It didn't take long for the Films in 5 Festival to attract talent beyond its Cottage Grove borders. Last year's sophomore event drew at least two filmmakers from Minneapolis.

They included John Akre, who took second place for his film "Minneapolis Beneath the Asphalt Part 1: The City Changes."

The festival is sponsored by the Cottage Grove Arts Commission. Chair Justin Atkinson said he expects it to become more of a regional event this year. Submissions are now being accepted for the third annual Films in 5 Festival, which is scheduled for Oct. 7 in the lecture hall at Park High School in Cottage Grove.

"It just feels like there's this need in our community for people who want to make their own short films or videos. Everybody's got a camera now. I think there's this hunger for people to express themselves. We're seeing that in the Films in 5 Festival."

The competition is open to anyone with an original film, video or cartoon that is five minutes or less in length. All genres and formats are welcome, but not anything that contains graphic violence, profanity, sexual content, nudity or copyrighted material. Entry fee is $5.

Potential auteurs from Hastings, Red Wing, Burnsville or beyond are welcome. All entries must have been created in 2017. Submissions will be accepted until Aug. 31, 2017.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three films. The audience will also get to vote for their favorite.

"Being able to watch your work with a live audience, there's not greater value to a filmmaker than that," Atkinson said. "You learn so much about your film."

For more for information, visit the Cottage Grove city website