There are few things that go together better than independent film and the independent spirit of a small Texas town. Which is exactly why we choose to hold the Hill Country Film Festival in Fredericksburg. And, when the films are finished, we couldn’t think of a better town to explore for our filmmakers and patrons. Because here, you’ll find everything from museums and historical sites to shopping, outdoor adventures, great German food, over 50 wineries and more.

Created to celebrate and showcase filmmakers from Texas and around the world, the festival began in 2010. In addition to screening independent films, both short and feature length, HCFF hosts filmmaker Q&A/interviews, discussion panels, a filmmaker’s lounge and festival parties.

HCFF welcomes films in the form of features (recommended between 90-120 minutes) and shorts (recommended under 30 minutes), along with documentaries in either form.

Cinema Dulce Award (Best of Fest)*
Best Feature Film
Best Short Film
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Student Film
Best Texas Film*
Best Documentary
Audience Choice Award

*Cash prizes will be given to winners of the festival’s Cinema Dulce - Best of Fest ($1,500) and Best Texas Film ($1,000) awards sponsored by Texas’ premier boutique winery Pedernales Cellars.

Pedernales Cellars has a long-standing commitment of supporting the development of regional arts organizations, especially those with a strong educational mission. Through these awards, Pedernales Cellars looks to extend its support to include excellence in independent filmmaking for the benefit of the Texas Hill country community and beyond.

1. We encourage the submission of films in the form of feature-length (recommended 90-120 minutes), short-length films (recommended under 30 minutes). International films are also welcome but must be either be in English or have English subtitles.

2. Films must be available for screening during the festival, June 1 - 4, 2023.

3. By submitting a film to HCFF, you grant the Hill Country Film Festival permission to screen your film, if said film is officially accepted into this year's lineup.

4. By submitting a film to HCFF, you agree to allow highlights or excerpts of your film (e.g. a trailer) to be placed on the HCFF website and used for other marketing and promotional purposes. You also agree to allow HCFF to promote the following year's festival with the above excerpts, highlights and/or trailers. HCFF will never solicit or screen your film outside the promotion of the HCFF.

5. You may submit as many entries as you like. Each entry requires its own entry fee.

6. The only acceptable way to submit your film is via Film Freeway, as an online screener (Vimeo password protected link is recommended).

7. In accordance with the HCFF policy, the entry fee is non-refundable. You will not be allowed to enter your work unless you agree to abide by the terms and conditions of the HCFF.

8. Filmmaker must have obtained all clearances for exhibition and must certify that the work is original and no disputes regarding ownership exist on the film.

9. All entries must be submitted through Film Freeway by March 20, 2023.

11. Notification of selections will be by April 25, 2022. Only then will the film be considered for awards. Please understand that acceptance in the festival will in no way guarantee that you, your actors or crew will be offered paid transportation or lodging for the event. We do promise a good time, however.

Overall Rating
  • Bryan Poyser

    Wow, what an incredible time we had premiering our short film DON'T YOU GO NOWHERE at Hill Country! The staff was amazingly responsive & caring. The communication leading up to the festival was impeccable. The crowds were appreciative, the parties were laid-back and a great way to mingle & bond with the fellow filmmakers and the wine kept flowing all weekend! As if the experience wasn't great enough on its own, we even went home with an award. We'll definitely make the trip out to Fredericksburg for the festival again, whether we have a new film or not!

    June 2022
  • Vincent Mann

    Hill Country is by far one of our favorite festivals! They took such great care of us and planned thoughtful and engaging activities for us around the screenings. The films were fantastic with an audience that savors independent filmmaking. We're still feeling the high vibes and met so many awesome people. Thank you!

    June 2022
  • Keaton Morris-Stan

    Above and beyond all expectations! I was walking on clouds the entire festival experience. Communication was clear and effective, hospitality was thoughtful, films were well-curated, and the audiences were packed! Cannot recommend this festival more!

    June 2022
  • So bummed I wasn’t able to attend, bc I heard great things about this festival! I was so impressed by the lineup and events, and just the overall “vibe”. Even though I wasn’t there, email communication was excellent, and Amy was just so wonderful. So grateful to have been selected, and I look forward to attending in the future!

    June 2022
  • I was absolutely blown away by this festival. Everyone was so friendly and nice and they absolutely know how to make filmmakers feel welcome. We had an early screening on a Thursday and the theater was nearly full with non filmmakers ready to watch films. Highly recommend.

    June 2022