Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) is an award winning organization with its mission being to foster appreciation for different cultures by exploring the lives of people around the globe through independent film. In 2014 AIFF was awarded the Community Recognition Award by the Arlington Martin Luther King Committee, in 2013 the Alan McClennen Community Arts Award by the Arlington Center for the Arts and the Gold Star Award by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Through the founding of AIFF, the mission has also focused on enriching the community and broadening the view of our world and ourselves. AIFF believes that the arts are here to connect us, to communicate across boundaries, and touch our common humanity.

AIFF is open to national and international filmmakers. Whether a professional or a first-time filmmaker, we welcome innovative, original films with unique perspectives. Many of our selected films have been nominated for Academy Awards; i.e. BOTSO: The Teacher from Tbilisi directed by Tom Walters, Elena directed by Petra Costa, and Documented directed by Jose Antonio Vargas. We Still Live Here directed by Anne Makepeace was chosen by the U.S. State Department to screen around the world and other films have been purchased by CNN, POV, PBS, WGBH, and NOVA.

AIFF recognizes filmmaking achievement through the presentation of the following juried awards:

Audience Choice Awards

Best Narrative Feature
Best Documentary Feature

Best of Festival Short
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Animation Short
Best Experimental Short

Best H.S Festival
Best H.S Animation
Best H.S Doc
Best H.S Narrative
Best H.S Experimental


Submission Categories: AIFF screens both national and international features and shorts with a focus on our mission of fostering an appreciation for different cultures through independent film.

Feature films: narrative and documentary (46 min or longer), Music, Dance, Art, Virtual reality, Human Rights, Social Social, iPhone, iPhones, Photography...
Short films: narrative, documentary, animation, and experimental (45 minutes or less)

The film must not be available for video or internet distribution before October 27, 2021
The film must be in the original language with English subtitles
Film production must have been completed within the last two years

SELECTED FILMS: Applicants will be notified of the Selection Committee's decision by August 1st and will be asked to provide the following materials by August 20th to be included in the Festival.

1) Release form: sign, date.

2) A trailer, still, and promotional materials: email to

3) Exhibition format: Materials can be sent via Dropbox, WeTransfer, or DCP High-Resolution File. The preferred exhibition format for theater screening is DCP with DVD (NTSC; Region 0 or 1) or Blu-ray (2) copies as a backup.

Overall Rating
  • Our team had a terrific experience at the Arlington International Film Festival. April is extremely organized, supportive, and welcoming. Great job pairing the films for the screening, wonderful theater, and outstanding support from the community.

    December 2023
  • Richard Lounello

    A wonderful and very well run and well attended festival. April and Alberto are very welcoming hosts.

    November 2023
  • Craig Bettendorf

    The Arlington International Film Festival is a "must" for independent filmmakers seeking an Eastern US, Massachusetts or Boston premiere. The caliber of films screening at AIFF is incredible and April, Alberto and their Team are terrific hosts, true film-lovers who will champion your film throughout the region. AIFF has been among the very best festivals that our team has experienced in recent years. AIFF is a must-submit!

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Kai, thank you very much for your kind words. We just respected the great work of the Indie community and tried to promote what is best to bring our communities together. You were terrific too.
    Happy holidays to you, partner, crew, and family

  • Daizy Gedeon

    We are so grateful for this award that contributes to the spotlight we are trying to shine upon a human crisis that is the story of Lebanon today. Thank you festival directors for selecting our film to compete and thank you to the audience that voted our film for the Audience Choice Award.

    January 2022
    Response from festival:

    Dear Daisy, thank you very much for your kind message. It was an honor to had your film at the 2021 festival, and we are thrilled to know that your film won the Audience Choice Award.
    All of the best

  • Many thanks to all the artists at the prestigious International Festival of America ... Excellent

    December 2021
    Response from festival:

    Hi Fardin,
    Thank you for your kind words and looking forward to seeing your next production in 2022.
    All of the best