The StoryMode Independent Short Film Awards is an annual film festival celebrating the power of indie film nationwide. Now in it's 13th year, this Southern Colorado festival is now accepting short film, feature film, and short script submissions for entry into next year's event.​

With so much festival noise out there, our mission is to provide a place for indie filmmakers to showcase their work, in an environment that is like no other.

Combining exciting films, red carpet events, amazing musical performances and an interactive live show, SISFA takes film festivals to a whole new level.

SISFA was initially created over a decade ago by two filmmaking brothers and their grandfather, under the Short Film Awards name. In the early years, the festival brought local family and friends together to share in a small film gathering at a very tiny venue.

Over time, the festival has evolved into one of the biggest and most anticipated annual events in Southern Colorado, bringing the community together to share in an artistic celebration of film and visual storytelling.

At SISFA, we take pride in the uniqueness of our event, mixing the festival aspect with that of a live show, setting an Oscar-esque tone for the whole run of the fest.

The festival will kick off with a Short Film Showcase Night, premiering select Colorado shorts, Late Night selections, and an assortment of additional shorts from around the United States, complete with cast/crew Q&A's. From there, guests will find themselves at the SISFA Kickoff Party where they can enjoy a bevy of local brews and live music from the best new indie artists at a renovated jailhouse-turned-brewhouse.

Day Two of the festival will feature interactive panels and creative conversations with industry insiders and a Feature Film Showcase in Red Carpet fashion.

It all leads up to the Main Event, combining live stage entertainment with amazing films. The show will begin with an exciting opening from the evening’s host followed by the presentation of the selected short films. The audience will then get to vote in select categories for their favorite films. A special musical performance will entertain guests as they enter the show’s second half, where in an Oscar-type fashion, awards are presented and the winners will accept them live on stage.

The festival will then conclude with PartyMode, the SISFA After Party, where filmmakers and film fans alike can gather to relax, network and celebrate.

Presented Live from a theater in historic Pueblo county, this annual fest brings together filmmakers, film fans, local sponsors, and entertainers alike to share in several captivating days.

There is no other event in Southern Colorado, or in the US in general, that is quite like SISFA. It's the only place where artists of all types unite to tell incredible stories.

-There are five headlining categories for the Short Film Competition: Best Dramatic Short, Best Comedic Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Sci-Fi/Thriller/Horror Short and Best Short Screenplay.

-The Feature Film Showcase allows filmmakers the opportunity to submit their films for a chance to be featured at a SISFA Red Carpet Event/Screening. The film with the highest score will also receive the Award for Best Feature Film.

-In addition to these, there are also categories for Best Post Production, Best Cinematography, Best Original Story, Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Picture.

- All winners will receive a hand-crafted trophy, glazed to perfection in the fiery kiln of a local pottery shop.

-Short films can be anywhere between 1-16 minutes in length.
-Feature films must be between 45-130 minutes in length.
-All films must be submitted in a resolution of at least 1920 x 1080p. 
-Films may be about anything as long as they are not copyrighting any existing films, stories, or ideas. 
-Films can be of any genre. 
-All films must be submitted (through FilmFreeway or postal mail) by March 11, 2023. No films will be accepted after this date.

-Our judging panel, consisting of Emmy Nominated individuals and industry professionals, will evaluate the submitted films several weeks before the festival. The short films that receive the highest scores will make it into the Main Event/Live Show.
-Show inclusion is determined by selecting the highest scoring films in each category, thus creating a two hour show. 
-Feature films selected will be showcased individually as their own events, separate from the Main Event.

-Foreign language films must contain English subtitles. 
-Films that make it into the show must be submitted to the festival in a digital file. 
-Films previously submitted to SISFA will not be accepted. 
-Entry materials will not be returned. 
-All fees and forms must be payed, signed and acknowledged before inclusion into festival. 
-Filmmakers will be notified of their inclusion in the festival no later than March 17, 2023. 

All filmmakers acknowledge and agree to the following:
1) Filmmakers understand, and comply with all entry requirements.
2) Filmmakers are legally authorized to submit their film to SISFA.
3) By submitting to SISFA, filmmakers are allowing StoryMode Films, LLC to screen their project, in whatever format that may take, during the festival weekend.
4) Filmmakers agree to indemnify and hold harmless StoryMode Films, LLC from and against any and all claims, losses, damages, or expenses which they may have concerning the marketing, publicity, screening and loss of or damage to the screening videos submitted.

Overall Rating
  • Elias Hinojosa

    Wonderful experience. The festival ran so smoothly and everybody was so passionate and welcoming. The interactive storyline that was threaded through the event was such a unique special touch. Excellent locations as well! Will definitely submit again. Thanks, SISFA!

    July 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Elias for sharing your film with us! We are so glad you had a good time. Looking forward to next year!

  • Great festival and highly recommend. SISFA goes above and beyond to showcase the film makers and writers. Very much appreciated.

    July 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much Tony. We look forward to reading more of your stories! Best of luck on your future projects!

  • Giancarlo Fusi

    Amazing festival in a great town. Festival director Brian Salay is the real deal. He and his team really know what they're doing and pay close attention to detail. They made it a kick-a** experience for all. Great venues, parties and unbelievable awards show. Submit with confidence!

    June 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much Giancarlo! We are so thankful you were able to join us at SISFA. Best of luck to you on all of your upcoming projects!

  • Michael Capone

    I unfortunately wasn't able to attend the screening of my short film Doorstep at this years festival, but the communication and hospitality of the StoryMode team was fantastic and everything about how they run things is first rate. I hope to attend next year whether I submit a film or not.

    May 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Michael! We're so glad we were able to showcase your film this year. Looking forward to seeing your future projects!

  • SISFA is great, great communication. Can't to submit again next year!

    May 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for your kind words Norman. Best of luck on your next project!