Voices Heard! Still the only showcase for local Wisconsin Filmmakers of color.

Please read everything carefully. If you are not a local filmmaker of color currently living in the state of Wisconsin. You will be disqualified. An address is necessary to qualify. We also do not accept films longer than 15 minutes. If you send a film over 15 minutes, it will be disqualified.

We disqualify 90% of the films sent to us because filmmakers living outside of Wisconsin think they can send us their work. So again, if you do not live in America and in the state of Wisconsin your film will be disqualified without even looking at it. It will be rejected outright. You also must be a filmmaker of color; we do check each entry.

Best Film
Best Director
Best Actor/Ensemble
Best Script
Artistic Achievement



The guidelines are easy.

1. You must be a filmmaker of color who is currently living in Wisconsin. If not, your film is disqualified. Please provide full address to verify. Not supplying an address could disqualify your film.

This competition is open only to those filmmakers; they can be student level to professional.

To qualify you must be a filmmaker of color and a current resident of Wisconsin. Otherwise, your film will be disqualified.

We will not accept films that are playing for the public on youtube or vimeo. If it is, we will not take your film.

And we will not take films over 15 minutes.

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 nine months prior to the fest.

All films and press kits are due 10 days after being accepted into the festival.

All submission copies must be DVD, Blu-Ray (NTSC system only) with a digital file (H .264/MP.4) or as an online screener. Exhibition formats accepted are only data digital files (H. 264/MP.4).
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 and Voices Heard cannot be re-submitted.

Entrants are responsible for securing all necessary rights / permissions for festival exhibition of each work submitted and all accompanying materials. (Including music rights)

Clips from accepted films may also be used by the Voices Heard staff for festival promotion, festival program 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 Voices Heard 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.

Approximately 1-June-2024

Shorts: under 15 minutes, we will not accept films over 15 minutes.

Projects completed after 01-Jan-2023

No premiere requirement, but premieres are preferred and will get special consideration. If your film has played before an audience, we could pass on it. 

-Entry fee
-Film synopsis, principal cast list, and brief filmmaker bio
-Press kit
-Local Wisconsin filmmakers must supply an address to verify. Without one your film may be dis-qualified.

A press kit is required with the entry form, including:
> Film Poster meeting social media standards
> High Rez Production Still Photos meeting social media standards - Digital
> High Rez Photo of the Director - Digital
> Biography/Filmography - Director
> Statement by the Director
> Press Clippings (Optional)
> Website info - Digital
> Social media links (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)
> Trailer - Digital


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. Media will not be returned.

Entries are eligible to be selected for programming and exhibition at Voices Heard.

Overall Rating
  • Darren Cole

    This was my second time at this festival and damnnnnnn! They have out done themselves again. The venue was incredible, great sound and massive screen, brand new seats, comfy, leather, plenty of room between people next to you, with the table attached for drinks and snacks. very clean, I wish I would have had my 5.1 sound ready because this venue was not what I expected! Met a lot of new filmmakers, and the communication and opportunities for my work to have exposure in a way that I have not experienced yet as a new filmmaker. Thank you for selecting my film and I look forward to applying again!

    September 2023
  • Ramesh Kumar

    Fun experience and the organizers communicate very well and the venue was excellent too. Enjoyed the experience. Looking forward to be part of this festival next year too.

    September 2023
  • J. Anthony Ramos

    What a fun experience! Can't say enough good things about The Milwaukee Short Film Festival. Wonderful communication with the Festival Director and his organizers, who are complete professionals and obvious Fellow Film Lovers. The Venue was excellent and the opportunity to showcase my Directorial Debut in Voices Heard was an honor. Thank You.

    September 2018