ACADEMY AWARD® QUALIFIER FOR LIVE ACTION, DOCUMENTARY & ANIMATED SHORT CATEGORIES - SEEKING SHORT FILMS (running time of 40 minutes or less) FOR CONSIDERATION

FEATURE FILMS, SUBMIT TO HIFF: Submit films 41 minutes or longer to Heartland International Film Festival at https://filmfreeway.com/HeartlandFilmFestival

NOTE: Please submit your film to ONE CATEGORY ONLY. For example, if your film is submitted as an Indiana Spotlight Narrative it will also be eligible for consideration as a general Narrative short. Please submit to the most specific category possible (example: Horror genre shorts to Heartland Horror). Films across all categories are eligible for Grand Prize consideration within their respective category - please note that titles that have previously submitted to the Academy Awards are not eligible for the qualifying Narrative/Documentary/Animated Grand Prizes, but are eligible for other awards. If you have any questions about submitting please email submissions@heartlandfilm.org.

COVID-19 Response/Planning: Please note that the festival went hybrid in 2020/21 with drive-in and secure virtual screenings via Eventive in response to COVID-19. Safety is our top priority, and although plans are in place to return to theaters in July 2022, the contingency plan will be a similar hybrid model of outdoor and virtual screenings in the event of a resurgence. Cash prizes WILL remain intact regardless of in-theater and/or drive-in/virtual screenings.

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Nonprofit arts organization Heartland Film, Inc. will host the fifth annual Indy Shorts International Film Fest (Indy Shorts) to exclusively showcase short films (under 40 minutes in length) from July 19-24, 2022, tentatively with in-person screenings in Indianapolis but with a pandemic contingency plan for a hybrid virtual and outdoor event. All winners will play encore screenings at the Heartland International Film Festival in the following October. An Academy Award®-qualifying film festival in all three categories (Live Action, Documentary, and Animation short film categories), the winner of the Narrative, Documentary, and Animated Grand Prizes will qualify for Academy Awards without the standard theatrical run, granted they meet all the other requirements needed to qualify. Short films featured at Indy Shorts/Heartland over the years have gone on to be short-listed, nominated, and winners of Academy Awards®. In the past 10 years, 29 films have been nominated with 8 going on to win Oscars®.

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WAIVER POLICY: Waivers are reserved only for Indy Shorts and Heartland International Film Festival alumni.

Please do not contact us requesting waivers or reduced submission fees. As a nonprofit organization, our annual operations and the process of viewing the volume of submissions we receive are very costly. We strive to keep our fees as reasonable as possible, and encourage all applicants to take advantage of our early and official deadlines to save on submission fees.

We do not offer offer Student waivers, but we offer discounted Student pricing for all categories.

ALUMNI WAIVERS: If you have directed a short or feature film that has screened at Indy Shorts or Heartland Film Festival in the past, please email submissions@heartlandfilm.org with your film’s title and the year it screened.

Indy Shorts has earned the special designation of being a qualifying festival for the Annual Academy Awards® for all three Short Film categories: Live Action, Documentary, and Animated. This means that the winner of the Indy Shorts Grand Prize for Best Narrative Short, Grand Prize for Best Documentary Short, and Grand Prize for Best Animated Short will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

The fifth annual Indy Shorts event will bestow more than $31,000 in cash prizes across multiple categories, including:

• Narrative Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
Academy Award®-qualified category

• Documentary Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
Academy Award®-qualified category

• Animated Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
Academy Award®-qualified category

• High School Film Competition (HSFC) ($2,000 Summer White Lynch Memorial Grand Prize, Underwritten by Gary D. and Marlene Cohen)
Four category winners awarded $500 each - Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana

• Indiana Spotlight Competition ($1,500 Cash Prize)

• Jenni Berebitsky Legacy Award ($1,800 Cash Prize)

• Heartland Horror Award ($1,000 Cash Prize)

• Best Comedy Short ($1,000 Cash Prize)

• Best Directorial Debut ($1,000 Cash Prize)

• Best Student Film Awards ($1,000 Cash Prize each)
Categories of Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana. Films made at the college, university, and conservatory level.

• Audience Choice Awards in the Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana Spotlight, Comedy, Heartland Horror, High School categories ($250 each)

Submit to the fourth annual, Academy Award-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival, Presented by Heartland Film, featuring short films 40 minutes or less in length!

Films completed on or after January 1, 2021 are eligible to submit.

Filmmakers participating in the Festival attend numerous screenings of their films and other special events designed to allow interaction between filmmakers and audiences. Filmmakers from around the world are invited to submit films; student filmmakers are welcomed in each category as well. Indy Shorts will select and honors films in several categories, with all major cash prize category winners to play encore screenings at the Heartland International Film Festival in October:

• Narrative Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)*
Academy Award®-qualified category

• Documentary Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)*
Academy Award®-qualified category

• Animated Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
Academy Award®-qualified category

• High School Film Competition (HSFC) ($2,000 Summer White Lynch Memorial Grand Prize, Underwritten by Gary D. and Marlene Cohen)
Four category winners awarded $500 each - Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana

• Indiana Spotlight Competition ($1,500 Cash Prize)

• Jenni Berebitsky Legacy Award ($1,800 Cash Prize)

• Heartland Horror Award ($1,000 Cash Prize)

• Best Comedy Short ($1,000 Cash Prize)

• Best Directorial Debut ($1,000 Cash Prize)

• Best Student Film Awards ($1,000 Cash Prize)
Categories of Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana

• Audience Choice Awards in the Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana Spotlight, Comedy, Heartland Horror categories ($250 each)

*Indy Shorts has earned the special designation of being a qualifying festival for the Annual Academy Awards® within the Short Films category. This means that the winner of the Grand Prize for Best Narrative Short Film, Grand Prize for Best Documentary Short Film, and Grand Prize for Best Animated Short Film will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules. Please note that films that have already qualified for/applied for the Academy Awards in 2021 or earlier are not eligible for the Grand Prizes/Academy qualification, but are eligible for other prizes.

INDIANA SPOTLIGHT
We are excited to exhibit short films with ties to the Hoosier state in our Indiana Spotlight Competition. Films in competition for the Indiana Spotlight Award and $1,500 must either include principal production (director or producer) or cast (leading actor/actress) from or currently living in Indiana and/or the film was shot in Indiana. Total number of category films to be determined to compete for one Grand Prize.

SELECTION PROCESS
Films submitted to Heartland International Film Festival are judged on their overall artistic and technical quality. Each submitted film goes through an involved judging process, and is screened by at least one member of the selection committee. Selected films could eventually be seen more than six times by members of the screening committees, programming staff, and juries.

ELIGIBILITY
To be eligible for the Heartland Film Festival, films must comply with the following:
• The film must have been completed on or after January 1, 2021.
• The film must be available for up to 2 screenings during Indy Shorts, July 19-24, 2022, and/or virtually on-demand in the event of a hybrid festival.
• There must not be a screening fee attached to the film. Heartland will not pay a screening fee to any film featured in the Festival; there are no exceptions.
• The film cannot require dual projection (interlock) or separate soundtracks.
Non-English films must be subtitled in English.
• Premiere status does not affect eligibility.

RULES FOR SUBMISSION
In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, filmmakers must comply with the following submission rules to be considered as a Finalist in their respective category:
• The submitting filmmaker must be either the producer or director of the film.
Entries are accepted exclusively through www.FilmFreeway.com.
• A completed official entry on FilmFreeway.com
• Payment of the non-refundable entry fee must accompany the submission.
• A functional streaming video file (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) in high definition 720p or 1080p included with your submission, either embedded or linked with working password.
• Multiple submissions must be provided as individual submissions.
• If submitting a film that is not yet complete, place "WORK IN PROGRESS" in the submission.

NOTIFICATION
All filmmakers will be notified by email after that date or before early June, 2021. Heartland Film reserves the right to release basic information about selected films before that time.

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
All programmed films are considered Official Selections and will be eligible for Grand Prizes and Audience Choice Awards in their respective overall category in addition to other special award categories:
• Narrative Short Films
• Documentary Short Films
• Animated Short Films
• Indiana Spotlight Competition Short Films
• High School Film Competition
• Comedy
• Heartland Horror

Indiana films meeting eligibility requirements for the Indiana Spotlight competition are eligible for the award in that category.

Other films may be invited to screen at the Festival as a “Special Presentation” or in a “To Be Announced” time slot; these may be eligible for the Audience Choice Award depending on when the films are scheduled.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Blair Academy

    It was a pleasure to be a part of Indy Shorts. The films were incredible, the networking opportunities (even virtual ones) were great, and the communication with the team was quick and straightforward. What a great festival!

    August 2021
  • My Linh Le Tran

    Love the festival and the sense of community around it!

    August 2021
  • Ewa Smyk

    Thrilled to have been able to premier my short film at Indy Shorts <3. Fantastic programming, lots and lots to enjoy!
    Even though I couldn't attend in person, I was able to make meaningful connections with other filmmakers and enjoy some interesting discussions and panels. Thanks so much Indy Shorts!

    August 2021
  • This was my second time being in the festival, but the first time I got to participate. I was able to participate online, and I actually had a really good time, and found there were lots of opportunities to get to know other filmmakers, some of which I got to meet in person at the next live fest I attended! For a virtual experience I was really able to connect, and I felt like I got a full festival experience!... I was also able to send some indy locals to my screening live, and they reported back that it was once of the best nights of their life! Next time, I'll have to go in person, too.

    August 2021
  • Susan O'Brien

    Had such a wonderful time at Indy Shorts! The programmers are incredible and made us feel right at home the moment we landed. The Living Room Theaters were a fantastic venue and a made an excellent first screening of our film in a theater space! Hope to be invited back in the future!

    August 2021