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Indy Shorts & Heartland International Film Festival

About Heartland Film

Heartland Film is best known for its Academy Award®-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival and Heartland International Film Festival events in Indianapolis. Since 1992, Heartland Film has awarded $3.5 million in cash prizes to independent filmmakers, the largest ongoing amount of any North American festival. Since 2011, 7 short films programmed at Heartland have gone on to win Academy Awards® with a total of 23 nominations. Just this month, the Academy announced 16 films from Heartland fests (9 shorts and 7 features) were shortlisted for the 93rd Academy Awards, including 2 of our qualified shorts (“Da Yie” and “Traces”). The organization has also met its 5050x2020 Parity Pledge guarantee of at least 50% of its festival lineups selections being directed by female filmmakers. Artistic Director Greg Sorvig is also an associate programmer for the Tribeca Film Festival and served as an Art Works II grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Senior Programmer Julia Ricci is an Emmy® Award-nominated researcher who has worked with Turner Classic Movies and The Criterion Collection’s streaming service FilmStruck. Feel free to learn more about Greg at

Complimentary Waiver Codes

Please note we have two separate events – Indy Shorts for shorts films and Heartland International Film Festival for features:

Indy Shorts International Film Festival – July 20-25, 2021

*SHORT FILMS (40 minutes or less)*

Academy Award®-qualifying in the Live Action, Documentary, and Animated Categories

Use complimentary waiver code UTAUSTIN2021INDYSHORTS at

Deadlines: Late – March 28, and Extended – April 18

Heartland International Film Festival – October 7-17, 2021

*FEATURE FILMS (41+ minutes)*

Use complimentary waiver code UTAUSTIN2021HIFF at

Deadlines: Regular - May 23, Late - June 13, Extended - July 4

Full List of 2021 Prize Categories

30th Heartland International Film Festival Awards - $60K+

· Narrative Feature ($20,000 Grand Prize)

· Documentary Feature ($20,000 Grand Prize)

· Richard D. Propes Social Impact Awards ($2,000 cash prizes – Narrative & Documentary)

· Indiana Spotlight ($2,000 cash prize)

· Heartland Horror ($2,000 cash prize)

· Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award ($5,000 cash prize)

· Humor & Humanity Award ($2,000 cash prize)

· Best Premiere Awards ($2,000 cash prizes)

· Best International Feature Film Oscar Contender ($2,000 cash prize)

· Audience Choice Winners (Overall, Narrative, Documentary, Indiana Spotlight, Horror)

· FIPRESCI Award for Best US Narrative Directorial Debut

· Indiana Film Journalists Association Award for Best International Narrative Directorial Debut

Indy Shorts International Film Festival Awards - $31K+

· Narrative Short ($5,000 Cash Prize) Academy Award®-qualified category

· Documentary Short ($5,000 Cash Prize) Academy Award®-qualified category

· Animated Short ($5,000 Cash Prize) Academy Award®-qualified category

· High School Film Competition (HSFC) ($2,000 Summer White Lynch Memorial Grand Prize, Underwritten by Gary D. and Marlene Cohen) Four category winners awarded $500 each - Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana

· Indiana Spotlight Competition ($1,500 Cash Prize)

· Jenni Berebitsky Legacy Award ($1,800 Cash Prize)

· Heartland Horror Award ($1,000 Cash Prize)

· Best Comedy Short ($1,000 Cash Prize)

· Best Directorial Debut ($1,000 Cash Prize)

· Best Student Film Awards ($1,000 Cash Prize each) Categories of Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana. Films made at the college, university, and conservatory level.

· Audience Choice Awards in the Narrative, Documentary, Animated, Indiana Spotlight, Comedy, Heartland Horror, High School categories ($250 each)


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