Hobnobben. It's more than a film festival. It's a celebration of the human experience through cinematic storytelling. Approaching its eighth year, the Hobnobben Film Festival supports Fort Wayne Cinema Center, a not-for-profit arts organization in Fort Wayne, Indiana.Each year, we invite filmmakers, film lovers, and the film-curious to experience heart-changing cinema over four glorious days in October.

At Hobnobben, we encourage people to "See and be seen." By showcasing diverse stories and voices that have been typically excluded, we're able to curate a one-of-a-kind festival that invites participants to see themselves represented on screen — and be seen by others. We shine a light on historically marginalized stories and creators in film: LGBTQIA+, Black, Indigenous, people of color, women, international voices, seniors, non-White/Western, body positive stories, and the quirky/campy.

We aim to push boundaries and intellectualize through our programming. We are co-educators who want to make the art of film accessible to everyone. We believe this is best accomplished by meeting people where they’re at and hearing their stories. This isn’t a film fest for film snobs. This is a film festival intended to bring Hoosiers and the global community together.

Our 8th annual festival will be held October 12 - 15, 2023, at Fort Wayne Cinema Center.

Proceeds from the festival go toward supporting, maintaining and programming Fort Wayne’s nonprofit arthouse movie theater, Cinema Center.

Please note that Hobnobben operates with high standards relating to the content that we showcase to the community. There are some lines we will not cross, including:
- Misogyny
- Certain sexual violence
- Incest
- Transphobic content and/or jokes
- Use of the R-word
- Fridging of female/femme characters
- Othering and/or villainizing neurodivergent characters
- And anything else that is harmful and without a potentially meaningful payoff*

*This is not intended to be a complete list, but rather a few examples to help illustrate how we approach making selections for Hobnobben Film Festival.

We also do not screen films out of competition.

Awards & Prizes
Best of Awards will be given in each of the following categories:
Narrative Feature
Feature-Length Unscripted
Animated Shorts
Unscripted Short
Fiction Short
Student Work: High School and Undergraduate
First-Time Filmmaker and Advanced Student
Indiana Reels
WTFw: What the Fort Wayne?

All films submitted will also be eligible for Jen Lynn Award. This film honors films with lgbtqia+ representation and storytelling.

Jennifer Fray and Lynn Serstad have supported the festival since day one. Without the support of people such as these wonderful women, Hobnobben would not be what it is today. We are thrilled to be able to honor two great women and two valuable members of our Fort Wayne and Hobnobben Communities with this inaugural award.

Entrants must fully comply with these Entry Rules & Regulations in order to be considered eligible for the 2023 Hobnobben Film Festival.
- Only films completed after April 1, 2022 will be accepted. If you have a compelling reason to submit a film outside this date please contact us at submisisons@hobnobben.org before submitting to ensure eligibility (honestly, we’re usually pretty lienient on completion dates).
- Non-English language films must be subtitled in English.
- English Films are also highly encouraged to include subtitles or captions. Accessibility is important to our festival.

All films must be submitted via Hobnobben Film Festival's FilmFreeway Account and be viewable through FilmFreeway submission platform to be considered for festival screening.

Accepted films will be notified via email at the address included in the FilmFreeway submission form. The notification will include information regarding the required formats and medium for the exhibition copy of the film and delivery deadlines.

Please add the @Hobnobben.org domain to an accepted senders list to ensure receipt of festival emails, our primary mode of communication.

By submitting, you confirm that such exhibition of submitted work will not violate or infringe upon any rights whatsoever (including copyright, trademark, musical or contract right) of any person or entity. Submitters further confirm that they are authorized to submit film.

By submitting, you agree to have your film, if selected, be shown 1 to 3 times during the festival.

Additionally, submitters indemnify the Hobnobben Film Festival and Fort Wayne Cinema Center, Inc. from any and all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, and attorney's fee arising out of or in connection with third parties in regards to the screening of submitted film.

Any awards will be distributed to the production company of the winning film or to the person identified as a representative of the winning film’s production company in the credits thereof. All decisions of the Festival regarding the distribution of awards will be final and binding on all participants. If a representative from an award-winning film is not available to be present during the Awards Ceremony, it is the responsibility of the film's production company to provide Hobnobben with a shipping address and correct postage to mail the award. The Festival will not be liable for the distribution of any award to any party.

By submitting, you are stating you understand and hereby agree to the terms written in the General Festival Rules submissions to Hobnobben Film Festival 2023.

Thank you for your interest in submitting your film to the Hobnobben Film Festival. Should you have any questions regarding this process or your film’s eligibility, please email submissions@hobnobben.org.

Overall Rating
  • sepidar valian

    Hobnobben is lovely and friendly festival

    October 2022
  • Jonathan Fisher

    Such a cool festival! Wish I could have been there in person. My film had to carry on without me, but it was in great hands!

    October 2022
  • It is a giant machine this festival. From its dissemination, website, programming and communication with the filmmakers.

    October 2022
  • andre guima

    Loved the people, loved the energy, and loved the selection. Makes me proud to be an Indiana filmmaker and am honored to have been a part of the festival.

    October 2022
  • While I am excited that our film Underdogs won best short documentary at the 2021 edition of the Hobnobben film festival, I am extremely disappointed by this festival's lack of communication and organization. On opening night, the awards ceremony failed to address which films won for which specific category. It wasn't until after the ceremony I found out our film had won. In addition, while the Embassy theater is a beautiful venue, the attendance was abysmal for the screenings I attended. It's baffling that the team seemingly had plenty of resources for creating festival merchandise yet they couldn't afford to market for an audience to actually attend the festival. Finally, after receiving my award I was promised by festival staff that a physical statue would be mailed to my home address. After several attempts to reach out via email, I still have not heard back about the status of my award. I hate leaving negative reviews for festivals that try their best to put on an engaging experience, yet the myriad of issues that plagued this year's edition of the festival are inexcusable.

    December 2021