Submit Your Film

MM-50-Fest-Laurels20203.jpg Submissions & Deadlines

Submissions for the 4th Annual Indy Shorts International Film Festival (July 20-25, 2021) are now open!

Submission Deadlines: Narrative, Documentary, and Animated Shorts (Grand Prizes are all Academy Award®-qualified and qualify without the standard theatrical run, provided they otherwise comply with the Academy® rules).

  • Early Bird Deadline, December 20, 2020 – $30 / $20 student
  • Regular Deadline, March 7, 2021 – $45 / $35 student
  • Late Deadline, March 28, 2021 – $65 / $55 student
  • Extended Deadline, April 18, 2021 – $85 / $75 student

Submission Deadlines: Indiana Spotlight Competition and Heartland Horror

  • Early Bird Deadline, December 20, 2020 – FREE
  • Regular Deadline, March 7, 2021 – $22.50 / $10 student
  • Late Deadline, March 28, 2021 – $32.50 / $17.50 student
  • Extended Deadline, April 18, 2021 – $42.50 / $37.50 student

Submission Deadlines: High School Film Competition

  • Early Bird Deadline, December 20, 2020 – FREE
  • Regular Deadline, March 7, 2021 – $10
  • Late Deadline, March 28, 2021 – $15
  • Extended Deadline, April 18, 2021 – $30

The Midwest’s Largest Short Film Festival – July 20-25, 2021

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 20-25, 2021 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 2021.

Academy Award® Qualification & Winning Track Record

Since 2009, shorts programmed by Heartland have gone on to earn 23 Academy Award® nominations and 7 Academy Award® wins.

Indy Shorts is an Academy Award®-qualifying film festival in all three major categories; Live Action, Documentary, and Animation Short film categories, and the winners of the Grand Prize for Best Narrative, Documentary, and Animated Short will qualify for Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, granted it meets all the other requirements needed to qualify.

Rules & Regulations

The 4th annual Indy Shorts International Shorts Festival will take place in Indianapolis from July 20-25, 2021. Filmmakers participating in the Festival attend numerous screenings of their films and other special events designed to allow interaction between filmmakers and audiences (pandemic contingency plans will include a hybrid event with virtual and drive-in screenings). 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 International Film Festival in October:

AWARDS & PRIZES

The second annual Indy Shorts event will bestow more than $31,000 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. Five finalists in competition
  • High School Film Competition (HSFC) ($2,000 Cash Prize)
    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)
    Categories of Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana
  • Audience Choice Awards in the Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana Spotlight, Comedy, Heartland Horror, and High School categories ($250 each)*Indy Shorts has earned the special designation of being a qualifying festival for the Annual Academy Awards® within the Short Films category. This means that the winner of the Grand Prize for Best Narrative Short Film and Grand Prize for Best Documentary Short Film will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

Waiver Policy

As a nonprofit organization, our operations and the process of viewing the volume of submissions we receive are very costly. Thus, waivers are only reserved for Indy Shorts and Heartland International Film Festival alumni. We strive to keep our fees as reasonable as possible, and encourage all applicants to take advantage of our early and official deadlines to save on submission fees. Please do not contact us requesting waivers or reduced submission fees.