FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, or “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Submitting Your Film to The Midwest Independent Film Festival"

Upcoming Submission Deadlines:

August 31, 2014: Advertising Community Shorts Night
September 30, 2014: Female Filmmakers Program
October 31, 2014: Comedic Shorts Program

ANYTIME: All general submissions, i.e. not for a specific program
(we’re a year-round film festival, after all!)

First things first, here's our official festival submission form. 

Second things second,
be sure to jump on our festival e-mail list for all things Midwest Independent Film Festival, exclusive premiere screenings and more!

Third things third, if you are a withoutabox member, you can submit your film via the following link:

Ok, now let's get to the questions...

The Midwest Independent Film Festival is dedicated to Midwest films.  Define “Midwest.”
We define the Midwest as the eight-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

What exactly do you mean by “ Midwest film?”

Ideally, a “Midwest film” is one that is wholly produced in the Midwest by Midwest filmmakers. However, on an individual basis, we do also consider films produced by Midwest filmmakers outside of the Midwest and films produced by non-Midwest filmmakers within the Midwest.

So if a Chicago filmmaker shoots a film in Wyoming, would that qualify?

Films produced outside of the Midwest are considered on an individual basis. If a film is shot in Wyoming and the director, producer and lead actors are all Midwest, then it is likely we will accept that film for consideration. If a film is shot in Wyoming with an all-Wyoming cast and crew but the editor is Midwest, it is unlikely we will accept the film for consideration. The best thing to do is to
e-mail us before submitting your film if you are unsure your film will qualify.

What are your specifications for film submissions (length, genre, screening format)?

The Midwest Independent Film Festival will consider films ranging anywhere from one to 120 minutes. We will consider films from all genres – narrative, documentary, experimental, music video, animated, etc. If your film is accepted to our festival, we will require BluRay, DCP or uncompressed Quicktime file for screening.

So how do I submit my film?
Please print and complete our Festival Submission Form (Adobe's free Acrobat Reader required). .  All submissions must include the completed Submission Form, a non-returnable DVD screener and $25 submission fee; please make your check payable to "Midwest Film Inc." 
Please mail your submission to: The Midwest Independent Film Festival; Attn: Director of Submissions; 516 North Ogden #312; Chicago, IL 60642.  Films submitted without paperwork will not be considered for screening. If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to e-mail us anytime!

Can I pay the submission fee online?

Absolutely!  Pay online with PayPal. It's fast, easy, and 100% secure! If you would like to make a payment online, please click the logo below to be taken to our secure e-commerce area.
Click here to pay the submission fee with PayPal

When completing our
Festival Submission Form, simply enter your PayPal confirmation code on Page Four of the form. Enclose a non-returnable DVD screener with your completed Festival Submission Form, drop it in the mail and you’re all set!

When will I be notified of my submission status?
You should receive an e-mail confirming receipt of your submission packet within six weeks of mailing. As our film festival screenings are held year-round, the screening process can range from three weeks to six months. You are welcome to check in with us anytime by e-mailing us!

How do you decide which films are accepted to the festival?

Films submitted to the Midwest Independent Film Festival go through several steps before hitting the silver screen:

1. A preliminary screening committee views, logs and judges all films submitted based on narrative/non-narrative intent (i.e. story, acting, etc.), directorial merit and production value.

2. All films recommended by the preliminary committee are presented to our executive screening committee which formally decides to either accept or reject the recommended films. This screening committee consists of prominent industry professionals, e.g. directors, producers, film festival directors, etc.

3. Filmmakers are notified via e-mail and/or phone as to the decision of the screening committee. All accepted films are scheduled by the Director of Programming for inclusion in the upcoming season based upon festival needs for specific monthly programming.

Can I have my screener back if my film is not accepted to the festival?

All screeners are non-returnable.

I have more questions for you! What should I do?

No problem! Feel free to
e-mail us or give Festival Director Mike McNamara a call at our office… 312.642.4222.

Before you go, be sure to jump on our festival e-mail list for all things Midwest Independent Film Festival, exclusive premiere screenings and more!