This is the 4th annual PopCon International Film Festival (PIFF) competition for PopCon, but we are in our 10th year as a physical convention. The film festival begins Friday, August 25, 2023 and concludes Sunday, August 27, 2023 and will feature films, post screening Q&A's, celebrity panels, filmmaker panels and more.

PopCon prides itself as being Indy's "only" locally owned and operated large pop culture fan event. PopCon will be programming a full-lineup film festival. Filmmakers from around the world are invited to submit their short/feature film and short/feature screenplays in multiple genres. The film festival will be honoring films of several pop culture genres, including but NOT limited to: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Anime/Animation, Horror, Action/Adventure, Fan Film, Supernatural/Thriller, Documentary, Internet Culture & Gaming/Sports.

PopCon continues to bring some of the largest names in pop culture to Indianapolis each year, but the event’s true mission is to give creators – of all kinds – a platform to find new audiences. Instead of focusing on one specific fandom, PopCon flips the script on the typical con experience by focusing on all genres of pop culture fandom. The film festival is an obvious expansion of that mission.

The film festival will be in addition to all the other programming at PopCon over the event’s weekend. The 8th Annual PopCon Podcast Awards, the 10th Annual Ultimate Cosplay Championships, and dozens of fan panels and workshops will be alongside video gaming, laser tag, escape rooms, state-of-the-art virtual reality offerings, and 24-hour board gaming. PopCon will also continue to have the best selection of vendors for fans to enjoy.

Upon filmmakers request and written consent, official selections can be submitted for distribution consideration to several of our domestic and international film distribution partners. NOTE- films already available free online are not eligible for submission to distributors.

Each Official Selection will receive the following:
One (1) Three-day Pass (in-person event admission) to Indy PopCon (full convention & film festival). Additional passes are easily purchased.
PopCon gift bag
An official PopCon International Film Festival welcome letter.

Award trophies will be given for the following*:
-Best Horror
-Best Thriller
-Best Comedy
-Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy
-Best International Film
-Best Feature
-Best Short
-Best Director
-Best Actress
-Best Actor
-Best Cinematography
-Best Special Effects (SFX)
-Best Indiana Film
* Please note that trophies will NOT be shipped and can only be received at the in-person awards ceremony

Award Certificates will be given for the following categories*:
-Best Sound Design
-Best 1st Time Filmmaker
-Best Story
-Best Costuming
-Best Production Design
-Best Ensemble Cast
-Best Student Film
-Best Villain
-Best Hero
-Best Animated Film
-Best Fan Film
-Best Documentary
-Best Short Screenplay
-Best Feature Screenplay
* Please note that certificates will NOT be shipped and can only be received at the in-person awards ceremony, but can be received digitally for self-printing.

Films can be nominated for multiple awards.


PopCon International Film Festival is excited to consider your short film of 40 minutes or less or your feature film over 40 minutes in length within the categories of, but not limited to; Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure, Horror, Anime/Animation, Fan Films, Supernatural, Thriller, Internet Culture & Gaming/Sports.

Films must be submitted through FilmFreeway. If selected, acceptable screening formats are as follows: Blu-Ray, DVD or DCP. Digital is highly preferred. Please upload trailers as well.

We accept films produced after May 2020.

In the interest of fair competition to all that submit their films/scripts, PopCon does NOT offer free submission waivers.

Please submit the version you want judged. We do not allow alternate versions to be submitted without being subject to another entrance fee.

By submitting your film to the PopCon International Film Festival you acknowledge and authorize the use of materials for promotional use which includes but is not limited to excerpts and images. You also agree to hold the PopCon International Film Festival harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, expenses and damages as a result of entry.

Premieres will be considered in final programming decisions.

All films not in English must have English subtitles.

Films can be nominated for multiple awards. PopCon reserves the right to eliminate a category if there are enough viable nominations

Notifications will be made on or prior to April 4, 2022 via email or phone.

PopCon reserves the rights to disqualify any submission without refund and PopCon does not allow any refunds once a film has been submitted.

Films that have been acquired, produced, financed or distributed by any major motion picture studio(s) or production company(s), at the time of screening, will be screened out of competition. It is the sole responsibility of the submitting entity to attain all permissions required from the studio(s) or production company(s) prior to submission and screening.

By submitting, artists agree to all terms set forth in the rules.

Entering your film is considered giving the PopCon International Film Festival permission to screen your film during the course of the event (physical and/or virtual)

PopCon International Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition prior and during PopCon for promotional purposes.

The submitter shall indemnify and hold harmless PopCon and PopCon International 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.

Please include the following items when submitting your film:
1) Poster
2) Stills/Set pictures
3) Trailer- not required but highly recommended even for shorts (limit trailers to 90s)
4) Complete the Filmmaker Biography section in FilmFreeway

Overall Rating
  • Fantastic directors running this festival. Great communication. Very happy to have Q Club be a part of this festival.

    August 2022
  • Brit Tobin

    I can't say enough wonderful things about PopCon. George, Audery and the whole team really went above and beyond to make this festival spectacular, versatile (programming) and welcoming. 10/10 for promotion and networking as well. Did I mention what a great city Indianapolis is? Because it is lovely. The festival itself is part in parcel to a traditional Con, which covered all the bases- amusement (games, panels, etc.), photo ops, cosplay, vendors/novelties, and everything you could want in a con. Almost too much to do. So much fun. My team and I were so honored to be there. We're definitely looking forward to PopCon '23!

    June 2022
  • Jan Walters

    Great film festival. I was honored to be selected. I hope to attend next year.

    June 2022
  • Jared Miller

    Great festival will return again.

    June 2022
  • Daniele De Muro

    Honoured to have my short film"Horizon" at this beautiful Festival. I hope to submit a new project next year.

    June 2022