The Nickelodeon Theatre is excited to announce that the 12th Annual Indie Grits Film Festival will be held April 12-15, 2018 in Columbia, South Carolina. Celebrating 12 years of the best in low-budget film, media, and creative culture from across the Southeast, 2018 will not be a year to miss!

The Indie Grits Film Festival is a multi-day event that saw an average of over 12,000 visitors from 2013 to 2017. 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 in 2012 and 2014. Indie Grits is the premiere multi-day DIY, experimental film festival in South Carolina and the Southeast.

Propelled by a far-flung artistic vision, festival organizers sought to break down the walls intimidating Southern media makers by creating exhibition opportunities for work often overlooked elsewhere. 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.” 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 the Nick – 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.

Awards & Prizes

2017 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 - $750
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 - $750

Short Grit - $500

The People's Grit - $500
(Voted on by the public)

Experimental Grit - $500

Animated Grit - $500

Local Grit - $500

Rules & Terms

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.