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Local Filmmaker of Color Showcase





/Avalon Atmospheric Theater

2473 South Kinnickinnic Avenue


2324 W Wisconsin Ave #66

Milwaukee, WI 53233




September 6th, 2024

Location: Avalon Theater


Early Deadline

December 31st 2023

Final Deadline:

May 25th 2024



Filmmakers residing in Wisconsin only.

Please read everything carefully.


If you are not a local filmmaker of color living in Wisconsin. You will be disqualified. An address is necessary to qualify. We also do not accept films longer than 15 minutes. If you send a film over 15 minutes it will be disqualified.






To spotlight emerging artists, and give a focus to Midwest filmmakers.


Created by local and independent filmmakers, the Milwaukee Short Film Festival is proud to provide local talent with a venue for their work to be seen.





The Milwaukee Independent Film Society was founded in 1996 by Dan Wilson. Its mission and goals were to provide a grass roots community where local filmmakers can share their ideas, projects, and collaborate on local efforts.


MIFS is a non-profit organization who leadership has changes, but missions remains the same.The Milwaukee Short Film Festival is our signature event, since its inception in 1994 we've steadily built our reputation and one of the best regional festivals in America.


We were signaled out in 2006 by Moviemaker Magazine as "Best Local Festival" with a strong slate of award winning International films, and the best in local filmmaking.


In 2015 we created Voices Heard seeing that there was a need for this type of programming and asked Rubin Whitmore to curate it. This event was the first of its kind in Milwaukee, a festival that showcased only multi-cultural filmmakers based in Milwaukee. It was a great success selling out in its first year. Plus we were fortunate enough to tap some amazing judges such as George Tillman Jr, James Causey, Marcia Wright Tillman, Dr. Chia Vang, Alma Velez, Sierra Shea and Dr. Demond Means. 


As Voices Heard moves into its 9th year we hope to build upon everything we have accomplished so far.




A press kit is required with the entry form, including:


> Production Still Photos - Digital

> Photo of the Director - Digital

> Biography/Filmography - Director

> Statement by the Director

> Press Clippings

> Website info - Digital

> Trailer - Digital






Best Film

Best Director

Best Actor/Ensemble

Best Script

Artistic Achievement




Due to the vast amount of waiver requests we're asked for we are limiting the waiver period. Waivers will only be granted from March 15th 2024 to May 1st 2024. Please do not ask us for a waiver before that time period, we won't even look at the film until the specified dates.   

This competition is for emerging filmmakers, student filmmakers and independent filmmakers.

For Wisconsin Spotlight. This category is only for filmmakers who reside in the state of Wisconsin, if you don't live in Wisconsin, you must enter your film through the US & International option. This category is for local filmmakers only. Your film will be disqualified is you don't follow our rules and terms.

Narrative, documentary, experimental or animated films or videos up to 15 minutes in length.
All entries in a language other than English must be subtitled or dubbed in English unless dialogue is inessential to comprehension and appreciation.

We don't take:
Web series
Demo reels
Video or new media games
Film with prior commercial release
Industrial and instructional films
Films over 15 minutes
Films screened in Milwaukee seven months prior to the fest.

Entries that premiered in Milwaukee before our event may be considered to run out of competition at the total discretion of the Voices Heard Committee.

Your film must also have the rights and permission to use any copyrighted work presented in your work.  
A downloadable digital file (H .264) or as an online screener. Exhibition formats accepted are only data digital files (H. 264).  

For questions on other video festival screening formats, please contact the MSFF.
Filmmakers can submit up to three entries. Each entry must include a separate entry and fee. Entries previously submitted to the Milwaukee Short Film Festival cannot be re-submitted. Entrants are responsible for securing all necessary rights / permissions for festival exhibition of each work submitted and all accompanying materials.




-Entry fee

- MSFF accepts credit card payments online or checks or certified money orders via mail

-Film synopsis, principal cast list, photos, posters and brief filmmaker bio

-Press kit if available




Entrants are invited to submit promotional materials with initial submission. After notification of acceptance into the festival, filmmakers are encouraged to provide one still each of the director and a scene from the film, either 8 x 10 photos or 600 dpi 6” x 8” JPEG files, for publicity. All publicity materials should be labeled with the name of the filmmaker and of the film.


Please note that publicity materials cannot always be returned.We will send notification of receipt of entry to each entrant via email. Videotapes, DVDs, photographs or other materials will not be returned unless a self-addressed stamped envelope / mailer is included.


Entries are eligible to be selected for programming and exhibition at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.



Clips from accepted films may also be used by the MIFS for festival promotion, festival program and possible televised broadcast. While the festival will take precautions to handle your film and publicity materials responsibly, the festival, its committee and staff cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to any materials entered.The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.


The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Milwaukee Independent Film Society from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.



Approximately 15-June-2024, but could get emails by late May.



Shorts: maximum 15 minutes



Projects completed after 01-Jan-2023



Projects may originate from anywhere in the world



No premiere requirement, but premieres get special consideration.


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