Unfortunately, due to the continued presence of Covid-19, we are forced to postpone our event until 2021. Dates and deadlines have been changed to reflect this.

Festival of the Arts of Starved Rock Country is a juried art festival showcasing visual artists, film and music in Ottawa, Illinois (just minutes from Starved Rock State Park). For 3 days, visitors and residents will be able to stroll the streets of Ottawa as art galleries take over shops, musicians line the streets and films & drama performances play from morning to night. Cash prizes and recognition will be awarded to winning artists from an esteemed jury! Any proceeds from the event will go to benefit art in education in the local area.

Among the art, music and drama will be the Narrative Film Fest, anchored in the historical Roxy Movie Theater in downtown Ottawa. We are looking for 12 narrative features and 24 narrative shorts to round out the official selection of the first Festival of the Arts. Both the narrative feature and short categories will be giving away cash prizes for Judges Award and the Runner-Up.

This festival was previously known as Omni Prize for the Arts: Narrative Film Festival.

Narrative Short Film Judge's Award: $1,000
Narrative Short Film Runner-Up: $500

Narrative Feature Film Judge's Award: $1,000
Narrative Feature Film Runner-Up: $500

By submitting to the festival you agree to the following Rules & Terms.

1. Only narrative short films with a duration of up to 40 minutes, and narrative feature films of a duration of more than 40 minutes are accepted. All films must have been made in or after 2015. Only the first 200 short films and 100 feature films from the United States will be accepted.

2. By submitting, the filmmaker warrants that they are the rightful owner of the submission and do not violate or infringe on any trademark, trade name, copyright, literary, dramatic, musical, artistic or other intellectual property or personal rights.

3. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Festival of the Arts: of Starved Rock Country, from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

4. Festival of the Arts: of Starved Rock Country is hereby granted the rights to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted for promotional purposes of the festival. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements, rules and regulations.

5. Filmmakers receiving the student free entry must email us a scanned copy of their up to date student ID in order to be considered.

6. All films must be submitted either through FilmFreeway or through a password protected digital upload on a third party site like Vimeo. We will NOT accept DVDs or hard-copies for consideration or screening. Should your film be selected, we will download the file to be built into the festival program.

7. Despite our freedom to use your film for our own screening and advertising, we in no way would like to imply that we have some sort of ownership of your film. Should your film be picked up by a production or distribution company after screening at our festival, we demand no percentage of your deal or profits. Whatever you choose to do with the film outside of the festival is still solely up to you, because we do not own your film inherently through submission.

8. Any aspect of the festival is subject to change at the discretion of the Festival Director or Board. These aspects include Award Categories, Event Dates, Submission Deadlines, Venue, Category and Entry Fee, Award Recipients, Awards & Prizes, and the Selection Status of your film. Should the final film festival event be cancelled (not delayed or rescheduled, but cancelled) for any reason, any filmmakers who have paid to have their film entered will receive a full refund. There are NO refunds if you withdraw your film from the festival.

9. By submitting, you agree to all of these rules, terms and conditions. You acknowledge that no submission fee refunds are given once this application has been submitted. You also acknowledge that you will not receive any compensation for the use of your film by Festival of the Arts: of Starved Rock Country in accordance with the rules, terms and conditions.

Overall Rating
  • A BIG thank you to everyone at FOTA for the opportunity to screen at the festival. The communication was great and they truly support indie filmmakers. We hope to be back in 2022!

    October 2021
  • The Get Lost Losers team really fell in love with Starved Rock Country during our trip to the quaint midwestern town of Ottawa, Illinois. The films, the art, the music, the amazing staff; the entire weekend was a blast. We hope to be back with our sequel in a couple of years. Rock on!

    October 2021
  • James Altschul

    FOTA was an absolutely fantastic experience! The staff was extremely helpful, friendly, and communicative, and I look forward to submitting next year!

    October 2021
  • Todd Bull

    We enjoyed having our indie short film "Flight of the Heron" screen twice at this festival. The Festival of the Arts has been going for many years, but they added the film festival in 2020, which then was delayed a year because of COVID-19. It will take a few years for the film festival to take on it's own identity and traditions, but it's a great location and the folks running the festival are full of "Midwest Nice." The highest compliment I can offer is the film festival director nailed the technical requirements of the venue. I've watched our film dozens of times at festivals and the audio never sounded more crisp than it did at FOTA. Even more impressive was the audio for every film was consistently in the same range. Many times at festivals one film will be two low and another too loud, but not here. You nailed it Tyler. Thanks for all the hard work. We're hoping to be back in 2023 when our 3D amination feature film "Fawn's Justice" is released. Bravo FOTA.

    October 2021
  • Dustin Morrow

    Great communication and a fantastic venue in a festival surrounded by music and fine arts. A warm and inviting atmosphere. Thank you, FOTA!

    October 2021