Catfish - defn - a cat that loves to scavange and bring you the best micro content from across the pond.

A successful, three year running international short film platform showcasing shorts made by LGBTQ+ with visible minorities and women in key decision making roles around the world.

BIPOC filmmakers, and who identify as a visible or diverse minority is welcome to apply and reach out - we would love to hear from you.

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As two international expats that have lived international lives working in film, Courtney and Melissa realized there is a real demand for filmmakers' short films from elsewhere. This combined with a desire to create a platform and community for films made by LGBTQ+, visible minorities, and women, is at the core of Catfish.

The founders noticed that filmmaker friends - many of which from underrepresented groups - would often have a stack of films that have completed the traditional festival circuit. These were often kickass shorts by the types of people we want to see making content and celebrated! They *also* noticed that its good fun to gather round and watch these, not to mention the high demand from markets abroad for new and delectable viewpoints (and accents!). ....SO! With all this in mind, they gathered together a bunch of shorts, got some delicious grub and bubbly, cash prizes, a few friends and flew them all to New York city from London UK ... Oh, they also told all current and former day job bosses to watch them including Agents, film finance types, sponsors, investors, and producers etc... And well, the rest is history. Catfish was born, and a platform for shorts to be screened elsewhere to professionals with an audience hungry for new content. The cat was inspired by a cat that loved to swim, often bringing treasures in its mouth.

Fast forward to today, and the festival has grown but not lost that intimate "dinner party" flair. It provides an international platform and audience of film industry professionals but the general public often also attends! We fly short films from North America to Europe, and vice versa. Future festivals may pop up in other areas across the globe. Pre-Cannes networking parties, and providing a champagne-filled atmosphere to expand your horizons and deliberate these films is what we do best.

Judges and the board are made up of filmmakers working in the industry and some of our judges are previous winners of the Catfish Shorts! awards! While we have a fun intimate feel, we also offer cash prizes and we are an IMDB recognized festival.


Catfish Shorts hosted its inaugural event in February 2017 at The Tribeca Screening Room and Soho House and has since continued to promote events and collaborations throughout the year. Key events have included a "pre-Cannes" networking event, a screening and art evening in Vancouver and two festivals in Brixton at The Whirled Cinema.

Our upcoming festival will be in 2021 in London, England. Stay tuned for updates on dates and locations.

Winning categories include:

Best Original Screenplay
Best Directing
Best Acting
Best Cinematography
Best Genre Film
Catfish Splash Award!

The winner of the Purr d'Or - best picture - will receive a cash prize!

All entries immediately qualify for any of the categories above.

We encourage filmmakers to aim to have at least two female-identifying individuals on their teams, and as many diverse and LGTBQ+ players as possible.

While we cannot insist you hire based on gender, we aim to encourage and visible minorities, and those that traditionally haven't had as much of a chance in film to be involved, welcomed and celebrated.

Overall Rating
  • Lois Norman

    Totally thrilled that our gender fluid dance film SWIVEL, won the Catfish Splash Award 2020! Thank you! What an inspiring festival for Female Directors and film makers! A funky venue, committed hosts who are passionate and ambitious, yet still kind and nurturing and a great cross section and diverse mix of films! I’ll be back! Thank you! Lois x

    April 2020
  • C.C. Kellogg

    Such a supportive and welcoming festival! Female centric in the best way, with diverse programming. Thabk you for including AFTER ANYUTA

    February 2020
  • Catfish Shorts! Is a great short film festival. They're very organised, communicate well and the films that were selected were all extraordinary. The vibe at the fest was good fun too. Everyone was offered cat ears to wear and after watching this wonderful selection of films, they handed out about seven awards. I highly recommend this short film festival!

    February 2020
  • Wonderful festival with a strong selection of short films run by a group of incredibly supportive and super-talented women who really care about your material. I made so many excellent connections (and potential future collaborations) from attending and only great things have come from being a part of it. Thank you ladies!

    August 2019
  • Nick Swannell

    So excited to be included in the line-up of the high quality films shown at Catfish Shorts. Fantastic festival with a creative, positive, friendly vibe.

    February 2019