8th Annual

Lancaster International Short Film Festival

November 07, 2015 to November 15, 2015

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237 North Prince Street
Suite 301
Lancaster PA 17603
Phone: 7172241273

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Should be funny, either directly or indirectly.
Should be moving and dramatic.
Should be significantly animated. Live action, special-effects heavy pieces qualify.
Should be fear-invoking and/or terrifically suspenseful.
Should be non-fiction, intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record.


The Lancaster International Short Film Festival (formerly/alternatively known as the Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival) seeks to support the independent digital film community by offering a competitive film festival to inspire and motivate --developing Lancaster, Pennsylvania, into an annual destination for short film aficionados to experience the best of the contemporary art form.


The Lancaster International Short Film Festival (formerly/also known as the Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival) is based in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania, amidst a charming colonial brick brackdrop surrounded by miles of farmland. It is the longest, continuously running film festival in Central Pennsylvania, amidst a cityscape of arts and only a short distance from NYC, Philadelphia and the Baltimore-Washington area. In the past, the film festival was presented at Penn Cinema (2008, Lititz, PA), the Stahr Performing Arts Center (2009, 2010, 2011, Lancaster, PA), Tellus360 (2011, Lancaster, PA), The Ware Center | Milllersville University Downtown Campus (2012, 2013, and 2014), Franklin & Marshall College's The Green Room Theater (2014), and Zoetropolis Film & Art (2014.)

This year we seek short films from five broadly defined categories: Comedy, Drama, Animation, Horror, and Documentary. Submissions should not exceed 40 minutes (except Music Video, 20 minutes.)

All entries are submitted for review by a panel of judges chosen from the Lancaster (PA) community. The judges will decide the Official Selections and the winners of each category ($100), then a second round of judging will determine (from the 6 category winners) the recipient of the Grand Prize ($1000). Judges will also identify from the Official Selections a Best Actor ($100) award. There will be two other special awards: the Home Grown Award --bestowed on the best short film created by a Lancaster County Team or Theme ($100) and an Audience Choice Award (determined by the endorsements of ticket purchasers, no $.) All of these will be announced and presented at the Awards Ceremony at the close of the film festival in November 2014. (While you do not have to be present to win an award, we are attempting to have the award-recipients, who are unable to attend, connect live via Skype.)

The 2015 RISFF will be likely be spread out across the City of Lancaster at The Ware Center | Millersville University Downtown, Zoetropolis Film & Art and Franklin & Marshall College, however the presentation dynamics will be determined near the Final Deadline for Submissions. The exact schedule will be available on or around 1 October 2014.

Filmmakers of all levels are encouraged to enter the competition/festival. Previous winners have included students, hobbyists, and professionals. Our judges are keen on promoting lower-budget shorts for accolades. (That is, an engaging story and clever editing can beat a high budget submission.)



Michael Hoober (Creative Director)


The Lancaster International Short Film Festival (formerly/also known as the Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival) presents an Open-Call Short Film Competition with Cash Prizes. The outcome of the competition will be determined by a panel of judges composed of regional (Eastern Pennsylvanian) faculty members, filmmakers, and other community representatives. (See website for more information about the jury.)

Basic Information:
The submission/entry may not exceed 40 minutes. You may choose one of 5 categories: Comedy, Drama, Animation, Horror & Documentary. Judges will consider your Entry from the category’s general perspective. Entries may be in more than one category; however, an entirely new submission is required for each category.

The Lancaster International Short Film Festival (LISFF) will include all Official Selections from each category. Awards will be announced at the closing of the Festival. Winners who are unable to attend will receive their prize via UPS/USMail shortly thereafter.

Submissions should not exceed a traditional R-rating. The film festival will be presented in clusters of age-appropriate ratings. Thus, the higher the rating (G, PG, R --applied by Rumschpringe) the more restricted the audience may be. The Rumschpringe rating system bears a common sense resemblance to the MPAA system. (Horror entries may approach NC-17, but this will further limit your potential audience.)

All those selected for the 2014 Film Festival receive 2 VIP Passes and will have the opportunity to apply for small stipends (if available) to attend the film festival.

Best Comedy = $100; Best Drama = $100; Best Animation = $100; Best Horror = $100; Best Documentary = $100 From the above winners, a Grand Prize will be identified = $1000, as well as a Best Actor = $100 (The Grand Prize winner will receive $1000, not $1100 and the Best Actor prize should be delivered to the individual actor.)

There are two Special Awards: the Audience Choice Award has no cash value but will be determined by ticket purchasers; and, the Home Grown Award ($100) will be bestowed on the best short of any category with a Lancaster (PA) based team or theme.

(By default, the award money will be given to the individual who completed the submission. In most cases this is the director, writer, and/or producer; however, this should all be clear between the director/producer and Best Actor.)

* Complete all sections of the Witiout-A-Box Entry Form and read/endorse the Release/Agreement. (If you are under 18, you may need your parents to read/endorse as well.)

* For 2015 ere are 5 categories. While a single film could be entered in more than one category, a separate entry form and fee is required for each submission. Also, a film can only win in one category --the one in which it places the highest.

* No judge or anyone directly affiliated with the 2015 Lancaster International Short Film Festival executive team may enter the competition.

* Submitted materials will not be returned unless otherwise arranged.

* Foreign language submissions must have English subtitles.

* Entries may be excerpted or played in full for TV, website and/or other promotional purposes as connected to the Lancaster International Short Film Festival (formerly/also known as the Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival) present and future. Please notify (in writing) any press restrictions within your entry package.

* LISFF accepts no responsibility for loss or damage of entries during shipment via snail mail. Please inquire if you have not received a confirmation of receipt within 7 days of sending in the film.
~~We highly encourage submissions through Without-A-Box~~

* LISFF accepts no responsibility for the use of copyrighted or appropriated image/sound in submitted works. The filmmaker(s) accept(s) full responsibility in securing permission and/or properly crediting copyrighted images and sound. If a submission does not demonstrate proper permissions, LISFF will contact the filmmaker and it will need to be fixed promptly or the entry may be disqualified (without refund.)

* A category must have more than two entries to be judged and win the Best of Category designation. If, following the close of the submission process, there are two or fewer entries in any category, LISFF will contact the filmmakers/directors and discuss options with the possibility of a refund. (This has never happened, thus far.)

* Filmmakers/directors/entrants are encouraged to use Without-A-Box's Secure Online Screener.
>>>VERY IMPORTANT: If your submission is selected for presentation in the film festival, a hard copy in an acceptable file format will need to be delivered digitally, online or via the post/mail within 14 days.

* The availability of Entry Fee Waivers will be announced following the Regular Deadline. Terms of the Waivers will be identified if/when they are granted. Apply for an Entry Fee Waiver by contacting the email address below.

* Entering a film/video indicates acceptance of The Lancaster International Short Film Festival (formerly/also known as the Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival) submission Terms And Conditions. (See below.)

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email or check out:



I, the undersigned and submitter, acknowledge and agree as follows:

1) I have read, understood and complied with all eligibility requirements for this film’s submission.

2) To the best of my knowledge, all of the statements in the online documents required for the submission process and the statements below are true.

3) This film/entry is not subject to litigation nor is threatened by litigation.

4) I am authorized to submit this film/entry to the Competition.

5) I understand that it is a violation of certain State and Federal Laws, including Federal Copyright Laws, to use the original works of others without permission.

6) I have secured all necessary rights and permissions for the film/entry to be exhibited in the Feature Presentation, including, but not limited to, releases for music, talent, photographs, and images (including those photos/images provided to the Competition to be used for publicity purposes), as well as any other rights/permissions to use the work of another party.

7) I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Lancaster International Short Film Festival (formerly/also known as the Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival) and its agents from claims, damages or loss that may result from my failure to secure any necessary rights/permissions, including claims of copyright infringement and unauthorized use.

8) By submitting my film to the Competition, I agree to allow the Lancaster International Short Film Festival (formerly/also known as the Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival) both presentation rights of the Entry, as a product within Lancaster/Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival (i.e., to show at screenings) and limited distribution rights (i.e., to be featured on the eventual Lancaster/Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival DVD, digital downloads, and/or television presentations.) Filmmakers/submitter will be notified if/when these limited distribution rights are activated.

9) I release and hold harmless The Lancaster International Short Film Festival (formerly/also known as the Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival) and its agents from damage to or loss of the print/entry en route to the submission address.

10) I will abide by the decisions of 2015 Lancaster/Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival programmers and judges.

11) I understand that violations noticed regarding any of the above may result in disqualification from the Competition without refund

I have read and agree to all of the Lancaster/Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival Submission Guidelines & Regulations and certify that I am over 18 and authorized to submit this film entry to the film festival.