The IndieFEST Film Awards:

Promoting independent filmmakers of cinematic gems and unique voices to a worldwide audience.

IndieFEST, currently in its 9th year, discovers and honors the achievements of filmmakers who produce high quality films and new media. Attracting both powerhouse industry veterans as well as talented new filmmakers, the IndieFEST is an exceptional, truly international awards competition, not a traditional film festival. The goal of traditional film festivals is to bring entertainment to local audiences making the filmmaker of secondary importance. IndieFEST is about helping independent filmmakers gain the credibility and publicity they justly deserve. Our talented IndieFEST award winners have gone on to win Emmy, Telly and other awards.

Serving filmmakers is IndieFEST’s primary goal:

IndieFEST strives to give talented directors, producers, actors, creative teams and new media creators the positive exposure and credibility they deserve. The IndieFEST promotes award winners through press releases to over 40,000 filmmakers and industry contacts as well as additional global media/distribution outlets.

Where our filmmakers are from:

The IndieFEST Film Awards is truly international in scope and has received projects from filmmakers in over 79 countries including: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France, Gauteng, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxemburg, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique (French Antilles), Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad, Trinidad /Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, and Venezuela.

What kind of media:

The IndieFEST is an excellent venue for film, new and experimental media, television programs, animation, educational programs, remixes & mashups, movie trailers, music videos, webisodes, tube length works and more.

Benefits of Participating:

• Promotional Laurels – give your film opening and graphics that wow factor!
• Peer Review – our judges are filmmakers who understand the craft and what audiences want.
• Publicity Enhancement – Winners are announced to a database of 44,000+ email industry professionals as well as additional international media outlets.
• Press Release - We provide a fill-in-the-blanks Press Release to help you promote your win. We've done the heavy lifting - just fill it in and send to media outlets that suit your work!
• Social Media Push – Facebook and Twitter announcements of winners and updates from our filmmaking community can be shared with your own lists.

Awards & Prizes

Judging and Award Levels:

Each year IndieFEST Film Awards receives thousands of entries. Quality and creativity are celebrated in four levels of awards: Best of Show, Award of Excellence, Award of Merit and Award of Recognition.

The judging takes place by in-house staff and a committee of industry professionals including Emmy, Telly and Communicator award nominees and recipients.

As with the Telly and regional Emmy Awards, entries do not compete against each other. Instead, entries are judged against a high standard of merit and are scored accordingly. Judges score entries on a performance scale and winning entries are recognized and awarded as Best of Show, Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit, Awards of Recognition or no award.

Best of Show honors are granted to the top scoring entry for each season. Awards of Excellence are granted to entries with truly exceptional filmmaking. Notable artistic and technical productions are recognized at the Award of Merit award level and Award of Recognition recognizes achievement in a specific category of entry.

No fixed numbers of awards are granted at any level but rather fluctuate based on the total number of entries received for each competition deadline.


Each individual submission will receive two confirmation emails. One from FilmFreeway confirming your entry through their system and one directly from the IndieFEST Film Awards team with additional details.

After judging is completed, winners in all categories will be notified of their award immediately following the submission of the judge’s findings to the IndieFEST staff. Submissions that were not awarded will be notified after the judging process. All award winners are also provided the opportunity to acquire statuettes and other keepsakes to commemorate their achievement.

Humanitarian Award:

The IndieFEST is a competition with a conscience. Each year the IndieFEST Film Awards grants its annual Humanitarian Award for dedicated service to Social Justice, Animal Welfare, Political, Environmental, Wellness, or Conscious Awareness issues. Films meeting these criteria and recognized at the Award of Excellence level can be nominated for the Humanitarian Award by any of the judges. All nominated films are then reviewed at the end of each year and awards granted. Each year the judges will select one Grand Prize winner and award Outstanding Achievement and Award of Distinction to all deserving films.

Rules & Terms


1. Submissions in other than English must be subtitled.

2. Multiple entries are allowed from a filmmaker and each entry may be entered in multiple categories.

3. Online screeners preferred. If you choose not to upload your project to FilmFreeway'’s site, please provide an online link to your submission and be sure to include the password in an email correspondence sent directly to IndieFEST. If you choose to send a DVD screener please format it in NTSC, label the cover with the FilmFreeway Tracking ID, filmmaker name and telephone number, and forward it to IndieFEST’s mailing address.

4. *Please note: IndieFEST does not download data or accept Dropbox submissions. Please only send links to your media hosted on 3rd party servers such as Vimeo or YouTube.

5. Written comments describing entries are beneficial.

6. DVD Entries will not be returned.

7. All films submitted under a “Student” category will be listed as a (Student) on all materials including social media and press releases. Student I.D. required.


The IndieFEST statuette is exceptional in the industry and is a work of art. Plated with 24k gold, the beautiful fifteen inch tall statuette is manufactured by the company that makes the worlds’ most prestigious and celebrated awards, the Oscar, Clio, and Accolade.

Sister Competitions:

The IndieFEST Film Awards sister competitions are the Accolade Global Film Competition (, which celebrates outstanding media of every variety around the globe, the Best Shorts Competition ( honoring the best of short films, and the Impact DOCS Awards ( serving documentary filmmakers and spreading their messages around the globe. All four competitions share administrative offices but have independent judging and judging results from one competition will not influence the outcome of the other.

75 Reviews

Overall Rating
  • false
    Geoffrey James

    I would have SO much liked to attend this festival but unfortunately I had a heart attack and open heart surgery two weeks previous to the event date. The organizers were very understanding that I couldn't do publicity either, since I was pretty much laid up. I was very honored to be recognized with an award.

    October 2017
  • false
    Paul Curtis

    Great experience! Thank you for awarding 'Marriage' with 2 Awards of merit.

    September 2017
    Indiefest logo revised
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Paul and congrats on your awards! We are thrilled that we were able to provide a valuable service to you! Looking forward to seeing your next project!

  • false
    Päivi Kapiainen-Heiskanen

    The IndieFEST Film Awards chose The Reindeer belong to the Wind as the best film in the Native American/Aboriginal Peoples category. Our core team felt very thankful and humble for this recognition. The IndieFEST has excellent communications management and an encouraging way to approach film makers. Keep up the good work!

    August 2017
    Indiefest logo revised
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your review Päivi. We love the opportunity to help spread the voice of Indie films with such important messages - especially ones that promote the issues for Native peoples. Thank you for all that you do to bring awareness to such important topics! Keep up the great work.

  • false
    Caroline Cory

    Excellent communication, friendly and professional throughout the entire process. It is a great honor to win the "Award of Merit - Special Mention." I definitely recommend this festival and will submit again in the future.

    August 2017
    Indiefest logo revised
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Caroline and congratulations on your award! We are happy to have the opportunity to serve our talented filmmakers and are grateful for your participation. We wish you great success with this film and all your other projects!

  • false
    Francesco Longo

    Very good experience with this amazing festival! i hope to be selected next year

    August 2017
    Indiefest logo revised
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Francesco for your review and your participation. We are happy to have the chance to be of service to you and look forward to seeing what is next for you!