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

ENTRY DEADLINE: February 28, 2023

IMPORTANT NOTE: It has been the policy of the Iowa Motion Picture Association to accept films that are up to two years old. Due to the slowing of film production caused by the pandemic, we are allowing works to be submitted if your project was created between January 1, 2019, and the entry deadline. You may also submit films previously submitted, provided they are entered into new categories.

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 entry's 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 70%. 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 nominated entry with the highest score is awarded The Award of Excellence if the threshold of 85% has been reached. This is the highest honor bestowed by The Iowa Motion Picture Association. The Award of Achievement, which recognizes a significant success in media production, is awarded to the nominated entry with the next highest score.

*Should a category have only one nominated entry, the Award of Excellence will be awarded if the entry has an average score of at least 85% (80% for Student Categories). A nominated entry that scores more than 70% but 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.

(1) To be considered for judging, 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.

(2) The entry must have been completed between January 1, 2019, and February 28, 2023. The entry must not have been submitted before in the category or categories you are entering in 2023.

(3) You must possess creative control of the submitted work, including music used in your submission, or 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 about your license or authorization.

(4) 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.

(5) Student Submissions: As a student, you may submit in the STUDENT category OR the PROGRAM categories, but not both, to avoid duplication. However, you may also submit your entry in any individual CRAFT category.

(6) 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.

(7) If you need assistance or have questions, please send an email to

(8), Judging starts the day after the entry deadline, and no submissions can be accepted once judging has started.

WAIVER CODES: Non-Members do not need to enter a waiver code and pay the full submission fee, but all other submissions will require using a waiver code to ensure that you pay the correct amount for your submission. If you have any trouble with the waiver code on FilmFreeway, please contact


Member Waiver Codes:
Members: IMPA35 - $45.00
Student Non-Members: IMPA40 - $50.00
Student Members: IMPA50 - $25.00
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.

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 to receive your waiver code for your free submission. Your entries will be validated before your free waiver is provided.

Overall Rating
  • Anna Owenson

    According to my mother who was able to attend in my place, she had fun and "it was a nice event." Thanks for the recognition of my film!

    May 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your kind words. We seek to showcase and honor the best of Iowa filmmaking and we congratulate you on your talent, nomination, and award.

  • I was thrilled to be a part of this wonderful event!! ❤

    May 2022
  • Janice Corran

    Outstanding festival. I couldn't be there in person but loved watching the festival online. Plus it was great to win. Thank you all.

    May 2021
  • The IMPA Awards has a sterling reputation in the state of Iowa and now, having been a part of it, I can see why.

    My shot film, "GORGON," got nominated in 2020. That year being what it was, the festival was forced to completely revamp their approach from in-person, to online. Throughout the process, they communicated quickly and thoroughly, and provided multiple opportunities to network with other selected filmmakers! The final digital presentation was incredibly well-constructed and a lot of fun to be a part of.

    This festival took a difficult situation and ran with it so gracefully. I was proud to be a part of this year's festival, and I hope to be a part of it for many years to come!

    December 2020
  • The Iowa Motion Picture FF did an excellent job of keeping us informed as social distancing rules made a huge impact on the f2f festival. Hope to be there in 2021 in person.

    August 2020