About Schedule Film Submission The City of Lockport Sponsors

Midwest Waterways Short Film Festival

Whether you are a filmmaker or a film buff, the MWSFF is a great opportunity to see the storytelling talents of the independent film industry. Come enjoy these creative works at the Roxy Theater, an art deco venue in the heart of Lockport, Ilinois’ historic downtown. 

Submitted films are limited to a length of 30 minutes. Between films, there will be an opportunity to discuss the work with the filmmakers themselves. Each genre will have a single “Best of Category” as voted on by those in attendance. Category winners as decided on by the audience vote will receive a $150 prize. The MWSFF committee will choose films to also show at the “Best of Fest” in October where they will compete for a $500 grand prize and eternal glory.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance. Seating is limited at the Roxy, so advance purchase is recommended to ensure availability. Attendees: Films are required to have a comparable PG-13 rating. 



  • August 13 – Film Industry Pro Night
  • Aug 27 – Independent Shorts
  • Sept 10 – Special Showing of “Black Hawk Down” to coincide with Lockport Park District’s Military Week.
  • September 24 – Smart Phones & Student Films
  • October 8 – Independent Shorts
  • October 22 – Best of Fest

Doors open at 6pm. Commons Room Bar will be open for adult beverages.

Movies begin at 6:30 Pm

Roxy Theater Address: 1017 S State St, Lockport, IL 60441

Film Submission

Looking to show your film in 2020?

Welcome! The MWSFF has been created to allow filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their work and dialogue with audience members afterward. The Roxy provides a small and intimate setting for just such an opportunity. Films can be finished works, works in progress, or edited down from longer versions. Films require an entry fee of $10. With an entry fee, contestants will receive 2 complimentary gate tickets.

Deadline for entries is July 17th

Recognition will be awarded for best in each category. This will be peer-reviewed each night through a ballot. The film with the most votes in a category will take home a $150 prize. The MWSFF committee will choose a films to show a second time at the “Best of Fest” in October where they will compete for a $500 grand prize and eternal glory. Films chosen by the committee to compete at the Best of Fest may or may not be the popular vote winner. Best of Fest will be judged by a select panel.

Film Submission Link

Other Stuff:

Producers who would like to have their work incorporated into the promotional materials of the MWSFF may send a 1000×1000 pixel (minimum resolution) still shot from their work, along with artist name and title. The MWSFF will/may use it in the promotion of the festival while giving due credit to the artist. The MWSFF will be promoted in area magazines, periodicals, posters, and social media.

Send your stills to info@mwsfilmfest.com subject line “stills.”

You can also mail them on CD or DVD to:

Attention: Donna Nevels
222 East 9th Street
Lockport, IL  60441

Cds/DVDs will not be returned.

The City of Lockport

The city of Lockport is located 30 miles south-west of Chicago. Its downtown is a Nationally Recognized Historic District and was the headquarters of the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Downtown Lockport has a number of restaurants all within walking distance of the Roxy Theater.
While in town, visit Lockport’s Illinois State Museum campus, The Canyons disc golf course (top rated in the state), Legacy Adventure Park, Hell’s gate Haunted House (ranked top haunted house attraction for 2018), and more. 


Thank you to Trinity Services for the use of the Roxy Theater. For those interested in renting the theater for their own use, contact Maggie Ruane.  mruane@trinityservices.org


Lockport, Illinois