Entering into its 12th year in 2017, HIFF provides a unique venue for filmmakers and media artists to share their work in a forum dedicated to the celebration of independent cinema. Since its inception, HIFF has showcased the Atlantic Region's most innovative works alongside the films of acclaimed visiting artists. 

HIFF focuses on creating opportunities for filmmakers to connect directly with audiences through hosted Q+A's, artist talks and workshops. As a filmmaker's festival, HIFF's role is to celebrate the best of independent filmmaking in the region while also inspiring local filmmakers and audiences with work that wouldn't normally be seen in Halifax. Submissions to HIFF for Atlantic filmmakers are free and HIFF pays screening frees based on rates set by the Independent Media Arts Alliance. 




In addition to the main festival content, HIFF includes professional development opportunities for local filmmakers and the public including the Programmer Initiative, The Distribution Initiative, and the HIFF Masterclasses.


New in 2017, HIFF will include DIFFERENT, an alternative presentation section of the festival focused on expanded cinema and moving image installations. DIFFERENT offers presentation opportunities and project support for artists experimenting with the moving image outside of the traditional cinematic presentation format.



HIFF is run by the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative (AFCOOP), a non-profit, community based organization dedicated to supporting the production and presentation of film and moving image work by independent artists. Since AFCOOP'S formation in 1974, The Co-op has been providing alternative screening opportunities for Nova Scotian filmmakers and audiences to experience the work of independent artists from the region and across the world.

HIFF was created in 2007 as a way to consolidate AFCOOP's presentation resources into an event capable of garnering recognition regionally and nationally.