CURRENTLY ACCEPTING ENTRIES (worldwide shorts and series episodes of all genres, Westerns features or shorts, Midwest-Made shorts, IMBd Review Requests) FOR OUR SPRING 2020 WINDOW. We will have a Summer and Fall MLC window. Eight winners (MAIN AND EXTRA category winners) from each window will qualify for our Best of 2020 Gala in February 2021.

CHANGES APPLYING AS OF MARCH 20, 2020: Now accepting shorts up to 30 minutes and any productions completed as of 1/1/2016. Also our IMDb review section does NOT need to be tied to a MAIN or EXTRA category and it can earn you an AWARD should we see acting worth awarding. Up to 30 minute long documentaries are now accepted under our Midwest-Made (now accepting Indiana films as well) and IMDb submission categories. Up to 1 hour series episodes (pilot or first episode of the series, or the most representative episode of the series). Also, our Best Western section will also accept fantasy and adventure films that have a connection with Westerns (think Indiana Jones, Jumanji, etc).

WELCOME to our international, IMDb qualified film festival, now in its second year. Every THREE MONTHS, we celebrate and honor films**, filmmakers, cast and crew (a total of 19 winners and over 50 nominees) with AWARD NOMINATIONS & WINS, E-CERTIFICATES OF ACHIEVEMENT, LAUREL DISTINCTIONS and our quarterly TROPHIES. We also host an annual MLC Awards Gala in the heart of the US Midwest (our only public/in person event, in February 2021), downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA.

As one of the most affordable and authentic film festivals of its kind, we celebrate and elevate both union and independent productions, all budgets, showcasing at least ONE of the three "M-L-C components" described in the Awards & Prizes section. MLC stands for Mobster - Latino - Comedy.

**We focus on shorts up to 30 minutes, pilot or TV/web series episodes (series potential shorts), and Midwest-made shorts (Midwest documentaries too). Last, but not least, we specialize in Westerns (shorts and feature films here) of all kinds (even fantasy type films that have common components with Westerns).

We recognize 19 winners and over 50 semi-finalists per quarter. Please browse our official URL for past winners = We also deliver trophies by mail -on demand to ANY of our 19 quarterly award winners- and email digital certificates every 3 months (every quarter) after we select and privately screen in front of judges who have many combined years of experience acting, screen-acting, producing, directing.

Follow us on for weekly live updates.

We issue awards recognizing all budget type productions--besides cast and crew--every 3 months in 18 categories (see for winners and nominees of our previous window):

OUR 4 MAIN CATEGORIES for quarterly awards part are:

1) Best M-obster(Crime/Horror/Thriller/Sci-Fi, Noir, etc) L-atino (Latino Culture-Vibed) C-omedy Fiction Short. A winner here will show case with excellence one or more of those three M - L - C "ingredients"

2) Best Series Episode (pilot or not) or Short Film with series potential. Up to 60 minutes in length. Looking for quality episodes with great message.

3) Best Midwest-Made Short: (CHEAPER SUBMISSION RATES HERE) These short films OR documentary shorts --this is the only section accepting documentaries-- must be made or filmed in the US Midwest. By Midwest we mean: Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio.

4) Best Western feature or short film. This is the only category that will allow both short and feature length films. We are not defining Western because it is wide. Therefore, genres with evildoers, fantasy, sci-fi, countryside scenery also qualify.

OUR 4 EXTRA CONSIDERATION CATEGORIES. Four chances of winning here every 3 months. Here, you must provide us with your candidate name:

-Best Film Score of the Quarter
-Best Editing of the Quarter
-Best Actor of the Quarter
-Best Actress of the Quarter

OUR SIX SPECIAL JURY MENTION AWARDS (you/your cast are in consideration when you reach semi-finals in a MAIN or IMDb review category submission). We don't need candidate names here... we pick our favorites, period! Six chances of winning here every 3 months:

* Promising Young Actor/Actress (under 18)

* Memorable M-obster Flavor Individual Performance

* Memorable L-atino Individual Performance

* Memorable C-omedic Flavor Performance

* Outstanding Supporting Role Performance

* Outstanding Ensemble Performance (2 actors / actresses will be awarded here)

OUR FOUR HONORABLE MENTION AWARDS (you/your cast are in consideration when you reach semi-finals in a MAIN or the IMDb Review category submission). We don't need candidate names here... we pick our favorites, period! Four chances of winning here every 3 months:

* Strong Filmmaking Talent

* Great Series Potential:

* Production with Outstanding SFX Work:

* Production with Outstanding Sound, Voice or Narration Quality

MAIN AND EXTRA CONSIDERATION winners will receive digital certificates via email, quarterly. They also get IMDb credit and can order our quarterly trophies. Last but never least, they will receive an invitation (those will go out in the Fall of 2020) to attend our Annual MLC Gala in 2021, hosted in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, recognizing The Best of 2020.


Cash prize amounts at our gala will depend on the number of sponsors on board. This and more 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 (30 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, 2016. All genres accepted except for Westerns and Documentaries (Documentaries only accepted in our Midwest section, up to 30 minutes long).

* fiction pilots or web/TV/streamable episodes/series (released or not, union or non union, 55-60 minute maximum length excluding opening and closing credits), as long as they were completed as of January 1, 2016. If a web series, send us the most representative episode. We also consider shorts with a series potential (with a pilot flavor). You must adhere to the M-L-C criteria described below.

* Midwest or Wisconsin-made short films or docu-shorts. Maximum 30 minute length, including credits. Midwest: Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio. Completed as of January 1, 2016. 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 5 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/ series potential shorts 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: 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).

LANGUAGE: 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 accept unlisted YouTube links (our preference) or Vimeo links with or without password. If you want to submit more series episodes besides the pilot, please email a link to subsequent eps separately. We do not guarantee we will watch them, but it can help your CAT 2 submission for bigger winning chances. 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
Best Editing
Best Actor
Best Actress

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.



* 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. In fact, for those who submit for both MAIN and EXTRA together, say in January, the EXTRA submission will carry over to the next window(s) of the calendar year -2020- automatically (as happens with Western films) should it not be a found a winner in the initial window. However, submitting under EXTRA only and not MAIN will only give you once chance to compete, in the window you are running for. For carry-over to apply for the EXTRA submission(s), they need to be placed in the same window as the main. MAIN won't carry over but EXTRA submissions will. If you do MAIN in the Jan-March window and EXTRA only in the Apr-Jun window, your EXTRA submission will only carry over to the next windows (unless you win) as long as you remember to resubmit for MAIN in the Apr-Jun window.

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 are welcome (Documentaries only in our Midwest section) are welcome, including experimental.

Porn and/or erotic themed films are EXCLUDED and will not be judged/considered. Nudity okay with moderate dosage.



* Western and Series are the only category categories wherein those films that do not win (go beyond Semi-Finals) the quarterly category will be automatically selected to compete in the following quaterly round of 2020. This is due to the fewer amount of pure Western films and pilot series. Therefore, should you submit in the current window and your film did not win, you also have a shot at the other windows in 2020 as long as you place semi-finalist in each.

* We accept already-distributed films. All of the above except Westerns must be COMPLETED PRODUCTIONS (we do not accept work in progress) AND RELEASED ANYTIME after January 1, 2016. See Rules for more info and film lengths.

* 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 on demand upon paying the applicable fees to the quarterly-award winning filmmakers. Trophy will read "Quarterly Category Winner".

Quarterly Winning films get IMDb credit and 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.

* Trophies are on demand and have a small fee attached besides shipping (please send us a message should you need more info on this). Winners of MAIN and EXTRA categories will receive more details on this after we announce the wins every 3 months.

* We reserve the right to promote submissions via posters-only (no actual footage) We also reserve the right to amend rules of participation as we see fit to protect the integrity of the event and its organizers. See our website (and privacy policy), Facebook portal or Event Description section above for more information.

Overall Rating
  • Alex Verlage

    What an honor to have been a part of this festival!

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    I was a pleasure to have 'La Gringa' as part of our top submissions, Alex. Your trophy is on its way soon. We hope to see more of your work in the near future. Best wishes!

  • hiram guzman

    Great experience with this film event!

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Hiram. Your work in '616' had a lot of detail and I am glad most jurors agreed. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future. Congratulations again!

  • Antoine Dillard

    MLC Awards is one of the few film competitions that genuinely care about independent filmmakers, and it SHOWS! Any questions I had were answered same day, communication was clear and consistent every step of the process and staff was kind and courteous. Would definitely recommend submitting here to any and every filmmaker and I will absolute submit here again.

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Antoine and team ROTA. 'Rise Of The Avanlanche: Revenge from the Shadows' blew us away with the futuristic SFX work and dynamic acting of your cast. We look forward to seeing your future work.

  • It was an absolute honor to be part of this wonderful film festival with my short film "This No Land". MLC Awards is very open and clear in their communication, they know how to promote and treat the filmmakers and their movies and they have amazing opportunities for upcoming talent from all over the world, so I will definitely recommend this festival to all debuting and experienced filmmakers. Thank you, MLC!

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Alexander and Team-This No Land. Special greetings to Lisa as well. Job well done to honor a genre like Westerns that is getting lost. We cannot wait to check on your next project. Keep creating!

  • thank you for all your hard work each year

    March 2020