Best Picture Awards
Best Music Video (Under 10 Minutes)
Best Documentary Short Film (0 - 30 Minutes)
Best Documentary Feature Film (60+ Minutes)
Best Narrative Short Film (0 - 30 Minutes)
Best Featurette (Narr. or Doc.) (30 - 60 Minutes)
Best Narrative Feature Film (60+ Minutes)
Best Action / Adventure / Fantasy Film
Best Animated Film
Best Avant-Garde / Experimental Film
Best Comedy (Includes Dramedy & RomCom)
Best Drama (Includes Romance & Miscellaneous)
Best Faith-Based / Spiritual / Inspirational Film
Best GLBTQ Film
Best Horror Film
Best Muscial Film
Best Science-Fiction (Sci-Fi) Film
Best Sports Film
Best Suspense / Thriller (Includes Crime, Mystery, Etc.)
Avant-Garde Filmmaker Award
(Dis)Ability Film Award
Diversity & Inclusion Award
Emerging Filmmaker Award (For First-Time Filmmakers)
Independent Spirit Award
Under 18 Filmmaker Award (Writer, Producer, or Director)
GLOBAL INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS
© Copyright 2015-2021 Global Independent Film Awards
© Copyright 2015-2021
The Global Picture for Filmmakers
-----Please be advised that our rules are presently being updated. Check back soon for revised information.-----
The Global Independent Film Awards is an online awards competition dedicated to recognizing filmmakers and actors for high quality work. We understand the amount of effort, commitment, and dedication that goes into high caliber films. Likewise, we also realize how important it is for filmmakers who achieve success in various aspects of filmmaking to be recognized for their successes. It is this independent corroboration that demonstrates skill and expertise to studios, production companies, casting directors, producers, and investors. Because we value the hard work and merits of various departments and individuals who contribute to the total film experience, we offer a wide variety of awards to recognize well-deserving departments and individuals. We encourage all winners to include this information on their resumes, demo reels, other self-promotional materials, film press kits, investor information packages, and the like.
The Global Independent Film Awards operates as an Independent Awards Event, which means submissions are adjudicated, but do not screen publicly. We will not in any way display your materials online, with the exception of a poster, screenshot, and/or a trailer, because we do not want to jeopardize your premier and/or distribution status. We receive all of our submissions online. They are then judged, and winners determined. GIFA typically awards one Gold, one Silver, and one Bronze winner in each category. We will issue a press release with information about winning submissions, and post this information on our website & social media outlets.
Do any of these words describe your film or script?
Action, Adventure, Animation, Avant-Garde, Comedy, Crime, Documentary, Docudrama, Drama, Dramedy, Experimental, Fantasy, Film Noir, GLBTQ, Horror, Human Rights, Faith-Based, Inspirational, Music Video, Musical, Mystery, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Science Fiction, Spiritual, Sports, Suspense, or Thriller. If so, we want to see it!
In order to keep submission fees reasonable, the Global Independent Film Awards is an online festival and does not publicly screen films. Here at GIFA headquarters, we value the hard work and merits of various departments and individuals who contribute to the total film experience. We offer a wide variety of awards to recognize well-deserving persons for their efforts. All films (short, featurette, and feature films) will compete for the following awards, based on their characteristics and merits. GIFA typically awards Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in the categories listed below, but reserves the right to award additional prizes if deemed appropriate, and/or to not present all of the awards listed if: 1) too few of the entries received meet the GIFA’s high standards, and/or 2) too few submissions are received to properly adjudicate a category.
Winning films and/or individuals will receive electronic laurels (png and jpg formats) after winners are announced. Winners may choose to order award medals if they desire, at an additional cost of $40.00 USD per medal. Please be advised that the medallions are not made of gold, silver, or bronze, but are a metal allow that is gold, silver, or bronze colored.
Technical & Artistic Awards
Best Action Sequence
Best Original Score
Best Production Design
Best Visual Effects
Best Actor in a Lead Role
Best Actress in a Lead Role
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Best Actor Under 18
Best Actress Under 18
Best Animal Actor
Best Ensemble Cast
Best Short Script (0 - 30 Pages)
Best Feature Script (60+ Pages)
Term & Conditions
All entries must meet the following requirements to participate in the Global Independent Film Awards (herein also known as “GIFA”) competition. By submitting a project (script, short film, featurette, feature film, music video, webisode, web series, etc.) for consideration in the Global Independent Film Awards competition, the filmmaker accepts all of the terms and conditions below in full, without modification.
1) This competition is open to everyone, from any country, except where prohibited by law. If under 18, the filmmaker must obtain parental consent to enter this competition, and the entrant is solely responsible for doing so.
2) Entries must be submitted through our submission platform partner, FilmFreeway, and the associated fees paid. The Global Independent Film Awards does not issue fee waivers as a regular practice. GIFA may, however, at its sole discretion, offer entry fee promotions, including, but not limited to percentage submission fee reductions, dollar figure submission fee reductions, submission fee waivers, deadline waivers, and/or other promotions. GIFA utilizes its website (www.globalindependentfilmawards.com) and social media to make special promotions available to individuals and entities that follow or subscribe to GIFA’s website and/or social media feeds. Promotions will be listed on the “Announcements” page of the GIFA website, if available. Likewise, GIFA occasionally offers promotional rates via FilmFreeway. These promotions may be located by selecting the “Browse Festivals” page, and then selecting the “Deals” category at the top of the page. Scroll to find current GIFA promotions, if available. Because the adjudication process begins right away, once submitted, GIFA does not refund submission fees for any reason.
3) Submitters should ensure project information is complete and that they have followed all of the appropriate terms and conditions related to their project. Keep contact information up-to-date at all times. Please enter specific information into the project profile on FilmFreeway to make sure it’s clear. For example, list actor names as well as the character they portray. Be sure to include technical credits as well, such as cinematographers, editors, and visual effects artists. If the project credits are unclear, the bumper credits may be referenced. If the bumper credits are unclear, GIFA may, but has no obligation to search further for credit information, such as may be found on IMDb, the film’s website, etc. If GIFA is unable to determine the appropriate party/parties to credit, the project may forfeit an award, and/or be announced without proper credit. For this purpose, the bumper credits will be used as the final authority as the credit(s) of record, and may not be changed after the winners are announced. Additionally, submitters do not have the right to remove an individual or entity from credit if that individual or entity is listed in the bumper credits and/or IMDb at the time GIFA searches for credit information. Similarly, if a password is required to access the project, please be sure to provide it at the time of submission, and ensure that the project may be properly accessed for adjudication. It’s often best to upload projects directly to FilmFreeway in order to avoid technical issues. If your project cannot be accessed on three separate occasions during the adjudication process due to technical issues, it may be subject to a technical disqualification, regardless of where the technical issue originates from. Likewise, failure to adhere to the terms and conditions set forth herein, may also result in a project’s technical disqualification. For example, if a script is submitted as a speculative continuation of another film series that is not wholly owned by the author, or if a script is written by more than one author, it will be subject to technical disqualification. These conditions are listed further down in the listing, so be sure to read all of the regulations. Once submitted, the Global Independent Film Awards does not refund submission fees for any reason.
4) There is no limit to the number of entries a filmmaker may submit, as long as the appropriate submission fees are paid for each entry. Submissions may include scripts, short films, featurettes, feature films, music videos, webisodes, web series, and other categories as offered. Categories may be added or removed from consideration at any time, with or without notice. If a category is removed, and that category has already received one or more submissions, all entries received, will be adjudicated and considered for awards. For the purposes of these Terms and Conditions, typed screenplays, either printed or in electronic format are considered to be script(s); and all other categories that contain moving images (i.e., short films, music videos, webisodes, etc.) are considered film(s). Collectively, scripts and films may be referred to as projects.
5) There is no premier status requirement and no production date limit for films, although GIFA prefers films completed within the last three years. Scripts may be entered regardless of their completion date, as long as they are not currently in production, in post-production, complete, and/or released in film format(s). Once submitted, no entry may be revised or replaced with an updated version, unless re-submitted as a new entry and the appropriate submission fees paid at the prevailing rate(s). The fees for the original submission will not be refunded.
6) Projects submitted in previous years/editions/seasons/calls of the Global Independent Film Awards may be re-submitted if, A) They have been substantially revised since their last (most recent) submission and, B) they have not won any awards in previous editions of the Global Independent Film Awards. A re-submission requires a new entry fee to be paid, at the prevailing rate, regardless of any previously paid fees.
7) Films of various lengths are allowed to enter the competition, all the way up to a maximum of three hours (180 minutes). Film lengths are measured as hours, minutes, seconds, and frames (hh:mm:ss:ff). Films (includes narrative shorts, documentary shorts, web media, etc.) will be categorized as “shorts” (0 – 0:29:59:24 minutes) (aka, 30 minutes), “featurettes” (0:30:00:00 – 0:59:59:24 minutes) (aka, 60 minutes), and “features” (1:00:00:00 – 3:00:00:00 minutes) (aka 180 minutes). For registration and fee payment purposes, the total length of the submission is determined by the length of the submitted file, including bumpers, and all credits. GIFA reserves the right to assign different criteria for judging purposes, and the right to reclassify an entry into another category as it deems appropriate, at its sole discretion. Please verify the exact length of your film/file, including bumpers, head credits, closing credits, etc.; and register into the appropriate category. Improperly submitted films may be disqualified. Films submitted without credits in an effort to reduce the total run time (and therefor pay a lower entry fee), and/or meet the maximum time of 180 minutes, may be disqualified. Submission fees will not be returned to the entrant.
8) Films may be submitted in any language, including fictitious languages. However, if the spoken language is not English, the film must have English subtitles hard-coded into the film file. Films that do not meet this criterion may be disqualified or adjudicated under fewer categories, at GIFA’s sole discretion. Submission fees will not be returned to the entrant.
9) Scripts should be prepared in proper screenwriting format and submitted in PDF file format only. Films submitted to the Global Independent Film Awards may be shot in any format, as long as the submitter provides a screener in a format that meets the requirements of the submission platform. Presently, GIFA does not publicly exhibit films at festival or online. This is because GIFA does not want to affect a film’s premiere status. If, in the future, GIFA elects to transition to a festival with public viewing, entrants can expect the following rules to apply. If selected for public screening, the submitter must provide a projection quality version of the film, in the format designated by GIFA, within the designated time period specified by GIFA staff. GIFA does not and will not pay a fee to filmmakers for the public exhibition of their film(s), or cover the shipping costs. GIFA will not transition to a public viewing format during an open call. This type of format change would only occur after the current submission year ends, and would take effect for the following submission year.
10) All entrants are encouraged to protect their work prior to submission (i.e., copyright protection, WGA registration, etc). Please be advised that all entries to the Global Independent Film Awards are adjudicated by other writer(s)/filmmaker(s) who may have multiple projects in the works, and may have many script and/or film ideas. By submitting an entry, the filmmaker(s) and/or screenwriter(s) recognize(s) that each and every officer, judge, employee, contractor, sub-contractor, intern, etc. at GIFA may possess ideas that are similar in nature, at various stages of the creative, pre-production, production, and/or post-production processes; and hereby absolves and releases all parties related to GIFA's administration of this competition from any liability associated with his/her/their participation in the competition. By submitting an entry to GIFA, the entrant agrees to release GIFA and all its judges, employees, contractors, sub-contractors, officers, and assigns from any and all liability related to intellectual property disputes.
11) Only the Producer(s) and/or Director(s) may submit a film for consideration. The submitter hereby certifies that they possess all the proper rights and clearances to submit the film for awards consideration, and potential exhibition, including, but not limited to script rights, image rights, talent releases, sound effects rights, outsourced intellectual property rights, and original score and/or source music releases; and assumes all responsibility for their material. The Global Independent Film Awards accepts no responsibility, financial or otherwise, for any film submitted to the festival. GIFA recommends that all entrants who submit film(s) to the festival, possess errors and omissions insurance for their finished project. GIFA does not endorse any script or film, and an Official Selection, nomination, and/or award from GIFA does not imply any such endorsement.
12) Only the original screenwriter may submit a script for consideration, and the submitter hereby certifies that the script is their original work. All scripts must be the work of a single writer, and may not be a speculative script based on, or serving as a continuation of any existing film, film franchise, or characters from a finished film which the submitter does not wholly own.
13) Each film submission will be evaluated based on criteria such as story, screenplay, directing, acting, technical and artistic merits, production quality, and other factors, as they apply to the submission. Each script submission will be evaluated based on criteria such as atmosphere, tone, characterization and character development, themes, writing quality, reader/audience engagement, style and writer’s voice, and other factors. The Global Independent Film Awards reserves the right to modify judging criteria and/or the adjudication process at any time, with or without notice. GIFA does not provide specific feedback to participants. GIFA may provide feedback to award-winning entries, at its sole discretion.
14) All administrative and adjudication decisions made by the Global Independent Film Awards are considered final and incontestable. Entrants absolve the Global Independent Film Awards from any and all liability and/or lost opportunity related to their participation in this competition, including, but not limited to liability and/or lost opportunity arising from judging decisions, errors, omissions, inconsistencies, technical disqualifications, announcement delays, announcement errors, typos, etc. At the conclusion of adjudication, GIFA strives to announce winners on the scheduled announcement date, although this may not always be possible. Please be patient if such a situation should arise. GIFA typically awards one Gold, one Silver, and one Bronze award in each of the award categories, but reserves the right to award fewer or additional awards, at its sole discretion, based on the number of submissions and quality of the entries. In some cases, GIFA awards only a single Gold award as a common practice.
15) Filmmakers may be asked to send a DVD, Blu-Ray, or digital copy of the film for the festival library archives. Library films are used for internal purposes only, and may be used for training purposes, in an effort to maintain as fair and consistent a judging process as possible. If a submitter has not already done so via their FilmFreeway project profile, filmmakers may also be asked to provide a trailer, cast & crew list, poster, and/or headshots of key cast or crew members. Even if requested, GIFA does not have any obligation to use the materials provided. GIFA, at its sole discretion, may decide not to download and/or accept materials, without any explanation. If a filmmaker has any reservations about sending materials, do not send them. However, failure to provide the requested materials may impact the ability of an entry to receive awards, particularly if there are technical difficulties with the entrant’s submission and it cannot be reviewed for adjudication. The submitter grants GIFA the right to use clips, the film’s trailer, and/or other materials (such as the poster, headshots, bios, etc.) for promotional purposes, in perpetuity, without any further consideration, and accepts sole responsibility for the use of all materials. Some examples of publicity uses include, but are not limited to the use of screenshots, images, film clips, and/or brief script excerpts, in any format GIFA desires, on the FilmFreeway festival listing, GIFA’s website, GIFA’s social media accounts, etc. GIFA may also use brief project excerpts in promotional compilation videos to be used in any and all publicity. GIFA also uses social media to promote films, scripts, filmmakers, script/screenwriters, etc. By submitting to this competition, all entrants agree to the use of their information and/or likeness, as well as the use of information and/or the likeness of cast and crew members, for promotional purposes, in perpetuity, without any further consideration or renumeration.
16) If materials are received late, the adjudication and/or announcement process(es) will continue for the current edition of GIFA, and the submission will automatically be moved to the next edition of the festival as a one-time courtesy. If a script or film has already been selected as a Finalist or Award Winner, the entry may or may not transfer to the next edition with all the same honors, at GIFAs sole discretion.
17) Please remain professional in all dealings and interactions with GIFA, its staff, contractors, sub-contractors, assigns, etc; as well as guests, filmmakers, and attendees at GIFA events. Failure to do so may result in disqualification and/or removal from the event(s) and/or venue(s).
18) All prizes are personal and non-transferable. Award winners will receive digital laurels for their achievements. The Global Independent Film Awards encourages winners to include the laurels on their project and personal promotional materials. While this is encouraged, it is not required. Winners may also purchase award medals for an additional fee, if desired. Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards are available, while supplies last. Please note that award medals are not actually made of gold, silver, or bronze; and that they are a metal allow that is gold, silver, or bronze colored. Medals may be purchased for $40 USD each, plus shipping and handling fees. Please visit the “Contact” page of the Global Independent Film Awards website (www.globalindependentfilmawards.com) to make a purchase.
19) GIFA results will be made public when award winners are announced via GIFA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as the GIFA website.
20) Entries are accepted only through designated submission platforms, including, but not limited to FilmFreeway.com. User accepts all risk and responsibility associated with using the submission platform(s), GIFA’s website, social media (including, but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, and InstaGram), email, Paypal, each submission platform’s transaction processor, and any other avenues of payment and/or communication with GIFA. Additionally, the submitter authorizes and agrees to receive occasional communications via email from the Global Independent Film Awards. These communications may include discounts, promotions, and/or offers, in addition to general festival communications and communications specifically related to the entrants submission.
21) All filmmakers, submitters, their correspondents, publicists, etc., are expected to keep communications with GIFA and public communications professional and in good taste. Failure to do so may result in disqualification at any point in the adjudication process, up to, and including the nullification of Finalist status or awards. That stated, GIFA may elect to communicate only with the person who submitted the film to the festival for consideration, and should not be expected to communicate with any other person(s).
22) GIFA is an international film festival with a worldwide audience spanning multiple communication platforms. Films containing titles and/or content deemed inappropriate and/or in poor taste may be disqualified.
23) The Global Independent Film Awards reserves the right to add, modify, or discard any terms and/or conditions, if needed, as needed, at any time, at its sole discretion, with or without notification. It further reserves the right to make decisions to address anomalies and/or unforeseen circumstances, including, but not limited to removing a film from consideration, at its sole discretion, without providing an explanation.
24) In any dispute arising as a result of submission to the Global Independent Film Awards, the submitter will have a recourse limited to one US dollar ($1 USD).
25) By submitting an entry to the Global Independent Film Awards, the submitter(s) accept(s) all of the terms and conditions herein, in their entirety, without modification. The submitter(s) further acknowledge(s) that remediation of any sort will be limited to one US dollar ($1 USD). If the submitter(s) do not/does not agree with these terms, they should not submit an entry. By submitting, the entrant(s) indicate(s) that they have read, understand, agree with, and will comply will all of the Terms and Conditions stated in items 1-24 above; and that such agreement and associated consents are irrevocable.