MLC stands for Mobster (as in drama, thrillers, scifi, horror, crime) - Latino - Comedy. While those are three basic pillars in what we like to judge in productions, we are open and have many awards in other aspects (see submission categories and awards on

You are now looking at our Winter Window (3rd year). Last year we celebrated (Sept 13, 2020) our Drive-In Gala--see interviews and winners on Our Winter Nominees and Winners are being picked (last day to submit is February 28) for consideration to join our May 1, 2021 in person screening and awards gala in Green Bay, Wisconsin (see venue).

A few weeks ago, we picked Fall winners in December 2020. We will pick Winter winners in March. Then both Fall and Winter winners will battle for the best of the semester at our May 1 gala (see tickets and venue info).

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 and documentaries. 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 May 2021 Gala (with select film screenings... More info on our Ticket section and here

Then the Best of Spring / Summer 2021 (after their respective individual online result announcements) will be battling at another gala in August 2021.

Both galas will have winners and top contenders (wildcards) from each window. For an updated agenda on the May 2021 two-day gala, go to

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 + 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, etc.

Every quarter we will pick winners and wildcards (almost winners). These will qualify for our Best Of semester galas. Our next Gala (Best of the Cold) will be held in May 2021 in a drive-in format. We are in negotiations with the venue at this time to finalize details.

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. These, along with the Quarterly Award winners receive an e-certificate. Wildcards do not receive a certificate, but get Outstanding Achievement credit on IMDb and can order a trophy.

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.

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

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


We reserve our right to remove categories should these not have enough participants. Contestants will be moved to the following window, should that occur.

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.

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.

Nominees and winners will be invited to submit their work to our Xerb-driven channel, MLC Flix While income is split among creators that have uploaded content, please note we do not provide metrics about this channel. Feel free to reach out to Xerb directly on any metrics or income questions. Income is based on subscribers paying a monthly fee to join. We do not know how many subscribers, if any, we have, but we know people can browse the free previews of every film uploaded there.

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.


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
  • Thank you very much to festivals organizers. The communication was amazing! Highly recommending this festival, as they are very professional and also extremely well organized. Very honoured to be part of your official selection and also thank you for your recognition and acknowledging our hard work we put into our movie.

    January 2021
  • Foi uma experiência incrível participar desse evento e só temos a agradecer a toda a equipe, pelo acolhimento, generosidade e atenção. Precisamos de mais iniciativas assim para multiplicar as visões sobre o mundo através do cinema. Quando superamos a barreira da língua, da legenda, descobrimos um novo mundo e novas estruturas narrativas que potencializam a criação de novos universos.
    Meus parabéns a todos que realizam essa cerimônia e que continuem apoiando os cineastas por muitos e muitos anos. Abraços do sul do Brasil.

    January 2021
  • Pierre-André Le Leuch

    A very good film festival organized by kind people with a great taste for film art. I warmly recommend it !

    January 2021
  • Sarah Cole

    Super fun festival! Glad I was able to be a part of it and I am honored to be an award winner!

    January 2021
  • robert enriquez

    Been great so far!! Looking forward to more!!

    January 2021