Submissions & Deadlines
Submissions for the 2019 Indy Shorts International Film Festival are now closed. Please check back in the fall to submit for the 2020 Indy Shorts International Film Festival.
The Midwest’s Largest Short Film Festival – July 25-28, 2019
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 from July 25-28, 2019 in Indianapolis. Indy Shorts expanded as its own separate event from HIFF in summer 2018 and all winners (Grand Prize and Audience Choice Awards) will play encore screenings at HIFF in October 2019.
Academy Award® Qualification & Winning Track Record
Since 2009, shorts programmed by Heartland have gone on to earn 17 Academy Award® nominations and 6 Academy Award® wins with an active 4-year winning streak. Just recently the 2018 Indy Shorts Documentary Grand Prize Winner and Academy qualifier “ZION” was shortlisted for the 2019 Academy Awards in the documentary short subject category and won best documentary short at the International Documentary Association Awards. Other 2018 Finalist shorts “Period. End of Sentence.” and “One Small Step” were also shortlisted in their respective categories.
Indy Shorts is an Academy Award®-qualifying film festival in both the Live Action and Documentary Short Subject film categories, and the winners of the Narrative and Documentary Grand Prizes will qualify for Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, granted it meets all the other requirements needed to qualify.
Rules & Regulations
Heartland Film is a nonprofit arts organization founded in 1991 with the mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. Since the inaugural Heartland Film Festival (HFF) in 1992, the fest has grown from a 5-day event with less than 20 films to an 11-day celebration featuring more than 213 independent films, 215 visiting filmmakers and 290 film screenings. Continuing this pattern of growth, Indy Shorts will debut in 2018. Heartland Film has built a reputation on its impactful movies, the connections audiences make with visiting filmmakers, the overall hospitality and intimacy of the experience, and bringing big Hollywood names – like Robert Downey Jr., Rob Reiner, Jessica Biel, and Oscar® winner Geoffrey Rush – to the Hoosier state.
The 2nd annual Indy Shorts International Shorts Festival will take place in Indianapolis from July 25-28, 2019 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. 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:
AWARDS & PRIZES
The second annual Indy Shorts event will bestow $30,000 in cash prizes across multiple categories, including:
- Narrative Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)*
Academy Award®-qualified category. Five finalists with four non-winning finalists awarded $500 each.
- Documentary Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
Academy Award®-qualified category. Five finalists with four non-winning finalists awarded $500 each
- Animated Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
Five finalists with four non-winning finalists awarded $500 each
- High School Film Competition (HSFC) ($2,000 Cash Prize)
Four category winners awarded $500 each
- Indiana Spotlight Competition ($2,000 Cash Prize)
- Jenni Berebitsky Legacy Award ($1,800 Cash Prize)
- Best Student Film Award ($1,000 Cash Prize)
- Audience Choice Awards in the Narrative, Documentary, Animated, and Indiana Spotlight categories ($500 each)
RULES & TERMS
Submit to the second annual, Academy Award-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival, Presented by Heartland Film!
Due to popular demand, Indy Shorts (July 25-28, 2019) is an expansion of the Heartland International Film Festival (Oct. 10-20, 2019) and will exclusively showcase the best in international short films (with a runtime of 40 minutes or less).
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 major cash prize category winners to play encore screenings at the Heartland International Film Festival in October.
We are excited to exhibit short films with ties to the Hoosier state in our Indiana Spotlight Competition. Films in competition for the Indiana Spotlight Award and $2000 cash prize are films that meet at least two of the following requirements:
1. Director is a current Indiana resident or native.
2. Producer/executive producer/writer is a current Indiana resident or Indiana native.
3. At least 65% of the film was shot in Indiana.
Each submitted film goes through an involved judging process, and is screened by at least one member of the selection committee. Selected films could eventually be seen more than six times by members of the screening committees, programming staff, and juries. Heartland Film reserves the right to stop watching your film after 5 minutes if the reviewer determines that the film’s technical quality is not at a baseline level for festival inclusion.
Films submitted to Heartland International Film Festival are judged on their overall artistic and technical quality. Additionally, each film must be engaging and entertaining, but do more than simply entertain. Selected films have a transformative power that impacts audiences by educating, inspiring, challenging or shifting perspectives – ultimately Heartland International Film Festival programs story-driven films that do much more than entertain.
To be eligible for the Heartland Film Festival, films must comply with the following:
- The film must have been completed on or after January 1, 2018.
- The film must be available for up to 5 screenings during Indy Shorts, July 25-28, 2019.
- There must not be a screening fee attached to the film. Heartland will not pay a screening fee to any film featured in the Festival; there are no exceptions.
- Films that have had a theatrical release, a television broadcast within the United States or a release through an on-demand outlet such as Netflix, Amazon On-Demand or any other outlets that are available in Indiana prior to the Festival dates may not be eligible for competition, but may be considered for “Special Presentation” screenings.
- The film cannot require dual projection (interlock) or separate soundtracks.
- Non-English films must be subtitled in English.
RULES FOR SUBMISSION
In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, filmmakers must comply with the following submission rules to be considered as a Finalist in their respective category:
- The submitting filmmaker must be either the producer or director of the film.
Entries are accepted exclusively through www.FilmFreeway.com.
- A completed official entry on FilmFreeway.com must be digitally signed by the filmmaker.
- Payment of the non-refundable entry fee must accompany the submission.
- Payment can be made by credit card, check or money order payable in US dollars to Heartland Film, Inc. The filmmaker will be responsible for bank fees associated with any check returned to Heartland by the bank as unpaid.
- All items on the materials checklist (below) must be provided by the entry deadline.
- Link to a functional streaming video file (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) in high definition 720p or 1080p. If the link is password-protected, the password is mandatory. Links may be included in the FilmFreeway cover letter or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Multiple submissions must be provided as individual submissions.
All entries must submit the following information to be considered for Indy Shorts:
- Link to a functional streaming video file (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) in high definition 720p or 1080p. If the link is password-protected, a working password is mandatory.
- Completed and digitally signed submission on FilmFreeway.com.
- Entry fee.
All filmmakers will be notified by email after that date or before late May, 2019. Heartland Film reserves the right to release basic information about selected films as early as May.
Based on the category of short film, official selections will be in competition for Grand Prizes across these categories (though they may remain eligible for Best Premiere or Indiana Spotlight prizes):
- Narrative Short Films
- Documentary Short Films
- Animated Short Films
- Indiana Spotlight Competition Short Films
- High School Film Competition
Finalists will all compete for Grand Prizes. All submitted films that meet the below eligibility requirements are considered “in competition” to be selected as a Heartland Film Festival Finalist at the time of submission. In June 2019, Finalists are publicly announced. Only Finalists are eligible for the Grand Prize in each category. Grand Prize winners are announced at the Indy Shorts Awards Party on Saturday, July 27, 2019. Finalist filmmakers must be present to win.
Indiana films meeting eligibility requirements for the Indiana Spotlight competition are eligible for the award in that category.
Other films may be invited to screen at the Festival as a “Special Presentation” or in a “To Be Announced” time slot; these may be eligible for the Audience Choice Award depending on when the films are scheduled.