The 14th Annual Sioux City International Shorts Film Festival

SCIFF is the longest continuously running film festival in Iowa. Our festival has evolved over the years from a one-day event to five days. Each year changes are made to the genres of films being shown. Often over a third of our entries are from international destinations. SCIFF is a shorts festival with films not exceeding 30 minutes in length. Consider entering what many filmmakers have said is the best festival they’ve ever attended.

Big money, small field of competitors

The more compelling reason: your film could win up to $2,000, and you’ll be competing with hundreds, not thousands, of other films for selection. Plus this year we have both juried and audience-choice awards in each category. How many filmmakers can boast they have a Siouxsie or Siouxsette on their mantel?

It’s all about YOU, the filmmaker

You’ll find audiences here are incredibly appreciative of your work. We make a big fuss over filmmakers. We have a green room at the hotel, stocked with free drinks and goodies, for you to network with other filmmakers. And this year those filmmakers include five- time Academy Award nominee Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Moana), and Emmy award-winning comedy writer Andrew Steele (Saturday Night Live, Funny or Die). Plans for additional speakers are being made. A special award will be presented by each speaker for their choice of best film.

New: Animation Category

Join Disney animation legend and Sioux City native, Ron Clements at the debut screening of SCIFF's newest feature category - animation - on Saturday, Sept. 15. Clements is co-director and co-writer of legendary Disney animated films including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog and most recently, Moana.

New: Animation and LGBTQ categories

Our 2018 programming also includes special screenings for films that celebrate LGBTQ.

Historic Orpheum Theatre

Did we mention the thrill you’ll feel if your film is selected to be shown on the massive screen at this 2650-seat classic theatre? It’s the biggest screen in the state of Iowa.

No more crappy weather

For 13 years we held our festival in February. Last year a blizzard forced us to postpone over half of our screenings. No more! This year our festival takes place September 12-16. If a blizzard wipes us out this year, we’ll know it’s time to quit.

Now in its 14th year, the Sioux City International Film Festival strives to promote independent film in a tri-state area including parts of Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska. We have over 175,000 people living in the immediate area and we market to thousands more that live nearby.

The 2018 festival will include animation, documentary, and narrative short films. All films must be under 30 minutes in length.

Although filmmakers are asked to note the genre of their films, Festival judges reserve the right to place each film in the appropriate category for screening.

Screening categories are:

- Documentary

- Drama

- Comedy

- Horror or Sci-Fi/Fantasy

- LGBTQ (any genre; entries must have an LGBTQ person as Producer, Director or Writer, and/or subject matter must have a relevant theme to the LGBTQ community)

- Animation (any genre)

Screening categories are subject to change based on entries received.

Each category will have two awards: a juried award ($500 prize and a Siouxsie trophy) and an audience-choice award (Siouxsette trophy).

The winning films in each category will be screened again at an awards ceremony Sunday, September 16, at the Orpheum Theatre. A Best of Festival trophy will be awarded to the juried winner of these films, and the audience will vote for Best of Festival audience choice. The juried grand prize is $1,000 and a Siouxsie trophy; the audience choice grand prize is $500 and a Siouxsette trophy. Prize amounts are subject to change.

We accept only short films, defined as no longer than thirty (30) minutes. All subject matter is acceptable.

Submissions must include your email and street address. Once submitted, a film cannot be withdrawn.

Submissions may be screened more than once during the Festival and we reserve the right to determine when to show it.

Sioux City International Film Festival is granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes in perpetuity.

The person submitting the film warrants that they are authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts all the rules and terms.

The person submitting the film shall indemnify and hold harmless Sioux City International Film Festival and Siouxland Institute of Film, Inc. (our parent nonprofit corporation) from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, fees and costs, including attorney fees, that arise out of failure of the person submitting to have all rights needed to submit the film.

If your film is selected for screening we will need the following media file for exhibition purposes: .mp4 with h.264 codec, 1920 x 1080p, 23.976fps or 29.97fps (no larger than 2gb)

Overall Rating
  • matthew leutwyler

    Sioux City International Film Festival was one of the most attentive, welcoming festivals I've had the pleasure to experience. Highly recommend that other filmmakers submit.

    June 2017
  • Carlos Omar de Leon

    It was an honor to have our 2 short films screen and compete at the Sioux City International Film Festival.

    April 2017
    Response from festival:

    Carlos is an incredible film maker and it was an honor to show his films and to have present at the festival.