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 go out and explore for our filmmakers and patrons. Because here, you’ll find everything from museums to historical sites to shopping, great German food, vineyards and more.

Created to celebrate and showcase filmmakers from Texas and around the world, the festival began in 2010. In 2019, HCFF screened 97 independent films, both short and feature length, as well as hosted 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, July 29 - August 1, 2021.

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 FilmFreeway, as an online screener (vimeo password protected link is recommended).

7. The selected works will be exhibited on Blu-ray & DCP.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. All entries must be submitted through FilmFreeway by May 21, 2021.

11. Notification of selections will be by June 21, 2021. 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
  • It was a pleasure to be selected for Hill Country Film Festival! They held a fantastic virtual event this year to comply with the quarantine restrictions. Holding a successful festival during these unprecedented times speaks volumes to the staff, judges, & curators. The communication, care, & overall experience was well worth the price of submission. I look forward to submitting again next year!

    June 2020
  • Elena Weinberg

    Great festival. "Attended" for the online festival in 2020 during shelter in place and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Can't wait to participate in person.

    May 2020
  • Scott Holmgren

    Wonderful film festival despite 2020 being online due to Covid. Fabulous organization and communication. Thank you especially to Chad and Amy! All the best for 2021!

    May 2020
  • Rebekah Louisa Smith

    LOVE this festival Chad is a legend and this festival is truly a mini sundance. I love the energy of it and the films are stellar.

    May 2020
  • Olivia Carter

    My first film festival and my very favorite! the best people, films and overall experience.

    August 2019