We are excited to announce that the 13th Annual Indie Grits Festival will be held March 28-31, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. Celebrating 13 years of the best in low-budget film, media, and creative culture from across the Southeast, 2019 will not be a year to miss!

The Indie Grits Festival is a multi-day event that saw an average of over 12,000 visitors from 2013 to 2018. Filmmakers seek us out after premiering their films at festivals like SXSW and Sundance, and we were twice named one of the 20 “Coolest Film Festivals” in the world by Moviemaker Magazine. Indie Grits is the premiere multi-day DIY, experimental film festival in South Carolina and the Southeast.

The Indie Grits Festival is organized by Indie Grits Labs, a non-profit organization that works to serve communities through media education, artist driven projects, and the Indie Grits Festival. The spirit of Indie Grits comes from the heart of its host, the Nickelodeon Theatre — South Carolina’s only non-profit, art house theatre – affectionately known as “The Nick.”

Propelled by a far-flung artistic vision, festival organizers seek to break down the walls intimidating Southern media makers by creating exhibition opportunities for work often overlooked elsewhere. We host a wide range of cultural events featuring the very best of art, music, and experimental media from the Southeast. Festival goers can come out and pick their poison: dark theaters, music in the streets, late night drinks with like-minded souls, the antics of crazy, sharp-witted, dream-casting puppeteers, and a world of art embedded into the very environment they inhabit.

Of course, our filmmakers come first. We offer dedicated support for filmmaker hospitality including a fully stocked filmmaker lounge, a filmmaker travel/lodging fund, and a range of awards and opportunities. The festival also offers panels, post screening talk-backs, video interviews, and our website, which acts as a reservoir and archive for all things Indie Grits, as well as a platform for future endeavors by our filmmakers.

A guiding principle is that independent media should be celebrated as an end in itself and not be looked at as simply a springboard to big budget movie making. With that in mind we look for truly unique, independent work that wouldn't necessarily find its way into other festivals.

Our festival is run by a small, talented and dedicated staff – not the chamber of commerce or the tourism board – and we think it shows. If your work embraces grittiness, transcends boundaries or defies categorization, we want it. If your work makes viewers confused, jubilant, curious, devastated, or outraged, we want it (especially if it can do all at once). Most importantly, if you had a great time making your piece and want to share it with others, we want it.

We hope you’ll consider submitting.

2019 AWARDS:

Top Grit - $1000
Given to the top film as determined by our jury. Films from all categories are eligible to win this award.

Helen Hill Memorial Award - $500
Awarded to the best work by a female filmmaker, in honor of Columbia native and celebrated animator, filmmaker and teacher Helen Hill (1970-2007).


Big Grit - $500

Short Grit - $500

Animated Grit - $250

The People's Grit - $250
(Voted on by the public)

Experimental Grit - $250

Youth Grit - $250

Local Grit - $250

All submissions must have a tie to the Southeast (SC, NC, VA, GA, FL, AL, MS, TN, LA, KY, AR, TX). This requirement can be satisfied in a number of ways. If you are from or currently reside in the Southeast and play a prominent role in the filmmaking process then you are set. Additionally if your film is set in or concerns an aspect of the Southeast then you're also set.

You MUST include a statement with your application that explains your and/or your film's relationship to the Southeast.

If you wish to be considered for the Helen Hill Memorial Award, please include a statement saying so. This award is open to all female mediamakers.

Overall Rating
  • Mel Alexander

    My first film, my first festival, my first award. It doesn't get dreamier than that, folks. I'm so thankful to the staff of Indie Grits for truly making an unforgettable experience. The communication was outstanding, the programming was amazing, and, as a cherry on top, I met some really dope filmmakers. Without the pretense that can maybe be associated with film fests, this really felt like meeting friends for the first time. Would definitely recommend!

    April 2019
  • Chris Gervais

    IG is always so much fun. I love a fest that takes over a whole city and this one does it with so much energy and with such a distinct voice. And they really treat their filmmakers well. Among its many virtues is that it ends up being a huge filmmaker networking thing. You just meet so many great people.

    April 2018