The IMDb qualifying bi-monthly Chicago Indie Film Awards celebrates independent U.S. and international film and script projects. 

We promote the art of indie filmmaking; a journey of artistic expressionism, compelling narratives, forms and experimental story telling. Our judges will be looking for films that are pushing the boundaries of contemporary storytelling.

We are looking for fiction, documentary, experimental, animation, comedy and all genres of filmmaking which can inspire us or challenge us.

U.S. and international projects compete together in various sections of the festival. The official selections are screened privately to jury members of each edition in various categories and have the option to screen films through our online screening platform. Every year, we also screen the best indie short and feature of the year in Chicago.

Our team consists of filmmakers, actors, directors, writers and critics from all over the world. We believe that we live in a new era of digital technology and the festivals need to be able to adjust to various forms of online competitions, screenings and virtual events in order to recognize and promote talented indie artists working in media.

Chicago Indie Film Awards is committed to supporting and promoting international and American indie film and script projects of all genres.  

Best Narrative Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary short
Best Experimental
Best Animation
Best Science Fiction
Best Horror
Best Director
Best Producer
Best Cinematography
Best Editor
Best Actress
Best Actor
Best Script
Best Unproduced script
Best TV Series/Pilot/Web
Best Comedy
Best Student Film
Best Music Video
Best Thriller
Best Trailer
Best Composer
Best First Time Filmmaker
Best Female Filmmaker
Best Indie Film

Films can be available online and still submit to the festival.
Films must have been completed within the past 4 years.
Shorts must be less than 50 minutes.
Chicago Indie Film Awards can use stills, poster, headshots and trailers to promote films and artists.
Entry fees are non refundable.

Overall Rating

    So excited to be a part of this festival and for my script to be an official selection. The communication has been clear and has kept me aware of all updates as the festival progresses.

    January 2022
  • Joseph L Harrison

    Chicago Indie Film Awards provided me with a great festival experience and is an outstanding professional festival. Chicago Indie Film Awards is a fantastic venue for writers to showcase their screenplays. Thank you very much for recognizing and awarding my "Soul's On Fire" screenplay as Best Unproduced Script.

    January 2022
  • Thank you so much for our awards & for supporting female filmmakers such a wonderful experience, love Hanna

    January 2022
  • Enriko Hamzaj

    Very Pleased to be a part of your film festival and honored to be a winner among all those beautiful films. Amazing experience.

    January 2022
  • Thank you for the opportunity. Common Ground Media greatly appreciated an opportunity to present our work to a Festival with a great representation and professionalism.

    December 2021