community. JIFF is a truly independent film festival with integrity. I believe JIFF really judge films fair and square and does its best to choose great films. Director Mike is an amazing hardworking man. I want to come back to JIFF in the near future!

    November 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, I'm flatterred.

  • Stephen Brooks

    This was my first festival in Asia and it was fantastic! The festival is so well run and everyone involved is friendly and nurturing. I highly recommend this to any indie filmmakers out there.

    November 2020