best film festivals for shorts

Best Film Festivals for Shorts

Surely, we’ve all heard of film festivals, as cinema has a huge impact on our lives and the stories we watch make us feel, help us leave our reality for a while, and even teach us about all kinds of stuff. For most people, it’s a hobby, for others, just a way of entertainment, but for most, it’s a passion. Yet, mainstream media thinks films should be more than one or two hours long, but they couldn’t be more wrong, and the answer is – short films! What exactly are short films, you ask.  They’re just like any normal movie, with the difference of having a maximum of 40 minutes. Every year, more and more independent filmmakers are producing short films to send to film festivals, and that’s exactly where I wanted to get to – which film festivals are perfectly suited for short films? Stick around to find out.


Raindance Film Festival takes place in the UK and was founded in 1992. Still to this day, it’s the biggest indie film festival in England, showcasing short films and features. It all started in 1992 when Elliot Grove believed it was possible to make a movie with no money and no experience, so he decided to teach a masterclass on that (the first-ever Raindance edition), and that’s when the festival was truly born.

When a film is qualified for these events, they have the power to consider any of them for an Oscar or BAFTA. As an officially recognized festival, Raindance has premiered films like “Memento” or “The Blair Witch Project”. If you’ve made a short film, the hardest part is done, and Raindance might be the perfect opportunity to submit it and see what other people think of it.

Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival

It’s been 40 years since the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival appeared for the first time, and today is considered one of the biggest ones for short films, being held, like the name says, in Clermont-Ferrand, France. It all began as a short film week, organized by the Clermont-Ferrand university film society. Yet, only in 1981 the event started gaining more followers and being more well received by the audience and professionals.

The event has two separate sections, one for the french filmmakers and the other for the international people, yet the contestants don’t have to pay to submit their work. Just in 2017, more than 160,000 entries were made, although, usually, the festival receives more than 7000 submissions, every year.

Aspen Shortsfest

Since 1979 to today, the Aspen Shortsfest has welcomed more than 200 short films, from all kinds of genres. Recognized as one of the “50 leading film festivals”, it also has the power of recommending projects to the Oscars. Specializing in short films, anyone can apply, yet there is a fee to pay for every submission. However, definitely worth the chance to make it into this amazing festival.

Palm Springs International ShortFest

As the name suggests, this short film festival takes place in Palm Springs, California, every January and is ruled by the Palm Springs Film Society.

Like others previously mentioned, this festival is another one that can qualify the accepted submissions to the Oscars, in the short film category.

Every project submitted can’t have more than 40 minutes and, to this day, many films that left this festival went to win the Academy Awards. This year, with all that is happening, it’s impossible to have the event in the traditional way, but that didn’t stop this committee of hosting virtual classes and panels with guests, some even open to the public, and of course, the winner announced, at the end.

Cannes Film Festival

The most famous film festival in the world, Cannes has also had a space for this category since 1998, accepting short films with 15 minutes or less. For any filmmaker having the opportunity to win the short Palm d’Or would be like a dream. Yet, as the most recognized event in the cinematographic world, they take all their categories very professionally, and it’s like reaching for the stars there. The good news is they don’t charge a fee to submit any work, one more motive to take your hard work there.

In Conclusion

Every kind of cinematographic work deserves to be recognized and appreciated, from length films to short ones, from animated to drama… It is good to see there are influential festivals working with different types of cinema, and open to less known artists. So, which of these festivals would you love to attend? Let me know in the comments below and thank you for reading!

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