Film Festival 101

Film Festival 101

Film Festival 101

Film Festival 101


How to fest

What you need to know to attend Waco's Premiere Independent Film Festival 


Three Dalmatians, a foreign comedy playing Friday at 6pm

Three Dalmatians, a foreign comedy playing Friday at 6pm

what is this? 

First, these are not artsy-fartsy films. Don't worry about "getting it".  We've selected films that we find meaningful.  Stories that most everyone can relate to.  So get ready to laugh, cry or even scream, because these movies are made to connect with audiences. 

We're bringing some of the best indie films to Central Texas.

You'll get to:

  • See movies you won't see anywhere else
  • Meet and talk with attending directors, actors, writers and filmmakers
  • Walk the red carpet at the historic Hippodrome
  • Learn more about the filmmaking industry and craft


Everyone!  Anyone who likes movies will find something to enjoy at the festival.

You'll find

  • Drama
  • Comedy
  • Horror
  • Family
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy
  • Documentaries
  • Texas films
  • Foreign films

how do i attend the festival?

You can dip your toe in, and just watch one movie. Or you can dive in, buy a pass, see everything and attend every party. Our suggestion: Check out the schedule. There's a description for each program. See what interests you. We're sure something that will entertain you. 

What About Waco, a documentary about the 1953 tornado,  playing Saturday at 5pm. 

What About Waco, a documentary about the 1953 tornado,  playing Saturday at 5pm. 

The Tenor, a Waco made, family film playing Saturday at 10am

The Tenor, a Waco made, family film playing Saturday at 10am

do i need tickets? 

Yes.  There are two ways to attend the festival:

  • VIP - ALL ACCESS Passes:  These get you into every film, party, and educational session.  It's the A-list way to attend the festival
  • Individual tickets:  A single general admission ticket to a feature film or short film program. (You can also buy a pack of six tickets for the price of four.  Check out the Ticket Six-Pack)

Where is this? 

It's all in downtown Waco at these cool venues...

What are these Short Film PRograms?

Night of the Slasher, an Academy Award qualified horror film playing Friday at 10pm. 

Night of the Slasher, an Academy Award qualified horror film playing Friday at 10pm. 

We are proud to show 6 feature films.  These terrific indie flicks are similar to your traditional movie going experience (check out the schedule for more details on each film). 

But the short film programs are where it gets really interesting. . .

  • Think of it as a movie mix-tape.  We've brought together independent short films from around the world, designed a theme, and have hand-crafted a playlist for you.  In many of these programs, you'll get a taste of different types of films: drama, comedy, documentary, etc.  
  • Each block is about 90 minutes and will take you all around the world without leaving your seat.  A new story begins about every 10 minutes, so you’ll experience slices of life from many different angles.
  • Feel free to applaud after every film in the program, but please stay for the entire block of films. At the end of the program the lights will come up, we'll have a Q&A with attending filmmakers, then everyone will exit as we reset for the next program of films.   


Have a question for us?

 Send us and email: info@deepintheheartff.com or hit us up on Facebook.  






Waco Hippodrome

More than a movie theater, the Waco Hippodrome is a film lover's dream.  Equipped with a full service kitchen, bar and waitstaff, movie-goers can eat, drink and watch a show, all while sitting in the theater's recently renovated seats.  In addition, audiences can check out paintings, sculptures and works from local artists in the Hippodrome lobby. This century old gem may have started as a vaudeville theater, but it's evolved into a Waco cultural hot spot. 

Learn more about the Hippodrome on their website.

Waco Escape Rooms

Our Sunday "Goodbye Brunch" will be held at Waco Escape Rooms.  Luann Purcell Jennings will lead Master Class - "Filmmaking in the Gig-based Economy: Life as a Artist/Entrepreneur".  Grab a bite, discuss, network, and play an escape room.  

What is an escape room?

Waco Escape Rooms custom builds rooms around a story or theme and invites you to test your wits against the challenging clues, perplexing puzzles, and maddening mysteries embedded in the rooms. Be warned, you might get addicted to the thrill of the hunt!







Thank you, Sponsors

Our sincerest appreciation to our wonderful sponsors! Their dedication to the arts and our community enables us to serve both filmmakers and film lovers!  Please support them as they support us. 

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Become a Sponsor

The arts are vital to the culture of our central Texas community.  The Deep in the Heart Film Festival welcomes working with any organization that shares interest in growing the arts and local filmmaking.  Contact info@deepintheheartff.com for more information on becoming a sponsor.

Donate to the Festival

The Deep in the Heart Film Festival is the capstone event of the Heart of Texas Film Society.  We seek to promote independent film throughout Central Texas.  We are an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

To make a donation, please contact us at info@deepintheheartff.com






Love making movies?  Love watching movies?  Love helping your cultural community?

Get Involved

Here's what volunteer positions we're looking for right now:

  • Registration Table
    • Greet our guests
    • tabulate ballots
    • Filmmaker and VIP passes & swag bags.
  • Ushers
    • Take tickets
    • Check Filmmaker & VIP badges,
    • Distribute and collecting voting ballots.
  • Set-up and take down

Sign Up

We're using SignUp.com (the leading online SignUp and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming SignUps.

Click the button to go to our sign up page

Click the button to go to our sign up page

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our SignUp on SignUp.com: http://signup.com/go/wiTH2w
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.

Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

What film festival volunteers get

Volunteering with the film festival is a great way to help out, build your resume, and meet other artists and filmmakers. Plus:

  • Volunteers who work 1 shift (either at the Registration table or as an Usher) will receive a t-shirt. 
  • Volunteers who work 2 shifts (either at the Registration table or as an Usher) will receive a t-shirt and 4 individual tickets.   
  • Volunteers who work 3 shifts (either at the Registration table or as an Usher) will receive a t-shirt and 1 VIP-All Access Pass, which includes all films, classes, and the Awards Reception.  

Questions? Contact us: info@deepintheheartff.com







Waco movie buffs accustomed to driving to Dallas, Austin, Houston or San Antonio for a serious cinema fix will get a film festival they can call their own next February when the Deep in the Heart Film Festival makes its debut at the Waco Hippodrome.
— Carl Hoover


Press Releases

  • February 13, 2016 | Mayor, City to Be Recognized by Texas Film Commission at Deep in the Heart Film Festival Press Release
  • December 13, 2016 | Deep in the Heart Film Festival Announces Opening Feature, Panel Lineup Press Release
  • July 1, 2016 | Official "Open for Entries" Press Release

Media Contact

Send press inquiries to Samuel Thomas info[at]deepintheheartff.com.






What is this? How do I go to a film festival?

Film festivals are a great cultural event that's not only entertaining, but artistic.   Let us tell you more in Festival 101.

Why does Waco need a film festival?  Why should I go?

There's long been an interest in filmmaking and great films in central Texas. We want to show Waco the great stories out there and the wide and fantastic world of filmmaking.

Waco is also a seedbed of artistic talent and a home for working artists, including media professionals and filmmakers. Many of today's industry leaders came from the Waco area and Baylor's Film and Digital Media Program. 


"Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein

What kind of films do you show?

We love and accept all short film genres: comedy, drama, horror, thriller, documentary, animation. We want a story that grabs hold of us and won’t let go.

You will see great independent feature and short films from Texas and around the world. Check out the schedule here

How do I submit?

Submissions are currently closed. Please check back in March for the 2018 festival. 

Where are you located?

The Deep in the Heart Film Festival is proudly located in Waco, Texas.

Do you have any hotel discounts?

There are several great hotels in the downtown Waco and surrounding areas. If you are traveling from out of town, please email us and we can provide you a discounted rate at our festival hotel. But hurry! They're closing our reservation blocks on January 23.

How can I purchase tickets?

You can buy tickets and check out the schedule of films here

Can I volunteer?

YES! This is an event in our community and for our community. We would love to have your talents and time. Read here about the type of things we might be looking for and how to sign up. Bonus: get free stuff!

Can I get a press pass?

We welcome writers, journalists, and new media! We have press passes available to qualified media. Email us at media[at]deepintheheartff[dot]com for more information.

I have a question that I don't see listed here.

We thought you might come up with some good questions. Read the full festival rules here (scroll down), and if you don't see the answer there, reach out...

How can I contact you?

Send us an email! info@deepintheheartff.com.