The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival (CIFF) is a three day event with screenings and mixers designed to provide opportunities for both local and international filmmakers to showcase their work.

Ever had your films screened to empty theatres? Ever experienced going to a festival and feeling short changed? At CIFF our sole focus is the films and the filmmakers that make it possible. With a heavy focus on quality films and a great vibe, we encourage filmmakers to partake in Q & As and open bar mixers over the course of the weekend as we build relationships that last.

At CIFF you'll find a fun loving intimate atmosphere that sees filmmakers leave with plenty of new connections, experiences and friends. Our sponsors provide events and mixers every night as we provide an arena for filmmakers to screen their films in public and experience some incredible cinema from across the world.

CIFF also has a special focus on local BC filmmakers with an eye on promoting filming opportunities in the Fraser Valley. We're looking for films with a powerful story and distinct voice. Films that dare to challenge, move and inspire.

We accept Features, Shorts, Documentaries, Music Videos and Animations from emerging artists and students to established professionals. CIFF is committed to the celebration of independent film and bringing it to wider audiences.

This year we will also be hosting a Script to Screen competition (10 pages max) with the winner being announced at our seventh edition late in 2023. We will then provide guidance and in-kind support to help the winning filmmaker complete their short in time for its world premiere at the following edition of the Chilliwack Independent Film Festival. Note: The short can be about anything but must be shot in Chilliwack.

The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival runs every year in November at the Cottonwood Cinema located in the beautiful Fraser Valley.

The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival closes its final night with an illustrious award ceremony (and of course after party) to celebrate. Along with "Official Selection" laurels for your films promotional purposes, there will be awards handed out on the night for:

– Best of Fest
– Best Feature Film
– Best Short Film
– Best Documentary
- Best of BC
- Chilliwack Spirit Award (handcrafted by a local artist)

Other technical awards will be handed out for:

– Best Director
– Best Actor
– Best Actress

- Our panel of industry professionals will choose one short script to be developed and made into a short film. With our guidance and in-kind support from local businesses and professionals, we will help the winner take their idea to the screen. The film will premiere at the following Chilliwack Independent Film Festival (afterwards filmmakers are free to submit to freely to other festivals and retain all rights to their film). Note: Film can be about anything but must be filmed in Chilliwack/Fraser Valley.

(Note: Awards subject to change. You must be present at the ceremony to receive the physical award).

Feature films (narrative & documentary) should run over 40 minutes but not exceed 120 minutes. Short films (narrative & documentary) should be under 30 minutes with a minimum of 1 minute. Music videos should run under 5 minutes. Films must have been completed after January 1st, 2022.

We only accept entries via the FilmFreeway online screener or a private Vimeo link that you can send after submitting. Please check the individual categories for specifics. Whilst there are no premiere requirements, special consideration may be given for films that are having a certain premiere i.e. World Premiere, Canada Premiere, BC Premiere or Fraser Valley Premiere. Films must not be available online. If found to be available online your film will no longer be eligible and your submission fee will not be returned.

Once selected, all feature films must make available a DCP for exhibition. Short films are strongly advised to make a DCP available for exhibition or, failing that, a high res MP4 file. All screeners must be received by October the 21st.

We advise at least one representative from each project to to be present. We love engagement and communication between filmmakers and audiences through Q & As etc. Must be present at the awards ceremony to be handed the physical award.

Participants agree that clips from their film and all other material related to their project may be used and/or published in the event program, CIFF website and for any promotional purposes which CIFF deems appropriate.

No screeners and/or promotional materials will be returned to the filmmaker, unless arranged in advance. As a festival run exclusively by volunteers we are unfortunately unable to offer feedback on submissions.

If selected, all commercial/private property including all trademark/copyrighted materials shown or recorded on the project is the responsibility of the filmmaker. CIFF will NOT take responsibility for any infringement of copywritten materials.

The cost of delivery and pick-up of all materials is the responsibility of the filmmakers.

CIFF holds no responsibility for lost or damaged prints. While the utmost care will be taken with regard to prints, it is solely up to the filmmaker to take full responsibility (i.e. insurance).

Rules are subject to change at any time with or without prior notice.

Overall Rating
  • Bryce Iwaschuk

    What a positive and welcoming festival. The thing that really stood out to me was the amazing communication as well as the sense of hospitality. It's clear that the team behind this go above and beyond to foster relationships and welcome indie filmmakers. Was delighted to have gotten to experience all it has to offer. 10/10 would submit again.

    December 2022
  • It was a pleasure to screen my short film TABANCA at the Chilliwack Independent Film Festival. Many thanks to the organizers, programmers, and volunteers for putting on a great festival that was both fun and professional. They clearly care a lot about supporting filmmakers and showcasing great programs for audiences. The industry panels and Q&As were enriching and communication was excellent throughout. Don't overlook this one!

    December 2022
  • Thomas Chretien

    Had a great time at the Chilliwack film festival! Really well organized and great accommodation for filmmakers.

    December 2022
  • Spencer Zimmerman

    I was BLOWN AWAY by the quality and programming of this festival. Easily one of my favourite festival experiences, and one of the best in BC, if not Canada. From the awesome films programmed, the networking events, panels and workshops, fantastic communication by the team - they even had a pitch session with a reputable distributor. I couldn't have asked for more!

    November 2022
  • Chilliwack is WONDERFUL! I hope to be invited back next year! Thank you Taras and the whole Chilliwack team for all your hard work! Honored to be nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Script and to be selected for Best Actress. My team is so honored and the filmmaking community that gathers around this fest is wonderful! So grateful to be included!

    November 2022