The Columbus, Indiana YES Film Festival celebrates the creativity and diversity of independent film, bringing to the screen the best documentaries, narrative features and short films, with competitions in all three categories.

Cinema truly is the universal language and our mission at YESfest is to promote a lively and passionate dialogue between filmmakers and film lovers.

Columbus, Indiana, is an internationally famous small town nestled among the cornfields in the heart of the heartland. Ranked 6th in the nation for architecture, Columbus was once coined as “Athens of the Prairie” and featured on “CBS News Sunday Morning.” Columbus is known for scores of buildings by world-famous architects including I.M. Pei, Eero Saarinen, Eliel Saarinen, Harry Weese, and art and sculpture by artists such as Henry Moore. This unique town is a perfect location for bringing great stories to life on the screen.

YESfest films will screen at the YES Cinema in downtown Columbus, an elegant and welcoming independent theater that shows blockbuster, classic, foreign and independent films, and hosts live events such as the Cinema’s hugely popular YES Comedy Showcase.

YES Cinema, host of the Columbus Indiana YES Film Festival, is a Cinema with a Cause. It is owned and operated by Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center (LCNFC), a United Way-affiliated non-profit that works with Columbus residents to improve their lives through advocacy, human services, people empowerment and collaboration. All proceeds from YESFest and YES Cinema go to support LCNFC in its mission and programming.

Juried prize for Best Feature Narrative, $1000
Juried prize for Best Feature Documentary, $1000
Juried prize for Best Short Film, $500

Audience Award for Best Feature Film, $250
Audience Award for Best Short Film, $250

We screen DCP only. We prefer DCP submissions on a thumb drive or external hard drive (which we will return to you promptly after the festival). If you cannot provide a DCP please contact us as soon as possible:

Deadline for sending us the exhibition print: Sept. 15, 2024.

YES Film Festival does not pay screening fees.

Filmmaker gives YES Film Festival permission to screen the film at its discretion at the festival, including encore screenings after the festival, and gives permission for excerpts of the film to be used for promotional purposes, for example, in a PSA.

Filmmaker must have permission to use music and and other copyrighted materials used in the film.

Yes Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

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 Yes 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.

Overall Rating
  • Betty Rodgers

    The YES Film Festival staff is exceptional in their gracious communication, enthusiasm, and personal attention to every filmmaker. They took a genuine interest in each film and its presentation, curating a wonderful selection and making the festival a memorable and rewarding experience for us and the audience. The fact that it's a project of the nonprofit Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center adds another level of substance and importance to the experience. A win-win for all.

    April 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Betty, for your kind words! We SO ENJOYED having you, Ken, and your guests with us. Your film helped make YESfest truly special! Please come back! -The Dianes

  • Diane & Diane are the best. My wife and I had a lovely time and their theater is state of the art. Literally the best projection of our film yet! It is a small festival that I might've passed on but Columbus is definitely worth the visit. Ridiculously amazing architecture everywhere. They were nice enough to give us two nights in a swank hotel literally a block from the venue and treated us like old friends the whole time we were there.

    November 2023
  • Wanjiru Njendu

    Great festival. Very communicative. Provided timely updates leading to and during the festival.

    November 2023
  • Kathy Bruner

    It was a joy to interact with an appreciative audience for the Indiana shorts program. Everyone was so kind and hospitable. Thank you for including our films!

    November 2022
  • Andrew Bateman

    It is a small festival, but the people are great. It is more about quality than quantity. The theater is amazing.

    November 2022