CREATE Portage County is working to elevate a ten-county region in north-central Wisconsin we’re calling The Basin (derived from the Upper Wisconsin River Basin that connects our communities).

The Basin Short Film Festival is devoted to showcasing Wisconsin-focused artists and work, while promoting engagement with local creative organizations and unique screening spaces. This fest focuses primarily on short films (30 minutes or less), and aims to feature independent cinema that fosters critical discussion and community connection. We want to celebrate the unique spirit of independent film, by providing a welcoming space for filmmakers and audience members alike.

Selected work will be curated to screen everywhere from historic theaters and breweries to local creative centers and makerspaces - including a newly renovated convent-turned-performance space! Prizes will be awarded by category and best of show, evaluated by a diverse mix of regional media professionals and professors.

*YOUR WORK MUST HAVE A WISCONSIN CONNECTION TO BE ELIGIBLE*
Eligible films are those shot primarily or significantly (at least one-third) on location in Wisconsin and/or one or more of the project’s principal creative personnel (e.g. director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, lead actor, etc.) – must be one of the following: born in Wisconsin, a current or former Wisconsin resident for one or more years, or an alumnus or current student at a school located in Wisconsin.

Create Portage County, in its ongoing efforts to inspire and promote creativity in north central Wisconsin, offers discounts and awards to work with connections to the following counties: Adams, Forest, Juneau, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Portage, Vilas and Wood. Submissions wishing to apply for a discount code and/or consideration for Best of the Basin categories should email Basin@createportagecounty.org

If you are an Applicant who identifies as LGBTQ, BIPOC, Arab-American, Latinx, AAPI or another disinvested identity group, we will provide a discount code for your submission fee upon request. For these and all other questions related to submissions, please see our Rules & Terms or email Basin@createportagecounty.org

Jurors award prizes to work that shows significant technical and artistic achievement. Best In Category cash prizes are awarded with amounts dependent on pending sponsorship and the number of awards given.

Awards & Prizes
Grand Jury Prize – $1000
Best of the Basin - $500
Best Student Film - $250
Best In Category Awards
Independent Spirit Awards

Jurors are generally filmmakers, film industry professionals, critics or curators who have a commitment to supporting regional filmmakers and film culture in Wisconsin. Often, jurors have Wisconsin roots or are UW alumni.

The Basin Short Film Fest celebrates independent cinema and new media from a variety of genres and formats. We also welcome submissions produced at any level and created in any year.

*YOUR WORK MUST HAVE A WISCONSIN CONNECTION TO BE ELIGIBLE*
Eligible films are those shot primarily or significantly (at least one-third) on location in Wisconsin and/or one or more of the project’s principal creative personnel (e.g. director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, lead actor, etc.) – must be one of the following: born in Wisconsin, a current or former Wisconsin resident for one or more years, or an alumnus or current student at a school located in Wisconsin.

Within these guidelines, we accept projects in the following categories: Experimental, Animation, Documentary, Music Video, Performance & Installation, 48 Hour Film.
We DO NOT accept demo reels, trailers, work in progress, commercials/advertisements, education, instructional, medical, institutional or industrial films.

Submission of work to the festival does not indicate an invitation to screen, the below is provided for informational purposes only. If you decide to attend the festival, we are generally unable to cover any costs of your travel or accommodations.

RUNTIME
Shorts: maximum 30 minutes

COMPLETION DATE
Projects completed in any year

PREMIERE STATUS
No premiere requirement, but being a premiere may determine film placement into key program blocks.

FORMATS ACCEPTED
All films submitted to FilmFreeway must be in the form of an online screener, file upload (H.264) or Vimeo/Youtube link. If a link is password protected, then the password must be provided, otherwise your submission will be considered INVALID and will be DISQUALIFIED with no entry-fee refund. We do not accept physical preview copies (i.e. DVDs).

Exhibition formats accepted are only data digital files (e.g. H.264).
For other submission or exhibition formats please email Basin@createportagecounty.org
*Please do NOT send .ZIP files!

ENTRY LIMITATIONS
Filmmakers can submit as many entries in as many categories as they like. Each entry must include a separate entry and fee.

NOTIFICATION DATE
By submitting your film to the Festival, you are agreeing to the final decisions made by the selection committee. The Festival staff is unable to provide comments about work not selected for the Festival. Award eligibility will be confirmed at the time of film selection.

September 8th is Filmfreeway's date that they will send out notifications.
The filmmaker must send their film 10 days after notified. If the filmmaker fails to send their work on time, we will not program it.
Accepted films will be invited to screen no later than September 8th.
Films not accepted into the festival will also be notified by September 8th.

ENTRIES MUST INCLUDE:
-Entry fee
-Film Title and Synopsis, Outline of Wisconsin connection to the artist or work, and Filmmaker Bio
-Wisconsin filmmakers (and those in consideration for Best in the Basin Awards) must also supply a registered primary address to verify.

PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS
Entrants are invited to submit promotional materials with initial submission. After notification of acceptance into the festival, filmmakers are encouraged to provide one still each of the director and a scene from the film for publicity. All publicity materials should be labeled with the name of the filmmaker and of the film.

EPKs are highly encouraged (electronic press kits)
An electronic press kit usually includes:
> Film Poster meeting social media standards - Digital
> High Rez Production Still Photos meeting social media standards - Digital
> High Rez Photo of the Director - Digital
> Biography/Filmography of Director
> Statement by the Director
> Press Clippings (Optional)
> Website info - Digital
> Social media links (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)
> Trailer - Digital

INCOMPLETE ENTRIES WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED
If there isn't at least a synopsis, director's headshot and bio we could pass on your film.

FEES
Submission fees increase over time. Early submissions are therefore encouraged. For further details, please see the Dates & Deadlines and Categories & Fees sections on our FilmFreeway page.

REFUNDS
We will not honor any requests for submission-fee refunds. Refunds will not be issued to any Applicant for any submission, regardless of selection, for any reason, including changes to dates, venues, or format that may be announced at any time.

SCREENING AND APPEARANCE FEES
Create Portage County and The Basin Short Film Fest do not require attendance, but value the time and energy of artists. In addition to complimentary access to films and events, we may be able to provide a modest appearance fee and/or cover the cost of travel and lodging to those who give their time to engage with our audiences in substantive ways. Details will be provided when appearance is being planned; this intent to host many guests does not represent an invitation. Please email Basin@createportagecounty.org for questions and considerations.

SUBMISSION TERMS AND CONDITIONS
All filmmakers or other film-rights holders who submit films for consideration for The Basin Film Fest must do so using FilmFreeway. As FilmFreeway users, all Applicants, therefore, agree to be bound by the FilmFreeway Terms of Service for Filmmakers (https://filmfreeway.com/page/terms-of-service). If any provisions of these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions conflict with the FilmFreeway Terms of Service, then these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions will control.

By submitting to the festival you agree to abide by and commit to the following statement: "I authorize Create Portage County to screen any submitted work, upon acceptance into The Basin Short Film Festival. For the purpose of the screenings, I authorize Create Portage County to market the film or video in whatever manner they see fit. I acknowledge that Create Portage County holds the screening rights of the film that I submitted to The Basin Short Film Fest for the purposes of screening the film at the 2023 Basin Short Film Fest. I confirm that all other rights remain the sole property of myself and/or my nominated production company. I hereby confirm that all material used in the production of the film or video is the original work of myself or my nominated production company, or is work for which I or my nominated production company have obtained with releases, including but not limited to actors, performances and the musical score. I guarantee that I have obtained all the necessary permissions, licenses and clearances to enter this film or video into The Basin Short Film Fest, and that the film and the screening of the film by Create Portage County, does not infringe the moral and ethical rights including copyright of any third party. I understand that my submission is in no way a guarantee of acceptance into The Basin Short Film Fest, and that nobody representing Create Portage County or The Basin Short Film Fest has guaranteed my acceptance into the festival prior to this submission. I have read and agree to the general rules, terms and conditions of The Basin Short Film Fest. I have also read and agree to any specific rules relating to the category that I am entering my film or video.

The entrant agrees that he or she will never assert against Create Portage County or The Basin Short Film Fest any claim or action based on plagiarism, infringement, confidential or fiduciary relationship, implied contract, idea theft, unfair competition or any other theory arising in connection with their submission to The Basin Short Film Fest, and the entrant understands that Create Portage County accepts no liability of any kind for the unauthorized use of all or part of such submissions by any person. In this regard, the entrant hereby absolutely releases and forever discharges Create Portage County, The Basin Film Fest and its officers, employees, volunteers, judges, readers, affiliates, and associates, individually and collectively, of or from any and all claims, liabilities, damages, legal fees, expenses, debts, actions, and causes of action against Create Portage County or The Basin Film Fest of every kind whatsoever, now and in the future, in connection with the entrant's submission.