For nearly a decade, the Louisville International Festival of Film has explored, encouraged and enriched the next great generation of film-making and new media artists.

Filmmakers from all over the world have been thrilled by the enthusiastic audiences and the one‐of-a‐kind Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat inscribed with the name of the winning film in each category.

This year, LIFF is working in association with the legendary Muhammad Ali Center to create a unique program of films to honor all those who aspire to greatness in their chosen fields.

In addition to awards for each category, LIFF will offer a new 56 And 5 Added Programming Block to highlight projects that in some way embody one or more of Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles: Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect or Spirituality.

Films selected for this unique honor will receive a second screening over the course of the four day festival, and will be eligible for a special 56 And 5 Filmmaking Award, in addition to their potential category award.

LIFF also offers a separate Homegrown Award for the best film of any length shot in Kentucky, as well as an Audience Favorite Knockout Film Award.


LIFF realizes that one of the many goals for filmmakers is to find distribution for their work and to get their art seen. With this in mind we have worked hard to give filmmakers that important opportunity. Lonely Seal Releasing will be in attendance for this year festival and has provided the generous prize listed below.

Industry seminars produced by the film festival organizers are well attended with industry experts and the public. The strong connections and partnerships of the organizers enable our festival to continue to grow. LIFF is proud to announce that studio and development executives in Hollywood have agreed to return again to be part of the judging panel for entrance into the festival.

In addition to the Kentucky Derby, Louisville is a City of Parks, with one of the nation’s largest parks expansions underway, adding 4,000 new acres of park land and the 100-mile Louisville Loop trail encircling the entire community. Visitors from all over the world enjoy Louisville's unique qualities, scenery and the Bourbon! The city embraces the arts and there is growing excitement for the return of Louisville's International Festival of Film

The Louisville Film Arts Institute (LFAII) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and promoting the film arts in Kentucky. To help facilitate this goal, it has created Louisville’s International Festival of Film (LIFF) which is a sustainable annual film festival located in Louisville, KY. The festival will showcase independent film, while supporting the cultural diversity of the area.

The festival is uniquely designed to support film education in Kentucky. In its first year, there were over sixty high school and college students who participated in and helped run the film festival. They gained valuable experience through seminar attendance, Red Carpet interviewing, and networking. We expanded their involvement in our second year by obtaining Final Draft and AVID editing systems for select schools.

In 2011, we added the Kentucky Youth Film Festival, to allow students the experience of pitching, producing and promoting their work. Due to an overwhelming response from students, we are excited to invite the students and their families back. The Kentucky Youth Film Festival is a regular feature to Louisville's International Festival of Film. Each year the school system is handed a new subject for the students to create, develop and produce a film short or animation, depending on the individual student and his or her interest.

Our third year also saw our vision for the Kentucky Legends of Fame come to fruition, with the induction of our very first recipient, Ms. Lily Tomlin. As a kick-off and fundraising event, Ms. Tomlin also performed her incredible solo show—giving our festival unprecedented visibility.

Our Co-Founder, CONRAD BACHMANN (, a Louisville native and graduate of Valley High School, attended the University of Kentucky before venturing out west in 1957 to pursue his Hollywood dream. Over his distinguished career, Conrad earned credits in more than 35 films, hundreds of television shows, countless commercials and served as Governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for 12 years, and on the Academy Executive Committee. As Chair of the Activities for the Academy he produced countless productions of hit television shows for a professional development series for all Peer Groups. Fifty Years later, Conrad came full circle with the announcement of his plan to develop and annual international film festival in his hometown of Louisville.

With the creation of LIFF, Conrad is helping to make a difference in the lives of future filmmakers around the world. Although Conrad moved to Hollywood over 50 years ago, his heart never left Louisville. His goal is to bring Hollywood and the artistic process of film making to the region and state. LIFF is his way of giving back the opportunities given to him, while offering a unique forum for others to achieve their dreams. Conrad is passionately dedicated to the success of the festival and wants to share his beautiful Commonwealth of Kentucky with the world.

Lonely Seal Releasing International Distribution Award

Lonely Seal Releasing will award one feature film, one year of international distribution with waived administrative fees, a value of up to $50,000.The winning feature film with be presented to several thousand motion picture buyers throughout the world for the purpose of generating sales. Additionally, it will be prominently showcased at the Lonely Seal Releasing booth at the 2019 Cannes Film Market during the Cannes Film Festival. “Louisville’s Festival of Film,” is a remarkably dynamic film festival that deserves to have its finest work represented worldwide, so I’m thrilled to be working closely with Conrad Bachmann to bring this award to fruition,” said Lonely Seal Releasing founder Hammad Zaidi.

Cash and prizes will be distributed at the end of the festival. Winners must be in attendance to receive any award other then monetary awards.

• Title, origin of film, length of film, director, producer, writer, short synopsis (2-4 sentences), category of film and whether it's a world or Kentucky premier.

•1920X1080 (landscape) or 16:9 (landscape) ratio poster to use, if selected, for program and website. Image must be in high-res JPG format.

• Entries may have been shot in any format.
• Entries must be submitted on DVD or Blu-ray (Region 0 or 1). Two copies must be provided.
* If entry is originally submitted via electronic submission, you will be notified of preliminary acceptance so that you will have time to send the required DVD's to be shown at the festival. We will not be creating these DVD's from your electronic submission. If we do not receive the requested DVD's the preliminary acceptance may be revoked with no refunds given.

• Usually films are entered in one category only but if a film is submitted in two or more categories then an entry fee must be submitted for each.
• A full entry fee must be paid for each category entered.
• If the Festival determines that work has been entered in the wrong category, it will be reassigned and the entrant notified.

• Entries may have been shot in any format.
• Entries must have been completed on or after January 1, 2012. Although in special circumstances the festival organizers reserve the right to make exceptions to this requirement.
• Entries without the proper fee will not be considered.
• We do not accept promotional or commercial works.
• Works in progress will not be accepted for consideration.
•All filmmakers whose films are accepted must sign a rights and clearances form, and filmmakers are responsible for obtaining all permissions and clearances for material contained in their film.

• All entries must be RECEIVED by the deadline date.
• Entry fees must be paid in U.S. funds by money order or credit card.
• Entry fees are non-refundable.
• Entries without the appropriate fee will not be considered.
• LIFF is unable to waive entry fees or provide discounts beyond that
specified below.
• The ONLY exception is for selected filmmakers from Louisville's sister cities or such exceptions as the festival organizers may grant.

Overall Rating
  • This was my first of what I hope is many years attending LIFF. What a wonderful festival and everyone treated me so well. It was an honor to meet Conrad and all of the other amazing filmmakers from all over the world. Louisville should be very proud to have this festival in their amazing city, the two compliment each other very well.

    September 2017
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    Lorette Bayle

    I've attended festivals all over the world and found Louisville Intl. Festival of Film to be one of the best. Inviting, well organized, great city, screening facilities were good, but; most of all meeting the filmmakers involved, the seminar presenters and the festival organizers, especially Conrad Bachman totally made the trip worth it. I highly recommend submitting to this festival.

    September 2017
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    Bob Celli

    I was unable to attend the festival because of a prior festival acceptance commitment, but the communication was fantastic. Everything I saw online, on social media, and filmmakers as well audience members I knew were there, makes me believe that the festival was a success. It will certainly be on my radar for future projects. Thanks team Trinity.

    September 2017
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    Chad McClarnon

    It hurts me to write this review. I had such high hopes for this festival. I want this to be seen not only as a notice for filmmakers, but also as constructive honest feedback for the festival. I love Louisville as a city so much, but I have to say that my experience was the worst of any festival I have ever attended. I can't, in good conscience, suggest that anyone spend money on submitting and definitely do not spend any money on traveling. Louisville is an amazing town and deserves way more than what this festival provides.

    There is basically no signage anywhere. No one in Louisville was aware the fest was happening. Even coffeeshops, bars, and restaurants withing a block of the venues. The main screening venue at the Muhammad Ali Center, where our film screening, had a sign on the door that said "Closed for a private event". Private for who? Aren't you selling tickets to this? No film festival name or logo to be seen. The audiences were, expectedly, nonexistent.

    And all the screening venues had problems. Some had sound problems, some had picture problems. One venue had a screen that looked like someone had wadded it up before the festival started. Another venue was a classroom that had fluorescent lights on and we were told they couldn't turn them off.

    Like other reviewers have said, The films run back to back all day long. No introduction. No q&A. They don't recognize the filmmakers when they're in the room. They don't clear the venue between screenings, or even check to see if there are people outside waiting for the next film. Shorts and features run back to back in no discernible order. Volunteers come in and out of every venue all day, talking to each other, checking things on their phone. We encountered volunteers standing and sorting papers, blocking the view of the film that was playing. One even crossed in front of the projector in the middle of the film.

    There are simple ways to fix every problem I encountered, but speaking with the staff at the festival made it apparent that they're not interested in solutions. I know this is a long rambling review, but honestly there was just a severe lack or respect felt by myself and many of the other filmmakers that had traveled in from all over the world. There was no respect for the audience. No respect for the films. I don't know how it benefits the festival, but they seem only interested in saying that they run a festival that screens X-number of films.

    They pack them in, screen them as fast as humanly possible, and then go home.

    The only redeeming thing about this fest, if there was one, is that many of the films I saw were good.

    September 2017
  • Good seminars! Some nice venues (but not all) for screening and good communication. Amazing experiences by meeting filmmakers, distributors and people from around the world. Cool opening day! I recommend it!

    September 2017