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 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 min or less)

The film must not be available for video or internet distribution prior to October 26, 2018
The film must be in 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 in order 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, We Transfer, or DCP High-Resolution File. Preferred exhibition format for theater screening is DCP with DVD (NTSC; Region 0 or 1) or Blu-ray (2) copies as a back-up.

Overall Rating
  • Love the AIFF! Communication was really great throughout the process.
    Thank you for featuring my film and thank you to the jury for giving the film an award. Looking forward to submitting again and seeing what the AIFF does in the future.

    December 2020
    Response from festival:

    Wil, apologies for the delay in responding to you. Thank you very much for your message. Looking forward to seeing your next production

  • L-J ShenFilerman

    As a growing teenage filmmaker, AIFF was an absolutely wonderful experience. The founders were so encouraging, supportive, and excited to help me enter my film into the festival. Additionally, it was my first festival and, especially given COVID-19 restrictions, it went incredibly smoothly. It was fantastic to be able to see what other filmmakers my age had been creating as well as being given access to international feature length and short films. Lastly, as an Arlington resident, I am so proud to have an International film festival hosted by our town. For anyone, filmmaker or not, I would absolutely recommend going to the Arlington International Film Festival!

    December 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much for your support.

  • Henry Ogunjimi

    It's a great feeling winning the Best Documentary Shorts Award with my piece, MARKED. I thank the organizers and congratulate everyone whose films were selected, we are all winners. The people at The Annual Arlington Int'l Film Festival are wonderful people with great, quick and efficient communication style. I must personally Thank April Ranck & Alberto Guzman for their support even after I won the award. See you all next year.

    December 2020
    Response from festival:

    Would like to touch base with you to know when you are coming to the US? Remember, we have your award for a Best Nar Short 2020.
    Let us know, please

  • Maria Lafi

    Although I was not able to go, It seemed great!

    November 2020
    Response from festival:

    We are very grateful for your kind words and looking forward to seeing your next production.
    All of the best

  • Denny Klein

    This year's festival was online and there were no networking opportunities so I didn't rate that. Everyone connected with the festival was so nice and helpful and I appreciate being invited as an official selection for my film 'An Inconvenient Time'

    November 2020
    Response from festival:

    Dear Denny,

    It was an honor for us to screen your film in 2020 AIFF. We are looking forward to seeing your next production

    All of the best,