Filmmaker Ashley S. Brandon

In this online series, we spotlight the approach, philosophy, and work of people from around the Midwest filmmaking community with six simple questions. In this interview, we get to know filmmaker Ashley S. Brandon. Her documentary short, MICKEY'S PETS, received distinguished recognition from the first-ever Female Filmmakers Night Grand Jury. 

Female Filmmakers Night Poster

At this month's Female Filmmakers Night, co-presented by Canon, OUROBOROS was selected for the first-ever Grand Jury Prize for the event. Honorary Jury Chair Chaz Ebert, CEO of Ebert Digital and publisher of, presented the award to the film's director, Emma Keehan at the annual event. Documentary short MICKEY'S PETS, directed by Ashley S. Brandon, was also recognized with special distinction by members of the Jury.

Female Filmmakers Night Poster

The annual Female Filmmakers Night, presented by The Midwest Independent Film Festival and Canon, is just around the corner on Tuesday, August 7th. And, this year, the event will include a Grand Jury Prize, given to one film selected by some of Chicago’s most influential women in media.

We're pleased to welcome Amy Guth as our new Executive Director.  

“Amy has a strong background in multimedia storytelling, leadership and community engagement, and will be a valuable asset to the festival,”  said Michael Kwielford, co-founder of the festival in 2005 with Mike McNamara, who previously served as Executive Director. “Looking forward to furthering the mission that McNamara and I envisioned when we initially created and continued to build the festival over the years.”

3rd Coast Review on SAINTS REST

Lisa Trifone from Third Coast Review describes our June feature film selection Saints Rest "as enjoyable as curling up at your own favorite café with a warm latte and a good friend".

Click for the full review!

2018 Comedy Shorts Night

May 1st is the Midwest Independent Film Festival 2018 Comedy Shorts Night!

We are proud to present an evening full of short films and web series that are guaranteed to make you forget your troubles. . . or at least laugh about them.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Double Feature: 

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

  • 2018 Academy Award® Nominee: Best Documentary Feature


Take a look at the winners of the 2017 Best of the Midwest Awards!

LaRoyce Hawkins

The Midwest Independent Film Festival is thrilled to announce that LaRoyce Hawkins, star of CHICAGO P.D., will Emcee the 2017 Best of the Midwest Awards.

Doors open with a Red Carpet and Cocktail Reception at 7pm at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark Street in Chicago.

LaRoyce Hawkins

This year's scheduled attendees include (in no particular order):

JUST ADDED!   BMA 2017 Host LaRoyce Hawkins, actor, Chicago PD

JUST ADDED!    Eamonn Walker, actor, Tanya; Chicago Fire

Monica Raymund, Director, Tanya; Actress; Chicago Fire

Amy Pietz, Actress, Halfway; Caroline in the City

Will Clinger, Actor, Wild Travels