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Short and sweet: The best short film festivals to enter

Whether you’re a director looking to submit your work or you love film but have a short attention span, here are ten of the best shortfests (domestic and international) worth entering or attending.

Short and sweet: The best short film festivals to enter

It doesn’t matter if you’re a budding filmmaker or an established director with a portfolio of successful work – one of the best places to find and connect with your audience is at film festivals. Today we’re turning our spotlight to lovers of the short & sweet by providing a rundown of the best short film festivals that are worth the entry fee.

So whether you’re a director looking to submit your work or you love film but have a short attention span, here are ten of the best shortfests (domestic and international) worth entering or attending.

San Jose International Short Film Festival

San Jose International Short Film Festival

Listed as one of the “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” by MovieMaker Magazine, San Jose International Short Film Festival has been delivering world class short films to eager audiences since 2010. Held in the heart of Silicon Valley, this is the event where receptive film buffs hungry for cinematic excellence gather each year to watch a collection of carefully selected shorts from every genre with run times from 60 seconds to 30 minutes in length. This year the fest opened up to accept submissions for TV & Web Series pilots too.

Submit via FilmFreeway.

Taos Shortz Film Festival

Taos Shortz Film Festival

Another added to the “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” by MovieMaker Magazine is the Taos Shortz Film Festival. Based in New Mexico, the annual event is dedicated to featuring quality, juried short films from around the globe, bringing world class cinema to its dedicated community. Taos Shortz provides filmmakers with a venue to showcase their work, participate in workshops & panels, and network with fellow filmmakers, media companies, producers, and distributors. The chosen films compete for the Gilly Award for Best of Fest, while there’s also opportunity to nab cash prizes in various categories including documentary, dramatic fiction, comedy fiction, and animation.

Submit via FilmFreeway.

HollyShorts Film Festival

HollyShorts Film Festival

The HollyShorts Film Festival is an Academy Awards qualifying festival devoted to showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe, advancing the careers of filmmakers through screenings, networking events, and various panels and forums. The event showcases the top short films produced 40 minutes or less, accepting submissions in various subgenres including animation, live action, documentary, music video, webisode, commercials, youth film, and digital microbudget.

Submit via FilmFreeway.

London Short Film Festival

London Short Film Festival

One of the best shortfests to enter across the pond has to be the capital’s London Short Film Festival. Renowned as London’s “cornucopia of new and beloved shorts from around the world,” its organizers strive always to platform emerging talent with a soft spot for the independent and ambitious. Cash prizes of more than a cumulative £12,500 value are handed out for the winners in Best British Short Film, Best International Short Film, Best Documentary Short Film, Best Animated Short Film, Best Experimental Short Film, and Best L0-Budget Short Film. Looking ahead to the 2019 event, the London Short Film Festival will return for its sweet sixteenth, occupying ten days across the capital’s best cinematic venues. Short filmmakers, get involved!

Submit via FilmFreeway.

LGBT Toronto Film Festival

The LGBT Toronto Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing the best of LGBTQI stories, accepting submissions for screenplays (short, TV pilot, and feature) and short films from all corners of the world. The organization announces a winning screenplay each month, with each getting a full performance by professional actors. Meanwhile, accepted short films are showcased at the film festival three times a year held in downtown Toronto.

Submit via FilmFreeway.

International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

Founded in 1954, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is one of the oldest short film festivals in the world. With more than 5,500 submissions from around 90 countries annually and approximately 500 screened at the annual event, it’s needless to say the competition is fierce. Nevertheless, should your short make the cut, it’s a surefire way to gain notoriety within the industry and attract potential major buyers. The festival focuses on innovative, artistic short films, paying special attention to new technical development.

Submit via Withoutabox.

Short & Sweet Film Festival

Those looking to find the next big thing in indie cinema would benefit from making a pitstop at the Short & Sweet Film Festival, held in Utah just says before Sundance. With a passion for screening the best in short films, its organizers are looking for submissions in narrative, documentary, and animated films that are 40 minutes or less. All official selections receive certificates and a winner is selected in each of its categories. The submissions window ends November 30 2018, meaning there’s still plenty of time for you to enter your short before the 2019 event.

Submit via FilmFreeway.

Atlanta Shortsfest

Atlanta Shortsfest

Coming up to its ninth year is the Atlanta Shortsfest, set to showcase a diverse mix of short films by talented filmmakers from across the globe. Atlanta Shortsfest was established by director B.J. Ogden to spotlight and promote excellent short films, and provide an important platform for creatives to discuss and share their work with eager audiences and fellow filmmakers. Short films must be 45 minutes or less. Aside from this rule, anything goes, with judges accepting films in comedy, animation, documentary, experimental, horror & sci-fi, personal, erotic, fantasy, drama, thrillers, action & adventure, cult, and just about any other genre you can imagine!

Submit via FilmFreeway.

LA Shorts Fest

LA Shorts Fest

Founded in 1997 and accredited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the LA Shorts International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious and largest international short film festivals in the world.  The film programming screens all genres from a wide spectrum of categories with high to low budget films under 45 minutes. It’s a great place to submit if you’re looking to rub shoulders with the greats and build a solid audience, as the event attracts over 8,000 attendees each year including Hollywood industry professionals looking for new talent. But don’t be put off by the competition – from recognizable celebrity directors to student filmmakers, its all here at the LA Shorts Fest.

Submit via FilmFreeway.

Aspen Shortsfest

Aspen Shortsfest

Recognized as one of the world’s “50 Leading Film Festivals”, Aspen Shortsfest is one of the world’s premier international short film showcases. This Oscar-qualifying international competition – which has been running since 1979 – offers a lively, thought-provoking, and humorous selection of drama, comedy, animation, and documentary films, all at 40 minutes or less.

Submit via Withoutabox.

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Daisy Webb is an outspoken, opinionated writer with a passion for all things horror and cult comedy. When she's not watching films, she likes listening to music, cooking too much food, and writing short stories with unhappy endings.

daisyp@filmdaily.co