The 2nd Capitol Hill Film Classic - June 2019 in Washington, D.C.

\\ The Best in Shorts Knockout Style Competition:

Celebrating Short Films and New Media worldwide. Based in our nation's capital- Washington, DC, the Capitol Hill Film Classic's slogan is “A, B, C, D, E, F--” because our mission is “About Building Community, Developing and Exhibiting Filmmakers and Films,” here in Washington, D.C.!

The Best in Shorts Knockout Style Competition is unique in the industry. A festival attracting both powerhouse companies as well as talented new filmmakers. Currently in its second year, the Best in Shorts is a live film competition that strives to give talented first-time directors, producers, actors, new media creators their teams a unique venue to show their work and receive the positive exposure they deserve. It discovers and honors the achievements of filmmakers who produce high quality shorts.

The Best in Shorts Knockout Style program promotes filmmakers through press releases to industry contacts and global media / distribution outlets. Additionally, we hope to host a networking event for exhibiting filmmakers.

Serving filmmakers is Capitol Hill Film Classic's primary goal!

\\ What is a "knockout style" competition?

FIRST - Every short filmed submitted to the Capitol Hill Film Classic is placed in one of four brackets divided by category. The four brackets include: American, International, First-time Filmmakers, and Local DMV. The onerous is on filmmakers to self-identify what category to associate your film with. This is an honor system.

SECOND - After a film is placed into a bracket, it will be evaluated by our screeners and scored against a rigorous rubric and ranked. From there, a team of judges will take the screeners notes, watch the films and produce finalists for each bracket. All finalists will be screened during the festival and compete in our live voting competition.

\\ What kind of shorts?

The Best in Shorts Knockout Style Competition is an excellent venue for films, documentaries, new and experimental media, and animation. As long as the entry is 19 minutes or less, it is eligible for submission.

\\ What region is my film?

The onerous is on you to self-identify what bracket you associate your film with. Are you a first-time filmmaker? Use that bracket. Are you a seasoned veteran? Use your geographic region. We rely on the Honor System.

\\ Benefits of Participating:

Live Screening - Premiere your film in the Nation's capital.

Promotional Laurels – Receive graphics to give promotional material that wow factor!

Peer Review – Our judges are filmmakers who understand the craft and what audiences want.

Publicity Enhancement – Winners are announced to industry professionals, press, and additional international media outlets.

Press Release - We provide a fill-in-the-blanks press release to help you promote your win. We've done the heavy lifting - just fill it in and send to media outlets of your choice!

Social Media Push – Facebook and Twitter announcements of winners and updates from our filmmaking community can be shared with your own lists.


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\\ Judging and Award Levels:

This year the Best in Shorts Competition is seeking entries. Quality and creativity are celebrated.

Each bracket will produce at a minimum four finalists for a total of sixteen films that will advance to our live screening competition.

All preliminary evaluations and selections are made by in-house staff and a committee of screeners. Then via collaboration with the 2019 Jury.

Unlike some festivals, at the Capitol Hill Film Classic, entries compete against each other. Entries are judged against a high standard of merit and are scored accordingly. Judges score entries on a performance scale and winning entries are exhibited during our film festival with the chance to compete for awards.​ FYI we do not share score cards.

\\ Notification:

Each submission received will be confirmed by FilmFreeway and Capitol Hill Film Classic administrative offices via electronic mail.

After judging is completed, winners in all categories will be notified of their advancement to the finals and are provided additional information such as links to winner’s laurels etc.
Winning films are also announced by social media and a press release is sent to five international media distribution outlets.

\\ Rules & Eligibility


2. Submissions in other than English must be subtitled.

3. Multiple entries are not allowed.

4. Online screeners are mandatory. If you choose not to upload your project to FilmFreeway’s site, please provide an online link to your submission and be sure to include the password in an email correspondence sent directly to Capitol Hill Film Classic .

5. Capitol Hill Film Classic does not download submissions or accept Dropbox submissions. Please only send links to your media hosted on 3rd party servers such as Vimeo or YouTube.

6. Written comments describing entries are beneficial.

7. DVD entries will not be accepted nor returned.

8. If selected, filmmakers must sign releases to have their film screened at the Festival and release their rights to have their short film broadcasted in the local Washington DC tv market, as well as placed in our archives.

9. Capitol Hill Film Classic may request a downloadable copy (.Mov, .MP4, or other format) to use for exhibition and Filmmaker agrees to comply.

Overall Rating
  • Ben Williams

    We had the honor to screen our short film, MUSICIANS AND MAGICIANS, at the inaugural Capitol Hill Film Classic 2018.
    (1) The venue was nice
    (2) No projection issues, which is good!
    (3) Enough people in attendance to make it feel exciting.
    (4) The communication and festival presentation was great.
    (5) Amazing QandA after each film (best part of the festival)

    I recommend submitting to this festival as apart of your festival circuit.

    January 2019
  • Chad Eric Smith

    As a native of Washington, DC, what an honor it was to screen my short sci-fi drama, Rumination, at the inaugural Capitol Hill Film Classic! To top it off, my film won "Best Local Film". Through and through, the Capitol Hill Film Classic was an amazing experience, from the personalized communication from Festival Director Michael Rekola to the awesome 371 seat historic Miracle Theatre, which has Barco 2K digital projection and concert sound (perfect for my film)! Leading up to the screening, the festival received lots of publicity, including being featured in the Washington Post Express, and the films were screened to an assembled Jury of industry insiders comprised of members of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America! Following the live screening, I met and exchanged contact information with several filmmakers. In totality, the festival was extremely gratifying and will forever be a highlight of my career.

    June 2018