The ๐——๐—˜๐—˜๐—ฃ ๐—œ๐—ก ๐—ง๐—›๐—˜ ๐—›๐—˜๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ง ๐—™๐—œ๐—Ÿ๐—  ๐—™๐—˜๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—œ๐—ฉ๐—”๐—Ÿ takes the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and we are doing our part to host a safe event.
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Check out our festival review in ๐Œ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐Œ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ซ ๐Œ๐š๐ ๐š๐ณ๐ข๐ง๐ž
(the one with Quentin Tarantino on the cover!)
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The ๐——๐—˜๐—˜๐—ฃ ๐—œ๐—ก ๐—ง๐—›๐—˜ ๐—›๐—˜๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ง ๐—™๐—œ๐—Ÿ๐—  ๐—™๐—˜๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—œ๐—ฉ๐—”๐—Ÿ is back!
July 21-24, 2022
Make us laugh! Make us cry! Make us scream!
If you have a great story, we want it at our festival.
We accept short film (under 40 minutes), music video, feature film, and short script (under 30 pages) submissions.

๐—™๐—ถ๐—น๐—บ ๐—Ÿ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐—ง๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ - Check out Central Texas' varied and unique looks, and see in person the sites that have made it to the big screen. Afterward, fill up on some amazing Texas BBQ (our treat!).
Free for all accepted filmmakers who attend!

๐—œ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜†-๐—ฆ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜€ - For new and seasoned filmmakers of all stripes, these panels are designed to help improve your craft and business savvy.
Free for all accepted filmmakers who attend!

๐—ฆ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ฆ๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜„๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€ - The awarded "Best Script" is eligible for our new production grant. Details in the Awards & Prizes section.
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We showcase the best in independent film from Texas, the US, and the world in a great theatrical venue with genuine Texas hospitality.

We proudly screen at the ๐—ช๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ผ ๐—›๐—ถ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ, a former vaudeville theater thatโ€™s over a century old, but renovated with all modern touches. The Hippodrome is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and has seen Elvis Presley and John Wayne enter its doors. Always a Waco tradition, the Hippodrome has been reborn as a central Texas destination - complete with recent renovations in seating and projection. Plus, additional locations around Downtown Waco to accommodate our script readings, filmmaker lounge, and panels.

BONUS! If youโ€™re a fan of the ๐—›๐—š๐—ง๐—ฉ show ๐—™๐—ถ๐˜…๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—จ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, Chip and Joanna Gainesโ€™ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฎ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜ is located just steps away from the Hippodrome. Plus, Waco is the home of the ๐——๐—ฟ. ๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐— ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜‚๐—บ and ๐—•๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐——๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด.

We are easily within driving distance of Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. Itโ€™s easy to see why this area is called the Heart of Texas.

Come on down, yโ€™all.
The stars at night are big and bright,
๐˜ฟ๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ƒ๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™๐™š๐™ญ๐™–๐™จ!

๐™Ž๐™๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™‚๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ง๐™š ๐˜พ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™œ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™จ
Best Comedy Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Drama Short
Best Family Short
Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Short
Best Horror Short
Best Music Video

๐™Ž๐™๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™–๐™ก ๐˜พ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™œ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™จ
Best Texas Short
Best US Short
Best Foreign Short
Best Student Short
Audience Award - Short
Best Short Film - Winning film receives $500 prize in addition to the award.

๐™Ž๐™๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐˜พ๐™ง๐™–๐™›๐™ฉ ๐˜พ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™œ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™จ
Best Director - Short
Best Performance, Drama - Short
Best Performance, Comedy - Short
Best Cinematography - Short
Best Editing - Short
Best Screenplay - Short

๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™ง๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™–๐™ก ๐˜พ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™œ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™จ
Best Director - Feature
Best Performance - Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Audience Award - Feature
Best Feature Film - Winning film receives $500 prize in addition to the award.

๐™Ž๐™๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฌ๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ
Best Script
Honorable Mention Script

"Best Script" award winner is eligible for a $2,500 production grant to film their winning script in Waco. More details to be announced.

๐——๐—ข ๐—ฌ๐—ข๐—จ๐—ฅ๐—ฆ๐—˜๐—Ÿ๐—™ ๐—” ๐—™๐—”๐—ฉ๐—ข๐—ฅ ๐—”๐—ก๐—— ๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—”๐—— ๐—”๐—Ÿ๐—Ÿ ๐—ง๐—›๐—˜ ๐—ฅ๐—จ๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐—ฆ.

You agree to the following terms and conditions of the Deep in the Heart Film Festival (DitHFF).
โ€ข In order for submissions to be considered for competition, a Waco area Premiere is required.
โ€ข You do not talk about Fight Club.
โ€ข All films must be the original work of the filmmakers and all filmmakers must have the necessary rights. The festival is not liable for any rights issues.
โ€ข Films must have been produced no earlier than July 2017. Yes, that's a 5-year window!
โ€ข In accordance with the Deep in the Heart Film Festival policy, the submission fee is non-refundable.
โ€ข By submitting a film to DitHFF, you grant the Deep in the Heart Film Festival permission to screen your film in a theatrical venue, if said film is officially accepted into this year's lineup.
โ€ข Only completed entries (including entry form, payment, and final exhibition film copy) will be considered. The Deep in the Heart Film Festival does not consider works in progress.
โ€ข The enemy's gate is down.
โ€ข Films that have screened on television or are available publicly on the internet or streaming services are not eligible for competition. (Password protected and private links are acceptable).
โ€ข Short scripts of all genres are welcome to submit. Scripts must be unproduced as of the date of the film festival. (July 21, 2021)
โ€ข We are an environmentally friendly festival. We accept digital submissions ONLY. Unless requested, do not send us DVDs, Blu-rays, press kits, dirty laundry, or unruly children.
โ€ข The selected works will be exhibited in a theatrical venue, via a digital file, or on Blu-ray & DCP.
โ€ข Keep readingโ€ฆ thereโ€™s a promo code in here somewhere...
โ€ข All entries must either be in English or subtitled in English. Foreign language films without English subtitles will not be screened.
โ€ข If your film has been selected, you will have 14 DAYS TO ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR ACCEPTANCE. If we do not hear from you within 14 days of notification, your selection may be revoked.
โ€ข Your work will not be screened unless you agree to abide by the terms and conditions of the Deep in the Heart Film Festival.

You grant the Deep in the Heart Film Festival the following:
โ€ข Permission to exhibit your film in a theatrical venue. Films must be available for screening during the festival.
โ€ข Permission for photos, posters, highlights, or excerpts of your film (e.g. a trailer) to be placed on the Deep in the Heart Film Festival website and/or social media and used for other marketing and promotional purposes. You also must agree to allow DitHFF to promote the following year's festival with the material listed above. DitHFF will never solicit or screen elements of your film outside the promotion of the DitHFF.

The Festival
โ€ข We accept short film submissions of any genre/topic. (Run time is 39 minutes or less.)
โ€ข We accept feature film submissions of any genre/topic. (Run time is 40 minutes or more.)
โ€ข We accept student-made short film submissions of any genre/topic, created by college or high school students. (Run time is 29 minutes or less. School ID is required that matches the date your film was created.)
โ€ข Submissions will be considered in all appropriate award categories.
โ€ข We accept music video submissions.
โ€ข We accept unproduced short scripts
โ€ข We believe that the Game of Thrones finale was pretty disappointing. Come on, Dany & Jon Snow deserved betterโ€ฆ and donโ€™t get us started on Bran.
โ€ข Notification of selections will be made by June 5, 2022.
โ€ข The Deep in the Heart Film Festival reserves the right to change our programming without notice. The official selections and screening schedule are at the sole discretion of the festival.
โ€ข Sorry, but we cannot provide paid transportation or lodging for the event. Discounts may become available as the festival approaches.
โ€ข Entrants are responsible for all costs incurred to attend this festival.
โ€ข You may submit as many entries as you like. Each entry requires its own entry fee. Entry fees will not be refunded.
โ€ข Official selections will receive TWO free passes to the film festival for the duration of the film festival.
โ€ข Official selection filmmakers are highly encouraged, but not required, to attend the festival. Seriously, check out our past festivals and you'll see that it's worth it!
โ€ข Our success depends on the quality of submissions, so we cannot offer full waivers. But since you were smart enough to read these rules, use the promo code IAMAREADER and you'll get a discount.
โ€ข Exceptions to these rules will not be made unless we make an exception.
โ€ข Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

For further questions and inquiries, please email

Overall Rating
  • Kelli Horan

    Great communication, events, and venue!

    September 2021
  • Katie Lemon

    The 2021 Deep in the Heart Film Festival was an absolute joy to attend. The organizers care deeply about the filmmakers and provided wonderful opportunities - red carpet interviews, panels, mixers, a filmmaker lunch, a Waco film locations tour, and more. The screenings were well-attended and I saw a lot of really wonderful films. I hope to attend again in the future and highly recommend submitting to this film festival!

    August 2021
  • Like a Dr. Pepper float, this festival IS the cherry on top!

    August 2021
  • Danielle Wheeler

    Deep in the Heart is by far one of my favorite film festivals! I love how they set up screenings and provides so much opportunities for film makers. They are also some of the most friendly people you will encounter. I would highly recommend submitting and attending this festival!

    August 2021
  • Emmet O'Brien

    Wonderful festival to be a part of and delighted to have been included! They handled the on-line aspect really well!

    August 2021