Indy Film Fest

IFF // Indianapolis International Film Festival

17th edition

Apr 30 - May 10, 2020
Indianapolis, IN, United States

Open Call Open to Public Competitive Market Special Fees

Festival type Real Venue Festival
Types of films Animation, Children, Docu-feature, Documentary, Experimental, Narrative fiction, Student
Film length Full length, Mid-length, Short
Genre Action, Adventure, Alternative, Art, Avantgarde, B-Movie, Biography, Burlesque, Classics, Comedy, Comedy drama, Crime, Culture, Dance, Dark comedy, Drama, Dramedy, Environmental, Family, Fantastic, Fantasy, Film noir, Flash, Foreign, Health, History, Horror, Human rights, Independent, LGBT, Live Action, Medical, Melodrama, Microcinema, Mockumentary, Musical, Mystery, Nature, News, , Parody, Post modern, Realism, Reality, Religious, Road Trip, Romance, Romantic comedy, Satire, Science, Science fiction, Silent movie, Social issues, Spiritual, Sports, Surreal, Thriller, Transgender, Underground, Urban, War, Western

Mission / description The Indy Film Fest exists to celebrate the art of cinema and to create a shared experience around film. We are a non-profit international independent film festival programming both features and shorts and strive to bring the best films the industry has to offer to our community from home and abroad. Our programmers aim to foster new talent and help filmmakers connect with the global industry. We are also dedicated to educating and developing audiences for international and independent cinema in Indianapolis, screening the kind of innovative, visionary work that may not normally achieve distribution in this area.

Indy Film Fest is looking for the best independent features and shorts no matter the category or genre: Live action, animated, drama, comedy, narrative, documentary, horror, sci-fi, and experimental. In 2019 we offered 100 screenings from a slate consisting of 143 films, with over 95% selected from submissions. We anticipate a similar number of selections as well as percentage of films programmed from submissions for our 17th festival in 2020.

Always growing and adapting, the Indy Film Fest began as the three-day Indianapolis International Film Festival in 2004. We quickly expanded to our current 10-day format in 2006, moved our festivities to the summer in 2009, changed our name to the Indy Film Fest in 2014, and since 2018 have been back home to our original spring timeframe. For 2020, Indy Film Fest once again plans to present one of the finest festival-going experiences in the region at our 17th festival running April 30 - May 10.

Alumni of the Indy Film Fest (and Indianapolis International Film Festival) are eligible for a reasonable number of free submissions. Films with significant ties to Indiana are eligible for drastically reduced submission fees. Examples of eligibility include the director or writer being a current Indiana resident or native, or the film being primarily shot within Indiana. Please contact to see if you are eligible for either of these opportunities.
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Festival website

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Class Founded: 2004
Festival category: D (local player)
Dates Open call: Jul 24, 2019

Early bird deadline: Sep 02, 2019
Regular deadline: Dec 31, 2019
Late deadline: Feb 02, 2020

Notification date: Apr 02, 2019

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Fees Fees range from 14.10 to 56.40 USD . See submission categories for details about fees. Submission through FFL is up to 3.60 USD cheaper than on other submission platforms for Film Plan subscribers.
Awards Total prize money: 5,000.00 USD
General rules ELIGIBILITY

1. Entrants must fully comply with these Entry Rules and Regulations in order to be considered eligible for acceptance to the 2020 Indy Film Fest.
2. Eligible films must have been completed during 2018, 2019, or 2020.
3. Films with prior distribution or that have been exhibited publicly for profit in the central Indiana region prior to the 2020 Indy Film Fest are not eligible for juried awards.
4. Films with ongoing or infinite-run online distribution or availability (iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) are not eligible for juried awards. Films with finite or limited availability (i.e. an online-only film festival) or via independent distribution (i.e. filmmaker’s own website) remain eligible for juried awards.
5. Entries must be in English or have English subtitles.
6. Films must be available for screening at the Indy Film Fest from April 30 - May 10, 2020.
7. Eligibility for the juried Hoosier Lens category and the Hoosier Lens Short and Feature awards is at the discretion of the Indy Film Fest, and submissions to any category are potentially eligible. Considerations include filmmaker ties to Indiana such as long-term or current residence in Indiana as well as whether the film was shot or set in Indiana.
8. Films that have been submitted to previous editions of the Indy Film Fest should not be resubmitted unless there have been significant revisions or you have been invited to do so.


1. All films must be submitted via one of the methods listed at Submissions to the discounted Indiana Short/Feature categories must be made through FilmFreeway.
2. The preferred method for screener submission is online via Vimeo or YouTube. Indy Film Fest must be supplied with current password through the end of the festival.
3. Entries without payment will not be considered.
4. Submission of entry is considered legal permission to screen your film during the festival upon acceptance.
5. Work in progress submissions are accepted, though such should be CLEARLY noted. Completed version must be received before final submission deadline in order to be considered for acceptance.
6. All submissions will be evaluated by at least two members of our screening team or one programmer, while most will be seen by at least three members of our team. We reserve the right to stop watching after 20 minutes if we determine that the film does not meet minimal technical quality levels.
7. Films that require a screening fee for exhibition may be submitted and may be selected, but are not eligible for juried or audience awards. Screening fee requirements must be disclosed at time of submission, and may be taken into account for selection decisions.
8. Indy Film Fest does not have any premiere status requirements for selection.
9. Indy Film Fest or Indianapolis International Film Festival alumni are eligible for a reasonable number of submission waivers per year. Contact us at to receive a waiver code, and include your film’s name and the year it screened.
10. Films with significant ties to Indiana are eligible for drastically reduced submission fees. Examples of eligibility include the director or writer being a current Indiana resident or native, or the film being primarily shot within Indiana. Please contact to see if you are eligible.


1. Accepted films will be notified via email at the submitter or contact address included in the submission form. Please ensure you can receive email from as it is our primary mode of communication.
2. Filmmakers (or primary contact) will be required to submit a consent form ensuring an absence of any legal or rights issues, and indemnifying the Indy Film Fest of any liabilities that may arise out of screening with the festival.
3. Consent form contractually confirms the film for screening at the Indy Film Fest.
4. Upon acceptance, filmmakers (or primary contact) will provide the following by the dates specified by festival organizers:
○ Required: An exhibition version of the film in Quicktime with a resolution of at least 1080p, encoded using H.264, H.265, or ProRes.
○ Optional: A backup copy on Blu-ray or DVD is requested but not required.
○ Backup disc copies will not be returned. Format used for exhibition will be determined by the festival, potentially including the backup or submission format. Completed film may be archived by the Indy Film Fest.
○ For jury and press purposes, an online digital version of exhibition version of the film must be available through the end of the festival.
○ Press materials as itemized in the Filmmaker Info & Consent Form that you will receive.
5. Filmmakers are responsible for shipping costs associated with delivering all materials to the Indy Film Fest. The Indy Film Fest may assume the cost of return shipping of exhibition copies following the run of the festival upon request.
6. The Indy Film Fest reserves the right to rescind acceptance of any film for any reason.

Should you have any questions regarding this process or your film’s eligibility, please email
By submitting, artists agrees to all terms set forth in category rules.

By submitting, filmmakers recognize that they are eligible for all appropriate prizes.

Entering your film is considered giving the Indy Film Fest permission to screen your film during the course of the festival. If, for some reason, after acceptance (but prior to the public announcement of the festival line-up) you choose not to screen with the Indy Film Fest, you must contact the festival immediately. Attempts to cancel a screening AFTER the official announcement cannot be acknowledged and the film will screen from the available copy on hand.

Indy Film Fest is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The submitter shall indemnify and hold harmless Indy Film Fest from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.