IMDb qualifier Indie Short Fest (ISF-LA) is an LA-based international film competition with monthly live screenings in Burbank, CA. Also, it has an annual major live screening and awards event in North Hollywood.
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 month, the submitted 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. The monthly award-winning projects are automatically admitted to being screened and competing in the respective categories at the annual event. Some of them, selected by the programmers of ISF-LA, are publicly screened in Los Angeles at the end of each monthly 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 with no exception are promoted through our social media and website with a dedicated page and highlights at the homepage. 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 month are listed in the festival's website and 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.
All award winners in each month 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 LGBT 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 Special FX
Best Visual FX
Best Costume Design
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Best Special Makeup
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 parts of the film (including trailer/teaser/film poster) for promotional purpose.
2. Entry fees are non-refundable.
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).
All genres are accepted with a maximum length of 55 minutes.
For student fees, it is mandatory the student status evidence (e.g copy of student card included in the project).
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