After the successful second edition of the Chicago International Indie Film Festival (CIIFF), we continue our sincere endeavor to encourage independent filmmakers.

We are excited to announce the third edition of the Chicago International Indie Film Festival (CIIFF) on the 20th of August 2023.
The screenings will commence on 31th December.
Awards Party and Ceremony Venue and Time TBA

Follow our social media accounts for regular updates.


The program committee reserves the right to place submissions under the category they feel suits the film best, and to add new categories or change the names of the programming categories.
Competition categories include:

Feature Animation
Feature Documentary
Feature Fiction

Short Narrative
Short Animation
Short Documentary
Short Fiction

Illinois Filmmaker Film
Best Film by Student

Official Regulations for the 2023

All films in the Competition must be completed after January 1st, 2022.

All Film Festival entrants or submitters must be 18 years of age or older. Those who are not the legal age to enter contracts, must have written permission from their parent or legal guardian.
Students must be registered in a recognized university, college, high school, middle school or elementary school with proof of ID from the institution to qualify for student categories.

The film entrant or submitter concedes they are authorized to exhibit the Film at the Festival , and grant the permissions to the Festival outlined in the rules as well as the right to provide supplied contact information for the film industry and patrons in the Festival and with discretion to film industry organizations sponsoring the Festival events.

Features must be 40 - 180 minutes in length. Shorts must be less than 40 minutes in length. " Running time is calculated from the head frame to the last frame of the end credits.
The Festival is open to international cinema. Dialogues that are not in English must be subtitled in English.
Permission to use stills and excerpts from the submitted film, not to exceed 2 minutes, for promotional purposes (in print, theatrically, broadcast, internet or all other means as well as released to the news media) is considered granted upon submission as well as copying and archiving the entries to DCP, Blu-ray, Hard Disk, or other means for projection for the festival, and for the purpose of previewing and judging which can also be DVD.
Permission is also considered granted upon submission to stream and upload the films for Festival and Market attendees, and for ticket and pass holders.
The filmmaker, entrant and submitter concede they are authorized to use all images, likenesses, music and sounds in their entry, and that the exhibition will not violate or infringe any copyright, privacy right, publicity right, patent, trademark, service mark or any other property or personal right, and does not constitute a defamation of any person or entity nor is the film subject to or threatened by litigation. The filmmaker, entrant and submitter grants permission to the festival to screen the entry at the festival including its sponsors, entities, officers, committee members, attorneys, and advisers from any and all claims, losses, liabilities or attorneys' fees that may be held against any of the foregoing in connection with the Film entry or the Festival's use thereof.
The festival encourages films that portray the human race in a positive light, and will take films of all sorts into consideration.
Films in the Young Filmmaker category must be directed by students enrolled in a School or College during the production of the film.

Press Kits should be simple, and can be emailed. Photos may be submitted as a jpeg, TIF or eps file with the correct aspect ratio. Written files may be a text file or included in the body of the email.
The files must include:
• 2 color still screenshots that represent a SCENE FROM THE FILM.
• 1 headshot of the DIRECTOR.
• Complete credits of the principal cast and production crew.
• Director's Bio: A short bio about the director in 50 - 100 words.
• Synopsis: a short description about the film in 50 - 125 words without revealing crucial or surprise plot elements.
The festival reserves the right to complete any information not supplied by the filmmaker from whatever source available, and will not be responsible if incorrect information is entered.
Films may be submitted via a Vimeo link or video link via FilmFreeway or other participating submission site.
EXHIBITION FORMAT: ProRes or H264 HD files are encouraged. The Festival, at its own choosing, will select either a usable Digital, ProRes, H264 file, DCP, or HD file for projection for films in the festival and market screenings. QuickTime and Digital files must comply to the format requested by the Festival.
The competition finalists and other films selected for CIIFF will be notified by email. Participation in the festival implies understanding and acceptance of all regulations and requirements of the Chicago International indie Film Festival and the entrant must comply by all submission deadlines of the submission copy, exhibition print, publicity stills, director's photo, director's bio, a completed submission form, as well as all other publicity for the press such as postcards.
Upon notification of acceptance, Entrant will allow usage of film or script regardless of any deals made with distributors T.V stations or any other distribution deal. made after submission has been made. If accepted to the festival your film will be screened and cannot be withdrawn for any reason NO exceptions. We do NOT pay screening fees of any kind, or provide transportation or Airfare to the festival for filmmakers.
All Decisions by judges, programmers and organizers will be final and no refund of the entry fee will be permitted.

Overall Rating
  • Incredibly fun! The hosts were amazing during the show and the venue was perfect! Would definitely come again if I could.

    February 2024
  • Aidan Hilmersen

    I really enjoyed this festival. It was a decent size and played at a great theater. I am looking forward to seeing the photos and recap video. The Q and A was well done. I would love to see this festival grow in scale and recognition in years to come.

    January 2024
  • I am very thankful to Chicago Indie Film Festival that they selected my documentary and it has won the award. This will talk about something crucial, climate change is an alarming issue and what could be better than a festival like CIIFF who recognize our efforts and watch our film. Thank you for the honor and the award.

    January 2024
  • Good festival, recommended and supportive

    January 2024
  • Great festival with solid communication. We were honored to be in the lineup of films shown at the Showplace ICON Theater in downtown Chicago. The films looked and sounded excellent on the large screen. We will definitely plan to submit again next year.

    January 2024