Ohio Film Festival Calendar

Photo by Steven Van on Unsplash

Film festivals offer filmmakers an opportunity to both showcase their work and network with peers. Many future collaborations were launched in theater lobbies and after parties.

They are also a great way for cinephiles to meet filmmakers, to ask questions and learn more about the craft. Similarly, after parties help loosen up those conversations.

Click through each title to learn more about the festival, how to submit your film and how to get tickets.


Short. Sweet. Film Fest.
March 1 to 5, 2023
The Short. Sweet. Film Fest. strives to showcase up and coming filmmakers at the local, national and international levels who strive to advance the art of film.


Colony Film Festival
March 1 and 2, 2023
The 14th Annual Colony Short Film Festival is a showcase for independent films from all over the United States and across the globe, with a focus on featuring local and regional talent from the Ohio Valley. The Colony Short Film Festival features selections from emerging and established short filmmakers that have ranged from innovative to off-the-wall and quirky to provocative.

HorrorHound Weekend Film Festival
March 2 and 3, 2023
Committed to spotlighting the best in new independent horror from around the world.

Cleveland International Film Festival
March 2 to April 1, 2023
Submission process
The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community. (In other words, we present the newest and best films from around the world, and we do everything in our power to make sure that our audience learns something along the way - about other cultures, about the topic at hand, about the experience from the filmmakers themselves.)


Cinema Columbus Film Festival

April 26 to 30, 2023


In celebration of independent film and filmmakers, central Ohio’s premier cinemas and exhibition venues have joined forces, creating the region’s grandest annual film event – a centerpiece of arts and culture in Columbus.

Columbus International Film and Animation Festival
TBD 2023
Founded in 1952, the Columbus International Film and Animation Festival is the oldest film festival in the United States. Presented by Columbus College of Art and Design, the festival showcases world-class independent films in central Ohio.

Sylvania Film Festival
TBD 2023
Each spring, Sylvania Arts engages with hundreds of its community members during the annual Tree City Film Festival. The festival was founded in 2012 with a 50 Hour Film Challenge. It has since grown to include Shorties U, a filmmaking workshop for youth, and free community screenings of the Oscar short animation and live action films. 


Over-The-Rhine International Film Festival
July 6 to 9, 2023
The Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival (OTRFF), organized by Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD), is the nation’s first diversity film festival led by the disability community. OTRFF's mission is to present stories that celebrate the human spirit by providing a platform for audiences to see through another’s eyes. In addition, OTRFF aims to spotlight the Queen City and its role in reframing how we see disability in the entertainment industry’s ongoing discussion of diversity. 


The Indie Gathering
TBD 2023
The festival's mission is to inspire and encourage independent film makers through a competitive showcase, while presenting a great networking opportunity for anyone involved in the industry.


Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
Oct. 4 to 8, 2023
The Chagrin Documentary Film Festival is produced annually by Fevered Dreams Productions. Fevered Dreams Productions was originally founded by Chagrin Falls High School Alumnus and filmmaker, David Ponce, as his film production company. David was inspired to tell the story of Sparrow Village, an AIDS orphanage in Johannesburg, South Africa in a documentary entitled “The Lost Sparrows of Roodepoort”.

Athens International Film + Video Festival
October 10 to 16, 2023
Submission process
Founded in 1974, the AIFVF has been presenting the best in international film for 44 years. Known globally as a festival that supports cinema from underground and marginalized populations, the AIFVF represents the values that we share as a community. It is a champion of justice and provides a voice for underrepresented artists and viewpoints on a global level. For four decades, Athens International has embraced experimental, narrative, short-form, feature length, and documentary films from every corner of the globe, offering filmmakers a stellar platform for public exposure and an environment that values artistry above marquee names and industry relationships. - From the website


Ohio Independent Film Festival
2023 TBD
Submission process
The Ohio Independent Film Festival was founded in 1993 by filmmakers looking for venues for independent work, particularly independent work from filmmakers who are not YET commercially successful. Originally called the Off-Hollywood Flick Fest, the event gained followers by offering audiences truly independent films they wouldn't ordinarily see: films that have not been picked up for theatrical distribution. The Ohio Independent Film Festival is dedicated to freedom of expression through independent media and is programmed 100 percent from submissions.

Have a film festival to submit? Write us at midwestmovies@gmail.com.


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