The IMDb qualifying Chicago Indie Film Awards in partnership with Chicago Movie magazine promotes the art of indie filmmaking; a journey of artistic expressionism, compelling narratives and unique forms in filmmaking and screenwriting. Our team will be looking for arthouse indie films that are pushing the boundaries of cinema. The fest celebrates indie U.S. and international film and script projects. 

We are looking for fiction, documentary, experimental, animation, comedy and all genres of filmmaking which can inspire us, challenge us and make us think. 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 publicly through our online platform. Every year, we also promote and screen the best indie short and best indie feature of the year further in order to seek distribution for talented indie filmmakers who are looking to find a larger audience for their projects.

In addition to being visual, cinema combines most aspects of art; these include symbolism, subject matter, theme and background. Cinema is the most influential form of art since it is the only form in which you can have the largest impact on a wide range of individuals.

Our team consists of filmmakers, actors, directors, writers and critics. 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 indie filmmaking and the language of cinema as an art form.

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
  • Gavin Rapp

    Thank you very much Chicago Indie Film Awards for giving us a chance to be a part of your wonderful festival. We are all thrilled to have your laurel added to our Holy Driver web series and can't thank you enough for the opportunity. You guys are awesome. Courteous, kind, and kickass!

    May 2022
  • Charlene Doak-Gebauer

    So pleased to receive Best Documentary at this festival. Thank you Chicago!!

    May 2022
  • Bruce Hickey

    I am from Chicago but live in LA and was honored to win an award from my hometown.

    May 2022
  • Extremely humbled to have Driven to Help be selected amongst all the other amazing films.
    Highly recommend Chicago Indie Film Awards.

    May 2022
  • Bill Hayward

    Among the most innovative of festivals...forward thinking, forward acting...embracing risk and empowering the future of the visual arts indeed.

    May 2022