The wild rose is the official flower of the state of Iowa, a thing of beauty and tenacity growing "in the wild." The Wild Rose Independent Film Festival is the longest running international film festival in Iowa and is a celebration of the compelling, diverse, hilarious, beautiful, unique and inspiring cinema art created by independent filmmakers outside the studio system.

Now held in the Spring and in its thirteenth year, The 2016 Wild Rose Independent Film Festival will be May 12-19 at the Fleur Cinema & Cafe in Des Moines, Iowa.

Attracting entries from across the U.S. as well as many global entries, and awarding films and filmmakers in up to 20 categories, the Wild Rose requires only one general entry fee for films to be considered for all the appropriate awards within a given category (examples: Directing, Casting, Cinematography, Editing, Sound Design, Lighting Design, Production Design, Musical Score etc.) which can garner entrants multiple awards for one film! Offering Workshops, Special Guest Speakers, a Filmmakers Panel and a culminating Awards Ceremony, the Wild Rose is an exciting event for both filmmakers and film buffs.

Some past guests have included LLOYD KAUFMAN of Troma Pictures' "The Toxic Avenger"; STU POLLARD, Writer/Director/Producer of "Keep Your Distance"; actor GREGALAN WILLIAMS of "The Sopranos", "West Wing", "Necessary Roughness", "Secrets and Lies ","Remember the Titans ", "Be Cool", "Haunting Villisca" and "Courting Des Moines"; BEN EASTER of "Boston Public", "Holiday in the Sun", "Undressed", "I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Molly's Girl" ; screenwriter LEW HUNTER, legendary Hollywood icon and the author of the best selling book, Screenwriting 434; director JOHN PUTCH of Putch Films, "Route 30", "Route 30, Too!" and "Mojave Phone Booth"; actress/ acting coach/ casting director JAMIE ROSE of L.A.'s JRose Studio ; Daytime TV and film actress ELLEN DOLAN of "As the World Turns", "Walker,Texas Ranger" "The Southside" and "Molly's Girl" fame; revered Hollywood director, RANDAL KLEISER, of "Grease", "Honey, I Blew Up the Kids", The Blue Lagoon" and "Flight of the Navigator" fame;and well known Hollywood character actor and co-founder of SAGindie TOM BOWER of " Crazy Heart", "Die Hard 2", "The Hills Have Eyes" and "As You Like It" fame.

Held at the indie-friendly art house theatre/bar/coffee house, the Fleur Cinema & Cafe, located near the Des Moines International Airport and just 5 minutes from Downtown Des Moines with a wide range of shops, restaurants, brewpubs, live music venues, and nearby hotels, "The Wild Rose" is fast becoming one of the top trendy, indie film festivals in the Midwest.

All Top Winners receive a plaque, naming them the "Best of" with a select few Winners receiving Certificates of Distinctive Achievement.

The Wild Rose may also offer additional goods, services, cash prizes or giveaways TBA.

Screening and Judging Process:

The Administrative Staff of the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival shall have sole and final discretion in the choice of films to be screened at the festival. The Wild Rose and its authorized associates shall appoint additional judges for, supervise, and participate in, the judging process and the assignment of any Awards by the festival. From the screening selections, the Wild Rose judging panel will determine Nominees and Award-Winners. Unless otherwise announced, all pictures screening at the Festival will be considered for all appropriate Awards with multiple Nominees in each category possible. The Wild Rose staff reserves the right to add an award category and eliminate, or not make any Award should circumstances warrant.

Features are defined as 60 MINUTES OR LONGER (excluding end credits). Shorts are SHORTER than 60 minutes (excluding end credits).

Submission Guidelines:

Initially, online submissions are accepted, but those films which make the final Wild Rose cut into the Top Level of Competition will be notified, at which time DVD COPIES WILL BE REQUIRED FOR FINAL JUDGING.

Films chosen for Exhibition at the Wild Rose may screen in either DVD or Bluray

IMPORTANT NOTE ON STUDENT ENTRIES: To qualify as a student entry, either the film's producer or director must have been enrolled in an academic institution at the time of the film's production. Students must provide documentation of student status (i.e. copy of student photo I.D.; transcripts, etc.) with entries.

FILMMAKERS MUST POST at least ONE DIGITAL PRODUCTION STILL image (no logos) along with SHORT SYNOPSIS and FILMMAKER BIOS/contact info; with primary production team members and lead actor names. After notification of selection, filmmakers may also post full digital press kits and photographs and send trailers (DVD only) and posters for the Wild Rose's use in promotion.

SCREENWRITERS entering the UNPRODUCED screenplay competition should mail 2 HARD copies of the screenplay marked as a FilmFreeway submission and with the date they entered to 1620 Pleasant Ste. 234 Des Moines, Iowa 50314

Questions can be directed to Festival Director, Kimberly Busbee

Filmmakers are responsible for ensuring that their motion pictures are free of legal or other encumbrances. Neither the Wild Rose nor any of its Staff or Associates shall bear any responsibility for infringement of copyright, breach of rights (i.e. music rights), or any other transgression which is reasonably understood to be under the filmmaker(s)' control. Though the staff of the Wild Rose shall exercise all good judgment and care in handling filmmakers' submissions, filmmakers agree to hold the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival harmless for any damages and/or fees associated with their submissions and the shipping of same.

Overall Rating
  • Matthew Herbertz

    Festival was great at contacting me personally and commenting on how much they loved my film. A bummer I couldn't attend but I really enjoyed communicating with them and happy to be a part of their festival!

    July 2016
  • Great Festival! I really recommend it!

    June 2016
  • L Colonna

    My cast, crew, and I were overjoyed with the response our film received. Wild Rose's commitment to independent cinema made our italian film feel right at home in Iowa. This festival is truly a gem and as an independent filmmaker, it inspires me to continue.

    May 2016
  • Chad Bishop

    This was a great event at a terrific venue. I appreciate the opportunity to screen and network with fellow Iowa filmmakers during the Thursday film block. Thanks for the support and for encouraging creative expression, not to mention providing an engaging week of films.

    May 2016
  • Vlado Priborsky

    Absolutelly perfect!!! I'll come back to Iowa! :-)

    May 2016