The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival is committed to discovering and showcasing a unique cinematic experience unrestrained by conventional boundaries.

Welcome to our 15th year and what a year we hope it will be. After two Covid festivals, we are eager and excited to be in the theaters and online for our 15th celebration.

With the Metropolitan City of Philadelphia as its pallet, the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival seeks out and brings together a unique blend of innovation, technology, creativity, and diversity of film in an ever-evolving filmmaker ecosystem.

The festival launched in 2007 out of the mediabureau.com film initiative. The group had been meeting as part of the Philadelphia Underground Film Forum #uff and with surging and pent-up demand for Independent film at a crossroads, launched the first festival in 2008. What was once a digital screening group has blossomed into an annual 6-day event attended by filmmakers from all over the world.

The festival programs original film across 12 genres, animation, and music video's. We like to discuss the films we program, online and offline, using #piff #pifffilms #uff #DemocratizeContent across our active media networks. The vast majority of the festival program is world and local premier status.

Films are selected into the Underground Film Forum #UFF and then awarded with "Best of..." & Underground Film Forum selections.

*The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival is IMDB certified.

All work should be original with all licensing obtained.
All films must have been completed 24 months prior to the festival date.
All forms of film are accepted into competition.
Please specify your film in a genre if submitting it as a short or feature.

Feel free to discuss your film and its merit on festival social media properties @Philaindie. Lobbying your film is accepted but we reserve the right to delete any and all comments. Please respect we have only so many available slots to screen.

The festival reserves the right to revoke any submission at anytime.

Overall Rating
  • Ellen Boscov

    We were honored to have our short animation, FIRST LIGHT, screened virtually through the wonderful Philadelphia Independent Film Festival.

    December 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for screening with us, it was an honor! Wonderful imagery and animation work combined with a fantastic soundscape and a Dragon. We loved it!

  • One of the best festivals on the East Coast

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    We're blushing. Thanks. Keep on making important documentary films. Nice job.

  • Fantastic! Absolutely loved the festival!

    September 2021
  • Thank you so much for awarding my film SPELLBOUND "Best Horror Short"! It is such an honor. It is remarkable that festival director Benjamin F. Barnett was able to host such a fine festival in times of Covid. Although I could not be present in person, I could read and see on the festival’s social media channels how everyone was enjoying the festival and the experience what cinema is all about: to watch films with others and to be open to the creative visions of the filmmakers. Many thanks to Festival Screening Chair Maarten Olaya. I wish you all the best and again thank you very much, Patrick Müller.

    August 2021
  • We were thrilled to have our documentary. Down the House, premiere with PIFF. The organizers did an excellent job at adapting to the changing conditions with the virus to create and host an online screening platform as well as in-person screenings. The organizers were wonderful people to meet and talk with and highly communicative and responsive to any concerns. Kudos on creating the online platform. It was an honor to be chosen and to participate.

    July 2021