Submit Your Film

Submissions & Deadlines

Submission Deadlines: Narrative, Documentary, Animated, and Heartland Horror Shorts

  • Early Bird Deadline, January 5, 2020 – $30 / $20 student
  • Regular Deadline, March 22, 2020 – $45 / $35 student
  • Late Deadline, April 19, 2020 – $65 / $55 student
  • Extended Deadline, May 3, 2020 – $85 / $75 student

Submission Deadlines: Indiana Spotlight Competition

  • Early Bird Deadline, January 5, 2020 – FREE
  • Regular Deadline, March 22, 2020 – $22.50/ $10 student
  • Late Deadline, April 19, 2020 – $32.50 / $17.50 student
  • Extended Deadline, May 3, 2020 – $42.50/ $37.50 student

Submission Deadlines: High School Film Competition

  • Early Bird Deadline, January 5, 2020 – FREE
  • Regular Deadline, March 22, 2020 – $10
  • Late Deadline, April 19, 2020 – $15
  • Extended Deadline, May 3, 2020 – $30

The Midwest’s Largest Short Film Festival – July 21-26, 2020

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 19 Academy Award® nominations and 7 Academy Award® wins with an active 5-year winning streak. Most recently the 2019 Indy Shorts Documentary Finalist “Period. End of Sentence.” won the 2020 Oscar® for Best Documentary Short Subject.

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 200 independent films, 200+ visiting filmmakers and 400 film screenings. Continuing this pattern of growth, Indy Shorts debuted 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.

View the complete 2020 Indy Shorts Rules & Regulations

The 3rd annual Indy Shorts International Shorts Festival will take place in Indianapolis from July 21-26, 2020 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 International 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 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 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 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.