The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival (RIFF) seeks to make the world a more compassionate place through the sharing of stories through cinema. We celebrate independent films from around the world that enlighten, entertain, and inspire moviegoers through compelling visual storytelling, by bringing films, filmmakers and film enthusiasts to the culturally vibrant community of Ridgefield, Connecticut for an annual festival that includes screenings, panel discussions, special events, and parties.

This year we are adding a BEST OF RIFF SHORTS festival to be held August 21st at The Ridgefield Playhouse. The Best of RIFF Shorts program will cull from past and present RIFF shorts to put together a 90 minute program followed by a panel discussion. We encourage all shorts entries to tag their entry for this added event.

At RIFF our focus is on the independent filmmaker. We strive to give the indie filmmaker an opportunity to showcase their work with a quality screening on a big screen in front of an audience of their peers and the general public. We seek to create a collaborative non-competitive environment where filmmakers can relax and enjoy themselves. For this reason we don't have competitive categories, but do offer an Emerging Filmmaker Award when we see talent we especially wish to acknowledge.

THIS YEAR'S RIFF hopes to be an IN PERSON festival for all of our events. We will adjust as the times dictate. As it is a transition year for us, we will be hosting a BEST OF RIFF Shorts Fest on August 21st at The Ridgefield Playhouse and will be moving our main festival back to May (when our original festival premiered) Join us May 18-21. We will continue accepting submissions throughout this year and into 2023 for the May Festival. All Shorts will be considered for our BEST OF RIFF Shorts Fest in August of 2022.

RIFF was conceived in order to bring independent filmmakers from around the world to the picturesque town of Ridgefield Connecticut and into the many beautiful venues in town. Ridgefield recently earned the distinction from the state of Connecticut as the first Connecticut town with a Cultural District designation.

All films are screened and selected by members of our vibrant community with an eye toward discovering new talent and a focus on visual storytelling, whatever the genre. Entries are judged on a point system for craft, originality, and storytelling.

So what are you waiting for? #Come RIFFwithUs

Emerging Filmmaker Award - $500.

We accept films in the above stated categories in any genre. We do not have a premiere restriction, but do let us know if this is a national, regional, or international premiere. All films must be in English or subtitled in English. All films must be original work and clear of hindrances that would interfere with showing at our festival. We welcome foreign films of any genre.

We reserve the right to adjust or amend award categories dependent upon submissions. Other cash or in-kind awards may be added closer to the festival. Except where specifically offered, travel, lodging, and expenses will be incurred by the filmmaker. We do not pay screening fees to the filmmakers who participate in the festival. By submitting your film you grant RIFF permission to screen the film and to use the film for marketing purposes.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Ridgefield was our first in-person festival with our feature, planet b234, Joanne and Geoffrey put on such a lovely festival, complete with networking opportunities and a welcome party. We appreciated the COVID-safety protocols they had in place, and were really glad that we made the trip to attend in person. The RIFF team's passion for the films they program is apparent in the care they put into this festival. We will submit our next film here without hesitation! Thank you for all you do!

    April 2022
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Keelie! We loved having you and Jorge and the planetb234 team at RIFF!

  • Nora Mariana

    What a fantastic festival! I can't recommend this festival enough and very much hope we can experience it in person someday soon! -- Team ALINA

    November 2020
  • A Cahill on behalf of Joe McNally Photography. We had such a positive experience entering the RIFF festival and thrilled to have won the "Best Environmental Film!" A very rewarding experience and Megan-Smith Harris was absolutely terrific to work with and did a remarkable job with all the additional challenges of 2020. A happy reminder of how our small town values and appreciates The Arts.

    October 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much! Annie and Joe, you were such a delight to work with and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that you both live in Ridgefield. WATCHING THE EARTH MELT AWAY is a powerful personal portrait and an important environmental film that truly resonated with our viewers. Thank you for telling this captivating story.
    Warmly,
    Megan

  • Paul Hart-Wilden

    it's difficult in any time to run a festival - in the midst of a global pandemic I can't even imagine the logistical issues to be faced.
    But RIFF pulled it off. They communicate very well and the provide an excellent platform for films.

    October 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Paul Hart-Wilden! As you know, we are a fan of your terrific short DEADME and our Psych Night audiences — both live and virtual — also appreciated this suspenseful thriller. We look forward to seeing your next film.
    Warmly,
    Megan

  • Brian Elliott

    Thankful to be included in 2020's Ridgefield Indep FF! The team did an admirable job navigating unusual days. Hopefully, we can do it all again in person someday soon. Thank you RIFF!!!

    October 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Dear Brian (Elliott) and David (Feagan),
    THE AGE OF BRYCE was a great addition to our festival this year and the Comedy Shorts programs were very enthusiastically received by audiences. Thank you for being a part of RIFF 2020. We really appreciate your 5-star rating!
    Warmly,
    Megan Smith-Harris