15th Annual

Independent Film Festival Boston

April 25, 2018 to May 02, 2018

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411 A Highland Street
Somerville MA 02144

DECISIONS ALREADY MADE • This event has already made decisions and notified submitters for the current cycle. Submissions are no longer being accepted.

Narrative Feature
Documentary Feature
Short Film


The Independent Film Society of Boston, a 501(c)3 non-profit, produces the annual Independent Film Festival of Boston each spring. Our mission is to showcase emerging filmmakers and visual artists and to provide an enhanced and engaging experience for audiences by creating an interactive forum with direct access these artists.


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 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 Jason Segal, 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, actor/director Zoe Lister-Jones, director Alan Ball, director/actor Melvin Van Peebles, writer/director Rian Johnson, 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.


Brian Tamm (Executive Director); Nancy Campbell (Program Director)


All genres are accepted.
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 15, 2018.
Films will not be accepted if they formally premiere in Massachusetts prior to festival. Accepted films may not screen in the state of Massachusetts between acceptance date and date of screening at the Independent Film Festival of Boston.

IFFBoston has awarded over $20,000 worth of prizes to winning films in its previous festivals, including professional services, software packages, and film gear from sponsors including Avid, Panavision 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 Short
Special Jury Prize Narrative Feature
Special Jury Prize Documentary Feature
Special Jury Prize Short
Audience Award Feature
Audience Award Documentary
Audience Award Short
Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing

Checks or money orders must be payable in US dollars and made to order of:
Independent Film Society of Boston

Film Submission
Any submission received without payment indicated or included will not be considered.
Screeners of submitted films must be received within 7 days of the deadline that it was submitted prior to. Any submissions received after that point will only be moved into consideration when the difference between the previous and most current deadline fee is paid.

Entry Fee
Students must submit a photocopy of current school ID as proof of status.
Any submission received without payment indicated or included will not be considered.
Screeners of submitted films must be received within 7 days of the deadline that it was submitted prior to. Any submissions received after that point will only be moved into consideration when the difference between the previous and most current deadline fee is paid.

Each film submission MUST include the following: DVD (NTSC) labeled with the title, director's name, running time, and contact number. (We do not accept film prints or any other screening format.)
NOTE: This does not refer to not EXHIBITION Format. For optimum festival exhibition we screen DCP and 35mm prints ONLY. Filmmaker must be able to provide one of those formats if accepted to screen at IFFBoston by two weeks prior to event. Failure to do so may result in invitation being rescinded.

Exhibition Format Information for Films that are accepted:
We only screen the following formats at the festival: DCP and 35mm (Again, this is different than the submission format. See above.)

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 Bluray (Region free, or Region A).

IFFBoston is not equipped to play DOLBY E audio.

IFFBoston is NOT equipped to play HDCAM

35mm Requirements:

All 35mm film must have an optical sound track.

IFFBoston venues are not equipped to play SDDS or DTS.

Failure to be able to provide a viable exhibition format may nullify invitation to participate.

Please mail the above materials to:
Independent Film Society of Boston
411 A Highland Ave. #403
Somerville, MA 02144

The festival programming committee will select and invite films at its discretion. Those selected will be contacted via email or telephone on or around March 28, 2018. If selected, you will need to submit additional materials. Detailed instructions will be given at that time. Please do not send additional materials until requested.

If you have any additional questions regarding the submission process or the festival, please see our website www.iffboston.org. Please send an email to info@iffboston.org if you require further information.


Upon notification of acceptance to the Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston), the accepted filmmaker must respond promptly to agree to screen their film at the festival. Once the filmmaker has agreed to screen at the festival, the Independent Film Festival of Boston reserves the right to screen said film 2-3 times during the festival and screen clips of the film to promote the screenings. Films will not be accepted if they have formally premiered in Massachusetts prior to IFFBoston. Accepted films may not screen in the state of Massachusetts prior to the Independent Film Festival of Boston once they have been submitted.

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 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 videos entered.