The bi-monthly IMDb qualifying 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. Every year, we also screen the best indie short and feature of the year.

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 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
  • Super happy to win best Short Doco. The team would get back to me fast and offered more promotional opportunities

    November 2021
  • Anekant Productions

    Thank you so much for including my film "Un Chantier d'Amour - A Scaffolding of Love" in your programming. Love of love, hugs and best wishes coming your way from Mumbai, India. Keep up the global connection and solidarity.
    Kind regards,
    Sachin Jain,
    Artistic Director, Anekant Productions

    November 2021
  • Scott A. Galeski

    5 out of five stars... AAA+++

    October 2021
  • Marios Papageorgiou

    A film festival that is destined to have a prestigious future....

    "Chicago, Chicago that toddling town
    Chicago, Chicago I will show you around
    Bet your bottom dollar you have some fun in Chicago, Chicago".

    From the listening to Frankie to the participation of our film "Shadows of the World" in Chicago Indie Film Awards and our award for Best Sci-fi Film.

    October 2021
  • Charles A. Honeywood

    Amazing Film Festival. It was an honor to have my first short film included as an "Official Selection".

    October 2021