New CRIFF Logo

All-New Site Coming Soon!

Mark your calendars, set an alarm, tell your friends…the 2023 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival is April 14-16! Plan to join us at the Collins Road Theatres, 1462 Twixt Town Road, Marion, IA 52302.

Call for Entries!

The Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival is excited to launch the Call for Entries for the 2023 Festival!

FilmFreeway LogoThis year, we've joined FilmFreeway, the world's #1 way to enter film festivals - streamlining the process, from submission to screen!* CRIFF Director Eric Dean Freese, "I've been able to experience FilmFreeway as a filmmaker, a festival judge, and an event organizer. It's a fantastic tool and makes everyone's tasks so much easier. Joining this year was a no-brainer!" 

Every entrant, whether selected or not, is welcome to one COMPLIMENTARY FULL-EVENT TICKET, and has the opportunity to schedule a personal CONVERSATION WITH THE JUDGES, on Sunday April 16. This rare opportunity for one-on-one feedback has long been a hallmark of the Festival, and is regarded by many filmmakers as the most valuable perk of entry. 

Our rules are outlined in great detail on the FilmFreeway page, however there is one rule that sets us apart from any other film festival in the world: the IOWA CONNECTION. A big part of CRIFF is recognizing that people with ties to Iowa are in the production industry everywhere. We're looking for films from anywhere and by anyone, with an Iowa connection of some sort. That could be a crew or cast member who lived, worked or went to school in Iowa; a film that was produced, at least in part, in Iowa; or a story featuring an Iowa subject or Iowan (past or present, real or fictional). In past years, we've had films submitted from all across the US, and even from other countries. If you don't think your film qualifies, ask just might have an Iowan on set!

In addition to being screened - twice - for our enthusiastic audience, Official Selections are honored with a commemorative T-SHIRT (with your name on the back), your entry featured in promotional statewide media, and advancement into the EDDY AWARDS competition. 

GOLD and SILVER EDDY Awards are presented in Professional, Pro-Am and Student categories for Features, Shorts, Documentaries, and "Freestyle" (experimental, music video, video art, etc.) films. We also award the AUDIENCE CHOICE EDDY, voted on by audience members. 

The IOWA CONNECTION EDDY is awarded to that film which best represents Iowa's filmmaking community. Simply, it is a film that tells the world WHO is making films in Iowa, WHY they're doing it in this state, and WHAT Iowa stories are being told. 

Finally, the COLLINS ROAD THEATRES SCHOLARSHIP ($1000) is awarded each year to a student filmmaker in order to further the recipient's filmmaking education and career.  

Entry Details

There are three levels, with four categories each: Professional, Pro-Am (hobbyists or filmmakers earning <60% of their income from production activities), and Student (K-12 up to postgraduate) filmmakers can enter Narrative Long Form/Features, Narrative Shorts, Documentaries, and Freestyle Films (entries that don't easily fit into the other 3 categories including, but not limited to: experimental films, music videos, film/video art).

Deadlines Pro and Pro-Am Entry Fees Student Entry Fees
January 2 $40 / $36 for FilmFreeway Gold Members $30 / $27 for FilmFreeway Gold Members
January 22 $45 / $40.50 for FilmFreeway Gold Members $30 / $27 for FilmFreeway Gold Members
February 13 $55 / $49.50 for FilmFreeway Gold Members $45 / $40.50 for FilmFreeway Gold Members

We can't wait to see what you've been working on!
Here is the all-important FilmFreeway CRIFF Entry Button!

Click to submit on FilmFreeway

*If you're not familiar with the platform, it costs you, the filmmaker, nothing to use, and gives you easy access to thousands of film events worldwide. Here's a little more information.

Interested in posting a flyer? Download the PDF.

About the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival

The Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival was created to provide a venue for Iowa-connected filmmakers to screen their work for peers and general audiences. The organization's primary goals are to encourage independent filmmakers with Iowa ties to continue improving their craft, to provide a place to specifically showcase Iowa-connected films, present a unique cultural event to the community, and to offer networking opportunities for the purpose of strengthening Iowa connections in the film industry everywhere.

The Eddy Awards are named after Thomas Alva Edison who, among many other pursuits, was a pioneer in motion picture technology. The term eddy is also defined as "a current moving contrary to the direction of the main current," which is a suitable description for independent filmmakers, who often go against the current trends in mainstream cinema.


Collins Road Theatres Produce Iowa