Filmmakers:  Prepare your films for judging and showing in 2020


OFF accepts submissions of relevant films which meet our Mission: 

We focus on the issues of our time including environmental, social justice, arts, adventure, fitness, eco-travel, food/agriculture and creativity as well as films that address the human condition. We especially look for films oriented to local issues or local impact.


Submissions will be judged by an international jury of filmmakers, educators, and professionals.


 Filmmakers are invited to attend the Festival to discuss their work with an enthusiastic audience.

Oneota Film Festival proudly accepts entries via, the world's best online submission platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, unlimited video storage, digital press kits, and more. Click to submit with FilmFreeway.

Walter Ordway was a Luther College graduate (1969) when he joined the Peace Corps and served in Central America. He couldn't stop travelling when his Peace Corps gig was finished. He became a documentary photographer/filmmaker, who traveled over 100 countries in his days. Many of his travelling adventures were on a bicycle or sailboat. Later in his life, he returned to the Western Iowa family farm near Soldier, Iowa, where he became an organic farmer. He met the world's most successful organic farmers and took their best advice.

Walt was a major supporter, instigator, and inspiration for this film festival. He accompanied original OFF Board Member Kyrl Henderson to the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado to see what it was all about.

Walter Ordway Best of Fest Awards

As a result of that trip, they decided that Decorah and Luther College could and should host a film festival. They followed through by meeting with Luther College officials, like Rob Larson, to plan the first festival in 2009.


Walter Ordway was reported missing and presumed drowned trying to rescue his beloved dog Lewis II in December 2014.  His body was found in a small lake near his home in March 2015, right after the Sixth Film Festival. 


Walter was a strong supporter of the filmmaker's reception. He felt that the interaction of the audience with filmmakers was extremely important for an authentic film experience.  After his disappearance, the OFF board chose to name the top festival awards after Walter:  The Walter Ordway Best of Fest Awards.  

Oneota Film Festival | PO Box 15, Decorah, IA 52101 | 563-265-1646 | | 


|Hosted by Luther College | 700 College Dr., Decorah, IA 52101

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© 2017 Oneota Film Festival, Inc.