Heart warming...
Heart breaking...
Heart stopping...

The Deep in the Heart Film Festival is back! We’re looking for films that make us laugh, cry, or even scream. If you have a great story, we want it at our festival.


Film Locations Tour - Take a ride with us as we scout the best Waco locations! Check out Central Texas' varied and unique looks, see in person the sites that have made it to the big screen, and afterward fill up on some amazing Texas BBQ (our treat!).

Cutting-Edge Tech Workshop - Join us for an intensive breakdown of the absolute latest in story-telling technologies, including both VR and AR.

We seek to showcase the best in independent film from Texas, the US and the world. We want to share great films, inspire filmmakers, create networking opportunities and show our guests some genuine Texas hospitality.

We proudly screen at the Waco Hippodrome, a former vaudeville theater that’s over a century old, but now with 3 brand-spanking new luxury theaters! The Hippodrome is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and has seen Elvis Presley and John Wayne enter it’s doors. Always a Waco tradition, the Hippodrome has been reborn as a central Texas destination - complete with recent renovations in seating, projection, and the addition of a full kitchen and bar.

BONUS! If you’re a fan of the HGTV show Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market is located just steps away from the Hippodrome. Plus, Waco is the home of the Dr Pepper Museum and Balcones Distilling.

We are easily within driving distance of Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. It’s easy to see why this area is called the Heart of Texas.

Come on down, y’all. The stars at night are big and bright, Deep in the Heart of Texas!

As the modern philosopher, DJ Khaled says,
“All I do is win win win no matter what.”

Awards for our festival include:

Best Comedy Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Drama Short
Best Family Short
Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Short
Best Horror Short

Best Texas Short
Best US Short
Best Foreign Short

Best Screenplay - Short
Best Actor- Short
Best Actress - Short
Best Director - Short
Audience Award - Short
Best Short Film

Best Screenplay - Feature
Best Actor - Feature
Best Actress- Feature
Best Director - Feature
Audience Award - Feature
Best Feature Film

Do yourself a favor and read all the rules.

You agree to the following terms and conditions of the Deep in the Heart Film Festival.
• All films must be the original work of the filmmakers and all filmmakers must have the necessary rights. The festival is not liable for any rights issues.
• You do not talk about Fight Club.
• We have no premiere status requirements.
• Films must have been produced no earlier than March, 2014. Yes, that's a 5 year window.
• In accordance with the Deep in the Heart Film Festival policy, the entry fee is non-refundable.
• By submitting a film to DitHFF, you grant the Deep in the Heart Film Festival permission to screen your film, if said film is officially accepted into this year's lineup.
• If your film has been selected, you will have 14 DAYS TO ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR ACCEPTANCE. If we do not hear from you within 14 days of notification, your selection may be revoked.
• If accepted, the filmmaker is required to provide the festival a digital file (.mov, .mp4), for exhibition.
• Only completed entries (including entry form, payment, and final exhibition film copy) will be considered. The Deep in the Heart Film Festival does not consider works in progress.
• We are an environmentally friendly festival. We accept digital entries ONLY. Do not send DVD’s, Blu-rays, press kits, dirty laundry or unruly children.
• The enemy's gate is down.
• Films which have screened on television or are available publicly on the internet are not eligible. (Password protected and private links are acceptable).
• All entries must either be in English or subtitled in English. Foreign language films without English subtitles will not be screened.
• As filmmakers ourselves we have never received a rejection letter that made us feel better, so we won't stick the knife in any deeper by sending one.
• You will not be allowed to enter your work unless you agree to abide by the terms and conditions of the Deep in the Heart Film Festival.

You grant the Deep in the Heart Film Festival the following:
• Permission to exhibit your film. Films must be available for screening during the festival, March 28-31, 2019.
• Permission for photos, posters, highlights or excerpts of your film (e.g. a trailer) to be placed on the Deep in the Heart Film Festival website and used for other marketing and promotional purposes. You also agree to allow DitHFF to promote the following year's festival with the material listed above. DitHFF will never solicit or screen your film outside the promotion of the DitHFF.

The Festival
• We accept short film submissions of any genre/topic. (Run time is 39 minutes or less.)
• We accept feature film submissions of any genre/topic. (Run time is 40 minutes or more.)
• We also accept student made short film submissions of any genre/topic, created by college or high school students. (Run time is 29 minutes or less. School ID is required that matches the date your film was created.)
• Notification of selections will be made by February 28, 2019.
• The Deep in the Heart Film Festival reserves the right to change our programming without notice. The official selections and screening schedule is at the sole discretion of the festival.
• Sorry, we cannot provide paid transportation or lodging for the event. Discounts may become available as the festival approaches.
• You may submit as many entries as you like. Each entry requires its own entry fee. Entry fees will not be refunded.
• Our success depends on the quality of submissions, so we cannot offer full waivers. But since you were smart enough to read these rules, use the promo code IAMAREADER and you'll get a discount.
• Entrants are highly encouraged, but not required, to attend the festival. Seriously, check out our past festivals and you'll see that it's worth it! Entrants are responsible for all costs incurred to attend this festival. Entrants will receive one free pass to the film festival for the duration of the film festival.
• Exceptions to these rules will not be made unless we make an exception.
• Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

For further questions and inquiries, please email info@deepintheheartff.com

Overall Rating
  • Stephen Cervantes

    I wasn't able to attend, but Louis and the other kind folks at the festival were so communicative and generous. I really wish I could have made it, because it seemed like a hell of an event.

    April 2019
  • Tristan Sparks-McMahon

    All aspects were amazing. Would give it a 6 if I could

    April 2019
  • Nathan Crenshaw

    Excellent event overall. Great venue with tons of free perks. They really know how to spoil the filmmakers. The city of Waco was quite enjoyable too. Highly recommend.

    April 2019
  • Nikhil Melnechuk

    A wildly generous and hospitable festival that operates like clockwork. Films start on time, local press is everywhere, screenings are well-attended, food and drink are plentiful, free tours (such as to the Balcones Distillery and to filming locations around Waco) are highlights…and just flip over your badge for a full schedule of events. Glad to have been a part of a growing festival-to-watch—will certainly apply here in the future and encourage other filmmakers to do so as well.

    April 2019
  • mario morin

    Amazing. So welcoming and generous. Not to be missed. Samuel and Luis are so passionate about their festival and they work really hard to make it work... as it shows. THANK YOU SO MUCH !!

    April 2019