Welcome to our international film festival with an annual Awards Gala in the heart of the US Midwest, celebrating and elevating both union and independent productions that showcase at least ONE of these three "M-L-C components" described in the Awards & Prizes section. MLC stands for Mobster - Latino - Comedy.
We focus on shorts, pilot or TV/web series episodes, Wisconsin and Midwest-made shorts. Last, but not least, we specialize in Westerns. What makes us unique and allow us to keep submission costs reasonable is that even if your film, say, was selected but did not win the Quarterly trophy Best Film in one of our four main categories, your actress, actor, editor (yes, editing directors get a second or additional chance here), musician could still be found a quarterly winner (see EXTRA CONSIDERATION rules below).
We deliver trophies by mail (tropies mailed only within US mainland up to $10 postage fee) and email digital certificate every 3 months (every quarter) after we select and privately screen.
And we will eventually have a public screening final gala with more trophies and networking with potential cash prizes at the annual MLC Gala. The MLC Awards (a community film event prior to a festival for 4 years now) will be an IMDb-approved event as of May 2021, and all quarterly and final winners from all editions will retroactively be added to get IMDb credit, including the EXTRA CONSIDERATION quarterly subcategories (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Film Score, Best Editing). Quarterly official selections will be able to list on IMDb as nominees.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:
By the end of March 2020 (and every 3 months thereafter), we will notify contestants entering as of December 1, 2019 about those productions that are officially-selected for the quarterly semifinals. Of note, we have an average 60% selection ratio and those films following the Rules & Terms have bigger chances of being selected.
The first week in April (then again in July, October and January of the following year), our panel of judges will meet for private screenings of all officially-selected productions.
The notification date currently posted is when quarterly awards will next be communicated to the top quarterly winnining films or episodes.
The quarterly winners of each of the main categories explained on the Awards & Prizes section will receive silver-looking trophies like the one in our logo, in the mail, as long as they supply an address (up to $10 postage allowance, and always after the win is communicated) that is physically located in USA mainland (otherwise we will email digital Quarterly Winner certificates). Their quarterly winners' status will change to Finalist and, other than the trophy or digital certificate, they will receive a Quarterly Winner laurel distinction.
The EXTRA CONSIDERATION Subcategories of Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Film Score, Best Editing will receive digital certificates and they do not have to be linked to 4 winning films to be awarded. Laurels will be issued to every one.
Quarterly winner films (now finalists) in the main and extra consideration areas will be privately-invited to our annual MLC Gala in February 2020, where there will be cash prizes (although this might change, if there were any cash prizes, the extent would entirely depend on the number of sponsors on board), gold-looking trophies like the one featured in our logo and plenty of networking among filmmakers, distributors and producers. The Gala winners will see their status change to award winner.
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The main categories for quarterly awards part of the MLC Awards are:
*Best M-obster(Crime/Horror/Thriller/Sci-Fi) Fiction Short or Episode
*Best L-atino (Culture/Flavor) Fiction Short or Episode
*Best C-omedy Fiction Short or Episode
*Best MidWest made Production: These short films compete in all 4 categories instead of just the top three categories. WI/Midwest-made shorts should adhere to the M-L-C criteria as well. By Midwest we mean: Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio.
All of the above must be completed after January 1, 2018. See Rules for more info and film lengths.
*Best Western film: worldwide submissions accepted. This is the only category that will allow feature length films, and completed as of January 1, 2016. This is also the only category wherein those films that do not win the quarterly category will be automatically entered to compete in the following quaterly round of 2020. This is due to the fewer amount of pure Western films. So if you submit for the current January-March window and your film did not win, you also have a shot at the 3 other windows in 2020 (waiver codes will be provided upon request once we notify selections and wins). We also accept already-distributed films.
No screening fees will be paid by this festival to anyone with no exceptions. This is mainly to keep costs down for everyone.
Quarterly Winner trophies similarly-looking to the one displayed in our Festival logo will be mailed to the four quarterly-winning filmmakers (if residing within the US mainland). Trophy engravings will only read "Quarterly Category Winner". We will post the Specific Four Categories and matching winners online-only on our website.
Quarterly Winners will become Finalists for a final showdown at our annual MLC Gala, with a final live screening, red carpet, appetizers and awards event. The MLC Gala will be held at Rise and Grind, downtown Green Bay on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 2:00 pm CST. We are in talks with extending screening as early back as Saturday at the Meyer Theater downtown Green Bay. Midwestern films get 75% off the gala admission tickets per person attending the gala. Tickets will be posted here in the Fall of 2020.
EXTRA CONSIDERATION - we will watch paying special attention to the following:
Best Film Score
The EXTRA CONSIDERATION winners will receive digital certificates-only via email, quarterly. They will be added to IMDb as of mid 2021.
Cash prizes will depend on the number of sponsors on board. They will be announced in the Fall of 2020. On funds raised, cash prizes would be distributed at the annual gala among the winners.
*What makes us unique and be able to keep submission costs reasonable is that even if your film, say, did not win the Best Film of the Quarterly trophy, your actress, actor, editor (editing directors get a second or additional chance here if they also submit under the MAIN categories), musician could still be found a quarterly winner. See EXTRA CONSIDERATION categories and rules further below.
Filmmakers or Producers, including student filmmakers/producers, from all over the world, over the age of 18, are encouraged to submit. Your project can be independent or part of a union contract. You must clear permissions to submit it to us.
Any films not in English must have English subtitles. Films in English with hard-to-hear scenes are encouraged to include subtitles.
We are all about:
* fiction short films (20 minute maximum length, 2 minute minimum, including opening and closing credits) with any of the MLC components described below; as long as they were completed as of January 1, 2018. This EXCLUDES Westerns of any length, which need to be submitted under the Western Worldwide category for consideration. All genres except for Westerns and Documentaries.
* fiction pilots or web/TV/streamable episodes/series (released or not, 30-45 minute maximum length excluding opening and closing credits), as long as they were completed as of January 1, 2018. If a web series, send us the most representative episode. You must adhere to the M-L-C criteria described below.
* Midwest or Wisconsin-made short films. Maximum 20 minute length, including credits. Midwest: Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio. Completed as of January 1, 2018. No other Midwest states for now (refer to the main category for shorts in those cases).
* Westerns: a genre that is being lost. We looove to see your creativity and stories. Completed as of January 1, 2016. Any westerns with a maximum 120 minute length and a minimum 10 minute length (excluding credits) need to be submitted under the MAIN WESTERN category. Westerns under 10 minutes will not be considered under this or any category.
By L-atino, we mean any of the cast members or director from a latino culture, be it geographically, by language, etc. Or film score in a latino language (Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian; all Latin American cultures welcome...).
By M-obster we mean the film has to have a fiction organized crime component (Westerns are welcome, even horror/thrillers as long as there is crime involved, also mafia stories, piracy, smuggling, etc). We do not celebrate violence, but love films such us The Dark Knight, Good Fellas, etc with great character treatment and a great dialogue-actio ratio.
By C-omedy we mean anything from dark to light comedy. We love sarcasm with taste, great dialogues and punch lines.
You must adhere to the M-L-C criteria described below. Think of funny shorts, with latino flavor, law enforcement, Westerns, etc.
Shorts and pilots/eps with MLC components showcased have a big chance to be selected and win and are entered in the top 3 categories. We love resourcefulness, ALL budgets, creativity. Although not obligatory to type up, we read (and appreciate) submission cover letters.
We will not post or list your production ONLINE. This is not an online competition. Screening will only happen:
* if a selection, privately prior to our quarterly selections;
* if a quarterly winner, eventually in front of a live audience, as a finalist, at our annual gala.
We are okay with films that have previously screened at festivals. We do not accept and will not pay any screening fees.
SHORT FILMS AND PILOT/WEB EPS: TRY to limit yourself to 1 submission per filmmaker per quarterly window. So if you already have 1 film for the January-March window, and you had another film to submit, you would need to wait until the April-June window or the other 2 windows open. If your film was not selected for 1 window, you may resubmit it for the following (we have 50% discount available on resubmissions upon request, although a limited amount).
FILMS/SHORTS: Films can have any kind of swearing and rough language. Mature audiences will be at the quarterly (judges) or the annual (+ audience in general) events. All types of graphic violence are okayed as long as there is a story to tell versus fillers that do not connect will the story.
We only admit unlisted YouTube links (our preference) or Vimeo links with or without password. We do not require DVDs or hard copies.
By submitting you agree to hold the festival / event organizers / members / sponsors harmless from fees of any kind such as, but not limited to, screening fees, no transportation or other expenses you incur to make it to the festival, etc.
Free format, but we only accept digital submissions (no mailed DVDs or anything of the like). Editing anywhere between 30 fps and 60 fps (the latter preferred for fast moving scenes) preferred but not a must. Any filmmaker, even students, with ages above 18 is welcome to submit.
EXTRA CONSIDERATION (same length and MLC rules as the shorts, episodes and Westerns... otherwise we will not watch the film)- we will watch paying special attention to the following:
Best Film Score
The EXTRA CONSIDERATION should be purchased ideally separately from the Main category, but we will not bar single purchases, unless you submit a film longer than the minutes posted under each Main category. Again, if your film exceeded the length posted or did not include MLC components as we require under the MAIN CATEGORIES rules, then we will not view your film. NO REFUNDS. Although please read further down about chances of being selected with EXTRA submission-only.
OTHER RULES & DISCLOSURES:
ANY AND ALL SUBMISSION FEES (INCLUDING THOSE PAID ERRONEOUSLY) ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
* To increase your chances of being selected, EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT FORIBDDEN, don't submit for EXTRA consideration categories-only. Those who submit the same film together under Main and EXTRA categories will have more chances of Selection and Win under the EXTRA CONSIDERATION category than those who just submit under EXTRA CONSIDERATION-ONLY. No mobile phone films are encouraged, but they are okay as long as in good sound, 1080 and not entirely shot with a mobile phone (using other equipment). Drones, Action Cams are okay. Be creative. HD or 4K cameras preferred. Please use a microphone attached to your camera, as we value good quality sound.
* All genres EXCEPT Documentaries (this might be an added category in the coming editions) are welcome, including experimental. Porn and/or erotic themed films are EXCLUDED and will not be judged/considered. Nudity okay with moderate dosage.
* NO WAIVER CODES WILL BE CONSIDERED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE REFRAIN FROM PRIVATELY ASKING FOR WAIVER CODES.
* THERE WILL BE NO REFUNDS OF ANY KIND.