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.

Chicago Indie Film Awards is committed to indie filmmaking and the language of cinema as an art form. Our mission is to inspire & motivate people to discover the world through the art of motion pictures and indie filmmaking.

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
  • Truly is an honor to be apart of this film festival and win. Thank You guys

    August 2022
  • So humbled to have won the Best Actor Awards at
    Chicago Indie Film Awards for my role in AION (2022) See clip at or

    Thank you Chicago Indie Film Awards.

    July 2022
  • I love Chicago and I wish I could have attended the festival.

    July 2022
  • Kain Baigent

    Thank you to all the staff at 'Chicago Indie Film Festival' for taking the time to review my project. Health and happiness to you all!

    July 2022
  • Stilvi Psilopoulou

    Great festival! Keep on the good work!

    July 2022