Indy Shorts International Film Festival

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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.


Academy Award® Qualification & Winning Track Record

Since 2009, shorts programmed by Heartland have gone on to earn 19 Academy Award® nominations and 7 Academy Award® wins with an active 5-year winning streak. Just recently the 2018 Indy Shorts Documentary Finalist “Period. End of Sentence.” won an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject.

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 event will bestow 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)
    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)