Now in its eighth year, the CMG Short Film Festival presents four programs of LGBTQ short films representing the very best of our vast and diverse community’s filmic offerings. Besides attending the larger festivals and personal referrals, we winnow through hundreds of films submitted through the FilmFreeway submission platform, to come up with the less than 40 films that comprise our programs.

To promote community, the CMG Short Film Festival likes to give an edge in the selection process to local (Los Angeles Area) filmmakers and talent. Being local doesn’t guarantee acceptance, of course, but we very much like the idea of creating a “family” of local artists who know and support each other. For some, ours will be the only LGBTQ film festival their film will appear in locally, and we recognize and welcome the unique responsibility this imposes on us. To keep faith with this community, we have a generous comps policy for filmmakers, cast and crew.

We are proud to offer “grass roots” submission pricing, to encourage submissions from less well-financed filmmakers. Thanks to FilmFreeway, we can afford to do this. (Note: this year, we are returning to our ultra early bird submission rate of only $5 per film until April 15.) For those who might want to avoid any submission fee altogether, please be mindful that this festival is an all proceeds benefit for AIDS Walk Los Angeles, as it has been since its inception. (This also means that films whose subject matter is the HIV epidemic score high on our “relevance” criterion.)

NOTE: Last year, our sponsor GYM Sportsbar generously provided a CLOSING NIGHT PARTY immediately after the last program on Sunday, at which we presented (for only the second time ever) a FIFTH program of films. These films were not in competition for our jury or audience awards, and our selection criteria were modified to create a program of films that would play well in a bar. We expect to repeat this event this year. Thus, acceptance by CMG Short Film Festival is NOT a guarantee that your film will be "in competition," but we do endeavor at all times to give every film an appreciative audience.

We consider trailers for feature films to be a form of short film in themselves. We will be showing trailers of this year’s best LGBTQ features as part of each of our programs, and encourage filmmakers to submit same for possible selection. It’s not solely to encourage attendance at the films themselves; it’s also to admire their trailers as examples of an art form, one whose rules differ from the principles that make a film great. NEW THIS YEAR: We have significantly reduced submission fees for trailers, starting as low as $2.

Finally, we are grateful to the City of West Hollywood for providing the beautiful Council Chambers auditorium for our screenings. In response to requests from our filmmakers, we have independently enhanced the sound system to offer stereo sound. The City also graciously provides FREE PARKING for all Festival patrons and guests.

We have an audience favorite award, determined by balloting, and jury awards for best comedy or musical, best drama, and best actor and actress in each of those two categories. The jury is also empowered to create additional awards for anything they deem worthy of that kind of recognition. None of the awards has a cash value.

We have right to screen at the festival, use short excerpt for a festival trailer, use publicity stills for our press releases and other collateral materials including our web page, printed program, and post card. We reserve the right to use the film at a "best of" program taking place in the year subsequent to the Festival date. We keep a copy of the film for Festival Archive.

PLEASE be sure to include a short description of your film in your submission materials. We will contact you if you are selected to get stills from the film for use on our web page and in our printed program.

Overall Rating
  • Marri Savinar

    Our experience at the CMG Short Film Festival 2018 was one we will never forget. Jim is truly one of the best people we've had the pleasure of meeting during our festival experience. The CMG Short Film Festival is extremely organized, very professional, and an incredible opportunity to meet other filmmakers. We were honored to be amongst the other films that were selected this year as they were of the highest quality. We can't recommend this festival enough - it is truly an experience we will never forget and it was our pleasure to be a part of it.

    October 2018