Aspen Shortsfest is an Oscar®-qualifying film festival recognized as one of the premier short film festivals in North America. Each April enthusiastic audiences, filmmakers and special guests from around the globe gather to participate in public screenings, panels, workshops, and other festivities that spotlight the art and craft of short moviemaking. Following in the tradition of Oscar® success, Shortsfest's Bear Story (Chile) won the Best Animated Short Film Oscar® in 2016. In 2019, Fauve (2018) was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film; Weekends (2018) and One Small Step (2019) were nominated for Best Animated Short Film.

For more information and to join Aspen Film, please visit For updates, like Aspen Film on Facebook, follow @AspenFilm on Twitter and Instagram, and join the conversation by using #Shortsfest2020.

Best Animation
International Competition Jury Award for animation.

Best Comedy
International Competition Jury Award for comedy.

Best Drama
International Competition Jury Award for drama.

Best Documentary
International Competition Jury Award for documentary.

Best Short Short
International Competition Jury Award for short short.

Best Student Short
International Competition Jury Award for student short.

The Ellen Award
Chosen by the Ellen Jury, this award is given to the film that evokes the spirit of Aspen Film's founder.

Audience Choice Award
Audience Award for best film.

Audience Special Recognition Award

Special Jury Recognition Awards
International Competition Jury awards recognizing outstanding cinematic accomplishment.

By agreeing to the terms and conditions on the entry form for Aspen Film's Shortsfest, the person or entity (the Applicant) submitting an entry (the Short) to Aspen Film's Shortsfest (ASF) acknowledges that s/he has read, understood and agrees to the following rules and guidelines:

1. The Applicant is legally authorized to enter the Short in ASF, and the Short is not subject to any claims or litigation and is not threatened by any claims or litigation.

2. Entries must be 40 minutes or under in length, cannot have premiered before March 2020, and must be submitted in one of the following categories: Animation, Comedy, Documentary, or Drama.

3. To qualify for the Student Award, the Short must have been completed while enrolled in an accredited film or media arts course or program.

4. Non-English language shorts must be subtitled in English.

5. ASF can only accept, consider and notify entries submitted with valid entry form and non-refundable entry fee. To be considered for ASF, the Applicant must fill out the entry form on FilmFreeway. Applicant must submit a Secure Online Screener. Entry Fee payment must be made online through FilmFreeway.

6. Late Entries: For Late entry request please contact ASF at

7. To verify ASF has received your entry, we advise that you check the FilmFreeway status before emailing us with further questions.

8. All films will be notified of their status by mid-March. If your contact information or premiere status changes between entry submission and our notification date, please update your information on FilmFreeway and email any changes to ASF at:

9. Entry materials cannot be returned.

10. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials in the Short. The Applicant releases and discharges ASF, its employees and agents from any and all claims, demands or causes of actions related to misappropriation or infringement of copyright or violation of any other right arising out of or relating to this Short.

11. In the event that the Short is accepted as a Finalist by ASF, the Applicant hereby agrees to the following rights and requests and grants to ASF without reservations, conditions or qualifications:

11a. ASF reserves the right to screen an exhibition-quality digital file of the Short (see guidelines for accepted formats) during ASF, including educational screenings and a post festival Awards screening event.

11b. ASF reserves the right to coordinate ALL publicity and press outreach concerning the Short’s presentation at ASF, including but not limited to:

11.b-1 The right to use excerpted clips, still images and/or titles, and information from or relating to the Short for promotional purposes in all media including Aspen Film's website.

11.b-2 The right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the Short and to use all associated names, likenesses and biographical information.

11.b-3 The right to provide contact information for the director and producer(s) of the Short and to grant ASF the right to provide this information to film industry organizations sponsoring Festival events at its discretion.

11c. ASF reserves the right to retain a preview copy of any Short submitted or solicited for ASF’s non-circulating library, as well as for ASF educational purposes.

11e. ASF reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees, any entry which is in violation of the guidelines and participation agreement.

Overall Rating
  • Dennis Scholl

    Best all shorts fest in America Always an honor to be invited.

    April 2021