Indy Shorts International Film Festival

The Midwest’s Largest Short Film Festival

Indy Shorts International Film Festival, presented by Heartland Film and the organizers of the Heartland International Film Festival (HIFF), is an Academy Award®-qualifying fest dedicated to the art of short film! The largest short film festival in the Midwest, Indy Shorts showcases storytelling from around the world in Indianapolis. Indy Shorts expanded as its own separate event from HIFF in summer 2018 and all winners (Grand Prize and Audience Choice Awards) play encore screenings at the Heartland International Film Festival in October.

Our call for entries for #IndyShorts2021 is now open! Submit your film now and be a part of the Midwest’s largest short film festival!

2018 Guidebook

2020 Festival Highlights

Thank you to everyone who attended the third annual Indy Shorts International Film Festival! This festival seemed impossible just a few short months ago, but thanks to your love and support, we were able to still come together to experience the transformative power of film.

While we’re sad to say bid Iggy and our Shorts Fest farewell until next year, we’re excited to look back on the incredible time we had over this past week. Thanks for making #IndyShorts2020 so memorable!

Academy Award® Qualification & Winning Track Record

Since 2009, shorts programmed by Heartland Film have gone on to earn 23 Academy Award® nominations and 7 Academy Award® wins. Most recently, 2019 Indy Shorts Grand Prize qualifiers “Brotherhood” and “St. Louis Superman” were nominated at the 92nd Academy Awards®.

Filmmakers participating in the Festival attend numerous screenings of their films and other special events designed to allow interaction between filmmakers and audiences. Filmmakers from around the world are invited to submit films; student filmmakers are welcomed in each category as well. Indy Shorts will select and honors films in several categories, with all winners to play encore screenings at the Heartland Int’l Film Festival in October:


The 2020 Indy Shorts bestowed more than $30,000 in cash prizes across multiple categories, including:

  • Narrative Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
    Academy Award®-qualified category. Five finalists in competition
  • Documentary Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
    Academy Award®-qualified category. Five finalists in competition
  • Animated Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
    Academy Award®-qualified category. Five finalists in competition
  • High School Film Competition (HSFC) ($2,000 Summer White Lynch Memorial Grand Prize, Underwritten by Gary D. and Marlene Cohen)
    Four category winners awarded $500 each – Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana
  • Indiana Spotlight Competition ($1,500 Cash Prize)
  • Jenni Berebitsky Legacy Award ($1,800 Cash Prize)
  • Heartland Horror Award ($1,000 Cash Prize)
  • Best Comedy Short ($1,000 Cash Prize)
  • Best Directorial Debut ($1,000 Cash Prize)
  • Best Student Film Awards ($1,000 Cash Prize each)
    Categories of Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana
  • Audience Choice Awards in the Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana Spotlight, Comedy, Heartland Horror categories ($250 each)
  • 2018 Winners 2019 Winners 2020 Winners