April 5-7, 2024
Collins Road Theatres • Marion, Iowa

The Iowa Connection

CRIFF celebrates the fact that people with ties to Iowa are in the production industry EVERYWHERE. We search for films from anywhere and by anyone, who just happen to have an Iowa connection.

That could be a crew or cast member who lived, worked or went to school in Iowa; a film that was produced, at least in part, in Iowa; or a story featuring an Iowa subject or Iowan (present or former, real or fictional).

 We’ve had films submitted from all across the US, and around the world! We tell skeptical filmmakers that if you don’t think your film qualifies, ask around…you just might have an Iowan on set!

Download a PDF copy of the 2024 Official Program!

57 Films!

We screened fifty-seven films with Iowa Connections, from all over the country, at the 2024 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival. 

Our distinguished panel of judges had their work cut out for them: They watched 102 entries – over 45 hours of high production values, compelling stories, diverse perspectives, and masterful performances. It was a challenge to pare the list down, and the judges (and we staff) extend thanks and appreciation for the outstanding films entered.

Check out what each film is about, their Iowa Connection, the filmmakers and posters on the About the Films page.

This year we introduced the CRIFF Iowa Filmmaking Impact Award, presented to individuals or organizations who have made a significant contribution to filmmaking with Iowa Connections, and/or our festival.

The first Impact Award went to Bruce Taylor and Collins Road Theatres for supporting CRIFF, awarding thousands of dollars in scholarships, and being the best host for this event for 20 years.

The second Impact Award went to Craig Schaefer, Loras College Professor of Media Studies for his indelible impact on this festival since 2003. Craig has been directly or indirectly involved in 46 entries and 41 official selections, including 5 this year, and numerous Eddy Awards. And even more importantly, he has mentored hundreds and continues to mentor young filmmakers, building the creative community of the future.

Congratulations to all the Official Selections, and special recognition to the following individuals and films!

Eddy Award Winners

Student Freestyle

Gold – Genesis, by Dillon Jacobson, University of Iowa

Silver – Automated Confession Service, by Ethan John Ahrens, University of Iowa

Student Narrative Short Form Film

Gold – Layaway, by Kaitlyn Busbee, NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Silver – Charlotte’s: A Love Story, by Libby Perry and Emily Surma, Loras College

Student Documentary

Gold – Why Not Me? by Libby Perry and Emily Surma, Loras College

Silver – Life in Color, by Kendra Gauge Hefner, Harvard Extension School

Student Narrative Long-Form Film

Gold – This Is He, by Leah Rebekah Bennett and Blake Bodlak, Wayne State University

ProAm Freestyle

Gold – Outlaws: A Poem, by Jason Cox, Whitney Montgomery, Tiffany Iskander and Gregg Voegtlin

Silver – Romantics & Rebels, by Braxten Jones

ProAm Short Form

Gold – Jamiroquai Has No Friends, by Kazek Israni-Winger and Abby Bjorholm

Silver – Tillie, by D Andrew Hartfield, Noelle P. Wilson and Tillie Hartfield

ProAm Documentary

Gold – A Century of Citizenship, by Gabriel Fink, Ashton Nanke and Spare Card Media

Silver – Tama Flint: A Meskawi Tradition, by Oogie Push and the Meskwaki People

ProAm Feature

Gold – Crimson Archer a GI JOE fan film, by Pierre Doanetto, Eric Bench, John Doanetto and Chris Hansen

Silver – The Salvages, by Carrsan T. Morrissey

Professional Freestyle

Gold – Never Lose, by Josh Booth and Tyrone Thomas

Silver – Martian Encounter, by Paul Heuneman, Right Purdy Animation

Professional Narrative Short Form

Gold – Drawn, by Ty Clancey

Silver – We Joined a Cult, by Chris McInroy

Professional Documentary

Gold – Arcades & Love Songs – the Ballad of Walter Day, by Ed Cunningham

Silver – Shift: The Ragbrai Documentary, by Kelsey Kremer and Courtney Crowder

Professional Narrative Feature

Gold – Friendly Faces, by Keaton Fuller, Landon Sheetz, Joey Loboda, Spencer Michael Smith, Marissa Vonn, Bruce James Bales, Matthew Tribble, Ron Reynolds, Phillip Platz, Marc Bauer and Ricardo Rangel

Silver – Knee High, by Marissa Vonn, Bruce James Bales, Michael Ridley, Dakota Carpenter and Kalena Clarkson

Collins Road Theatres $1000 Scholarship

Lightsaber Battle, by Palmer George LeVake, Cedar Rapids Washington HS

Iowa Connection Eddy Award

Shift: The Ragbrai Documentary, by Kelsey Kremer and Courtney Crowder

Audience Choice Eddy Award

The Kid’s Table, by Beth Hinde and Stephen Folker

Student Audience Choice Eddy Award

S’mores, by Matthew Chezum, Augustana College

Celebrating Student Filmmakers

They’re the future of the art and industry. Student filmmakers are integral to the festival’s success, so we value giving them red-carpet treatment.

Our host venue generously continues its COLLINS ROAD THEATRES $1000 SCHOLARSHIP, awarded to a student filmmaker in order to further the recipient’s filmmaking education and career.

We are also proud to present Student Cinema Sunday, a special screening of just student films. Student tickets for this special session are at a greatly reduced rate. At the close of this event, we present the Student Audience Choice Eddy Award!

The Festival is open to the general public, and the Saturday night Eddy Awards Ceremony is free with any other Festival ticket purchase. 

We can’t wait to see you at the 2025 CRIFF!

The Eddy Awards

The Eddy Awards are named after Thomas Alva Edison who, among many other pursuits, was a pioneer in motion picture technology. The term eddy is also defined as “a current moving contrary to the direction of the main current,” which is a suitable description for independent filmmakers, who often go against the current trends in mainstream cinema.

These handsome trophies are meticulously fabricated by FiddleSticks

Thank you for Your Generous Support!

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