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Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival, April 5-7, Announces Worldwide Call for Entries


CRIFF 2024 Logo


The 2024 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival will be held April 5-7, 2024 at the Collins Road Theatres, 1462 Twixt Town Road, Marion, Iowa. The festival is now accepting entries statewide, nationwide, and worldwide for the 21st annual event. Complete rules and information are available on the festival website,, and on its FilmFreeway page. The Festival accepts films of all genres and from filmmakers at any level of experience, and there is no date-of-completion requirement.

Films are welcomed from anyone, anywhere, however they must meet the unique Iowa Connection requirement. CRIFF celebrates the fact that people with ties to Iowa are in the production industry EVERYWHERE, and searches for films from anywhere and by anyone, who just happen to have an Iowa connection. 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 (present or past, real or fictional). "In past years, films have been submitted from across the country and all over the world," said Festival Director Eric Dean Freese. "If you don't think your film qualifies, ask just might have an Iowan on set!”

Professional, ProAm (hobbyists or filmmakers earning less than 50% of their income from production activities), and Student (K-12 up to post-graduate) 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).

The entry period has 4 deadlines, each with an increase in fees. There is a 10% discount for being a FilmFreeway Gold Member.


Pro and Pro-Am Entry Fees

Student Entry Fees

Oct. 20

$35 / $31.50 for FilmFreeway Gold Members

$25 / $22.50 for FilmFreeway Gold Members

Nov. 17

$40 / $36 for FilmFreeway Gold Members

$30 / $27 for FilmFreeway Gold Members

Dec. 22

$45 / $40.50 for FilmFreeway Gold Members

$35 / $31.50 for FilmFreeway Gold Members

Jan. 12

$55 / $49.50 for FilmFreeway Gold Members

$45 / $40.50 for FilmFreeway Gold Members


Every entrant, whether selected or not, is welcome to free admission, and has the opportunity to schedule a personal Conversation with the Judges on Sunday, April 7. 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. Very few film festivals offer this interaction, which gives each filmmaker a chance to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their films, as well as gain valuable information that may help them in any future projects.

In addition to being screened twice, Official Selections are honored with a commemorative t-shirt (with the film names on the back), the entry featured in promotional statewide media, and advancement into the Eddy Awards competition, where they are judged by a panel of production industry experts.

Gold and Silver Eddy Awards are presented in each of the 12 categories. The Audience Choice and Student Audience Choice Eddy Awards are voted on by audience members. The $1,000 Collins Road Theatres Scholarship is awarded each year to a student filmmaker to further the recipient's filmmaking education and career.

The Iowa Connection Award is unique to CRIFF. This Eddy is awarded to the film which best represents Iowa's filmmaking community. Freese said, "To put it 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."

New elements were added in 2023, including a Filmmaker VIP Lounge, all-new Eddy Award Trophies, guest spots on the Screen Speak Podcast, DCP projection technology, and others. The screening schedule was expanded with an earlier start on Friday, and the addition of Student Cinema Sunday, where all selected student films were shown, at a discounted student ticket rate.

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 mission is to encourage independent filmmakers with Iowa ties to continue improving their craft, provide a venue to specifically showcase their films, present a unique cultural event to the community, grow the Iowa filmmaking industry, and offer opportunities for networking between Iowa-connected filmmakers 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.

For more information, visit, and to enter, visit Up-to-the-minute information can also be found on the festival's Facebook page and other social media platforms. Email CRIFF at


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