The Milwaukee Independent Film Society was founded in 1996 by Dan Wilson. Its mission and goals were to provide a grass roots community where local filmmakers can share their ideas, projects, and collaborate on local efforts.

MIFS is a non-profit organization who leadership has changes, but missions remains the same.The Milwaukee Short Film Festival is our signature event, since its inception in 1994 we've steadily built our reputation as one of the best regional festivals in America.

We were signaled out in 2006 by Moviemaker Magazine as "Best Local Festival" with a strong slate of award winning International films, and the best in local filmmaking.

Each year we do our best to get industry professionals from Los Angeles and the Milwaukee area to jury the films. Previous judges were Mark Metcalf (Animal House, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Zack Ward (A Christmas Story, Transformers), Uwe Boll (Postal, House of the Dead) Timothy J. Lonsdale (Speed, Species) Adam Kelly (Brit Geek on Ain't it Cool News) George Tillman JR (Soul Food, Faster) and David Streit (Jurassic Park III, River's Edge) .

Best of Fest Award
This category is a competition.
Sponsor: Milwaukee Short Film Festival

Honorable Mention (2nd Place)
This prize is shared with other categories.
Sponsor: Milwaukee Short Film Festival

Best Wisconsin Film
Sponsor: Milwaukee Short Film Festival

Best Director
Sponsor:Milwaukee Short Film Festival

Best Actor
Sponsor:Milwaukee Short Film Festival

Best Ensemble
Sponsor:Milwaukee Short Film Festival

Best Script
Sponsor:Milwaukee Short Film Festival

Audience Choice Award
This prize is shared with other categories.

This competition is for emerging filmmakers, student filmmakers and independent filmmakers.

For Wisconsin Spotlight. This category is only for filmmakers who reside in Wisconsin, if you don't live in Wisconsin you must enter your film through the US & International option. Your film may be disqualified is you don't follow our rules and terms.

Narrative, documentary, experimental or animated films or videos up to 15 minutes in length.

All entries in a language other than English must be subtitled or dubbed in English unless dialogue is inessential to comprehension and appreciation.The festival will not consider demo reels, commercials or advertisements, video or new media games, films with prior commercial release, industrial and instructional films or films screened in the Milwaukee area three months prior to the fest. These entries may be considered to run out of competition at the total discretion of MSFF.

All submission copies must be DVD, Blu-Ray (NTSC system only) with a digital file (H .264) or as an online screener. Exhibition formats accepted are only data digital files (H. 264).
For questions on other video festival screening formats, please contact the MSFF.

Filmmakers can submit up to three entries. Each entry must include a separate entry and fee. Entries previously submitted to the Milwaukee Short Film Festival cannot be re-submitted. Entrants are responsible for securing all necessary rights / permissions for festival exhibition of each work submitted and all accompanying materials.

Clips from accepted films may also be used by the MSFF for festival promotion, festival progratham and possible televised broadcast.While the festival will take precautions to handle your film and publicity materials responsibly, the festival, its committee and staff cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to any materials entered.The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Milwaukee Short Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Also, once submitted and considered we have the right to show the film, and the film maker agrees in advance to this.

Approximately 15-July-2017

Shorts: maximum 15 minutes

Projects completed after 01-Jan-2017

Projects may originate from anywhere in the world

No premiere requirement

-Entry fee
- MSFF accepts credit card payments online or checks or certified money orders via mail
-DVD or Bluray copy of work submitted, and a mpeg2 digital copy
-Film synopsis, principal cast list, and brief filmmaker bio
-Press kit if available

A press kit is required with the entry form, including:

> Production Still Photos - Digital
> Photo of the Director - Digital
> Biography/Filmography - Director
> Statement by the Director
> Press Clippings
> Website info - Digital
> Trailer - Digital

One entry per DVD. Clearly mark name of film / filmmaker on the case and DVD

Entrants are invited to submit promotional materials with initial submission. After notification of acceptance into the festival, filmmakers are encouraged to provide one still each of the director and a scene from the film, either 8 x 10 photos or 600 dpi 6” x 8” JPEG files, for publicity. All publicity materials should be labeled with the name of the filmmaker and of the film.

Please note that publicity materials cannot always be returned.We will send notification of receipt of entry to each entrant via email. Videotapes, DVDs, photographs or other materials will not be returned unless a self-addressed stamped envelope / mailer is included.

Entries are eligible to be selected for programming and exhibition at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Klifford Barkus

    Awesome people, awesome films, awesome turnout. My first film fest and the first impression was very much a great and memorable one!!!!!

    October 2017
  • Elliot Hatch


    September 2017
  • Brad Riddell

    Really enjoyed this experience. Wonderful staff and warm audience.

    September 2017
  • Chris Marks

    If you have a short you want to screen in Milwaukee then The Milwaukee Short Film Festival is the place to submit to. The festival always screens a diverse and eclectic selection of shorts.

    March 2017