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). All films will be up for Finalist consideration.

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Nonprofit arts organization Heartland Film, Inc. will host the fourth annual Indy Shorts International Film Fest (Indy Shorts) to exclusively showcase short films (under 40 minutes in length) from July 20-25, 2021, tentatively with in-person screenings in Indianapolis but with a pandemic contingency plan for a hybrid virtual and drive-in 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, 23 films have been nominated with 7 going on to win Oscars®. Heartland Film has officially signed on to the 5050x2020 Parity Pledge and 50% of the 2020 Indy Shorts official selection lineup was either directed or co-directed by women.

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WAIVER POLICY: 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. Thus, waivers are only reserved for Indy Shorts and Heartland International Film Festival alumni. 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 fourth 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. Five finalists in competition

• Documentary Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
Academy Award®-qualified category. Five finalists in competition

• Animated Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
Academy Award®-qualified category. Five finalists in competition

• 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, 2020 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. Five finalists in competition

• Documentary Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)*
Academy Award®-qualified category. Five finalists in competition

• Animated Short ($5,000 Cash Prize)
Academy Award®-qualified category. Five finalists in competition. Five finalists in competition

• 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.

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, 2020.
• The film must be available for up to 2 screenings during Indy Shorts, July 20-25, 2021, or virtually 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.

FINALISTS/OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Based on the category of short film, official selections will be in competition for Grand Prizes across these categories (though they may remain eligible Audience Choice Awards):
• Narrative Short Films
• Documentary Short Films
• Animated Short Films
• Indiana Spotlight Competition Short Films
• High School Film Competition
• Comedy
• Heartland Horror

Finalists will all compete for Grand Prizes. All submitted films that meet the below eligibility requirements are considered “in competition” to be selected as a Heartland Film Festival Finalist at the time of submission. In June 2021, Finalists are publicly announced. Only Finalists are eligible for the Grand Prize in each category. Grand Prize winners are announced at the Indy Shorts Awards Party on Saturday, July 24, 2021. Finalist filmmakers must be present to win.

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
  • Luca Padrini

    Loved to be part of Indy Shorts. All great organized. Has been an honor to participate with my short. Many thanks to all the organization.

    August 2020
  • Ksenia Ivanova

    Everything about the Indy Shorts was incredible. The organizers worked so hard to provide the best experience for the filmmakers during the Covid-19 time. The festival had a hybrid model – virtual and drive-in. Filmmakers got the opportunity not only to share their work but meet each other – via zoom conferences and interviews.
    Moreover, the level of the films was mind-blowing. We were truly honored to be selected among such strong works from around the world. The variety of genres and topics was amazing as well.
    Thanks, Indy Shorts, for this lifetime opportunity for our project! Our team hopes to share with you our next film.

    August 2020
  • Hannah Lindgren

    It was such an honor for our film 50 Little Birds to have its world premiere at the drive-in during Indy Shorts 2020. That, plus the online screenings and filmmaker Q&A were run seamlessly!

    August 2020
  • Farah Nabulsi

    The festival pivoted to online super well and organised at such a tough time during Covid19. Thank you so much IndyShorts. Organised, great selection of films, know what they are doing, doing it really well and for the love of film.

    August 2020
  • Even though this year's festival was online, it still delivered. The films were great and the organizers made me feel very welcome. I definitely recommend submitting.

    August 2020