Our Mission
Dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of independent film, we showcase the art and power of storytelling worldwide and gather communities to share diverse cultures, viewpoints and conversation. With support from our many community partners, we celebrate independent film as the rich, cultural, economic and educational asset it is.

Our Story
It was the creative combination of great friendships, local film lovers, filmmakers and Hollywood talent that lead to the first Kansas International Film Festival nearly two decades ago. Back then, the goal was to bring the diversity of film to the Heartland while celebrating Kansas City’s vibrant local film community. Today the festival is that and more, screening more than 150 films annually with submissions from more than 50 countries worldwide.

The KIFF Experience
Filmmakers from around the world submit their work and attend our festival because of its storied history and reputation for celebrating filmmakers with Midwestern roots and beyond.
While KIFF attracts Academy Award-winning films, provides major networking opportunities and large events drawing community awareness, the festival never loses site of its roots, which are the local art, music and film communities that support each other.
In celebration of those connections, KIFF features local talent annually during the festival with our KIFF Local series and other featured programming at the Glenwood Arts Theatre throughout the year.

The festival has grown from just a few hundred filmgoers to thousands over the past 19 years with a wide range of guests and celebrities attending, including Actor and activist, Ed Asner, horror filmmaker George Romero, special effects wizard Tom Savini, experimental filmmakers Guy Maddin, Barbara Hammer and Stan Brakhage, executive director of Women Make Movies.

Jury Awards: KIFF is proud to present Jury Awards for the best Social Justice Documentary, Best Feature Narrative Film, Best Animation. The five award finalists in each category are listed in the festival program, and winners will be announced at the Award Party on Thursday. November 12th, 2020.

Cash Awards ($6000..00) both Documentary and Narrative Jury Award Winners

Audience Awards: Audience participation at its best. Audience members vote for their favorite Narrative and Documentary Films. Winners will be announced on Monday, November 16th, 2020.

Liability: In case of loss or damage to theatrical print, the Festival is limited to compensating the producer or distributor for the cost of replacing the lost or damaged footage.

Consent: Participation in the Kansas International Film Festival implies understanding and acceptance of festival regulations.

The festival accepts exhibition formats: DCP or downloadable movie file.

1. The number, times, dates and locations of screenings of films are at the discretion of the Kansas International Film Festival. By entering the festival and if you film is selected, you are giving the Kansas International Film Festival permission to play your film without a screening fee. After the festival your film could be selected as one of the KIFF EXTRA events which promotes independent films leading up to the following year's festival. The film cannot be withdrawn.

2. The print supplier will be responsible for the cost of shipment to the Festival. The Festival will return the print postage prepaid to the address provided by the supplier on the final acceptance contract. If you have a change of address, please contact us immediately to assure the safe return of your print.

3. The Kansas International Film Festival provides insurance for loss or damage up to a maximum value of $200 or the cost of replacement (whichever is less).

4. The Kansas International Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize a clip not to exceed 90 seconds in length from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

Overall Rating
  • Christina Zorich

    So honored to be selected.

    November 2020
  • Dave Jannetta

    Super bummed not to be able to go to KC this year but I love this festival and can't wait to return after COVID!

    November 2020
  • Adam O'Keeffe

    Delighted to have been programmed, bringing a little bright-spot within all the challenges of C-19.

    November 2020
  • Eddie Shieh

    I've had the fortune of screening several films here through the years and although 2020 was filled with challenges, I'm always grateful to take part in any venue. Thank you again KIFF and hope to be back.

    November 2020
  • They did a super job. So pleased with the event! Thank you!

    November 2020