The Los Angeles Film Review Independent Film Awards were conceived in response to the growing field of independently produced films that continue to impress with their creativity and ingenuity. LAFR wants to recognize that emerging talent.

There are 12 “best of” awards that are eligible for a full review, plus individual honors for best director, best writing and best cinematography. LAFR further recognizes excellence in filmmaking with gold, silver and bronze awards.

The “best of” categories eligible for review are:

Best Animation
Best Comedy
Best Dance Film
Best Documentary
Best Drama
Best Experimental / New Media
Best Feature Film (any category)
Best Foreign Film
Best Horror
Best Science Fiction
Best Short Film (any category)
Best Suspense

There are no screenings, so your premiere status is preserved. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to view your work and we applaud your effort! It's no small thing to finish a film.

Please note, the Los Angeles Film Review reserves the right to limit the awards granted at its sole discretion.

The LAFR goal is simple: To honor the spirit, creativity, ingenuity and drive that true independent film producers are showing the world over.

Making a film with a multi-million dollar budget is incredibly difficult to do well. But, nowadays some very unique and talented filmmakers are making amazing films with less money than most people spend on a used car.

Festival programmers say all the time that they “don’t have enough slots for all the great films they receive.” Well, LAFR is trying to change that!

- LAFR honors 12 filmmaking categories with a “Best Of” Award.

- All “Best Of” category films receive a dedicated page on the site, with links to the production website.

- All “Best Of” category films also receive a full review.*

- Plus, there are individual achievement awards for best directing, best writing and best cinematography.

- LAFR further recognizes excellence in filmmaking with gold, silver and bronze awards.

- All winning films, including gold, silver and bronze award winners, receive a Los Angeles Film Review wreath and a mention on the site.

- Films are not screened publicly, preserving your film’s premiere status for inclusion in festivals that have a premiere requirement.

LAFR wants to honor truly independent filmmakers and the films they make. We also want to be the first to congratulate you if you’ve completed a film and to let you know that we would be honored to review it.

Not all films will qualify.

*Full editorial review does not include gold, silver, or bronze award winners, nor the winners of individual awards for best directing, writing, or cinematography.

Submissions Guidelines:



Due to the waste involved, we do not accept physical media for screening purposes. Please utilize one of the many free online services such as: Vimeo, FilmFreeway or YouTube.

The only difference in submission deadlines is the fee. The submission and selection process is not affected by the submission date, provided all submissions are received by their respective deadline.

However, please submit your work as early as possible to give LAFR the best possible chance to consider your film.

The 2016 Los Angeles Film Review Awards films will be reviewed in their entirety and all official selections will be posted on the site by the end of April 2016.

No films are given preferential treatment under any circumstances and all films will be democratically selected.

No decisions are made until all films have been received and screened.

Please do not send any promotional or other materials for your submission, they will be discarded.

Festival terms:
Entrants warrant that they have the legal right to enter their film work to the 2016 Los Angeles Film Review Awards (Awards). All entrants that have submitted to the Awards represent and warrant to the Awards that the Film and all parts thereof are original; that the Film does not contravene the rights of any person or entity and that entrants own or control the Film and all parts thereof and have the sole authority to submit the Film to the Awards; the Film entrants submitted to the Awards is not subject to nor threatened by any litigation. Entrants acknowledge that no fiduciary or confidential relationship now exists between the Awards and entrants, and entrants further acknowledge that no such relationship is established by these guidelines, the submission of the Film, or by the Awards’ acceptance, review or retention of the Film. If a film is accepted for an award, entrant may, at their discretion choose to use or not make use of that material. Consequently, the Awards have no duty to promote, continue to promote or to make promotional opportunities available to any entrant for any reason without an expression, written contract to that effect. Awards are granted at the sole discretion of LAFR Awards.

Overall Rating
  • Renee Edwards

    This award was fantastic! It was very well timed and we appreciated the acknowledgement. It gave us a big boost for the final push. It's one thing making a film, and another doing what is necessary afterwards so that it's seen.

    October 2017
  • Katrin Ottarsdottir

    I don't know exactly what I'm supposed to review here. I got a notification through Filmfreeway saying 'Accepted'. Haven't heard anything from anyone since that.

    February 2017
  • Nick Myall

    I have been fortunate enough to have had 3 nominations in 3 years with LAFR. They are the 'real deal' in this online film festival space. Hoping to get a 'Best of' in 2017.

    February 2017
  • A fantastic time to be known ...

    February 2017
  • Linn was really easy to communicate with; the review very thoughtful and well considered. The process felt celebratory and encouraging throughout.

    July 2016