IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Covid-19 didn't stop us from having a successful, virtual festival in 2020 and we won't let it stop us in 2021! As of right now, we are planning the festival in both the virtual and in-person formats while we continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic. We will make an announcement regarding our final decision closer to the end of our call for entries. Your health and safety means everything to us, and will remain our top priority. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our website for updates.


In keeping the momentum from the past 3 years, we're back with fundamental workshops, amazing films, and influential mentors in the film/TV industries, as we bring, yet, another monumental experience to the city of Indianapolis!

Designed with indies in mind, the Circle City Film Festival has emerged as a platform designed to promote diversity through the art of independent film. Our goal is to encourage filmmakers, actors, and artists to share and express our artistic abilities; and to provide these creatives with the resources, tools, and network they need to succeed in the independent realm and beyond.

On our mission to encourage the development of creative arts in and around Indianapolis, and the Midwest, the Circle City Film Festival celebrates the art of filmmaking with film screenings, informative panels, workshops, awards, and amazing networking opportunities. Created on the foundation of inclusion, CCFF strongly encourages women and people of color to submit their work.

We welcome submissions in the following categories:

Narrative Short Film
Narrative Feature Film
Animated Film
Music Video
Student Film
TV Pilot
Web Series
Screenplay - Short
Screenplay - Feature

The 2020 Circle City Film Festival Chelsey Awards will offer "Best" awards in all categories where submissions are made, in addition to:

Best Actress
Best Actor
Best Director
Best Cinematography
Best Musical Score
People's Choice Award
Rookie Award


The Circle City Film Festival will award (1) actor, the ChelseyRai Standberry Acting Scholarship in the amount of $500 to be used toward tuition for an acting class, school, or workshop of the recipient's choice. Applicants must submit an essay (500 words minimum) on why they have a passion for acting, and their overall goals as an actor. Please visit our website to submit your essay.

UPDATE: Since many of us were not able to create due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to expand our project completion requirements. Therefore, all entries must have been completed after September 1, 2018 to be eligible for selection.

We will accept rough cuts in the submission phase, but a final version must be available by August 5, 2021.

*We do not require premiere status. However, films featured as an Opening Night Premier can not have premiered in the Midwest region prior to the festival, or on any online or streaming platforms.

Film Selection:

All films are viewed by the selection committee consisting of industry professionals and film lovers. Each film is viewed and rated, first, by each member of the selection committee. Based on those ratings, CCFF officials will make the final decisions and notify filmmakers accordingly. All decisions are final.

If selected, filmmakers must provide films in the following formats: .Mp4, Blu Ray, DCP (hard drive)

Circle City Film Festival does not own the rights to your project. All Blu Rays, hard drives, etc. will be returned to the filmmaker at the conclusion of the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Lisa Maydwell

    This is my third year participating and I have enjoyed it every year. Great networking opportunities.

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    We appreciate your support , Lisa, and we love having you!

  • Bubba Fontaine

    Completely amazing experience. Highly recommend. Looking forward to next year!

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    It was a pleasure having you participate!

  • was king of hurt and disappointed

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    Hello! We are sorry that you had a disappointing experience at our virtual festival. If we recall correctly, we accommodated your film as a courtesy even though it was submitted in the wrong category. Would you mind telling us why you felt that way so that we can do our best to correct our mistakes in the future? You’re welcome to respond here or email us at

  • Carissa Gallo

    We were thrilled to be accepted into this festival and Rasheda and the rest of the Circle City team did an amazing job transitioning to a virtual festival with little notice. It was a great festival and we truly had a wonderful time watching all the projects. We just wish we could have been there in person. Very professionally run, great communications, and workshops.

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for the kind words! We worked so hard to make sure our filmmakers elite didn't feel the burn of the transition, and we are so grateful that we were able to deliver a seamless festival. Thank you for submitting, thank you for attending, and thank you for your awesome review. We hope to see you again soon!

  • Really just an all around well run festival. Extremely savy technically - the virtual screenings were seamless, the social media postings and announcements were well designed, and on a schedule.
    I am wishing Rasheda Randle and her team continued success as she expands on all that she has built this year. I can easily see this festival becoming one of the "go to" festivals for the Midwest.

    September 2020
    Response from festival:

    We worked incredibly hard to ensure that the integrity of our festival was not lost given the circumstances. Your kind words are certainly not taken for granted. We hope to see you at next year's festival!