IMDb qualifier Indie Short Fest (ISF-LA) is an LA-based international film competition with bimonthly live screenings in Burbank, California.
ISF-LA is looking for independent projects from all genres, particularly low or no-budget ones, as well as from all countries, especially from those traditionally underrepresented in the global film industry.
Each round, all submitted projects are featured in ISF-LA site and social media (with the publication of synopsis, stills and a trailer/teaser) as part of a general promotional action of indie production. Submitter has the option of decline any public highlight, as long as notified ISF-LA, keeping however his project(s) under consideration. These projects are judged by a random team of invited experts from academia and film industry from Los Angeles area, against a high standard of merit. From the pool of official selection, which has a very competitive acceptance rate, ISF-LA chose the nominees and award winners of the season. All of them can add their projects to IMDb. Some of the award-winning projects, selected by the programmers of ISF-LA, are publicly screened in Los Angeles at the end of each round.
Before submitting, please read carefully the following:
Every submission can add numerous additional judging categories increasing the chance to become a multi-award-winning. In these cases, the name(s) to be credited should be included in the cover letter.
Notice that any entry is judged only according to the nature of the submitted category or categories. After the preliminary evaluation, ISF-LA can email the submitter with recommendations to other categories in which the entry can be more suitable to and have more chances to be a good competitor. Still, the decision to submit to other categories, and the payment of the associated fees, belong exclusively to the submitter and does not guarantee any award or the official selection.
All entries are promoted for free through our social media and website, with a featured page of each project, unless submitter prefers not to. For this purpose, we recommend that projects must be fully entered on FilmFreeway, including synopsis, and downloadable poster and trailer.
All projects officially selected in each round receive the Indie Short Fest official laurel and the customized certificate of achievement according to their final status in the competition. As underlined above, some of them are publicly screened in Los Angeles.
Some of the award winners are invited for an interview or to provide the festival with a BTS or award acceptance video statement to be published in the ISF-LA website.
At least 3 different judges score the quality and creativity of each entry on a performance scale defined in 9 parameters (from originality to technical aspects as pace, structure, lighting and sound design). The highest rated entries are nominated for the awards of the respective categories and finally are choose the winners.
Besides the Major Award for each category, it can be given also Outstanding Achievement Awards (for the runner-ups) and Honorable Mentions.
Also, for each round, Indie Short Fest (ISF-LA) decides and award two overall winners (chosen from all categories) as Best Short (spoken in English) and Best Foreign-Language Short.
The awards by category:
Best Indie Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Experimental Short
Best Student Short
Best Animation Short
Best Drama Short
Best Comedy Short
Best Romantic Comedy Short
Best Dark Comedy Short
Best Thriller Short
Best Film Noir Short
Best Mystery Short
Best Action Short
Best Crime Short
Best Fantasy Short
Best Horror Short
Best Sci-Fi Short
Best Western Short
Best Parody Short
Best Children Short
Best Women Short
Best LGBTQ Short
Best Web Series/TV Pilot
Best Web and New Media
Best Music Video
Best Mobile Short
Best Drone Short
Best Director (Female)
Best Director (Male)
Best First Time Director (Female)
Best First Time Director (Male)
Best Student Director (Female)
Best Student Director (Male)
Best Young Filmmaker (Female)
Best Young Filmmaker (Male)
Best Supporting Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Child/Young Actress
Best Child/Young Actor
Best Acting Duo
Best Acting Ensemble
Best Sound Design
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Original Score
Best Original Song
Best Original Story
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Short Script
Best Special FX
Best Visual FX
Best Costume Design
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Best Special Makeup
Best Production Design
All genres are accepted with a maximum length of 55 minutes.
The films must include English subtitles (unless the spoken language is English).
By submitting the film, the submitter agrees that:
1. Indie Short Fest can use trailer/teaser/film poster/stills or BTS for promotional purpose (but do not release, under any form or circumstances, the full film)
2. Entry fees are non-refundable unless they are covered by the submission protection option, according to the Filmfreeway terms.
3. The submitter owns all the rights to the film.
4. The information about the entries can be disclosed to ISF-LA associated film festivals, namely the upcoming other cities-based ISF.
Indie Short Fest does not accept the following:
1. Extremist or propaganda content from religious or political organizations.
2. Films which are made before 2016.
3. Films with a poor production standard (bad sound, lack of subtitles/captions for non-English films, or video resolution less than 720p HD).
For student fees, it is mandatory the student status evidence (e.g copy of student card included in the project).
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