The Anchorage International Film Festival (AIFF) was founded in 2001 in order to bring independent and international films to Anchorage, and to showcase the quality independent films made in Alaska. Our mission is to develop, promote, and sustain a film festival that supports new media and independent filmmaking in Alaska and around the world, while enriching cultural and entertainment opportunities for Alaskans.

The AIFF is a cosmopolitan film festival that strives to reflect the diverse character of Anchorage by screening captivating and well-crafted independent films from all over the world. The AIFF also provides a forum for the work of independent Alaska filmmakers and opportunities to network with fellow filmmakers. In the past, several films receiving jury awards from the AIFF have gone on to win Academy Awards and awards at major film festivals, such as Hot Docs, Tribeca, Sundance, South by Southwest, the Sheffield Doc Fest, and the Seattle International Film Festival.

The AIFF programmers look to program a wide variety of quality, independent films as colorful as the Northern Lights themselves, in categories of: Features, Documentaries, Shorts, Super Shorts, Animation, and films Made in Alaska. In addition to continued LGBTQ (Gay-La) events and youth and family programming, AIFF is thrilled to announce a new Screenplay competition category this year!

If you've been here before, you know Alaska's an intriguing place. About half of the population of Alaska lives in Anchorage (2013 population 300,950), a modern city with differing lifestyles and independent spirit. Situated between the striking Chugach Mountains and the stunning Cook Inlet, Anchorage is known for its outstanding natural beauty. The city is only a short drive away from glaciers, downhill ski resorts, and unparalleled cross-country skiing, hiking, and bike trails. Anchorage has a vibrant arts community, is home to two universities, and hosts the world-class Anchorage Museum. Anchorage is also a culturally and ethnically diverse city. In 2014, as many as 99 different languages were spoken by students enrolled in the Anchorage School District.

The AIFF encourages filmmakers to attend our festival and experience the beauty of an Alaska winter. Last festival, the AIFF had filmmakers visiting from such far-flung locations as Japan, Switzerland, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, Portland, New York City, Glasgow and Vancouver.

The enthusiasm, sophistication, and passion of the AIFF audience often impress visiting filmmakers, and the AIFF has received uniformly positive feedback about the care and attention visitors receive from the festival staff. We are the warmest festival in a cold climate!

Our main host venue is the 400-seat Bear Tooth Theatre, a brew-pub where movie-goers are able to enjoy a drink and delicious food while watching films. A variety of other excellent exhibition venues around Anchorage host films and events during the festival.

We encourage you to submit your films and come join us in December, a time when the winter weather creates a dramatic and impressive beauty all its own and where you can discover “Films Worth Freezing For.”

Awards & Prizes

The best film in each category will be awarded an Alaska Native hand-carved walrus oosik (petrified bone) and a certificate of achievement. The AIFF categories are:

Feature
Documentary (feature-length)
Documentary (Short)
Short - Narrative Fiction
Super Short - Narrative Fiction
Animation (feature-length, short or super-short)
Made in Alaska (feature-length, short or super-short)
Screenplay (feature-length)

Rules & Terms

The 2017 AIFF is open to any film completed after January 1, 2016, regardless of content, subject, or origin. Any film completed after January 1, 2016, that has not screened on cable or broadcast television in Alaska or any other U.S. state prior to December 1, 2017, is eligible for submission. Submitting your film to the 2017 AIFF is not a guarantee of selection.

A film will only be eligible for the 2017 AIFF jury competition if fees and forms are submitted with the film by the September 5, 2017 extended deadline. We support independent film and encourage all genres to enter.

The AIFF will not refund any fees if the filmmaker fails to submit the film in the correct category. Films submitted without the correct fees or proper submission media may be deemed ineligible at the discretion of the AIFF programming director or executive director. The AIFF will not refund any fees if the filmmaker fails to submit a suitable exhibition copy in an acceptable format.

Once a film is accepted and becomes an official selection in the festival, AIFF WILL NOT consider screening fees of any kind. If accepted to the festival, the applicant grants the 2017 AIFF the right to show the submitted film publicly in Alaska until December 2018, UNLESS written notice is provided to AIFF. If a selected film is chosen for an outdoor screening, AIFF has the right to play film audio over necessary radio channels. Failure to submit film in the correct category and/or non-payment of submission fees could disqualify film for selection at the discretion of the programming director.

Submission media should be clearly marked with the tracking number, film title, director, and exact running time. No PAL tapes are accepted. PAL DVDs are accepted. AIFF WILL NOT RETURN SUBMISSION MEDIA UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. If film is selected, exhibition media MUST BE IN THE REQUESTED FORMAT and should also be clearly marked with the tracking number, film title, director, and exact running time.
AIFF will ONLY return EXHIBITION MEDIA if the proper packaging with correct postage is provided by the film submitter at the time the film is submitted.
AIFF WILL NOT RETURN OTHER MATERIALS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, i.e. posters, postcards, director statement, or press kits. Send only the type and number of other materials requested by the programming director. Failure to follow any of these guidelines could lead to disqualification of the film, at the discretion of the programming director. Films must be insured by the film submitter. The AIFF is not responsible for damaged or lost media during shipping.

The AIFF is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The film submitter/director/producer shall indemnify and hold harmless AIFF from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Unless negotiated with the festival programming director, all shipping fees are the responsibility of the filmmaker. Any other arrangements must be agreed to in writing by the programming director. Acceptable presentation formats: AIFF will no longer accept 35 mm film prints. Preferred formats are DCI 2K digital or Blu-Ray for the main venue. For films selected for this venue we will accept compatible digital files or Blu-Ray. All other venues will accept only Blu-Ray, DVD or DV-R, or digital files. If a film is accepted for the festival, the filmmaker will be informed well in advance on the type of exhibition media to provide.

Questions should be directed via email to the 2017 AIFF Programming Director at programming@anchoragefilmfestival.org.

6 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    John Serpe

    Great festival and definitely worth the submission! A very welcoming community of film lovers and a hardworking staff. They organized a wilderness sightseeing trip for filmmakers as well as viewing of Northern Lights. The staff treated us like family (really, so did everyone in Anchorage!)! Would definitely recommend to attend with your film. Once in a lifetime experience! And yes, we did win the Audience Award, but would be recommending regardless. Love you guys!

    August 2017
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    alexandre athané

    Many many thanks to the team of the Anchorage International Film Festival for welcoming my film and granting it an award ! I so wish I could have attended, but was happy to follow from a distance, every step of this great event ! Keep up the good work !

    March 2017
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    Tibo Pinsard

    A great festival, very contact good contact with the crew, true cinema lovers!!

    December 2016
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    Gene Gallerano

    We had a great time at this festival! I would highly recommend this fest to any filmmaker as a must submit. It is a magical place with passionate and friendly people running it. The reception i received was fantastic and authentic from the moment I landed in Anchorage. The volunteer who picked me up had amazing stories and one of the other volunteers took me up into the mountains to get out of the city and into what makes Alaska so special. Really magical, cold and special place. Can't wait to go back!!!

    December 2016
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    Heaven Kid

    This is indeed a great film festival. Not only is the organization perfect, but the service is wonderful as well. We enjoyed being part of it.

    December 2016