The Anchorage International Film Festival (AIFF) was founded in 2001 in order to bring independent and international films to Anchorage, and to showcase the quality independent films made in Alaska. Since then it has grown to become the largest film festival in Alaska. Its mission is to develop, promote, and sustain a film festival that supports new media and independent filmmaking in Alaska and around the world, while enriching cultural and entertainment opportunities for Alaskans.
The AIFF is a cosmopolitan film festival that strives to reflect the diverse character of Anchorage by screening captivating and well-crafted independent films from all over the world. The AIFF also provides a forum for the work of independent Alaska filmmakers and opportunities to network with fellow filmmakers. In the past, several films receiving jury awards from the AIFF have gone on to win Academy Awards and awards at major film festivals, such as Hot Docs, Tribeca, Sundance, South by Southwest, the Sheffield Doc Fest, and the Seattle International Film Festival.
The AIFF programmers look to program a wide variety of quality, independent films as colorful as the Northern Lights themselves, in categories of: Features, Documentaries, Shorts, Super Shorts, Animation, and films Made in Alaska. In addition to this, we also have our beloved youth and family programming and our Feature Screenplay competition. AIFF has committed itself to not only including, but amplifying the voices of BIPOC filmmakers from around the world through extensive outreach and programming efforts. In 2020, AIFF featured 110 films from 22 countries.
The AIFF encourages filmmakers to attend our festival and experience the beauty of an Alaska winter. AIFF attracts filmmakers from all over the world, who spend ten days in Anchorage together, watching films, going on excursions in the winter wonderland and making lifelong friendships. In 2019, filmmakers from the US, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Italy made the trip to Anchorage to attend the festival. The enthusiasm, sophistication, and passion of the AIFF audience often impress visiting filmmakers, and the AIFF has received uniformly positive feedback about the care and attention visitors receive from the festival staff. It is the warmest festival in a cold climate!
AIFF’s main host venues are the 400-seat Bear Tooth Theatre, a brew-pub where moviegoers are able to enjoy a drink and delicious food while watching films, and the world-class Anchorage Museum. The festival also holds screenings and other events at various venues around Anchorage. The 21st Annual Anchorage International Film Festival will take place from Friday, December 3 through Sunday, December 12, 2021. We encourage you to come join us in December, a time when the winter weather creates a dramatic and impressive beauty all its own and where you can discover our 21st year of “Films Worth Freezing For.”