The ๐——๐—˜๐—˜๐—ฃ ๐—œ๐—ก ๐—ง๐—›๐—˜ ๐—›๐—˜๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ง ๐—™๐—œ๐—Ÿ๐—  ๐—™๐—˜๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—œ๐—ฉ๐—”๐—Ÿ takes the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and we are doing our part to flatten the curve. Like you, we thank the doctors, nurses, food industry workers, delivery personnel, and leaders who are serving our community in this crisis.

๐—–๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—น๐˜†, ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€:
๐—”๐˜‚๐—ด๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜ ๐Ÿฒ-๐Ÿต, ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ

To help the filmmakers who wish to submit for 2020, we have rolled back our submissions fees to the Regular Deadline rate, and they will not go up again this year. Our final submission deadline remains May 12, 2020.
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Check out our festival review in the
summer issue of ๐Œ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐Œ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ซ ๐Œ๐š๐ ๐š๐ณ๐ข๐ง๐ž
(the one with Quentin Tarantino on the cover!)
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The ๐——๐—˜๐—˜๐—ฃ ๐—œ๐—ก ๐—ง๐—›๐—˜ ๐—›๐—˜๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ง ๐—™๐—œ๐—Ÿ๐—  ๐—™๐—˜๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—œ๐—ฉ๐—”๐—Ÿ is back!
Make us laugh! Make us cry! Make us scream!
If you have a great story, we want it at our festival.
We accept short films (under 40 minutes), music videos, short screenplays, and feature film submissions.

๐—ก๐—˜๐—ช ๐—œ๐—ก ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ:
- Music Videos category!
- Short screenplay category with live scene readings!

๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—ง๐—จ๐—ฅ๐—ก๐—œ๐—ก๐—š ๐—œ๐—ก ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ:
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!). Free for all accepted and attending filmmakers!

Industry-Specific panels - For new and seasoned filmmakers of all stripes, these panels are designed to help improve your craft and business savvy. Free for all accepted and attending filmmakers!
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We seek to showcase the best in independent film from Texas, the US and the world. We share great films in a theatrical venue, inspire filmmakers, create networking opportunities and show our guests some genuine Texas hospitality.

We proudly screen at the ๐—ช๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ผ ๐—›๐—ถ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ, a former vaudeville theater thatโ€™s over a century old, but renovated with all modern touches. The Hippodrome is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and has seen Elvis Presley and John Wayne enter itโ€™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. Plus, we have additional locations around Downtown Waco to accommodate our screenplay readings, filmmaker lounge, and panels.

BONUS! If youโ€™re a fan of the ๐—›๐—š๐—ง๐—ฉ show ๐—™๐—ถ๐˜…๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—จ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, Chip and Joanna Gainesโ€™ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฎ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜ is located just steps away from the Hippodrome. Plus, Waco is the home of the ๐——๐—ฟ. ๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐— ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜‚๐—บ and ๐—•๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐——๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด.

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

Come on down, yโ€™all.
The stars at night are big and bright,
๐˜ฟ๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ƒ๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™๐™š๐™ญ๐™–๐™จ!

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

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 Script

Best Director - Feature
Audience Award - Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Feature Film

๐——๐—ข ๐—ฌ๐—ข๐—จ๐—ฅ๐—ฆ๐—˜๐—Ÿ๐—™ ๐—” ๐—™๐—”๐—ฉ๐—ข๐—ฅ ๐—”๐—ก๐—— ๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—”๐—— ๐—”๐—Ÿ๐—Ÿ ๐—ง๐—›๐—˜ ๐—ฅ๐—จ๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐—ฆ.

You agree to the following terms and conditions of the Deep in the Heart Film Festival (DitHFF).
โ€ข In order for submissions to be considered for competition, a Waco Premiere is required.
โ€ข Beyond the Waco area, we have no premiere status requirements.
โ€ข 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.
โ€ข You do not talk about Fight Club.
โ€ข Films must have been produced no earlier than August, 2015. Yes, that's a 5 year window.
โ€ข In accordance with the Deep in the Heart Film Festival policy, the submission fee is non-refundable.
โ€ข By submitting a film to DitHFF, you grant the Deep in the Heart Film Festival permission to screen your film in a theatrical venue, if said film is officially accepted into this year's lineup.
โ€ข 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.
โ€ข The enemy's gate is down.
โ€ข Films which have screened on television or are available publicly on the internet or streaming services are not eligible for competition. (Password protected and private links are acceptable).
โ€ข Short screenplays of all genres are welcome to submit (FINAL SCREENPLAY DEADLINE: March 10). Screenplays must be unproduced as of the date of the film festival. (August 9, 2020)
โ€ข We are an environmentally friendly festival. We accept digital submissions ONLY. Unless requested, do not send DVDโ€™s, Blu-rays, press kits, dirty laundry or unruly children.
โ€ข The selected works will be exhibited in a theatrical venue via a digital file or on Blu-ray & DCP.
โ€ข Keep readingโ€ฆ thereโ€™s a promo code in here somewhere...
โ€ข All entries must either be in English or subtitled in English. Foreign language films without English subtitles will not be screened.
โ€ข 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.
โ€ข Your work will not be screened 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:
โ€ข Permission to exhibit your film in a theatrical venue. Films must be available for screening during the festival (Fall 2020).
โ€ข 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/or social media and used for other marketing and promotional purposes. You also must agree to allow DitHFF to promote the following year's festival with the material listed above. DitHFF will never solicit or screen elements of your film outside the promotion of the DitHFF.

The Festival
โ€ข We accept short film submissions of any genre/topic. (Run time is 39 minutes or less.)
โ€ข We accept feature film submissions of any genre/topic. (Run time is 40 minutes or more.)
โ€ข We 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.)
โ€ข Submitter only needs to submit to ONE film genre, but will be considered in all appropriate award categories.
โ€ข We accept music video submissions.
โ€ข We accept unproduced short screenplays (FINAL DEADLINE: March 10)
โ€ข We believe that the Game of Thrones finale was pretty disappointing. Come on, Dany & Jon Snow deserved betterโ€ฆ and donโ€™t get us started on Bran.
โ€ข Notification of selections will be made by June 11, 2020.
โ€ข 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.
โ€ข Sorry, but we cannot provide paid transportation or lodging for the event. Discounts may become available as the festival approaches.
โ€ข Entrants are responsible for all costs incurred to attend this festival.
โ€ข You may submit as many entries as you like. Each entry requires its own entry fee. Entry fees will not be refunded.
โ€ข Official selections will receive TWO free passes to the film festival for the duration of the film festival.
โ€ข Official selection filmmakers 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!
โ€ข 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.
โ€ข Exceptions to these rules will not be made unless we make an exception.
โ€ข Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

For further questions and inquiries, please email

Overall Rating
  • Takayuki Ogawa

    It was a honor to be part of this festival. Communication was very clear and friendly. It was a pity we couldn't attend the festival.

    July 2019
  • Erin Zeller

    This was my first film festival and what a great first experience! So any fun activities, great networking, local community involvement, and of course a great showcase of a variety of films. Luis and Samuel were funny and kind and communicative. I definitely recommend submitting/attending the Deep in the Heart Film Festival!

    July 2019
  • Jill Sachs

    Deep in the Heart is such a great, well organized, heart-felt festival! I sadly couldn't attend, and deeply regret that because throughout my festival run so many of the filmmakers I met raved about this fest. Hats off to Sam and Louis for fostering that much love!

    May 2019
  • Robert Smat

    Sam and Louis have done a great job developing this festival over the past three years, and have managed to intertwine a vibrant community around the usual screenings. Thrilled to have been included.

    May 2019
  • Justin Giddings

    One of my favorite festivals on the circuit - everybody is so NICE!!! I encourage anyone on the fence about submitting to get wacko in Waco!

    April 2019