The Iowa Motion Picture Awards recognize outstanding creative and technical achievement in Iowa’s moving image production industry, in all its forms.

Nominated entries and winners will be recognized at the Iowa Motion Picture Awards Gala Ceremony. In each specific category, entries must meet the high criteria of industry judges for that skill set to receive the Award of Achievement. If the work was outstanding, it met the criteria to earn the highest Award of Excellence.


ENTRY DEADLINE: February 2, 2020


Members of Iowa's production community screen all entries and select nominees.

The entries are rated on how well they achieve their stated objectives as well as the creative and technical elements relative to the category.

Entries will be judged according to guidelines developed by industry professionals in each discipline.


Thanks to generous donations from our partners we have been able to offer reduced submission fees.

SUPER SUBMISSION DISCOUNT: For every three entries you submit you are eligible for a free fourth entry. Email with the number of entries you have submitted and your waiver for your free submission. Your entries will be validated before your free waiver is provided.

Non-Members do not need to enter a waiver code, but all other submissions will require the use of a waiver code to ensure that you pay the correct amount for your submission. If you are submitting multiple entries the waiver code will apply to each entry allowing you to make a single payment for all of your entries.

Early Entry Discount Waiver Codes

Members: IMPA35
Student Non-Members: IMPA40
Student Members: IMPA50

Important Note: Using a discount waiver for which you are not eligible may result in disqualification of your submission if we are unable to reach you to rectify your payment before the deadline. If your entry is disqualified a refund may be issued at the discretion of the Iowa Motion Picture Association.

Questions may be directed to Michael Helgens at (319)821-0682

Winners will be recognized at the Iowa Motion Picture Awards Gala Ceremony. There are two levels of recognition, the Award of Achievement and the Award of Excellence.

An entries score is determined by calculating the average score awarded by all judges assigned to the category.

Award Determination:
A nominated entry has achieved an average score of 60%. To be nominated for an Iowa Motion Picture Award is a major accomplishment and all nominees will be recognized at The Iowa Motion Picture Awards Gala.

In each category* the entry with the highest score is awarded The Award of Excellence. This is the highest honor bestowed by The Iowa Motion Picture Association. The second place film is awarded The Award of Achievement which recognizes a significant success in media production.

*Should a category have only one entry the Award of Excellence will be awarded if the entry has an average score of at least 85%. A nominated entry which scores less than 85% would earn the Award of Achievement in this instance.

Student categories may include an Honorable Mention Award for the third place entrant. The Iowa Motion Picture Association wishes to recognize and encourage the efforts of student media producers.

In order to be considered for nomination your entry must have a strong Iowa connection. To have an Iowa connection your entry must have a prominent crew member or actor who was born, lived, educated or worked in Iowa. Your entry would also qualify if your film is set in Iowa, about Iowans or part, or all, of your film was produced in Iowa. You must clearly explain your Iowa connection that meets these criteria during your FilmFreeway submission process. If you need clarification, please send an email to

The entry must have been completed between January 1, 2018 and February 2, 2020. The entry must not have been submitted before in the category or categories in which you are entering in 2019.

You must possess creative control of the submitted work including music used in your submission, or must have written approval from the appropriate individual or entity. You may be asked to submit additional verification for any content submitted if there is any question as to your license or authorization.


For each category you choose to enter:

(1) Complete your online Entry using FilmFreeway. Only entries submitted using FilmFreeway will be accepted. All instructions must be followed carefully to avoid disqualification. An Official Entry form must be completed for each of your selected submissions. All information entered on the Official Entry Form is the responsibility of the person completing the form. The Iowa Motion Picture Association will not be responsible for incorrect spellings or other mistakes that appear on awards that are the result of incorrectly entered information.

(2) All pieces should be submitted in their entirety. (If you have any questions, email or call Michael Helgens at (319)821-0682)

(3) For all categories where the judge would need to focus on a particular piece (i.e. Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress/Actor, etc), please ensure that you have uploaded a head shot that is clearly labeled in the file section on FilmFreeway. If your film is longer than ten minutes please add upload a document to FilmFreeway provides a ten minute section the judges should watch which best represents the category for which you are submitting.

(4) Please make sure that you have tested your submission before sharing it with the IMPA to ensure it plays and is free from corruption artifacts.

(5) If you have any questions, email or call Michael Helgens at (319)821-0682

(6) IF YOUR ENTRY IS NOMINATED YOU WILL NEED to include a link to a 15-second clip on Vimeo or YouTube via a link shared in a document attached to your project – clearly identified – to be used in the Show Reel during the Awards Ceremonies to introduce your project on the big screen, should you be nominated by the judges to receive an Award of Achievement or an Award of Excellence. Please select and include a different 15-second clip for each category you have entered -- which highlights the craft, skill, or talent in that category. This helps the Iowa Motion Picture Awards fullfill its mission of honoring outstanding achievement in each of the professional categories in the Awards -- and also holds the audience's attention because they are seeing a new and riveting clip showcasing excellence in that particular category -- instead of watching the same clip again. You will also be asked to supply a download link for your video. Films are screened on the day of the awards at the discretion of the programming committee based on time allotted.

(7) The Iowa Motion Picture Association assumes no liability for entries. Entrants are responsible for all applicable rights and permissions. The IMPA reserves the right to refuse entries and/or refund fees at its discretion. It is the responsibility of the filmmaker or submission contact to ensure that all requirements are met. The festival retains the right to disqualify an entry, with no refunded fee, if submission guidelines are not met.

(8) You must be a member of the IMPA to submit your entries using the "Member" options on FilmFreeway. Entries submitted by non-members using those codes will be disqualified. You may become a member of the IMPA prior to submitting by visiting Upon completion of your registration and submission of your membership dues you will immediately be eligible for the discounted submission fees.