You are now looking at our Fall Window (3rd year). We just celebrated (Sept 13, 2020) our Summer Window Drive-In Gala--see interviews and winners on

We accept short / feature films or video entries of animated or non-animated productions, narrative fiction or non fiction, independently produced or in union status. You name it: shorts, features, pilot or series eps, music or creative videos, documentaries and audiobook chapters. We still have a separate award for pandemic. This Fall window will also recognize Best Halloween Flavor Short (think scary, Charles Dickensy, mysterious,...)...both under MAIN CAT 1.

Fall and Winter Windows will see online results, but the best of those two windows will be battling at our next drive-in Gala (with select film screenings), which will also take place in Richland Center WI (birth town of Frank Lloyd Wright) in May 2021, at Starlite14. Then the Best of Spring / Summer 2021 (after their respective individual online result announcements) will be battling at another gala in September 2021. Both galas will have winners and top contenders (wildcards) from each window.

Follow us on our Facebook portal for daily updates =

Back to our current window, the MORE categories you think your film will fit in, the BIGGER the chances of selection, nomination or ever award or a chance to have your film screened. We also do videos and audiobooks + still have a Best Pandemic category (use MAIN CAT 1).

Also, if you are on Facebook and we love your submission's POSTER, we will do video promo of it at no cost to you and will tag you/your production and forward the promo to over 30 worldwide filmmaker/producer groups, to bring awareness on your film. Visit us on Facebook (we post discount codes there often)

We also honor cast even beyond what the submission categories indicate. This means that if we like a supporting or day player actor, or a specific sound or color treatment aspect, we can nominate and award this actor.

We have over 40 quarterly winners and over 60 nominees per quarterly window.

We celebrate all genres, but most especially "M-L-C components" described in the Awards & Prizes section. MLC stands for Mobster - Latino - Comedy. We also love Midwest-Made productions (see our midwest section) and anything loaded with VFX, great sound, animation, etc. We also welcome creative youtube videos, promo videos, trailers of movies, audiobooks, etc.

We now offer a shared revenue distribution deal to nominees and winners. Some of our nominees and all category winners will receive an invitation to upload their content to our showcase channel, MLC Flix. This is a non-exclusive shared revenue deal you cannot miss. More info on

See Rules & Terms (or the categories themselves) for a detailed explanation on our submission categories. We issue awards recognizing all budget type productions--besides cast and crew--every 3 months in over 20 categories. Indeed, other than the awards listed on each category (see each submission category), we also have Honorable Mention (HM) and Special Jury Mention (SJM) Awards.

As an example to the above, to add to those in previous windows, as of the Spring window, Best MLC Jewel is one of our new Honorable Mention Awards. We also have a new SJM award: Best COVID/Pandemic film.

Visit for winners and nominees of our previous window, but do keep in mind the new changes, expanding awards (see categories and pricing).


Filmmakers or Producers, including student filmmakers/producers, from all over the world, over the age of 18, all budgets, 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 (but not necessarily excluding others):

* Fiction or non fiction animated or non-animated short films (40 minute maximum length, 1 minute minimum, including opening and closing credits) as long as completed as of January 1, 2016. All genres. See categories 4-5-6...if you submit your short or documentary short there (as long as it meets criteria), you also compete under category 1.

* Fiction and non-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.

* Fiction or non fiction Midwest-Made short films/productions: Maximum 40 minute length, including credits. Midwest: Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio. Completed as of January 1, 2016. Documentaries go under the Documentary section, but if you indicate that your documentary was made in the Midwest, you will be considered for awards stemming from this submission category.

* Westerns/Mobster-Driven films. Not only classic or modern Westerns. Think pirates, smugglers, mafias... money and power driven productions with persecuted families or groups (shorts or features). 180 min max length.

* Adventure/Fantasy-Horror/VFX-SFX. We looove to see your creativity and stories. Completed as of January 1, 2016. Should be 180 min long or less.

* Documentaries (fiction or not) and docu-series episodes: all lengths.

* Creative Jewels: experimental or artistic shorts or videos, music videos, youtube/vimeo content or proofs of concept with After Effects or any other software/technique elevating image and sound. Go animation, go experimental. Videos can be any length. Animation shorts will also compete under this category, even if they submitted under a different one. A submission with a series of, say, five videos submitted under one single entry showing no story connection will be not be judged past the first video. You must submit each video separately.

* Fiction or non-fiction audiobook chapters. As with any motion picture submission, we accept completed audio work (completed as of 1/1/2016), but not necessarily under distribution or released. However, we require that a written publication be already released, and that author and narrator (unless they are the same person) be under a shared rights production contract = a screenshot of the publication status or anything showing the narrator and author's name on the same page or that the narrator has permission to use the audio for this festival). Scroll below for more info about audiobooks or see category 7.

MLC stands for Mobster - Latino - Comedy. However, we do not exclude productions lacking some or all of these.

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 should ideally (but no obligation) adhere to the M-L-C criteria described above. Think of funny shorts, with latino flavor, law enforcement, Westerns, video clips, 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, with your permission (if a nominee on August 10) at our September 13 event, a drive in event

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 up to 3 submissions per filmmaker per quarterly window.

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 mostly 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.


Fiction and non fiction publications. Every 3 months, depending on the amount of submissions, we will award:

* Best Audiobook Chapter - 2 quarterly awards per quarter: fiction and non-fiction)

* Best Audiobook Narrator - two SJM awards per quarter: fiction and non-fction as well.

Audiobook episodes/chapters should not be longer than 20 minutes. The must not be altered nor contain pieces chapters edited together, and they must be a published audiobook (cover letter must have a link to the publication or proof must be enclosed that narrator-author are under contract for those publications not yet released...otherwise we will not listen to the file... we have a no refund policy). Audiobooks can have a release or production date as old as 1/1/2016. We will judge:

a) narration = is the narrator's voice adequate for the plot? any range in character voices shown?

b) track quality = sound quality, the narration too fast, no low, too loud? if any, how do sound effects or music fit in the episode.


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 attend the festival's drive in screening events.

Free format, but we only accept digital submissions (no mailed DVDs or anything of the like). Editing should ideally be anywhere between 24 fps and 60 fps (the latter preferred for fast moving scenes) with the exception of 6K shoots with tasteful slow motion work.

Any filmmaker, even students, with ages above 18 is welcome to submit. Not all submission categories have student discounts, but that does not mean a student cannot submit. We welcome and specially consider first time filmmakers.

EXTRA CONSIDERATION SUBMISSIONS: we will watch paying special attention to the following:

Best Actor in a leading role
Best Actress in a leading role
Best Film Score / Best Song
Best Editing / Best Cinematography

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.

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, including experimental.

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



* 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 delivered to those winners attending our September 13, 2020 drive in event (we do not mail due to COVID reasons). Trophy will read "Quarterly Category Winner".

* We reserve the right to promote submissions via posters-only (no actual footage). For Facebook (Recently Submitted...) purposes, we reserve the right to 2.5D or 3D the poster or put the poster in a video sequence. If a trailer is available and publicly downloadable, we reserve right to showcase it along with the submission on our FB portal. We will properly quote all links, etc., in an effort to help promote the showcased submissions. These types of Facebook posts (go to will be shared with over 30 worldwide groups of filmmakers and producers we are part of.

We also reserve the right to amend rules of participation, venues and dates of events, etc., as we see fit to protect the integrity of any MLC event, participants and its organizers. See our website (and privacy policy), Facebook portal or Event Description section above for more information.

Overall Rating
  • Ryan Neely

    Great festival! I was unable to attend because of COVID, but the communication was great! This is a festival you can sense is building a community and I look forward to seeing it grow. I felt honored that "A Day Late and Ten Pounds Overweight" won awards. Thank you Team MLC!

    September 2020
  • As the script writer, music supervisor and co- director of Mambo |Man, I would like to thank you your MLC organization for this amazing festival. It is not easy for anybody under the present circumstances but your approach and dedication makes it easier for all of us to cope. Beautifully organized and communication could not be better. Both Edessio Alejandro and I are thrilled and appreciate your consideration which at the age of 70 gives us inspiration to start oor lives at directors.
    Thanks to all of you. Keep up your amazing work as this world without arts and culture won't be a world worth living in!
    Life without arts is like a tree without leaves!
    Thanks to all of you
    Mo Fini

    September 2020
  • It was a great experience. Everyone was very professional and our film got a lot of exposure. Thank you so much.

    September 2020
  • Robert Conway

    Thank you MLC Awards! What a Great Festival and pulled off in a safe but fun way during covid. Thumbs up!

    September 2020
  • Thanks you for selecting my film, TMARAMRT and considering Mani Yarosh for best actress in a short film! Great fest all round, wish I could have attended!

    September 2020