Heartland Film presents Indy Shorts International Film Festival

By Angela Morefield

Indianapolis’ only short film festival returns for its second year to Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art) from July 25-28. Presented by Heartland Film Inc. and the organizers of the Heartland International Film Festival (HIFF), Indy Shorts International Film Fest is an Academy Award-qualifying festival dedicated to the art of short film.

Indy Shorts exclusively features short films 40 minutes or less in length, and it is the largest short film festival in the Midwest, with more than 150 films shown.

“We are pleased to continue our second year of Indy Shorts,” said Craig Prater, Heartland Film President. “Short film filmmakers bring an incredible art form that presents what can be done creatively in a few minutes. Heartland Film is proud to be on the cutting edge of filmmaking and inspiring filmmakers to continue their careers.”

Indy Shorts features films that may qualify for the Academy Awards, with winners to show encore screenings at HIFF in October. Films are categorized into Best Narrative Short Film and Best Documentary Short Film. Some short films featured in past years have moved on to be short-listed, nominated and winners of Academy Awards. Since 2009, shorts programmed by Heartland Film have gone on to earn 19 Academy Award nominations and seven Academy Award wins with an active five-year winning streak. Period. End of Sentence., a finalist in last year’s Indy Shorts International Film Festival, went on to win the 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.

Emily Darr, Marketing Manager for Heartland Film, said, “Indy Shorts expanded as its own separate event from HIFF in summer 2018 and all winners (Grand Prize and Audience Choice Awards) will play encore screenings at HIFF in October 2019. Heartland Film created Indy Shorts to better showcase short films and shorts filmmakers.”

Indy Shorts is one of the largest cash-awarding short film festivals in North America and will bestow $30,000 in cash prizes across multiple categories.

Indy Shorts International Film Festival will be held for four days, starting June 25. |

Special events for Indy Shorts are as follows (all events except Music & Shorts will be held at Newfields, 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, 46208):

Indy Shorts Kickoff and After Party

Thursday, July 25; red carpet kickoff starts at 6:30 p.m.; after party starts at 9:30 p.m. 

Join Heartland Film in kicking off the grand opening of Indy Shorts International Film Festival at this red-carpet style event. There will be multiple film screenings.

Summer Nights at Newfields

Friday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Join us for an outdoor screening of a selection of Oscar-nominated short films and free pizza from HotBox Pizza.

Awards Show & Screening

Saturday, July 27 at 7 p.m.

Join Heartland Film in a celebration of Indy Shorts’ filmmakers, honoring their outstanding work and moving stories. The event will feature cash prizes and filmmakers from around the world and a screening of the Grand Prize Award-winning short films. Awards After-Party will take place at The Alexander, 333 S. Delaware St., Indianapolis, 46204.

Music & Shorts

Sunday, July 28 at 6 p.m.

The Jazz Kitchen

45377 N College Ave.

For the last night of Indy Shorts, enjoy some short films and dance the evening away at The Jazz Kitchen.

Heartland Film is a nonprofit arts organization founded in 1991 with the mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. Heartland Film is a supporter of purposeful filmmaking, providing an outlet for filmmakers and storytellers from all over the world to be creative and honored for their work.

Indy Shorts International Film Festival

July 25-28


4000 Michigan Road

Indianapolis, IN 46208


To view a guidebook which lists all films, to purchase tickets, or for more information on Indy Shorts, visit heartlandfilm.org/indyshorts.