Milwaukee Illuminate Film Festival (miff.) is a bi-annual underground & independent film festival that specifically looks for works that challenge normative ideals, provoke thought & emotion, connect & explore communities & subcultures, & is artist-made. We celebrate the strange, experimental, avant-garde, non-traditional, & love the weird within film & video.

We accept any genre of film from anywhere in the world.

Our first festival will be a one day in-person screening event on Saturday November 18th 2023 in Milwaukee. There will be a live Q&A with filmmakers after the film screenings.

Awards will be given out after the all films have screened.

This is an inclusive event for all people from underrepresented & historically marginalised communities. It is an accessible event that celebrates both the art & the artist.

BEST Micro Short, BEST Short Short, BEST Long Short, BEST of Fest, BEST Cult Classic

BEST Experimental, BEST Documentary, BEST Narrative

Milwaukee Illuminate Film Festival is an IMDb qualifying award festival.

Winning filmmakers will receive an award certificate. Filmmakers in attendance who win an award will receive both an award certificate and an awards statue.

miff. is looking for:

1. we accept any genre of short films from anywhere in the world (international submissions welocome).

2. films directed, written, produced, made by, &/or centred around queer, trans, BIPOC, Jewish, femme, fat, neurodivergent, disabled &/or other marginalised folks & communities.

3. work that challenges normative ideals, provokes thought & emotion, connects & explores communities & subcultures, & is artist-made. We celebrate the strange, experimental, avant-garde, non-traditional, & love the weird within film & video.

4. short films of 20 minutes or less, shorter films around the 1-10 minute duration may be given priority over longer films.

Please read carefully!
I, the contact person for the submitted film, known for the purposes of this contract as the PARTICIPANT and/or FILMMAKER, enter into this contract by submitting a film/s to MILWAUKEE ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL agree to the following:
• Secure online screeners are the only accepted method of submission.
• Films must be completed works with a completion date no earlier than January 1st, 2022.
• Films do not have to be subtitled or dubbed, unless the filmmaker feels it aids in understanding the thematic, narrative, or tone of the film.
• The FILMMAKER will be notified on the October 30th, 2023 (CDT), of selection results.
• If selected, your exhibition copy is required by November 10th, 2023. (Exhibition requirements will be sent with acceptance emails).
• It is the PARTICIPANT’s responsibility to make sure the rights and copyrights to their films are cleared for this festival. MILWAUKEE ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL will not be held liable for any issues or lawsuits regarding any films that are entered into this festival. The exhibition of this film will not obligate MILWAUKEE ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL to make any payment to any third party, company, corporation, artist, filmmaker, or producer.
•Films not made by filmmakers who are from at least one marginalised identify/community or that do not focus or centre around a person or community from a marginalised identity may be disqualified.
• Fees will not be reimbursed if not selected by or disqualified from MILWAUKEE ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL.
• MILWAUKEE ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL will take due care of all PARTICIPANTs materials but the festival will not be responsible for any loss and/or damage to materials while they are in possession of this festival.
• MILWAUKEE ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL reserves the right to run online in 2023 or have a portion of the festival online.
• If you, the PARTICIPANT, are accepted into the MILWAUKEE ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL 2023 festival there may be an opportunity to have your film screened at other festival-related screenings throughout that year, of which you will be notified.
• By entering the MILWAUKEE ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL, you, the PARTICIPANT, agree to have a 1-30 second excerpt of your film used for festival promotional purposes only (including web, cinema, TV, DVD).
• Materials must be received from the PARTICIPANT on or before the advertised deadline by MILWAUKEE ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL.
For more info please email: amber [@]
The production's Producer/Director/Filmmaker/Artist grants the MILWAUKEE ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL the rights to:
a) Exhibit the PARTICIPANT’s film in the MILWAUKEE ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL and any agreed-upon festival-related screenings;
b) Use any stills from the PARTICIPANT’s film for any promotional purposes related to the festival.