Every April, Kansas City FilmFest International brings independent films to local audiences and serves as a platform for interaction between filmmakers, producers, actors and cinema fans. During five days the festival features over 120 independent films from all over the world. The program includes the feature and short films, fictional and documentary. All films have to be inspiring and thought-provoking. Special topics include CinemaJazz, Latin Cinema, Black Voices Matter, Women Directed Films, Alternate Stories, and more. The screenings take place at the Cinemark Palace of the Country Club Plaza.
Major awards of Kansas City FilmFest include the Audience Choice award and nine awards selected by a jury of film professionals. The festival offers many panel discussions, seminars, and nightly after-parties.
Kansas City FilmFest debuted in April 1997. It was supported by the Independent Filmmakers Coalition, Film Society of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City Art Institute, University of Missouri Kansas City, and others. Ten short films were selected in the first year and screened at Royall Hall, UMKC. Since then, the festival has evolved into one of the significant cultural events in Kansas City.