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

We are an extremely filmmaker friendly festival (Don't believe us? Read our filmmaker reviews...) and do our very best to be welcoming and to market and promote your film.

Ridgefield is one of the most picturesque towns in Connecticut and recently earned the state of Connecticut's first Cultural District designation. Screening venues are all walking distance from one other and include the Ridgefield Theater Barn, Ridgefield Library, and historic Keeler Tavern Museum.

All films are screened and selected by a team of committed filmmakers and experienced viewers with an eye to discovering extraordinary narrative, documentary, and animated films, and highly produceable screenplays. Entries are judged on a point system for craft, originality, and storytelling.

So what are you waiting for? #Come RIFFwithUs

Emerging Filmmaker Award

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. If your film is accepted, you grant RIFF permission to use the film for marketing purposes.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • 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

  • John Piazza

    RIFF was a master class on running a festival.. or really any event during these challenging times. Along with a great assortment of films, Megan’s hard work and dedication was on full display. I am quite proud to have been part of this event and hope to return at a future date and time.

    October 2020
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    Response from festival:

    What a heart-warming review on a gray and rainy day. Thank you, John! We loved having your film, PARTICIPANT as part of RIFF 2020 and it was so great that you, your family, and some of your key crew were able to attend. I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future so please stay in touch!
    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