The AES Short Film Competition is a program of the Columbus Jewish Film Festival, a yearly diverse and comprehensive film festival in it's 16th season in Columbus, Ohio. The 2020 competition will accept entries from the USA as well as Israel.

Filmmakers of all levels and from all backgrounds from ages 18-40 are invited to submit a short film in any genre relating to Judaism, Jewish culture or history, the Jewish experience or other Jewish themes. Film must be between 4 -12 minutes, with a completion date of 2017 or later. Foreign language films must contain English subtitles.

The AES Short Film Competition looks to recognize and inspire filmmakers throughout the United States and Israel as they explore the Jewish experience, culture, identity and connection through film's many genres. We look forward to seeing your work ! Please remember filmmakers can be of any background or faith but films must fulfill theme requirement to be considered for this competition.

Thank You!

Total prize package minimum of $2,500 which includes the Grand Prize of $1,500. Additional prizes will be decided based upon submissions and judging results. The grand prize winning film and other award selections will be shown during the Columbus Jewish Film Festival in a virtual program on November 17, 2020 from Columbus, Ohio. Exact screening dates to be determined after judging is completed.

*Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the CJFF will be held virtually this year, from November 1-19

Open throughout the USA and Israel to ages 18-40 (please provide date of birth) including those studying or traveling abroad from USA.

Information can also be found on but films should be submitted through FilmFreeway.

When submitting a film, applicant confirms the competition is their original work, that there are no disputes regarding ownership of their submission and that their submission does not infringe on any existing copyright (including music, photos, images, or other materials). Applicant must confirm that any necessary permissions and releases have been secured and agree to hold the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus harmless from and defend them against all claims, demands, losses, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses, including attorney’s fees, arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties based on their submission. Applicant permits the Columbus Jewish Film Festival to use film clips, applicant’s name and image if necessary for promotional purposes in conjunction with this competition.

Competition reserves the right to not complete the judging of films and awarding of prizes in the event that fewer than 15 films are submitted in total to the 2020 AES Short Film Competition. Please note we do not accept "promotional" videos, i.e.: a submission of a film made specifically to advertise or promote a business or service.

Overall Rating
  • Arnon Shorr

    A fantastic and important competition - one of very few monetary awards for Jewish short film content.

    Fest was communicative, and prompt with the award money (which is always nice!)

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank You Arnon, It was a privilege to share your film with our CJFF audience !