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The Film Lounge

The Film Lounge

The Film Lounge: Season 8

FY 2024 Program Guidelines

The Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa and Iowa PBS invite Iowa artists, filmmakers, and musicians to submit films to season eight of The Film Lounge, a public television series that showcases short, independent films by Iowa artists. The program seeks to celebrate the work of Iowa artists, filmmaking as an art form and the contributions of filmmaking to the economic and cultural vitality of Iowa.


Submission Deadline

The submission deadline is 11:59 PM, June 1, 2023.

Selection Notification

Typically, applicants are notified of funding decisions within eight weeks after the application deadline.

The Film Lounge

Through a compilation of short films and interviews, The Film Lounge celebrates the work of Iowa filmmakers, acquaints viewers with the region’s vibrant film communities and explores the art of filmmaking. The program features short form documentaries, experimental, narrative, music and animated films. Filmmakers discuss their work as an introduction to each film and a Spotlight Feature in each episode highlights the importance and impact of film across Iowa.

Artist Stipend

Selected submissions are awarded a stipend of $500 as compensation for the contribution to the program. The stipend is sponsored by the Iowa Arts Council and Produce Iowa, divisions of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

Artist Features

Selected filmmakers and their work are promoted over the course of the year. Filmmakers are expected to participate in all aspects of the program including in-person interviews conducted by Iowa PBS during the Fall of 2023 providing material for online features on department social media platforms and attending watch party events.

Program Announcement

Short film selections will be publicly announced by Iowa PBS in January of 2024.

Program Broadcast

The program will premiere on-channel on Iowa PBS in early 2024. Air date is subject to broadcast schedule availability.

Watch Parties

Watch parties will be scheduled in early 2024 in advance of the air date to celebrate the premiere of the program. Watch parties are free and open to the public. Filmmakers are encouraged to invite their cast and crew to the events. Possible additional watch parties might be scheduled throughout the rest of 2024, after the premiere of the program. 


Program segments, expanded artist interviews and full episodes will be made available at

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements. If the submission is on behalf of an artist/filmmaking team, one member of the team must meet the eligibility requirements and serve as the primary applicant.

  • Individual Iowa artist/filmmaker or Iowa artist/filmmaking team
  • Current Iowa resident who physically resides in Iowa at the time of application
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Not an employee or immediate family member of an employee of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs or Iowa PBS

Submission Requirements


Submitted films must be between 2 minutes and 20 minutes in length, including credits.


Films will be accepted in the following genres.

  • Animation
  • Art
  • Documentary
  • Experimental
  • Music video
  • Narrative


Applicant must have all rights and permissions of every kind necessary for the film including use of names, trade names, service marks, titles, formats, ideas, characters, character names, characterizations, plots, musical compositions, performances, slogans, program material or any similar material.

Final Format Requirements

Films selected for the program must be available in a digital file. For broadcast purposes selected films will be converted to 29.97 fps.

Number of Submissions

Only one application may be submitted per individual or filmmaking team. Eligible applicants may submit up to two films for regular program consideration.

Ineligible Films

Films produced as part of a production competition without significant alteration, including the 48 Hour Film Project, are ineligible.

Film Usage

Licensing Agreement

Selected filmmakers will be required to sign a licensing agreement to participate in the program.

Online Media

Full episodes, program excerpts, films and artist interviews will be presented online for a thirteen month period following release of the program. Filmmakers may opt-out of presenting the individual film online at the conclusion of the thirteen month period in the licensing agreement.


Selected films and artist interviews will be broadcast on Iowa PBS’s noncommercial television transmitters and translators as part of the program.

Online Application Submission

Applicants must submit applications via the Iowa Arts Council’s SlideRoom, an online application portal. Applications will not be accepted in any other format. Applicants can access the current online application requirements at Applicants must create a login to view the full application requirements for the program. Applicants can visit for SlideRoom assistance related to the online submission.

Selection Criteria

Films will be reviewed for eligibility, adherence to published guidelines and appropriateness for public television including abiding by FCC and PBS guidelines. Eligible films will be referred to a competitive review by representatives from the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa and Iowa PBS. Films will be selected based on:

  • artistic originality
  • technical quality
  • level of engagement

Iowa PBS reserves the right to curate films selected for the program and to reject films that are misrepresented in the work samples. Programmatic selections are final and are not subject to appeal.


Potential applicants are encouraged to review all published material and contact Iowa Arts Council Arts, Film, and Media Coordinator EJ Philby Burton at with questions well in advance of the application deadline.