GOSHEN, IND. –  River Bend Film Festival, a three-day celebration of independent filmmaking every spring in Goshen, Ind., has its Early Bird Deadline for submissions quickly approaching on August 31, 2018.

Over its 17 year history, River Bend Film Festival has screened thousands of student, regional, and international films, averaging 50 to 75 per year and growing. In addition to showcasing dozens of independent films throughout the weekend, the 2019 festival will also offer workshops, VIP parties, talkbacks, coffee talks, and red carpet events. The next festival is scheduled for Thursday, May 2, 2019, to Saturday, May 4, 2019.

Writer/Actor, Rachel Shenton and Director, Chris Overton

Oscar® Award-winning Writer/Actor, Rachel Shenton and Director, Chris Overton at the 2018 Festival

The festival accepts short and feature-length films in a variety of genres: narrative feature films, documentary feature films, narrative short films, student films, experimental films, music videos, documentary short films, and student short films. Feature films must have a running time of 50 minutes or more; short films must have a running time of fewer than 50 minutes.

Although festival directors make it a priority to highlight the work of local and regional filmmakers, many films come from filmmakers across the country and around the world.

Early Bird Discount

Filmmakers can enter films at a discounted rate if they submit before the Early Bird Deadline on August 31, 2018. However, films can be submitted by the end of the year with additional fees. The Regular Deadline is on October 31, 2018, Late Deadline on November 30, 2018, and Extended Deadline on December 31, 2018. Filmmakers will be notified about acceptance no later than March 30, 2019.


In 2018, prizes were awarded to filmmakers in the following categories: Best Film, Honored Filmmaker of the Year, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Short, Best Animation, Stephen Susco Award, Screenplay Awards. Awards and prizes are subject to change each year.

Submission Instructions

Entries can be submitted via FilmFreeway.com. HD submissions are preferred. Festival directors prefer films with a unique voice and strong storyline.

“Tell a good story –– both in narrative and technical aspects,” said River Bend Film Festival Programming Director, Jordon Hodges. “If it’s honest and unique, we’re taking a look at it.”


Downtown Goshen, Inc. exists to support the growth and vibrancy of Goshen’s commercial core. Downtown Goshen is the proud host of the River Bend Film Festival, founded in 2002 by a group of avid film-lovers and filmmakers. Each year, River Bend Film Festival brings filmmakers, musicians, performers, and fans together to celebrate the art of film. The eclectic and creative city of Goshen (home of renowned director, Howard Hawks) proudly supports filmmaking and has been the film site for several feature-length films in recent years.