Every March, the Mespies takes over the historic Heights Theater -- one of the most beautiful theaters in America -- to celebrate independent filmmaking at its finest.

Hosted by CINEAPOLIS (cineapolis.co), the film studio of Minneapolis, the Mespies are truly a filmmakers' festival. Selected films receive a full year of regional promotion in the Midwest, even after the festival is complete.

New this year!
• Pre-festival filmmaker video interviews.
• Professional tablereads of Minnesotan screenplays.
• Cineapolis general auditions.
• Various filmmaking workshops.

Some films are awarded a "Mespie."

Presented by the Mespies' judging panel to outstanding works shown at the festival, these awards are specific to individual films. For example: an extraordinary film of French origin may receive the Mespie for "Finest French Film." An exceptional film regarding music may receive the Mespie for "Finest Film Regarding Music."

The Mespies panel may award specific individuals involved in projects, i.e. Finest Direction, Finest Art Design, Finest Performance, et cetera. The Mespies intentionally refuses traditional awards categories, as a way of encouraging cinematic freedom.

See previous awards at TheMespies.com

• Any film completed after January 1st, 2010, is eligible.
• Films containing languages other than English must have burnt in English subtitles.
• Film cannot be publicly available online prior to festival.

• All submissions must be digital screeners made available via FilmFreeway.
• All fees must be paid via FilmFreeway.
• The Mespies does not offer waivers at this time.
• You may submit multiple films, but each must be submitted individually.
• We only accept screeners digitally.
• We only accept screeners via FilmFreeway or Vimeo. If your screener is on Vimeo, please make sure to include any applicable passwords.
• Notifications will be delivered no later than 12/31/2017.

• Congrats! We will get in touch with you with the best way to deliver your film. For shorter films, this may mean online transfers. For longer ones, there is a wider range of options available.
• Films not delivered within a reasonable time will be removed from the festival.

• The Mespies may create and alter its program however it so chooses, with or without explicit explanation, at any time as it feels necessary.
• Refunds will not be issued to any submitted film, neither full nor partial.
• Selected films may be screened up to eight times at the Heights Theater in Northeast Minneapolis/Columbia Heights.
• Screenings will only take place at the Heights Theaters, unless requested from and explicitly permitted by the film submitter.
• The Mespies reserves the right to use still images from any film to promote the festival.

• By submitting to the Mespies, the submitter (henceforth referred to as "they") confirms the following:
- that they are authorized to submit this project to the Mespies,
- that the project does not violate any laws, including unauthorized usage of copyrighted materials,
- that should any litigation or penalty of any sort arise from their submitted film, that they will accept the full responsibility and liability for the violation and its consequences.
- that they permit the Mespies to present their submitted work without reservation, and to use stills and/or portions of if to advertise the festival.


Happy Submitting!

Overall Rating
  • Wendy Placko

    Loved the opportunity to take part in a local festival and network, but the communication and overall experience fell short. They even screened the wrong file, which was very disappointing.

    September 2018
  • Isaiah Walk

    While I had fun at the festival and it was fun to see a film I composed for on the big screen, when I pay to submit to the film festival in the awards category there was a best musical score category or something along the lines of that. After the festival, I found out that they changed the awards and there was no longer that award. I got clearance from my director to submit due to there being a musical score category then to find afterwards that that wasn't actually an award. Though it isn't all about awards, that was the reason I was even able to submit the film in the first place. I feel a little gypped from my experience as there were no technical achievement categories at all after I thought there were going to be, or as it was advertised on the film freeway page.

    April 2017
    2nd mespies at heights
    Response from festival:

    Hello Isaiah! Thank you for being a part of the inaugural Mespies. We're very sorry that the award category changes affected you negatively. We knew there would be some changes and made sure to include that into the festival rules, but that doesn't change that you were negatively affected.

    For the Second Mespies, we have the award categories set in stone. If you can accept our apology and would be open to submitting your next work to our festival, send us an email and we'll get you a fee waiver!

    Thank you again!

  • Richard Louprasong

    For being their first year, it was a great experience. The venue is amazing and it was nice to see my film screened there. I would definitely submit to this festival again.

    April 2017
    2nd mespies at heights
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Richard! Your film was one of the most loved by festival attendees. We are excited to post our interview with you in the coming weeks.

    By the way, if you want your next work to be a part of the Second Mespies, we're making MN submissions no-cost this year, to encourage greater production.

    Thank you!

  • A great selection of films in a great venue. The organizers were truly passionate about what they were doing. Hopefully next year there will be more networking opportunities! But I definitely plan to submit.

    April 2017
    2nd mespies at heights
    Response from festival:

    Hello George! Your film was powerful and ambitious and we were beyond happy to have it be part of the first Mespies.

    For the coming year's festival, we are absolutely going to pour a large effort to expand out of the theater into more networking opportunities, a separate award ceremony, and other events.

    Hope to have you be a part of all of it! Mark that calendar for March 2018.