24th Annual

Heartland Film Festival

October 16, 2015 to October 25, 2015


Documentary Feature


Deadlines & Entry Fees

All fees will be charged in U.S. Dollar
...but you can display them in these other currencies:

Online Services Offered
Entry Form
Fee Payment
Press Kit
Submission Copy
Earlybird Deadline
April 3, 2015
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 50.00 45.00
Student Fee 30.00 25.00
Regular Deadline
May 15, 2015
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 65.00 60.00
Student Fee 40.00 35.00
Late Deadline
May 22, 2015
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 85.00 80.00
Student Fee 55.00 50.00
WAB Extended Deadline
May 29, 2015
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 105.00 90.00
Student Fee 75.00 60.00

Discounted fees apply to projects with pre-purchased Discount Packs, on entry fees greater than 30.00.

Category Details

Approximately August 30, 2015

Features: From 50 minutes to 180 minutes

Projects completed after June 1, 2014

Projects may originate from anywhere in the world

No premiere requirement

Projects may have distribution


Submission & Exhibition Format Requirements

REGION 0    
REGION 1    

Subtitled Dubbed Dialog List

Media Files
  .MOV (Quicktime)

Subtitled Dubbed Dialog List

Press Kit Requirements

A press kit is required, but only after acceptance.

Prizes & Awards

This category is a competition.

Heartland Film Festival Award - Documentary Feature
These awards are announced several weeks before the Festival. Five filmmakers are honored and a director or producer must be present to win cash prize. Travel and lodging provided by Heartland Film Festival.

Grand Prize - Documentary Feature
One Documentary Feature will be chosen from the five Award-winning Documentary Features to receive this award. This award is announced during the Heartland Film Festival Awards Ceremony. Filmmaker (director or producer) must be present to win cash prize and award.
Cash Award Value: 45,000 U.S. Dollar

Best Documentary Feature Premiere
Of selected Documentary Features holding their U.S. Premiere at the Heartland Film Festival, one will be selected as the winner of the "Best Documentary Feature Premiere" and will receive a $5,000 cash award.
Cash Award Value: 5,000 U.S. Dollar

Audience Choice Award
This award is announced for each category (Narrative Feature, Narrative Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short) during the Festival at the Closing Night Event. Filmmaker need not be present to win.

Indiana Spotlight winner
Films in the Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Narrative Short and Documentary Short categories that qualify as Indiana films will compete for the $5,000 cash prize in the Indiana Spotlight category.
Cash Award Value: 5,000 U.S. Dollar
This prize is shared with other categories.

Category Rules

PLEASE NOTE: All films submitted in the Documentary Feature category for the Heartland Film Festival are in competition for the Festival Awards at the time of submission, provided they meet eligibility requirements.

Each submitted film goes through an involved judging process, and is screened in its entirety by at least three members of the selection committee. Selected films have been seen 6-15 times by members of the screening committees, programming staff, and juries.

Films submitted to the Heartland Film Festival are judged on their overall artistic and technical quality. Additionally, each film must be engaging and entertaining, but do more than simply entertain. Selected films have a transformative power that impacts audiences by educating, inspiring, challenging or shifting perspectives.

Films are ultimately chosen as either Festival Award winners, which remain in competition for the Grand Prizes, or Official Selections, which screen out of competition for the Grand Prizes (though they may remain eligible for Best Premiere or Indiana Spotlight prizes, as described below).

All submitted films that meet the below eligibility requirements are considered “in competition” for the Heartland Film Festival Awards at the time of submission. In September, 2015, Festival Award winners are publicly announced. Only Festival Award winners are eligible for the Grand Prize in each category. Grand Prize winners are announced at the Heartland Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Filmmakers must be present to win.

Films that are not honored as Festival Award winners may be invited to screen as “Official Selections” and are eligible for the Audience Choice Awards. Official Selections are no longer “in competition” for Festival Awards.

Feature length films having their U.S. or World Premiere at Heartland are eligible for Best Premiere Awards. Indiana films meeting eligibility requirements for the Indiana Spotlight competition are eligible for the award in that category.

Other films may be invited to screen at the Festival as a “Special Presentation” or in a “To Be Announced” time slot; these may be eligible for the Audience Choice Award depending on when the films are scheduled.

Festival Award-winning films will be programmed to screen up to eight times during the Festival. Official Selections will screen up to four times.

To be eligible for the Heartland Film Festival, films must comply with the following:
• The film must have been completed on or after June 1, 2014.
• The film must be available for 4-8 screenings during the Festival, October 16-25, 2015.
• There must not be a screening fee attached to the film. Heartland will not pay a screening fee to any film featured in the Festival; there are no exceptions.
• Heartland requires a digital file for every feature film. The file must be at least Apple ProRes 422 (or equivalent) and 1080p. The file may be delivered on hard drive (unencrypted) or we can extract the file from an HDCAM (no HDCAM SR). No Blu-rays, DCPs or 35mm prints will be screened at the Festival.
• Short films must be available in one of the following formats: HDCAM or Apple ProRes 422 (or equivalent) on a flash drive, hard drive or other digital media. All films must have a resolution of 1080p.
• Films that have had a theatrical release, a television broadcast within the United States or a release through an on-demand outlet such as Netflix, Amazon On-Demand or any other outlets that are available in Indiana prior to the Festival dates are not eligible for Festival awards, but may be considered for “Special Presentation” screenings. Films with a theatrical release, television broadcast or available on-demand outside of the USA are eligible to screen as “Official Selections” and are eligible for Festival awards.
• The film cannot require dual projection (interlock) or separate soundtracks.
• Non-English films must be subtitled.

In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, filmmakers must comply with the following submission rules to be considered for a Festival award:
• The submitting filmmaker must be either the producer or director of the film.
• Entries are accepted through www.withoutabox.com.
• A completed official entry on Withoutabox.com must be digitally signed by the filmmaker.
• Payment of the non-refundable entry fee must accompany the submission.
• Payment can be made by credit card, check or money order payable in US dollars to Heartland Film, Inc. The filmmaker will be responsible for bank fees associated with any check returned to Heartland by the bank as unpaid.
• All items on the materials checklist must be provided by the entry deadline.
• Feature films must be submitted via Region 1 or Region 0 DVD. (Note: Heartland does not accept prints or arrange screenings as a form of submission.)
• Short films (including HSFC submissions) must be submitted via Region 1 or Region 0 DVD or a link to a functional streaming video file on VIMEO. All streaming submissions must be HD (720p or 1080p). If the quality of the link is not high enough, you will be required to send us a DVD of your film. Links may be included in the Withoutabox cover letter or emailed to submissions@heartlandfilm.org.
• Multiple submissions must be provided as individual submissions. A compilation DVD is not acceptable.
• All DVD entries must be shipped to:

Heartland Film Festival
1043 Virginia Ave. Ste. 2
Indianapolis, IN 46203 U S A

Heartland recommends shipping DVDs in either a box or bubble-packed envelope to ensure safe delivery. Please check all DVDs before shipping to ensure that they will work on an average American DVD or Blu-ray player.

A filmmaker (director or producer) MUST be present at the Heartland Film Festival Awards Ceremony in order to receive any cash prize.

Filmmakers from outside the United States must be advised that per U.S. tax code and tax treaties, Heartland Film Festival will withhold U.S. taxes from monetary prizes when applicable, totaling as much as 30 percent of the cash award, regardless of recipients' citizenship. Taxes withheld will be deposited with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Heartland Film Festival cannot assist filmmakers in filing for those funds from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.