VAiFF does not have an eligibility expiration for movies. Other festivals will not allow films to be considered if they have been completed for more than two years. Not VAIFF. When Omar McClinton, the festival’s program director, was asked about the open eligibility rules, he replied, “I believe that a project or a filmmaker’s passion for a project does not expire after two years. As fans, most of our favorite movies are over 2 years old. As long as the filmmaker believes in his project, 2, 5 or 10 years ago, he should be allowed to submit and present this film. Good movies don’t have an expiration date. The festival circuit has not changed enough to respond to the dominance of the internet and social media opportunities which are largely positive and productive for filmmakers. VAiFF hopes to change that.”
Submissions to the festival continue through June 2022 with trailers and promos of submitted projects available to ‘view and vote’ online. The winners of the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer quarters with the most positive online votes will compete at the annual Year-End Live Screening and Pitch Ceremony in Chicago, Illinois. .
The winners of these semi-finals are judged by some of the most established and celebrated judges in the entertainment industry, with projects that have grossed over $13 billion worldwide. Some of their panel of judges have included:
Carl Jones (writer, producer and director “The Boondocks”, “Black Dynamite” and “The Last OG”)
Joyce Cox (producer/visual effects producer of “The Jungle Book” (2016) “Avatar”, “Titanic”, “Men in Black 3”, “The Dark Knight”, “X-Men 2: X-Men United “)
Rich Koz / Svengoolie (Emmy award-winning animator and Chicago native)