SEPTEMBER 6-8th, 2019

The Inaugural Year of Horsetooth International Film Festival is an event you're not going to want to miss! With an incredible amount of local support, we're making serious waves in Colorado and helping to cultivate a budding film scene. Already a multi-day, multi-venue, regional event centered around film, we'll also be providing lots of opportunities to filmmakers, artists, and musicians to further help the community grow by raising awareness and promoting diversity in our region.

Filmmakers, Artists, Musicians, Community Members, and Tourists now have a new reasons to interact and celebrate in beautiful Northern Colorado. Be sure to check out our website for more information on the festival, the region, and why you should get involved!




#HIFF, entering it’s inaugural year, was founded with the intent to establish Northern Colorado (#NoCo) as an international destination where progressive thought and action are celebrated through the art of filmmaking and other forms of creative expression.

The mission of #HIFF is to inspire and engender passionate artistic creations and positive changes to our way of life by providing an international platform to spread knowledge and creativity.



- Elevation 5,430 feet
- 300+ days of sunshine per year
- Less than 1hr from Rocky Mountain National Park
- Home to Colorado’s only “Wild & Scenic River”


- Population over 875,000, Median Age of 35
- 50.2% Women and 49.8% Men
- Ranked 2nd Most-Educated State


- Over 86 million visitors per year
- Domestic visitors have increased 41% since recession, more than double the national average


- Ranked #1 state in USA to do business by Forbes Magazine in 2019
- 97.6% of businesses in Colorado are small businesses



Here's an article from the local newspaper, which was also published in the Denver Post...


"Horsetooth International Film Festival to debut in Loveland this Fall"

By Paul Albani-Burgio, Reporter-Herald Staff Writer

When area filmmakers John Hunt and Jesse Nyander look at Northern Colorado, they see a region rife with creative potential and filmmaking talent. Now they want the rest of the state — and world — to see that, too.

So they are launching a new film festival centered on Loveland with an eye toward showcasing what they say is the region's burgeoning filmmaking talent and giving the area the type of major film event that has become standard in other independent film hotbeds.

"There is a lot going on film-wise in Boulder and Denver but we have a lot going on up here too," Hunt said. "But we don't really have that platform that would put the Northern Colorado film scene on the map. So this event is about uniting the community in that effort."

The planned festival, which organizers have named the Horsetooth International Film Festival, will debut with a one-day main event at the Rialto Theater Center on Sept. 7. Hunt, who has brought together a team of local creative professionals to work with him and Nyander on the event, said the plan is for this year's event to consist of screenings of around a dozen 15-minute short films and one feature film.

However, Hunt said that is just the planned starting point for the festival with the team already planning on eventually turning it into "a truly regional and multi-day event" with screenings at such venues as Fort Collins' Lyric Theater and Museum of Discovery and the Mishawaka Amphitheater in Bellevue.

Hunt said the team is planning to begin taking film submissions via the FilmFreeway platform, which he said is becoming the standard vehicle for films to be submitted to festivals for consideration, in April.

"We are going to have multiple categories for filmmakers to submit in and we are still working those out," Hunt said. "But the major general focus is going to be films from the Northern Colorado film community and growing and uniting that community."

The desire to make the festival a truly strategic event led to the team's decision to chose to hold the inaugural festival at the Rialto.

"We met with several venues but we really felt that the Rialto, in addition to being a really unique space, also offers the possibility for people to come in and out of the festival going on in the theater and walk around and be involved in the community and also for the community to be part of the festival because it's right there," he said. "You don't get that at the Mishawaka, for example, where there isn't really a community to walk around."

Also intentional was the decision to include the word "International" in the festival's name.

"We realize our filmmakers can only go so far inside their own bubble," he said. To grow as filmmakers they need exposure to ideas from outside their areas "and that's what we are hoping to provide here."

Though the festival is still a work in progress, Hunt said he is hoping the festival can become one on the level of the Boulder International Film Festival — though with a distinctively Northern Colorado flair.

"When you look at the Boulder International Film Festival it started on a small scale like we are and now brings 65,000 people to Boulder over a weekend," he said. I don't see any reason why that can't happen here."

Updates about the festival, including films and ticketing, will be posted as the event gets closer at horsetoothfilmfestival.com, where it is also possible to sign up for a newsletter about the festival. Those interested in volunteering or sponsoring the festival can contact organizers now at info@horsetoothfestival.com

2019 Award-Winners Have Been Announced! All recipients received certificates, most received trophies, and some received prizes from our sponsors, including; OtterBox, Topo Designs, and Weldwerks Brewing Company.

Category Winners

Best Feature Film - Beyond Karma, Directed by Kyle Rasmussen
Best Colorado Short Film - ALM, Directed by Alex Killian
Best National Short Film - Mellow Yellow, Directed by Jessica Batson
Best International Short Film - The Funeral Dancer, Directed by Natalie MacMahon
Best International Waivers Film - cold/mess, Directed by Dar Gai
Best 360 Dome Film - Immersive, Directed by Jeremy Oury
Best Music Video - RED, Directed by Alexander Stephens

Special Recognition Awards

Best of Fest - Gothic Springs, Directed by Lindsay Lemez
Audience Choice Award (‘Another Dimension’ Category) - Voyager: The Never-Ending Journey, Directed by Yuriy Gapon
Audience Choice Award (‘I Want My MTV Back’ Category) - Redlands by Losing My Mind, Directed by Ryan Frazee
Audience Choice Award (Short Film Categories) -
Women in Film & Media Colorado Content Creator Award - Gothic Springs, Directed by Lindsay Lemez
Best Foreign Film - Atari, Directed by Farhad Fadakar
Most Creative Film - Mellow Yellow, Directed by Jessica Batson
Most Inspirational Film - Tank Man, Directed by Robert Peters
Most Influential Film - Wings, Directed by Brian de Herrera-Schnering
High Strangeness Award - La Fuga, Directed by Adrian Regnier
High Strangeness Award - Tyde Pawd Trippin’ by Hyzenborg, Directed by Steven Fox
Curators’ Collection - Lily ‘N’ Rose, Directed by Sheryl Glubok
Curators’ Collection - cold/mess, Directed by Dar Gai
Curators’ Collection - ALM, Directed by Alex Killian
Curators’ Collection - Man Eaters, Directed by Nick Acosta
Curators’ Collection - Below A Dark Wood, Directed by Bill Slovick



The following is an explanation of rules governing the submission of projects (the “Project”) to Horsetooth Intl. Film Festival (“HIFF” or the “Festival”).

A NOTE ABOUT INTEGRITY: Horsetooth Intl. Film Festival chooses not waive entry fees for the sole purpose of maintaining integrity for the benefit of all those who have worked hard to apply to the competition. Only by enforcing the same rules and entry fees to all applicants can we ensure that no one film is favored over another.

A NOTE ABOUT INTENTION: As a platform for diversity in filmmaking, creative expression and interactive entertainment, HIFF seeks to discover aspiring filmmakers, encourages emerging and established voices, advocates innovative experiences, and provides an avenue for new ideas and creative growth through panels, premieres, and live performances.


1) In order to be considered a “Colorado” Project, 50% or more of the Project’s financing must have originated from sources within Colorado. The Project may then be submitted into any of the following categories: "Colorado" Short Film Category, "National" Short Film Category, "The Americas" Short Film Category, "International" Short Film Category, "One World" Feature Category, "Another Dimension" Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and 360-Degree Category.

2) In order to be considered a “National” Project, 50% or more of the Project’s financing must have originated from sources within The United States of America (including Puerto Rico and Minor Outlying Islands). The Project may then be submitted into any of the following categories: "National" Short Film Category, "The Americas" Short Film Category, "International" Short Film Category, "One World" Feature Category, "Another Dimension" Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and 360-Degree Category.

3) In order to be considered an “Americas” Project, 50% or more of the Project’s financing must have originated from sources within the North and South American continents, from a residing country or countries. The Project may then be submitted into any of the following categories: "The Americas" Short Film Category, "International" Short Film Category, "One World" Feature Category, "Another Dimension" Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and 360-Degree Category.

4) “International” Projects can be financed where funds have originated from sources anywhere in the world. The Project may then be submitted into any of the following categories: "International" Short Film Category, "One World" Feature Category, "Another Dimension" Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and 360-Degree Category.

5) If the Project’s final running time is 40 minutes or more, the Project may only be submitted into the following category in the 2019 competition: "One World" Feature Category

6) Submissions must be accompanied by the applicable submission fee (per entry) along with a completed online entry form. All films must be in English or have English subtitles at the time submitted.

7) Films must be submitted as an online streaming video via the FilmFreeway platform in the 2019 competition. Please complete a profile for your film using filmfreeway.com and submit using their system. This helps us to stay organized before, during, and after the festival. Please contact us you require your film to be played in a specific format, which will be determined by the review committee.

8) In the event of a password change (for password protected videos) or link change after submitting, you must email the Festival at info@horsetoothfilmfestival.com immediately with that change so we may update your record. If the Festival is not notified of the change and the link is found to be inactive or the password to be incorrect, the submission may be deemed ineligible.

9) HIFF screens films as digital files and only accepts digital files as a submission format. Please convert and upload your film if necessary.

10) All films must have been completed within the two-year window from the date of the Main Event; in other words, for the 2019 Festival, films must have been completed after Sep. 7th, 2017. Films must be available for screening during the Horsetooth Intl. Film Festival, September 6-8th, 2019.

11) Films that have been submitted to HIFF in previous years are eligible to be resubmitted, provided they are eligible according to all of HIFF’s current rules.

12) Films with U.S. distribution (obtained prior to being selected for HIFF screening) or films produced, financed or initiated by a major film studio or television network are ineligible for competition, but may be considered for a special screening. Selection for such screenings will be determined no later than August 12th.

13) Feature Films that have screened on U.S. networks or cable television, or that have been distributed to theaters prior to the festival dates are ineligible for competition. “Work-in-progress” screenings in which an incomplete version of the film was previously screened, however, are still considered eligible.

14) Short Films do not need to retain any sort of premiere status. U.S. and International Short Films are still eligible for submission to the Festival if they were previously released theatrically or via any home video platform, broadcast or streamed on television or the internet, or screened at any number of film festivals, anywhere in the world.

15) Virtual Reality Projects may have been previously screened or made available, either for free or for purchase, via any existing distribution platform or exhibited at other festivals, industry trade shows, and/or conventions and still retain their eligibility for open submission to the Festival.

16) Feature films are preferred to be a first-time premiere in the state of Colorado. This means HIFF prefers not to screen features in competition that have played at other CO festivals or screened publicly in a theater in CO (including a one-night only screening in a rented space) prior to Sep. 7th, 2019. Premieres in this category are welcome from anywhere in the world, but we openly give preference to films that have not yet had a premiere over one that has played at several festivals.

17) Private invite-only screenings (i.e., for cast and crew or donors) do not affect any film’s eligibility.

18) HIFF reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject or disqualify any ineligible entries, without a refund.

19) Films that are selected to screen at the Festival are not necessarily selected to be “in competition” for awards purposes, although we will notify submitters by the notification date should this situation arise. Nominated and otherwise selected films will be notified on or prior to the designated notification date on Aug. 12th, 2019.


1) Films must be the original work of the applicants. If a film is based upon another person’s life or upon a book or other underlying work, applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation rights agreements to the Festival. Neither the Festival nor its jurists investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you represent that you have secured all necessary rights.

2) Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included in their films, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights. HIFF expressly disclaims all liability or responsibility for any violations of the foregoing.


1) We strongly encourage filmmakers to submit their film only after it is fully finished and will judge each submission as a completed work, whether it is completed or not. Once a film is entered, we will not update the same submission with a more recent cut; filmmakers are still welcome to submit a more recent cut, but will need to complete the submission process again for any new versions to be considered.

2) HIFF reserves the right to reassign submissions into a different category to fit programming needs and interests; films will not be penalized for the original submission selection.

3) Once an entry payment has been received we cannot provide a refund. If a payment is disputed by an entrant for any reason, the entrant may be subject to any transaction fees or similar amounts incurred by HIFF in connection with the dispute.

4) You must include a working method of contact as well as physical address either in your entry or in your cover letter. Please do not submit a film without providing us your address; this is needed for our records.

5) Payments made with a check, when applicable, are subject to our Bounced Check Policy: If we receive a returned check from our bank for a payment you made, you will be invoiced for the original amount of the check plus a $25 bounced check fee. The payment of the invoiced amount will be due within 30 days of invoice date. We will not re-submit the original check, nor will we accept another check for repayment. Repayment must be made by money order or cashier’s check.

6) If your film was shot in Colorado or by CO filmmakers, please include any pertinent details about your film, including shoot locations.


1) HIFF has no obligation (other than as stated in these rules or on our website) to disclose any of the following information: i) identities of screeners or judges; ii) notes, feedback, or information relating to the submitted project (although we promise to try and support the value this provides to aspiring filmmakers); and/or iii) details regarding the submission review or selection process.

2) HIFF explicitly disclaims any liability or responsibility for any comments, notes, or opinions expressed about a submission, whether by HIFF or by its volunteers.
Winners will be announced on Sept. 7th, 2019. The judges’ decisions are final.
Winners receiving cash prizes are solely responsible for payment of all local, state, and federal taxes, when applicable.


1) DVDs and press materials will not be returned. Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for each submission if you wish acknowledgment of the receipt of your mailed entry (when applicable).


"Colorado" Short Film Category
Films of any genre filmed in Colorado or made by a Colorado Filmmaker may be submitted to this category. Films must be under 15 minutes in length.

"National" Short Film Category
Films of any genre filmed in The United States of America or made by a USA-Native Filmmaker may be submitted to this category. Films must be under 15 minutes in length.

"International" Short Film Category
Films of any genre filmed on Planet Earth or made by an Earthly Being may be submitted to this category. Films must be under 15 minutes in length.

"One World" Feature Category
This special category is for films that offer thought-provoking observations or ideas that propel our way of life. Entries considered have the opportunity to be played during the Feature Block of "The Main Event." Films must be greater than 40 minutes and under 75 minutes in length in the 2019 competition.

"Another Dimension" Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and 360-Degree Category
Films produced in 360º for VR, fulldome or other XR technologies may be submitted to this category. Films must be under 20 minutes in length. NOTE: If films or installations require special equipment to be presented, please send us a message before submitting to verify whether or not we can facilitate your film. Please inform if you plan on providing said equipment. 360º films may be presented in a fulldome theater.


I/We have read all of the rules, understand, and have complied with these rules.

I/We warrant the submission of my/our original work and that there are no disputes regarding the ownership of the submission.

I/We also warrant the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead.

To the best of my/our knowledge, all the statements herein are true and correct.

I/We understand that failure to adhere to the competition rules and regulations will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.

I/We acknowledge that once an entry payment has been processed, HIFF will not provide a refund.

No revisions of materials will be accepted once entry has been submitted.


Overall Rating
  • Brian De Herrera-Schnering

    Great festival. I'm looking forward to seeing it grow in the years to come. Great venue too! Lots of opportunities to meet people and mingle.

    September 2019
  • Steven Fox

    Fantastic festival! It was a blast to be included and an honor to have received the award for "High Strangeness" for our music video!

    September 2019
  • Very nice festival! Wishing you the best of success for future editions!

    September 2019