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10th annual naperville independent film festival

SEPTEMBER 23 - 30, 2017



The best place a film festival can be! A shrine to the great legends of cinema. Every room is decorated with imagery, statues and memorabilia. An unforgettable experience. 

Watch our wonderful festival selections on big, comfy recliners while waiters deliver drinks, snacks or full delicious meals to you. You'll be impressed with independent filmmaking while pampered with impeccable service.




These are the films of the 2017 Naperville Independent Film Festival

Films will be shown in groups in two different seatings per evening. Each film was reviewed by our five jurors and determined to be of good quality and interesting subject matter. We encourage you to read the selections and choose which films you'd like to see.

Click on the Day for All the Details



One Per Person
Quaker Oaths
Forest of Echoes (S/T)
The Last Compartment (S/T)

The Midnighters
In A Dream
Waking David

Cup of Tea
Secondhand Hearts
Albedo Absolute
The Test of Courage (S/T)
Hard to Believe

The Transfer (S/T)
Nicole's Cage (S/T)
In Our Country (S/T)
Halim (S/T)
The Killer Buzz
Nowhere Michigan




Killed In Action
Dead Flowers
Selfie (S/T)
Saba, The Unspoiled Queen
Dribbling Dreams
Black Cat

Searching For Lady Day: A Portrait in Steel
Operation: The Power of Play
Lunch Time
Hey Blue Eyes
The Happys
The Past Inside The Present R

Wishing Box
Fairytales For Emma
On The 7th Date



The Winners of The ECU

Fresh from the Festival in May, the best in Foreign Films.

A Beautiful Day
Ce Qui Échappe (The Elusive)
Emily Must Wait
Late Season (Nachsaison)

Le Chat Doré (The Golden Cat)
Refugee Blues
Selling Isobel

The Bridge Over The River
The Dog and the Elephant
Three Rooms


Brooke Hanson accepting the award for best student-produced film, presented by Roger Ebert, right, in 2009.  


Who will take home the coveted NIFFTY, a beautiful gold-plated 6 pound, 14 inch tall brother to the Oscar (the folks who designed our trophy made the Oscars for the Academy!). One of these babies are awarded to the winner in each of our award categories:


Best Student-Produced Film
  Forest of Echoes
  In Our Country
  Saba, The Unspoiled Queen
  The Transfer

Best Animation
  The Killer Buzz
  One Per Person
  The Past Inside The Present
  Wishing Box

Best Short
  Albedo Absolute
  Hey Blue Eyes
  In A Dream

Best Documentary
  Dribbling Dreams
  Hard to Believe
  Operation: The Power of Play
  Saba, The Unspoiled Queen
  Searching For Lady Day

Best Feature
  Black Cat
  Fairytales For Emma
  The Happys
  The Last Compartment
  Quaker Oaths

Best Screenplay
  Blood Trigger by Ron Podell
  I May Regret by Graham Streeter
  The Month of April by Graham Streeter
  Normal Folk by Graham Streeter
  Recalled to Life by Dan Burns

Best Actor
  Alex Dobrenko, Quaker Oaths
  Grant Garry, Black Cat
  Topher Hansson, On The 7th Date
  Leon Russom, The Midnighters
  Ondrej Vetchy, Fairytales For Emma

Best Actress
  Caitlin Carmichael, Monsters
  Anna Fischer, The Last Compartment
  Anna Geislerova, Fairytales For Emma
  Fede Rangel, Quaker Oaths
  Anna Rizzo, On The 7th Date

Best Director
  Steve Desmond, Monsters
  Julian Fort, The Midnighters
  Daniel John Harris, Hey Blue Eyes
  Rudolf Havlík, Fairytales For Emma
  Edina Kishonthy, In A Dream


A Coveted Prize!

The NIFFTY, a beautiful, gold plated, 6 pound, 14 inch high trophy is the award that was presented to these fine films and filmmakers, and anyone who received one will want to display it on their mantlepiece. (In fact, it's known that filmmakers who recieved one have run out and purchased mantlepieces.. wait, fake news! too soon?) Master of Ceremonies Don Gingold enjoyed handing out a dozen of these babies at the fun-filled awards show.

A big thanks to John Robbins who has cast these beauties for our show.


Latest Festival News

/ Author: Don Gingold / Number of views: 254 / Comments: 0 / Article rating: 5.0

Thanks for the Memories

A look back at the 10th Annual Festival

Like maybe Frank would sing, "In 2017, it was a very good year. It was a very good year for film-goers and festivals..."


Read All The News


Can I submit a film?

This year's submissions are closed. Submit in November for the 2018 festival.

What are the dates of this year's festival?

The 2017 festival is September 23-30 at the Hollywood Palms Cinema.

Where is the festival located?

Hollywood Palms Cinema. Here's a Google map.

How much are tickets?

$10 per seating. There's a 6:00 and 8:15 seating. Films are shown in groups from 1 to 5 depending on length to fit the seating times. You can get them at the Hollywood Palms box office on the night of the seating or in advance via their website.

Can I buy tickets at the door?

Yes! Films are shown in groups from 1 to 5 depending on length to fit the seating times. $10 at Hollywood Palms.

Can I buy tickets online?

Yes at Hollywood Palms. The link is coming soon!
Films are shown in groups from 1 to 3 at Hollywood Palms depending on length to fit the seating times. The ticket is named after the last film of the seating, but it includes all the films of the seating.

Why are the tickets so much?

Hey, we'd show them for free if more people would donate enough money, but things cost you know! Thanks to our great sponsors for keeping the price so low!

Can I just pay for one film?

Afraid not. Tickets are charged per seating and there are no refunds. Stay and watch all the films in a seating; you might be surprised how much you like the films!

Do I have to buy a meal to see a movie?

Of course not. Hollywood Palms is a dinner theatre, but all they request is that you buy one item. That can be popcorn or a softdrink or one of their very tasty meals. One of our favorites: The Chevy Cheeseburger!
IF you must leave early, please make sure you get your check for your food/drink item and pay your server!!

How do you choose what to show?

We know what you're really asking: "Why would you possibly show THAT movie?" Good question! Films are judged on their artistic and technical merits. The film's subject matter is not judged (within the bounds of good taste which we realize is highly subjective but we do our best). We have found that films stimulate discussion and open minds to new ideas. We encourage you to watch the films, discuss with fellow viewers and draw your own conclusions. If you do not wish to continue watching a film, please leave in an orderly and quiet manner so as to not disturb fellow viewers.

My question is not listed here. What do I do?

Email us at We'll get back to you as soon as we can.
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