Annually since 2002, RIFF has brought the best in contemporary international and independent film to the Inland Empire region of Southern California, the fastest growing area in America. In this, our 20th year, RIFF seeks diverse and challenging films of social upheaval, human conflict, and the boldness of the human spirit. We also enjoy the best of comedy, mystery, science fiction. and horror. We particularly appreciate subtitled films, student films, and animation. A very high percentage of filmmakers and actors attend to present their films and to participate in workshops and forums.

Awards to the Audience Favorite in the categories of Feature Film, Documentary, Short Film, Student Film, and Animation.

Jury Awards in Feature Film, Documentary, Short Film, Student Film, and Animation.

Award for film in any category selected for the Founder's Award and the President's Award.

All entries must be submitted online. If your film is selected, we will require an online press kit. We welcome postcards for festival display. RIFF does not provide housing or transportation costs to filmmakers attending the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Dennis Curley

    We absolutely LOVED the upgraded 2021 viewing experience! Let's face it, no one wants to put on a film festival during a pandemic. But the folks at RIFF really stepped up their game this year. We loved being a part of the well-curated shorts section, and had a great time with the Q&A on Zoom. Thanks to everyone involved -- we were honored to be a part of it!

    May 2021
  • Patricia Nazario

    RIFF selected the four-minute animated open from Backstreet to the American Dream as a stand-alone entry in its Animated Short category. The other shorts were very impressive and gave us a run for our money! Luckily, we emerged victorious with the Audience Award for Best Animation.

    The RIFF team was communicative, easy to work with, and very flexible. I had a death in my family and my deliveries were delayed. RIFF was totally cool and very accommodating of my situation. Thank you so much! Hopefully, RIFF will be a live, in-person event again in the post-Covid world!

    May 2021
  • Great communication, great films showing at the festival, and a great panel of speakers and judges. Everything was amazing with this festival!

    May 2021
  • I can not imagine a better festival. I now feel like a member of the
    Riverside family. I highly recommend

    May 2021
  • Despite the recent complications concerning the pandemic, the Riverside Film Festival got creative and smart to live stream the short films! What a great experience!

    May 2020