One of the featured programs at our fall festival is the annual Short Film Competition. Filmmakers are invited to submit their short films for consideration. An audience favourite, this exciting program presents a selection of short films submitted by regional, national and international filmmakers. Films must be no longer than 10 minutes (including credits) and all genres are eligible. This is a juried event and official selections will be publicly screened as part of the Barrie Film Festival’s annual Short Film Program Showcase to be held in September, 2021 (date to be confirmed). Of these selections, small prizes will be awarded in various categories. There is no entry fee for high school or Simcoe County categories. The festival itself is a multi day celebration of film that includes festival favourites from all over the world, guest Q&As and offsite receptions (subject to COVID-19 restrictions).


High School: Open to filmmakers that created their film while in high school, can be created as part of, or independently of a school programme or class. Film must have been made before your 19th Birthday and have been completed after January 1, 2019.

Simcoe County Division: Open to all filmmakers, however entrants must reside in the geographic region of Simcoe County (including Barrie, Ontario, Canada) or have been a resident in the last 5 years. Simcoe County is located in the central portion of Southern Ontario, Canada. Film must have been completed after January 1, 2019.

Open: Open to all independent filmmakers regardless of age or residence. Film must have been completed after January 1, 2019. Earlybird fee is $15 until July 30, 2021 (11:59PM); then it goes up to $30.

There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes awarded for each of the three categories: High School, Simcoe County and Open.

The “People’s Choice” is awarded to one of the films screened at the Shorts Showcase in September (date to be confirmed). Votes are cast by the audience immediately following the showcase and the award is presented as part of the Shorts Awards Ceremony.

To be eligible, films must be no longer than ten (10) minutes in length (including credits).

All genres are eligible including narrative, documentary, animation and experimental film. Corporate and promotional films are not eligible. This is a juried event and official selections will be publicly screened as part of the Barrie Film Festival’s annual Short Film Program Showcase to be held in September, 2021 (date to be determined). Of these selections, prizes will be awarded as outlined in the “Awards” section found below.

Entries must be submitted in digital format (MOV, AVI, MPEG, MP4).

You have the option to also make submissions by mail in which case entries must be submitted as a data DVD containing the digital version of the film (MOV, AVI, MPEG, MP4), plus a standard NTSC DVD or HD Blu-ray copy. All entries sent by mail must be accompanied by a completed online entry form which can be found on our website. Please complete a separate application form for each film entered.

All filmmakers submitting a short film for consideration must guarantee that they own all rights associated with their entry including the rights/permissions for use of accompanying music. Please ensure that you have all necessary releases.

Entries must have been completed after January 1, 2019 and must not exceed ten (10) minutes in length (including credits).

Non-English films must have English subtitles embedded into the video or a separate “srt” file be provided.

Films that have been previously submitted to the Short Film Competition are not eligible.

Submissions received by the closing date of competition will be reviewed by a jury and will be judged based on: Production (directing, writing, originality and acting), Cinematography (camerawork, lighting, composition), Sound (music, dialog, effects, mixing), and Post-production (cutting/editing, transitions, pacing). The decisions of the jury are final and the results will be communicated to the entrants via supplied e-mail. Select Prizes will be awarded in an awards ceremony directly following the Short Film Showcase in September 2021 (date to be confirmed).

There is no entry fee for the Short Film Competition for the Simcoe County or High school categories.

A brief description/synopsis is also required.

While not mandatory, a promotional electronic press kit containing digital high res still images, mini bios, and/or a press kit is always appreciated. The Barrie Film Festival makes every effort to ensure accuracy with the credits listed in the program/promotions but shall not be held liable for errors or omissions, should they occur.

Do not send film prints, master tapes or other originals.

Please Note
Entering the competition gives the Barrie Film Festival the right to use the work for public presentation, promotion and education. For the purposes of promotion and education, all entries will be identified as follows: “Provided courtesy of the filmmaker and the Barrie Film Festival”. The Barrie Film Festival reserves the right to disqualify any entry that violates the guidelines of the Short Film Competition as stated. Entries selected for presentation will be kept by the Barrie Film Festival and archived for controlled use as reference material. If sent by mail, the Barrie Film Festival cannot be held responsible for damage or loss of materials that might occur in transit.

Overall Rating
  • Anne Ploegman

    This is a great festival, which I am very happy to have my film included in! Thank you for this opportunity and support.

    November 2020
  • Hometown film festival! Much love for being in the festival in 2017! Can't wait for 2019!

    July 2019
  • Love this festival! Have been lucky enough to compete in the shorts category for the last 4 years and it has gotten bigger and better every year!

    October 2018
  • Very organized, supportive and professional

    October 2018
  • Calyx Passailaigue

    We had an amazing time at the Barrie Film Festival where our short film Scarlet had its North American premiere. The festival treated us very well!

    October 2018