The Princeton Independent Film Festival grew out of a love of using film to take people out of their everyday lives and into new points of view. Our goal is to share the different and exciting perspectives that our filmmakers bring to one most important international communities in the country.  We’re thrilled to forge new traditions in the very traditional and prestigious setting of Princeton, NJ, and hope you’ll get to be part of what happens when the unseen becomes “scene.”


Now Accepting

Submissions For 2017!

film festival

prindieplay contest



1. Films must have been completed within the last two years. (Please contact us if you feel an exception should be made.)


2. Films must be submitted by September 15, 2017.


3. Filmmaker must be authorized to submit this film to the Princeton Independent Film Festival (PIFF) for consideration and must read, understand, and agree to all entry requirements as follows:

-Submitter must be the sole person responsible to make the decision to enter this media material and guarantee that such exhibition will not violate or infringe upon any rights whatsoever (including copyright, trademark, musical or contract right) of any person or entity.

-When filling out the entry form and entering this media in the Princeton Independent Film Festival, filmmaker hereby indemnifies, releases, and holds harmless Princeton Independent Film Festival, its boards, employees, interns, volunteers, sponsors, co-sponsors, individual and institutional supporters from any liability related to the use of the entry.

-Filmmaker understands that by submitting their entry, they indemnify, release and hold harmless PIFF of any responsibility and liability, for any or all damages or losses that may occur to their entry.

-Filmmaker is responsible and gives express permission to PIFF to exhibit their entry at events which include but are not limited to judgings, previews exhibitions, festival screenings, and electronic on-line transmissions of the entry.

-All rights and permissions for any materials contained within the said entry have been granted and filmmaker holds harmless PIFF from any or all disputes or claims that may arise from these rights and permissions granted.

-Filmmaker gives permission to allow PIFF to edit, revise, and expand any text or materials provided in their entry.


If you feel you have met all of the festival rules, please follow the link to continue your submission.


2017 Marks the first year for the PRINDIEPLAY screenwriting contest.


More details and information

coming soon.


Mara Lee Gilbert  What's Left



A young woman in prison for manslaughter is involved in a pen-pal relationship with a young man, who's fiancee has been killed. Both are in search of peace and redemption but must face their pasts, together, for better or worse.

Filmmaker Bio

"Art is the flaw captured beautifully

that we may have compassion for our ugliest ugly."


Mara is an award-winning and published actress/writer/producer living in New York City.  She writes for stage and screen. Her work has most recently been showcased in in both New York and Los Angeles in notable festivals. She has a Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology and has worked for the past 11 years counseling NYC's most difficult populations. She taught drama inside a women's prison and ran the first ever drama therapy group inside the notorious Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center for the criminally insane. She pulls from these experiences often in her writing. She is moved to examine the spiritual nature of all human experiences, including the darkest, under a lens of compassion.


"What's Left was especially inspired by my two summers teaching a drama workshop with one of my professors inside Bayview Correctional Facility, a women's prison, in Manhattan. I wanted to look at how the past can muddle our decisions in the present, especially if we are trying to change course in life. And how, even in the most dire of circumstances, and through the most horrific forms of behavior, we strive to connect with each other. There is almost always something poignant and hopeful in the stories of offenders, whether or not it is realized. The hope of always reaching for what else is possible." -Mara Lee Gilbert

What's next

Developing a dramatic television series examining the micro and macrocosmic nature of

institutionalization, set inside a Forensic Psychiatric Center, based on some of my real experiences.


Working towards an Off-Broadway production of my play, Passage, which took 2nd place in the 2015 New York New Works Theatre Festival. It is now a full-length play and just had it's west coast premiere in Los Angeles with the Acting Out Ink Fest, a celebration of female playwrights.



Synopsis: A man about to die views death (and life) very differently, after an encounter with the woman hired to euthanize him, on the night he plans to die.


Click Here to Watch Full Movie

AWARDS and international screenings for


Thank you so much MARA for sharing your work with us!





Still Image Contest Winner ($50): Taraz, by Darya Belgian

Honorable Mention: Daddy Don't Go, by Emily Abt

Honorable Mention: Lonely Boys, by Dan Simon

Audience Choice Award: Beautiful Me!, by Ruby Taylor

Best Foreign Film: Flow, by David Martinez

Best Comedy: Doug, by Lucas Ruderman

Best Documentary: Beautiful Me!, by Ruby Taylor

Best Actor: Gregory Lay in Lonely Boys

Best Actress: Lily Mae Harrington in Some Freaks

Best Ensemble Cast: 42 Seconds of Happiness, by Christina Kallas

Indie Spirit Award: 42 Seconds of Happiness, by Christina Kallas

Best Short Film ($100): This Modern Man is Beat, by David J. Schroeder

Best Feature Film ($500): Some Freaks, by Lovell Holder

Thank you to all the brilliant filmmakers who submitted their work to the 2016 PRINDIE FILM FESTIVAL. We hope to see you again next year!

Paper Wrap Fire (Short, 14 mins.)

Daddy Don't Go (Feature documentary, 1hr. 30 mins.)

Back Track (Short, 7 mins.)

Foreign Sounds  (Short, 9 mins.)

Some Freaks (Feature, 1 hr. 35 mins.)

24 Degrees in Winter (Short, 17 mins.)

Flow (Feature, 1 hr. 30 mins.)

No Joke (Short, 17 mins)

The Skull (Short, 13 mins)

Butterflies (Short, 3 mins)

Doug (Short, 10 mins)

Being Seen (Short documentary, 15 mins)

Voice of Nothingness (Short documentary, 19 mins)

Bittersweet Lane (Short, 10 mins)

Lonely Boys (Feature, 1 hr. 30 mins)

The Call from the Sea (Short documentary, 15 mins)

Normal is Over (Feature documentary, 1 hr 43 mins)

Black Beauty in the White Gaze (Short, 1 min)

Beautiful Me! (Feature, 1 hr)

42 Seconds of Happiness (Feature, 1 hr 30 mins)

The Call (Short, 21 mins)

Deadpoint (Short, 26 mins)

The Last Abduction (Short, 13 mins)


The Bag, by Philip Snyder

American Moderate, by Jared Callahan

Koots, by Jake Roseman

Imaginary Novels, by Nancy Gifford

Only One You, by Madison Durand

Through the Night, by Drew Leary

Injustice, by Amanda Chambers



Honorable Mention: This is Your Life, by Nicole Pometti

Honorable Mention: Time Simply Passes, by Ty Flowers

Honorable Mention: Trichster, by Jillian Corsie

Audience Choice Award: A Box Came to Brooklyn, by Jason Cusato

Best Foreign Film: Mercy's Blessing, by May Taherzadeh

Best Comedy: Double D, by Graceann Dorse

Best Documentary: Exported from Michigan, by Jon Vander Pol

Best Actor: Zachary Quinto in The Future Perfect, by Nick Citton

Best Actress: Laya Lewis in Beverley, by Alexander Thomas

Indie Spirit Award: A Wheel Out of Kilter, by Ross Morin

Best Short Film ($100): Beverley, by Alexander Thomas

Best Feature Film ($500): Driving While Black, by Paul Sapiano

Special exclusive screening 2015 hosted by Hitops

Project: Shattered Silence, by Colleen Hamilton

Analysis (Short, 10 mins)

Art & Spirit (Feature documentary, 52 mins.)

Beverley (Short, 25 mins.)

Big Little Girl  (Short, 14 mins.)

A Box Came to Brooklyn (Short, 26 mins.)

Clay of Indigo (Short, 28 mins.)

Double D (Short, 10 mins.)

Driving While Black (Feature 1 hr 31 min.)

Emotional Dimensions of the James River (Experimental/music video, 3 min.)

Exported From Michigan (Feature documentary, 1 hour 32 mins.)

The Future Perfect (Short, 12 mins.)

Holi (Animated short, 3 mins.)

Mercy’s Blessing (Short, 30 mins.)

Morality (Music video, 3 mins.)

Nesting Grounds (Short, 15 mins.)

The Pretty People (Short, 21 mins.)

The Shower (Short, 10 mins.)

Spilled Milk on Banjo (Poetry, 3 mins.)

This is Your Life (Short, 9 mins.)

Time Simply Passes (Feature documentary, 52 mins.)

Trichster (Feature documentary, 1 hour and 12 mins.)

A Wheel Out of Kilter (Feature film, 1 hour and 31 mins.)


A Spring Has Passed By, by Eva Daoud

Broken Edge, by Dio Chen

Encounters with Hope in Cambodia, by Chao Yoon and Chae Youn

Left Bank Bookseller, by Lisa Reznik

Sprint to the Past, by Selkin Fedor

Still 60, by Marc Kornblatt

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Intern AND Volunteer Opportunities

All festival interns and volunteers  will be able to attend festival events for free, have the entry fee waived if they wish to submit a film, and receive letters of recommendation from the festival founders.




Marketers/Social Media: You will be working directly with the Chief Creative Officer and be expected to create daily social media postings as well as other design work for advertising and promotions in conjunction with the marketing intern.


About you:

You are an adept social media user who understands the value of daily creative content to drive viewership and interaction. You are familiar with website management and Adobe's Muse. You are tech savvy and know that whatever you don't already know you can teach yourself with the tools of the internet and will do so with ease and speed.


Marketing/Sponsorship Acquisition: You will be working in conjunction with the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Creative Officer and be expected to research marketing opportunities and help build sponsorship packages to attract sponsors at all levels.


About you:

You have studied or are interested in marketing and enjoy the research process. You are an adept communicator who can represent PRINDIE with professionalism and confidence. You like solving problems and are obsessed with organization!




Ticket-takers and collectors: Are you trust-worthy and good with money? We need you to man the ticket booth! Ticket-takers are responsible for selling tickets at the door and/or collecting tickets and checking VIP passes for attendees.


Ushers: Help people to their seats, and also help our filmmakers to their special seating and to get on-stage for Q&A!





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