Named Boston's Best Film Festival by Boston Magazine in 2016 and 2017, IFFBoston (Independent Film Festival Boston) will be celebrating our 16th year with our 2018 event. IFFBoston has steadily become the premiere festival in New England and developed a noted national reputation for its quality as a regional festival.

"The Independent Film Festival Boston has become the major game in town: a smartly programmed and risk-taking festival that balances 'big' indie films with the best in local filmmaking."
-Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

Our next event will take place April 25 - May 2nd, 2018 in various venues across the Greater Boston area including the historic Somerville, Brattle, and Coolidge Corner Theatres.

We exhibit a quality selection of narrative features, documentary features, short films, animated films and experimental films. Along with emerging talent, we have hosted a number of special guests including actor/writer/director Zoe Lister-Jones, actor/director Jason Segal, writer/director Rian Johnson, director James Ponsoldt, actor/director Steve Buscemi, director Albert Maysles, director John Waters, writer/director/actor Miranda July, director Harmony Korine, director Guy Maddin, director Bobcat Goldthwait, actor Kevin Kline, director Alan Ball, director/actor Melvin Van Peebles, comedian Denis Leary, actor Michael Cera, actor Chris Cooper, actor Sir Ben Kingsley, actor Hal Holbrook, actor Clea Duvall, actor Famke Janssen, actor Danny Huston, actor John Hawkes, actor Jesse Eisenberg, actor Robert Vaughn, actress/director Julie Delpy, actor Jim Sturgess, actress Illeana Douglas, comedian Bob Odenkirk, comedian Fred Armisen, comedian Rob Cordry, actor Bill Pullman, actor Dylan Baker, actor Will Arnett, actress Eliza Dushku, actor James Urbaniak, actor Fran Kranz, actor/writer/director Lake Bell, actor Aidan Gillen, Professor Noam Chomsky among many others.

Along with quality programming, IFFBoston prides itself on treating filmmakers respectfully. Selected feature-length filmmakers are offered transportation as well as hotel accommodations. All accepted filmmakers are provided with festival all-access passes. The festival provides a filmmaker's lounge stocked with abundant food, drink, desserts, games, press interview areas, and other treats generously sponsored by local vendors.

Awards & Prizes

IFFBoston awards prize packages that include professional services, software packages, and film gear from sponsors including Panavision, Modulus Studios, and Boris FX.

Films in competition are juried by a group of industry professionals and audience awards are determined by balloting following each film.

Award categories:
Grand Jury Prize Narrative Feature
Grand Jury Prize Documentary Feature
Grand Jury Prize Narrative Short
Grand Jury Prize Documentary Short

Special Jury Prize Narrative Feature
Special Jury Prize Documentary Feature
Special Jury Prize Narrative Short
Special Jury Prize Documentary Short

Audience Award Narrative Feature
Audience Award Documentary Feature
Audience Award Narrative Short
Audience Award Documentary Short

Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing

Rules & Terms

Please read all of these terms carefully prior to submitting.

All genres are eligible for consideration.

All films must have been completed after September of 2016.

Films may not be considered if a formal premiere occurs in the state of Massachusetts prior to the festival.

Accepted films can not screen in the state of Massachusetts between acceptance date and date of screening at IFFBoston.

Short films are considered films with running times less than 30 minutes.

Feature-length films, both Documentary and Narrative, are films that are no shorter than 31 minutes or longer than 150 minutes in running time.

To be eligible for the student discount submission fee, a photocopy or scan of valid student identification must be provided to verify status.

Foreign language films must be subtitled in English.

Works in progress must be at least 95% complete at the time of submission deadline. It should be clearly marked on the screening copy along with a statement of what aspects of the film will be added or changed by February 1, 2018.

Upon notification of acceptance to the Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston), the accepted filmmaker must respond promptly to agree to allow their work to participate at the festival. If notification does not occur within a reasonable amount of time, invitation/acceptance will be nullified.

Once the filmmaker has agreed to screen at the festival, the Independent Film Festival Boston reserves the right to screen said film up to 2-3 times during the festival and screen provided clips/trailers of the film to promote the screenings in advance and during the festival.

EXHIBITION FORMAT REQUIREMENTS
For entries accepted and agreeing to participate in IFFBoston, an exhibition print of the film must be provided in one of the following formats: DCP or 35mm by March 25, 2018.

Note: We do not accept Blu-ray or DVD as the exhibition format for accepted films. Failure to comply with technical specifications may result in the removal of the film from Festival line up.

DCP Requirements:
- DCPs must be DCI compliant and delivered on an external hard drive with either a CRU enclosure or an USB interface. Drives must be formatted to EXT2 or EXT3 Linux file system.

- All DCPs must have a back up format: either Blu-ray or Apple Pro-res file.

35mm Requirements:
- All 35mm film must have an optical sound track.

Failure to provide a viable exhibition format by deadlines may lead to the expulsion of an accepted film to participate in the festival.

Filmmakers are responsible for the shipment of the exhibition copy to the festival by the requested deadline. IFFBoston will be responsible for return/outbound shipping only.

Due to limited time and resources, IFFBoston is unable to provide comments about specific films.

DVD screeners of submissions will not be returned.

Posters provided for festival use are not guaranteed for return. Due to limited resources in time and personnel, we cannot ship these materials back. It has been our policy to return materials in person to filmmakers or representatives whenever possible after films have been exhibited only upon request. In the event that posters or materials are lost or damaged during IFFBoston, the festival will not replace or reimburse for any provided promotional materials.

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 undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) and the Independent Film Society of Boston 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 formats entered.

7 Reviews

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • false
    Tim O'Donnell

    I absolutely LOVE this festival. Every screening is sold out or well attended and its a great place to network with other filmmakers. And the films are always amazing.

    August 2017
  • false
    Amy Augustino

    I can't say enough good things about IFF Boston. We had a short documentary play at the festival, and the entire experience was topnotch. The festival is very filmmaker friendly and they make you feel well taken care of. I was really impressed with the communication and regular updates we received from the festival letting us know key information leading up to the festival. The staff and volunteers were extremely professional, friendly, and nice, which made every screening fun. If you're looking for a well-respected and welcoming festival, I highly recommend IFF Boston.

    May 2017
    Iffboston logo ff 303x303
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much for being a part of IFFBoston 2017!

  • false
    Tom Dowler

    Screening at IFF Boston was an all-around great experience. The leadership team and festival volunteers go the extra mile for filmmakers. They do a great job with press outreach and promotion of the festival and various films. We were thrilled to have our movie included in several write-ups about the festival in the local press beforehand. Being at IFF is a great, relaxed, friendly experience; from the chilled-out and quirky filmmaker's lounge to the fun after-parties and networking events. IFF Boston is a festival by and for people who are really into film. Audiences are passionate and engaged; the Q&As are extremely interesting and run by thoughtful moderators with film and other subject matter expertise; and there are topical panels and a work-in-progress pitch event that creates opportunities for filmmakers to hone their craft and accelerate their projects. The 3 theaters where films screen-- The Somerville Theatre, The Brattle and The Coolidge Corner-- are great old cinemas, and it's such a special experience to have your movie shown at one of these rare gems. Having both attended and screened at IFF Boston, I'm always impressed by the programming choices, and the festival's ability to mix larger national and international indie fare with smaller, local stories that you might not find anywhere else.

    May 2017
    Iffboston logo ff 303x303
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the kind words, Tom! We have loved being able to showcase your work.

  • false
    Jeff Ryan

    Loved every second of our time at the festival!

    May 2017
    Iffboston logo ff 303x303
    Response from festival:

    Thanks, Jeff. We loved every second of you being there too!

  • false
    steven bachrach

    From the moment we were notified by IFFBoston that our short had been accepted, there was a notable upgrade in the way we were treated from virtually every festival we've worked with. Communications were practically immediate, welcoming, clear, and comprehensive. Once we were at the festival, we realized that everything had been well thought out, from the artists', audiences', and volunteers perspectives. They made it so easy and enjoyable to be a part of the festival. All the filmmakers were treated great and encouraged to interact and network, via the always-open filmmakers' lounge, Q&A's, and so on. IFFBoston makes a serious commitment to short film creators: every short showed twice, with spot-on curating/program creation and super-insightful Q & A moderation by the programmers. The audiences were large (one of our screenings was sold out and the other with just a handful of seats empty) and actively engaged. It was the best-organized, most filmmaker-friendly experience we've had with our film, by far.

    May 2017
    Iffboston logo ff 303x303
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the kind words, Steven and thanks for joining us!