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 Film, $500

YESfest’s host community, Columbus and Bartholomew County, Indiana, is celebrating its Bicentennial in 2021! As part of the festivities, YESfest has added a Featured Bicentennial Competition in 2021 to commemorate the community’s 200th anniversary.

Filmmakers are invited to submit a short that contains a theme of 200. The sky is the limit on subjects. Submission could be what films might have looked like 200 years ago; imagining what films might look like in 200 years; 200 anythings.  The winning short in the Bicentennial Category Film Contest will be featured in the Shorts Program during YESfest and eligible to win the prize for Best Short Film!

--No more than 10 minutes
--Must contain a theme of 200

If you would like more info about the Bicentennial please go to:

When you submit, please tell us know in advance if this is a student film, and we will waive the entry fee.

We screen DCP, BluRay, DVD. For feature-length films, we prefer DCP submissions on a thumb drive or external hard drive (which we will return to you promptly after the festival). For short films, we prefer DCP submissions on a thumb drive or external hard drive (which we will return to you promptly after the festival). Short films: if you need to send to us digitally, please contact us. For short films sent to us digitally, we require a high quality h264 or ProRes digital file.

If you are screening BluRay, please send a DVD backup to your BluRay.

Deadline for sending us the exhibition print: Oct. 1, 2021.

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 during 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
  • Donna Wheeler

    Wonderful festival and films. Due to Covid19 restrictions we could not attend in person, but certainly a most beautiful experience and people! Thank you :-)

    November 2020
  • Mike Horvath

    A wonderful festival run by a wonderful group of people. The communication was exceptional. We're so thrilled to have screened here!

    November 2020
  • Dallas James Pritt

    This was a WONDEFUL festival. Great communication, follow-through, and so welcoming and exceptional hospitality. They also had an in-person event during the pandemic but had top-notch COVID precautions and procedures and the place was well taken care of and clean. I felt very safe here. I highly recommend this festival!!!

    November 2020
  • It was truly an honor to be included in the YES Film Festival. Sadly, we could not attend due to covid travel restrictions. But you can bet we will be submitting again. Hopefully the world will get back to normal soon.

    The staffing was super nice. This is truly a filmmakers film festival.

    The Clam Kid - Short Film
    instagram #clammyjames

    November 2020
  • Katie McEntire Wiatt

    The YES Film Festival is a wonderful festival! Their communication is excellent from start to finish. We are truly appreciative of the time they took and the attention paid to each film/filmmaker. We would love to be part of the festival in the future!

    November 2019