Welcome to the 5th Annual Various Artists independent Film Festival!

Get ready for another year of short films competing for the Grand Finale Prize -- the SHORT FILM PRODUCTION GRANT!

BEST FILM in each category will win a personalized crystal award in the FINALE COMPETITION!

Winning filmmakers will receive a FREE COPY OF FINAL DRAFT 11!

One selected filmmaker will be chosen as the recipient of the SHORT FILM PRODUCTION GRANT!

Here’s the gist of the competition:

VAiFF is a quarterly competition (FALL, WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER). All the submissions will have a clip/teaser/trailer of the project created. This clip will be posted on our website and there will be a 21 day online voting period where members of your social media community, friends, and family will vote for your film’s teaser to advance in the competition. Voting will take place exclusively on our website, www.vaiff.com
The projects in each category with the most positive votes will move on to the FINALE COMPETITION.
Advancing to the FINALE COMPETITION means that your entire film will screen at the LIVE VAiFF event, which will take place October 2021.

All winners from each quarter (FALL, WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER) will compete in the FINALE COMPETITION, and all submitters will be eligible for the SHORT FILM PRODUCTION GRANT.

VAiFF will take place October 2021, and will consist of 3 days of film screenings, artist performances, educational workshops, panel discussions, and of course, an after party full of networking and some good ol’ fun!

There are 10 categories to submit to. Please choose carefully:
Comedy
Drama
Horror/Thriller
Documentary
Animation
Foreign
TV/Webseries
Children/Family
Experimental
Music Video
*All entries are restricted to 45 minutes and under. VAiFF screens all submissions in their entirety.*
*VAiFF DOES NOT require any premiere status or any specific year of completion.*

The judges for this festival are working industry professionals and have included:
• Bob Gale (Academy Award nominee) Writer / Producer ‘Back to the Future Trilogy’
• Richard Pryor Jr. (Actor, Singer, Entertainer)
• Chris Walas (Academy Award Winner ‘The Fly’ (1985), Gremlins, Raiders Of the Lost Ark)
• Kevin VanHook (Marvel and DC Comics Animator and Writer, Creator 'BloodShot')
• Anjul Nigam (Actor from 'Grey's Anatomy', Writer & Producer 'Growing Up Smith')
• Eddie L. Williams (Emmy Award Winner) VFX Producer/Supervisor ('Star Trek: Generations', 'Proud Mary')
... and many more.

VAiFF is a yearlong celebration of independent filmmaking. We are all Various Artists and we will stand together as one voice, sharing our passion, one screening at a time.

Personalized crystal trophies given to the BEST IN CATEGORY Finale Winners

Semi-Finalists from each quarter will have their films reviewed and judged by working television and film, producers, writers, and directors

VIP gift bags

***GRAND PRIZE -- SHORT FILM PRODUCTION GRANT***
A select filmmaker will receive production funds to produce their next short film. Our team of mentors will educate and guide them through the production process from development, scripting, pre-production, casting, production and post production. That film will debut exactly one year later at the following year's VAiFF!

Entrants must agree to all Entry Terms and Conditions, which also include deadline and entry material requirements. Please read all Entry Terms and Conditions in their entirety as submission fees are non-refundable.

1). ALL entries must be completed and considered a ‘final release’ before submission into the competition.

2). ALL entries are allowed to have screened publicly and distributed to other film festivals worldwide. There is no ‘completed by’ date as ALL films are eligible for this festival, whether they’ve been selected for ‘Official Selection’ or denied inclusion in previous festivals. No premiere status required.

3). Please follow the details below in order to submit your Film:
ALL projects must be submitted via FilmFreeway as a secure digital downloadable link. By submitting your Film on FilmFreeway, you accept that this document has been read and understood.

You must provide a link with a download option. Our programmers are in different parts of the world and need download access to your film since internet speeds vary and are not reliable for streaming. It is the sole responsibility of the Film’s applicant to provide ALL information asked during the registration process via FilmFreeway.
http://filmfreeway.com/VAiFF
All of the included fields must be completed, your submission will not be considered complete until they are. If there are any setbacks in your application, VAiFF will notify you by email.

4) The festival categories are:
Short Film (Drama)
Music Videos
Short Film (Comedy)
TV / Web Series Pilots
Documentary (Short)
Animation (Short)
Foreign Film (Short)
Horror / Thriller (Short)
Children / Family Content (Short)
Experimental (Short)

5) Each submission must be 45 minutes and under. Music Videos must be 8min and under. Each submission is carefully considered solely on its own merit by the festival programming committee.

6) Applicants submitting Films that contain significant non-English spoken dialogue must provide on-screen English subtitles.

7) Each quarter will accept the first 100 entries per category. Entries submitted after this limit has been reached will automatically roll over for consideration into the next quarter festival.

8) Once the nominations for that quarter’s categories are announced, Applicants will be notified of when the voting process opens and they can begin campaigning for their project. They will also be notified of when the voting process ends. Winners of the quarter categories will be notified via contact information they provided at entry.

9) VAiFF will not be liable in any manner for the failure of notification. If you have not received notification three days from the close of Submissions, we encourage you to please contact our programming department at programming@variousartists.tv

10) Submitter is responsible for submitting the film in the appropriate category. If VAiFF finds that the film does not belong in that category, the film will be disqualified from competition. VAiFF is not responsible for categorizing the submissions and will not refund submission fees if this occurs.

11) It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials included within the submitted Film. VAiFF or VAiFF sponsors will not be held responsible for the unauthorized inclusion of any copyrighted materials within or relating to the submitted Film.

12) In the event that the Applicant remits an updated version of the Film to VAiFF after having submitted a previous version of the Film to VAiFF during the same Quarterly competition, VAiFF is under no obligation to view any or all of the updated version.

13) VAiFF does NOT provide comments or feedback regarding the submitted Film to the Applicant or any other representative of the submitted Film.

14) Upon selection, withdrawal of the Film is not permissible.

15) VAiFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission if it does not meet the stated requirements.

16) VAiFF holds the right to determine the eligibility of any new or previously submitted film. In the event the film is deemed ineligible, VAiFF is under no obligation to refund any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant.

17) Applicants are responsible for all insurance and submission costs.

18) It is the Applicant’s responsibility to read and understand the Legal Terms & Conditions below, which are in place to protect both the Festival and the Filmmaker. By submitting your film on FilmFreeway, you are stating that you have read the Legal Terms & Conditions which follow.

19) The Various Artists independent Film Festival (VAiFF) is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition for promotional purposes.

20) By submitting, the filmmaker grants VAiFF non-exclusive permission to exhibit the film (if selected).

21) If the Film is nominated to compete in the Annual Festival, Filmmaker will supply needed materials for screening, either Digital File, DCP, Blu-Ray, or DVD, whichever is required by the venue. It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to ensure that the Digital File, DCP, Blu-ray or DVD submitted plays in its entirety on an industry-standard DVD or Blu-ray player prior to submitting it to the Festival.

22) VAiFF is not responsible for any packaging or shipping costs in the return of exhibition copies and/or other promotional materials. Although due care will be exercised and staff will contact the entrant in the event a defective disc is received, VAIFF cannot assume any liability for damage to entries. If the entrant has not received notification that their submission was received one month before it’s screening, it is the responsibility of the entrant to contact our programming department.

23) Electronic press kits (which should include film stills, director(s) photos, brief director bio, producer(s) photos, brief producer bio, synopsis and production credits) are encouraged and must be submitted by the applicable deadline. In the event they are not, VAIFF reserves the right to secure substitute materials from other sources. All hard copy photos provided must be clearly identified on the back. Promotional materials will not be returned and may be used for any festival marketing.

24) Filmmaker shall indemnify and hold harmless Various Artists Independent Film Festival 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 submission materials entered. Selected films and their respective filmmakers agree to participate in the publicity for the festival as well as other promotional opportunities. Festival staff may require a high resolution Quicktime trailer (or 30 second clip) and social media info (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, etc). This media will be used to promote the individual films at the festival.

25) All of the above submission eligibility guidelines and general rules are subject to change by the Various Artists Independent Film Festival without notice.

You can email programming@variousartists.tv with any programming questions.

LEGAL TERMS & CONDITIONS
I, the authorized representative of the project being submitted (the "Film"), acknowledge and agree as follows in connection with the Film's submittal for consideration for the VAiFF (the “Festival”):
1. I represent that I am 18 years of age or older, or that, if I am younger than the legal age to enter into contracts in my state/country, I have provided the Festival with a written consent from my parent or legal guardian.
2. I hereby represent and warrant to the Festival that: (a) I am duly authorized, on my own behalf and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights or interests (including, without limitation, intellectual property rights) in or relating to the Film (the “Film’s Owners”), to exhibit this Film at the Festival, (b) exhibition of the Film at the Festival will not violate any law or any right or consent of any person or entity; and (c) the Film is not subject to any litigation, arbitration, or other adversarial claim or proceeding, nor is the Film the subject of any threat of litigation, arbitration, or other adverse claim or proceeding.
3. I further represent and warrant, on behalf of myself and the Film’s Owners, that the exhibition of the Film at the Festival will not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity, and that the Film does not constitute or include a defamation of any person or entity. I have paid and will pay in full all license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from or associated with the exhibition of the Film at or in connection with the Festival.
4. In the event that the Film is accepted by the Festival, I acknowledge, on behalf of myself and the Film’s Owners, that the Festival's exhibition or presentation of the Film does not and will not create any confidential or fiduciary relationship between the Festival on the one hand and myself and/or the Film’s Owners on the other. I further acknowledge, on behalf of myself and the Film’s Owners, that I and we understand that neither I nor any of the Film’s Owners will receive any compensation for such exploitation. I acknowledge that no obligation of any kind is assumed by, or may be implied against, the Festival or Various Artists, LLC in the event of, by virtue of, or as a result of the Festival’s selection of the Film. I and the Film’s Owners understand and acknowledge that the selection of the Film by the Festival does not and will not in any way constitute an express or implied endorsement or approval by the Festival or the Various Artists LLC, of the content of the Film or any opinion expressed therein.
5. I agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, to indemnify and hold harmless the Festival and the Various Artists, LLC., together with each of their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, parents, officers, directors, employees, attorneys, creative advisors, agents and representatives (collectively, “Various Artists Related Parties”) from and against any and all claims, losses, liabilities, damages, fees and expenses (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney's fees and other costs) that may be asserted by any person or entity or may be incurred by the Festival, the Various Artists LLC., or any VAiFF Related Parties at any time in connection with the Film or the Festival’s use thereof, and/or arising from any breach or alleged breach of any representation made by me to the Various Artists LLC including, without limitation, any express or implied representation in these Terms and Conditions.
6. In the event that the Film is accepted by the Festival, I hereby grant, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, each of the following rights to the Festival, Various Artists LLC, and their related entities without reservations, conditions or qualifications: (a) the right to use footage, stills and/or titles, and information from or relating to the Film for promotional purposes; and (b) the right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the Film and to use all associated names, likenesses and biographical information. I also agree to provide contact information for the director and producer(s) of the Film and to grant the Festival the right to provide this information to film industry organizations sponsoring Festival events at its discretion.
7. I further agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, that any claim, dispute or controversy arising out of, in connection with, or otherwise related to the Film, the Festival, or these Terms and Conditions (including the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity thereof), as well as the determination of the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, will be governed by the internal, substantive laws of the State of Illinois and will be submitted to exclusive, binding arbitration before an arbitration forum in Chicago, Illinois. In agreeing to this exclusive arbitration provision, I hereby waive and relinquish, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, any right or entitlement that I or the Film’s Owners might otherwise have had to bring or litigate any claim or claims encompassed by this paragraph in federal or state court against Various Artists LLC, the Festival, or any VAiFF Related Party, and any right to a trial by jury with respect to such claim or claims.
8. I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understood the rules and regulations for submitting a film to the Festival and that the information contained shall supersede any information obtained elsewhere, including, but not limited to, information contained in any rules and regulations documents from prior years.
9. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure authorization and permission from the copyright owner(s) of any and all copyrighted content or materials included within the submitted Film. The Institute expressly disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any copyrighted content or materials within or relating to the submitted Film, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third party claims for copyright infringement. The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Film with any unauthorized inclusion of copyrighted content or materials. In the event that any claim, dispute, action or proceeding shall be brought or asserted by any person or entity that alleges that the Film makes unauthorized or unlawful use of any copyrighted content or material, Applicant shall fully indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to attorney's’ fees, that any of them may incur in connection therewith.
10. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure authorization and permission from the owner(s) of any and all trademarked content or materials included within the submitted Film. The Institute expressly disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any trademarked content or materials within or relating to the submitted Film, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third party claims for trademark infringement, trademark dilution or unfair competition. The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Film with any unauthorized inclusion of trademarked content or materials. In the event that any claim, dispute, action or proceeding shall be brought or asserted by any person or entity that alleges that the Film makes unauthorized or unlawful use of any trademarked content or material, Applicant shall fully indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to attorney's’ fees, that any of them may incur in connection therewith.
11. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to clear all content of the Film from any and all actual or potential legal claims and issues, including, without limitation, claims based upon theories of libel, defamation, invasion of privacy, violation of rights of publicity, theft of trade secrets, breach of confidence, breach of confidential relationship, and breach of express or implied contract (“Third Party Claim(s)”). The Institute expressly disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any content or materials within or relating to the submitted Film that are or may be the basis for any Third Party Claims based upon any of the foregoing legal theories or others. The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Film that is or may become the subject of any Third Party Claims. In the event that any Third Party Claim(s) shall be asserted by any person or entity, Applicant shall fully indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any and all fees and expenses, including but not limited to attorney's’ fees, that each of any of them may incur in connection therewith.
By submitting my Film to the Various Artists independent Film Festival, I freely and voluntarily give and express my full and complete acceptance of all of the terms and provisions set forth in these Terms and Conditions. I acknowledge that no oral representations, inducements, promises or assurances, not set forth in these Terms and Conditions, have been made to the Film’s owners or me by the Festival, Various Artists LLC., or any other Related Parties.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Jessica Tolliver

    Though small, VAIFF is a great place to connect and build relationships with other filmmakers.

    My entire experience at VAIFF was overall a good one! The entire staff was very responsive with any questions or issues that I had, and the Festival Director Zohra, is really involved with the entire process, and an awesome contact. They always bring top notch panelists and judges to review each finalist, which I really appreciate. I would both recommend submitting your film to this local gem, and will also be submitting again as well in the near future.

    January 2021
  • Great festival! I won for Best Animation, and the festival director sent me a handwritten note. I also won a free copy of Final Draft 11 as well. It's worth the entry fee because of that. I could tell that the team put in a lot of effort for a starting festival.

    January 2021
  • Katie Garibaldi

    Great communication throughout, and very positive support from the fest. I wasn't able to attend in person, but a friend of mine went to support me/my music video screening, and the festival staff were very accommodating to her as a guest. 5 stars

    January 2021
  • This is a great little fairly new film festival. Two of my projects have been selected and I was able to attend in person one year. I will more than likely submit again and hopefully attend again. I would recommend this film festival to other filmmakers and they have great, qualified judges associated with their film festival. Omar and Zohra are great hosts that really make the filmmakers feel welcome. Not to mention, it's in Chi-town!

    January 2021
  • Liz Lugo

    If you're reading this, let me tell you something... Various Artists is the festival for you!!

    I was hesitating to submit my short Run. Hide. Pray. after reading the Various Artist details because I felt intimidated! There are many outstanding people behind this festival which just by reading you can see the judges, come on! A dream! But I ended up submitting thanks to a friend who participated the previous year. She told me this festival was nothing like others -- that the festival directors and all the team make every filmmaker feel like they are part of the family. She also told me they were very cautious with everyone's work. So I submitted, and what can I say? She was right. These people are insanely in love with filmmaking and they will treat your baby (production) as if it's theirs. They truly understand this world. They listen to you. They care about promoting you and your film -- which it's very important, especially in the indie world, and also it's something not all festivals do.

    There's a voting process first. You will compete with other films under the same genre (i.e. horror, in my case). Various Artists will create a trailer --- don't worry, these people are very professional, they know how to do it and will not give any spoilers! you'll love it!. It is a very exciting and interesting process because the community (including your family and friends) will have the chance to see that trailer on the Various Artists website and social media platforms. And then they can vote for your film/music video! Once the voting process concludes, you will be notified if your project made it to the final competition. At the festival, a judge will select a winner in each category (genre). And then, all filmmakers will compete for the Grand Prize... which I had the honor to received last year! Yes, the girl who didn't think she could pass that voting process!

    To add, these people managed very well the pandemic situation. I'm glad they didn't cancel the festival. The virtual screenings were well scheduled and fun to see thanks to Zohra and all hosts ---- I tell you, everyone here is so passionate about filmmaking!

    Life is about taking leaps of faith all over again. Submit to Various Artists! I promise you will not regret it! Omar and Zohra are more than incredible! You'll learn and grow a lot. And you will be forever a part of the Various Artists family! :)

    January 2021