Welcome to VAiFF the 7th Annual Various Artists independent Film Festival!

We're the festival with the year long FALL, WINTER, SPRING and SUMMER submission season that culminates at our festival competition screening and awards presentations at our LIVE FINALE in Chicago, Il and virtually for our submitters for around the world, as well as short films not for competition release, looking for screening opportunities.

√ If you are submitting your short film looking for festival acceptance and recognition. Your project will be screened for acceptance for possible inclusion in the festival live or virtual programming.

√ If you are submitting your short film for inclusion in the competition and the prizes we offer - here’s how it works:

VAiFF is a quarterly competition (FALL, WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER). All the submissions will have a clip/teaser/trailer of the project created for them if it does not already exist.

This clip will be posted on our website and there will be a 21 day online voting period where members of your social media community, friends, and family will vote for your film’s teaser to advance in the competition. Voting will take place exclusively on our website, www.vaiff.com

The projects in each category with the most positive votes will move on to the FINALE COMPETITION.

Advancing to the FINALE COMPETITION means that your entire project will screen at either the LIVE VAiFF event in Chicago or the week long virtual event in October 2023.

The live VAiFF will consist of film screenings, artist performances, educational workshops, panel discussions, and of course, networking!

There are 14 categories to submit to. Please choose carefully:

Animation
Black Voices
Children / Family
Comedy
Documentary
Drama
Experimental
Faith-Based
Fan Film
Female Strong
Foreign (subtitled)
Horror/Thriller
Music Video
TV/Web series

*VAiFF DOES NOT enforce a 2 year project stipulation rule. Any project, as long as it's completed, can submit, regardless of date of completion.*

*All entries are restricted to 60 minutes and under. VAiFF screens all submissions in their entirety.*

*VAiFF DOES NOT require any premiere status or any specific year of completion.*

Throughout our seven year history, our judges panel has included several Academy and Emmy award-winning or nominated artists as well as working industry professionals and have included:

• Anna Maria Horsford (Actress / "Friday", "The Last OG")
• Anjul Nigam (Actor / "Grey's Anatomy", "True Detective")
• Bob Gale (Writer / Producer / "Back to the Future" trilogy)
• Carl Jones (Animation Writer / Producer "The Boondocks", "Black Dynamite")
• Chris Walas (Academy Award Winner "The Fly", "Gremlins", "Raiders of the Lost Ark")
• Cynda Williams (Actress, Singer / "Mo Better Blues")
• D.B. Sweeney (Actor / "The Cutting Edge", "Eight Men Out")
• Eddie L. Williams (VFX Emmy Award Winner/ "Star Trek: Generations", "Proud Mary")
• Kevin Kutchaver (Emmy Award Winner/ "Lost", "Lovecraft Country")
• Kevin VanHook (Marvel and DC Comics Animator and Writer, Creator "BloodShot')
• Michael Benyaer (Actor, "24", "The Flash", "Modern Family", "Deadpool")
• Richard Pryor Jr. (Actor, Singer, Entertainer / "Bustin Loose")
• Rich Koz "Svengoolie" (8 Time Emmy Award Winner)
... and many more.

VAiFF is a year-long celebration of independent filmmaking. We are all Various Artists and we will stand together as one voice, sharing our passion, one screening at a time.

When you submit to VAiFF, you not only join a supportive community of artists, you become eligible for these additional advantages:

√ THE BEST FILM in each category will win a personalized crystal award in the FINALE COMPETITION!

√ The "Best of Animation" winner will receive a FREE COPY OF HARMONY Animation software!

√ A chance to become selected for a PAID INTERNSHIP on a new Carl Jones ("The Boondocks", "Black Dynamite") project.

√ One selected local Illinois filmmaker will receive a one year paid membership to the Independent Film Alliance - Chicago.

√ The Grand Prize. One selected filmmaker will be chosen as the recipient of the SHORT FILM PRODUCTION GRANT! Where they will become selected for a one year mentorship opportunity and a new short film will be created and premiere at next year's opening night event!

Entrants must agree to all entry terms and conditions, which also include deadline and entry material requirements. Please read all Entry Terms and Conditions in their entirety as submission fees are non-refundable.

1). ALL entries must be completed and considered a ‘final release’ before submission into the competition.

2). ALL entries are allowed to have screened publicly and distributed to other film festivals worldwide.

3). There is no ‘2 year completed by’ date as ALL films are eligible for this festival, whether they’ve been selected for ‘Official Selection’ or denied inclusion in previous festivals.

4). No premiere status required.

5). Please follow the details below in order to submit your Film:

ALL projects must be submitted via FilmFreeway as a secure digital downloadable link. By submitting your Film on FilmFreeway, you accept that this document has been read and understood.

You must provide a link with a download option. It is the sole responsibility of the Film’s applicant to provide ALL information asked during the registration process via http://filmfreeway.com/VAiFF

All of the included fields must be completed, your submission will not be considered complete until they are. If there are any setbacks in your application, VAiFF will notify you by email.

6) Submitted films will need to allow VAiFF the option to screen their films either virtually during our yearly event or in person at our theatrical screenings.

7) Each submission must be 60 minutes and under. Music Videos must be 12 minutes and under. Each submission is carefully considered solely on its own merit by the festival programming committee.

8) Applicants submitting Films that contain significant non-English spoken dialogue must provide on-screen English subtitles.

9) Each quarter will accept the first 100 entries per category. Entries submitted after this limit has been reached will automatically roll over for consideration into the next quarter festival.

10) Once the nominations for that quarter’s categories are announced, Applicants will be notified of when the voting process opens and they can begin campaigning for their project. They will also be notified of when the voting process ends. Winners of the quarter categories will be notified via contact information they provided at entry.

11) VAiFF will not be liable in any manner for the failure of notification. If you have not received notification three days from the close of Submissions, we encourage you to please contact our programming department at programming@variousartists.tv

12) Submitter is responsible for submitting the film in the appropriate category. If VAiFF finds that the film does not belong in that category, the film will be disqualified from competition or moved to another category where it is applicable. VAiFF is not responsible for categorizing the submissions and will not refund submission fees if this occurs.

13) It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials included within the submitted Film. VAiFF or VAiFF sponsors will not be held responsible for the unauthorized inclusion of any copyrighted materials within or relating to the submitted Film.

14) In the event that the Applicant remits an updated version of the Film to VAiFF after having submitted a previous version of the Film to VAiFF during the same Quarterly competition, VAiFF is under no obligation to view any or all of the updated version.

15) VAiFF does NOT provide comments or feedback regarding the submitted Film to the Applicant or any other representative of the submitted Film.

16) Upon selection, withdrawal of the Film is not permissible.

17) VAiFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission if it does not meet the stated requirements.

18) VAiFF holds the right to determine the eligibility of any new or previously submitted film. In the event the film is deemed ineligible, VAiFF is under no obligation to refund any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant.

19) Applicants are responsible for all insurance and submission costs.

20) It is the Applicant’s responsibility to read and understand the Legal Terms & Conditions below, which are in place to protect both the Festival and the Filmmaker. By submitting your film on FilmFreeway, you are stating that you have read the Legal Terms & Conditions which follow.

21) The Various Artists independent Film Festival (VAiFF) is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition for promotional purposes.

22) If the Film is nominated to compete in the Annual Festival, Filmmaker will supply needed materials for screening, if requested.

23) VAiFF is not responsible for any packaging or shipping costs.

24) Electronic press kits (which should include film stills, director(s) photos, brief director bio, producer(s) photos, brief producer bio, synopsis and production credits) are encouraged and must be submitted by the applicable deadline. In the event they are not, VAIFF reserves the right to secure substitute materials from other sources for festival marketing.

25) Filmmaker shall indemnify and hold harmless he Various Artists Foundation / Various Artists Independent Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the submission materials entered. Selected films and their respective filmmakers agree to participate in the publicity for the festival as well as other promotional opportunities. Festival staff may require a high resolution Quicktime trailer (or 30 second clip) and social media info (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, etc). This media will be used to promote the individual films at the festival.

26) All of the above submission eligibility guidelines and general rules are subject to change by the Various Artists Independent Film Festival without notice.

You can email programming@variousartists.tv with any programming questions.

LEGAL TERMS & CONDITIONS
I, the authorized representative of the project being submitted (the "Film"), acknowledge and agree as follows in connection with the Film's submittal for consideration for the VAiFF (the “Festival”):

1. I represent that I am 18 years of age or older, or that, if I am younger than the legal age to enter into contracts in my state/country, I have provided the Festival with a written consent from my parent or legal guardian.

2. I hereby represent and warrant to the Festival that: (a) I am duly authorized, on my own behalf and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights or interests (including, without limitation, intellectual property rights) in or relating to the Film (the “Film’s Owners”), to exhibit this Film at the Festival, (b) exhibition of the Film at the Festival will not violate any law or any right or consent of any person or entity; and (c) the Film is not subject to any litigation, arbitration, or other adversarial claim or proceeding, nor is the Film the subject of any threat of litigation, arbitration, or other adverse claim or proceeding.

3. I further represent and warrant, on behalf of myself and the Film’s Owners, that the exhibition of the Film at the Festival will not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity, and that the Film does not constitute or include a defamation of any person or entity. I have paid and will pay in full all license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from or associated with the exhibition of the Film at or in connection with the Festival.

4. In the event that the Film is accepted by the Festival, I acknowledge, on behalf of myself and the Film’s Owners, that the Festival's exhibition or presentation of the Film does not and will not create any confidential or fiduciary relationship between the Festival on the one hand and myself and/or the Film’s Owners on the other. I further acknowledge, on behalf of myself and the Film’s Owners, that I and we understand that neither I nor any of the Film’s Owners will receive any compensation for such exploitation. I acknowledge that no obligation of any kind is assumed by, or may be implied against, the Festival or Various Artists, LLC in the event of, by virtue of, or as a result of the Festival’s selection of the Film. I and the Film’s Owners understand and acknowledge that the selection of the Film by the Festival does not and will not in any way constitute an express or implied endorsement or approval by the Festival or the Various Artists LLC, of the content of the Film or any opinion expressed therein.

5. I agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, to indemnify and hold harmless the Festival and the Various Artists, LLC., together with each of their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, parents, officers, directors, employees, attorneys, creative advisors, agents and representatives (collectively, “Various Artists Related Parties”) from and against any and all claims, losses, liabilities, damages, fees and expenses (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney's fees and other costs) that may be asserted by any person or entity or may be incurred by the Festival, the Various Artists LLC., or any VAiFF Related Parties at any time in connection with the Film or the Festival’s use thereof, and/or arising from any breach or alleged breach of any representation made by me to the Various Artists LLC including, without limitation, any express or implied representation in these Terms and Conditions.

6. In the event that the Film is accepted by the Festival, I hereby grant, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, each of the following rights to the Festival, Various Artists LLC, and their related entities without reservations, conditions or qualifications: (a) the right to use footage, stills and/or titles, and information from or relating to the Film for promotional purposes; and (b) the right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the Film and to use all associated names, likenesses and biographical information. I also agree to provide contact information for the director and producer(s) of the Film and to grant the Festival the right to provide this information to film industry organizations sponsoring Festival events at its discretion.

7. I further agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, that any claim, dispute or controversy arising out of, in connection with, or otherwise related to the Film, the Festival, or these Terms and Conditions (including the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity thereof), as well as the determination of the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, will be governed by the internal, substantive laws of the State of Illinois and will be submitted to exclusive, binding arbitration before an arbitration forum in Chicago, Illinois. In agreeing to this exclusive arbitration provision, I hereby waive and relinquish, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, any right or entitlement that I or the Film’s Owners might otherwise have had to bring or litigate any claim or claims encompassed by this paragraph in federal or state court against Various Artists LLC, the Festival, or any VAiFF Related Party, and any right to a trial by jury with respect to such claim or claims.

8. I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understood the rules and regulations for submitting a film to the Festival and that the information contained shall supersede any information obtained elsewhere, including, but not limited to, information contained in any rules and regulations documents from prior years.

9. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure authorization and permission from the copyright owner(s) of any and all copyrighted content or materials included within the submitted Film. The Institute expressly disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any copyrighted content or materials within or relating to the submitted Film, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third party claims for copyright infringement. The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Film with any unauthorized inclusion of copyrighted content or materials. In the event that any claim, dispute, action or proceeding shall be brought or asserted by any person or entity that alleges that the Film makes unauthorized or unlawful use of any copyrighted content or material, Applicant shall fully indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to attorney's’ fees, that any of them may incur in connection therewith.

10. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure authorization and permission from the owner(s) of any and all trademarked content or materials included within the submitted Film. The Institute expressly disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any trademarked content or materials within or relating to the submitted Film, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third party claims for trademark infringement, trademark dilution or unfair competition. The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Film with any unauthorized inclusion of trademarked content or materials. In the event that any claim, dispute, action or proceeding shall be brought or asserted by any person or entity that alleges that the Film makes unauthorized or unlawful use of any trademarked content or material, Applicant shall fully indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to attorney's’ fees, that any of them may incur in connection therewith.

11. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to clear all content of the Film from any and all actual or potential legal claims and issues, including, without limitation, claims based upon theories of libel, defamation, invasion of privacy, violation of rights of publicity, theft of trade secrets, breach of confidence, breach of confidential relationship, and breach of express or implied contract (“Third Party Claim(s)”). The Institute expressly disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any content or materials within or relating to the submitted Film that are or may be the basis for any Third Party Claims based upon any of the foregoing legal theories or others. The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Film that is or may become the subject of any Third Party Claims. In the event that any Third Party Claim(s) shall be asserted by any person or entity, Applicant shall fully indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any and all fees and expenses, including but not limited to attorney's’ fees, that each of any of them may incur in connection therewith.
By submitting my Film to the Various Artists independent Film Festival, I freely and voluntarily give and express my full and complete acceptance of all of the terms and provisions set forth in these Terms and Conditions. I acknowledge that no oral representations, inducements, promises or assurances, not set forth in these Terms and Conditions, have been made to the Film’s owners or me by the Festival, Various Artists LLC., or any other Related Parties.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Ed Toolis

    After years of work, that borders on self-torture, It's great to finally get validation. Thanks.

    November 2022
  • Nick Sgaglione

    It was a pleasure being part of Various Artists independent Film Festival. We were honored to win Best Experimental for New York Conversations. They were great with communicating throughout the whole process. We highly recommend this film festival to every filmmaker. Thank you very much for the great experience.

    October 2022
  • This was an amazing experience, which our team wishes we didn't have to experience from afar! Props to the team for an incredible (long-distance) ride, and for including our film in this awesome festival. Can't wait to come in-person next time!!

    October 2022
  • Patrick McCrossen

    VAiFF is really a one-of-a-kind festival! Communication throughout the entire process was welcoming compared to other fests. They truly put time and care into making the whole process run smoothly.

    October 2022
  • Joi W.

    I had a great experience with VAiFF and am honored that my LionHeart: Animatic Pilot won best Animated Film.

    Although I wasn’t able to attend in person, I was communicated with very well in regards to the status of my project within the festival. I definitely got the sense that they’re aiming to build a different type of festival that recognizes merits in different projects and helps filmmakers on their journey.

    I will definitely be submitting my next project in the future to this festival. Thank you for a wonderful experience!

    October 2022