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 October 14, 2023 at Galaxy Cinemas Barrie. Of these selections, small cash 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.


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, 2021. Please ensure you do not use a school email account to submit, as some communications may occur during the summer.

Simcoe County Division: Open to all filmmakers, however to qualify one of the key members of the creative team 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, 2021.

Open: Open to all independent filmmakers regardless of age or residence. Film must have been completed after January 1, 2021. Earlybird fee is $15 until August 18, 2023 (11:59PM); then it goes up to $30. Entry fees are non-refundable.

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 October 2023 (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 in October. 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).

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, 2021 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.

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 (EPK) containing digital high res still images, mini bios, and/or press notes are 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.

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.

Overall Rating
  • Arianna Grace Goarley

    After a run of several festivals The Barrie Film Festival exceeded expectations- the events are well planned and the screenings were so well attended. It was an honour to be a part of the festival!

    October 2023
  • Avery Fane

    What an excellent experience and great event to participate and win at! Bravo to all :)

    July 2023
  • Noah Helinski

    Very thankful for this local gem in my hometown. My third time being a part of it; it's always filled with an interesting assortment of films, with a great focus on local creators and some excellent international films mixed in. The crowd is terrific, and the after party/award ceremony is a great addition. Hope to keep being a part of this fest in future years!

    October 2022
  • Richard Davis

    This was my favourite festival so far! It was an incredible event and amazing to see both The Last Audition and Baggage at a Drive-in. The Hospitality was amazing and the care they have for the filmmakers was awesome.

    October 2021
  • Studio Eighty-Five

    Been attending this festival for years as a viewer and it’s always a good time! Now as a filmmaker I had the pleasure of screening my own film and this experience was even better. BFF is enjoyable for everyone and it’s something I look forward to every year. Kudos to BFF for running an outstanding festival!

    October 2021