Cleveland Indie Film Incubator Project Now Accepting Submissions

Cleveland Camera Rental announces the re-launch of the Cleveland Indie Film Incubator Project in 2023!

The return of this wonderful opportunity will help transform your screenplay into a fully realized film!

In past years, Cleveland Camera Rental assisted indie filmmakers in getting their projects off the ground, and they hope to continue to build off that success. This year, they will select 6 writer/directors with innovative script ideas to participate in workshops, receive production assistance, and utilize our professional in-house equipment.

In order to be considered, submit your contact information, a completed script, and a video pitch of your film idea. Workshops will cover subjects such as writing, pre-production, production design, and directing.

Finalists will be chosen by an independent panel this spring. Workshops will be held Spring 2023, production on short films will take place Summer 2023, and all completed projects will then be premiered to our local Cleveland audience this fall!


  • February 21, 2023 – Submissions Open
  • March 31st, 2023 – Submission Deadline

In order to be considered, submit your contact information, a completed script, and a video pitch of your film idea. Entry is free, but Cleveland Camera Rental recommends a donation of $20 to the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.

Wednesday Evenings April 26th-May 31st.

Selected participants will be required to attend all workshops as well as an audition Saturday, May 20th to cast actors in your film.


  • June 10-11
  • June 24-25
  • July 8-9
  • July 22-23
  • August 5-6
  • August 19-20

Selected participants will be required to utilize one weekend to film your screenplay, and attend a second weekend to crew another participant’s film. Open availability is preferred but not required. (Availability to crew on more than 1 shoot is encouraged, but not required.)



  1. Are there any restrictions on ideas for submission?
    No, but Cleveland Camera Rental is looking for a completed narrative short film that can be filmed in 2 production days. Depending on the content, this usually means a script of between 2 and 10 pages, or a final running time of less than 8 minutes.
  2. Are there any restrictions on subject matter or content? 
    Yes. Cleveland Camera Rental reserves final judgment on accepting any submission, and may discard concepts with objectionable material (gratuitously violent or sexual content or content that targets or offends any specific group or individual, for example). That may seem vague, but if you have a doubt, it may be best to revise. Also, content is limited to the narrative short film format, so no music videos, documentaries, advertisements, animations, or experimental films, although your concept may contain elements of these (for example, a mockumentary concept is fine, or an experimental dream sequence).
  3. When and what will the format for the workshops be?
    There will be six workshop sessions of around 3 hours where the finalists will work to help each other develop their concepts and improve their writing/directing skills. Staff from Cleveland Camera Rental and guest speakers will give the finalists additional info and guidance on topics such as scriptwriting, directing, and producing. The finalists are required to attend all sessions.
  4. What do I need to submit?

    You will need a link to file uploads of your script (in PDF format) and a video of you pitching your idea (in MP4 or MOV). Cleveland Camera Rental recommends using Dropbox or Google Drive and making sure that the file is shared. You’ll also submit your contact information and some details about your concept. There is no fee, but they strongly recommend a $20 donation to the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, which supports year-round workforce development in the area.