You’ve completed a film or screenplay! What's next?

Submit it to Copa Shorts Film Fest where your talent will be appreciated! We recognize new talent and assist filmmakers of all ages to see their films and screenplays on the big screen. And, there are prizes and awards – and parties! Invited filmmakers and screenwriters are VIPs and attend for free.

In 2019, CSFF is debuting COPA SHORTS STUDENT FILM FEST to focus on the Middle and High School filmmakers from around the county and around the world. Held at the first-class MARICOPA HIGH SCHOOL'S state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center in Maricopa, Arizona on February 23, 2019, invite your friends, family, and other film aficionados to enjoy your film on a big screen. All filmmakers chosen for the festival will share their filmmaking experience with the audience in a Q & A.

You will have the opportunity to meet, mingle, and learn as we offer free educational seminars for attendees with professional filmmakers who share their expertise. Food trucks with fun choices will be available. Then, we end the day with music and a party to celebrate the winners – and everyone who was showcased.

On SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24th, Copa Shorts Film Fest moves to nearby MARICOPA CITY HALL where college and adult films from around the world will be shown. The afternoon of short films includes, Military Veteran, Native American, comedy, animation, drama, documentary, foreign, sci-fi, and horror films.

An awards party follows with music, mingling and a chance to meet others in the film industry.

Submit your film and plan your trip to Arizona! February in Arizona is perfect weather – and the only thing you’ll need to shovel is sunshine!

Copa Shorts Film Fest – our mission: to make a magical experience for filmmakers. And, create a community event that entertainments. Young filmmakers learn about a lucrative career that can fulfill dreams!

Copa Shorts Film Fest in Year 3 – The third year could be the charm for you!


Awards for each genre category: Certificate / Laurel

Best of the Fest: Cash Award + Software prize to be announced

Audience Choice Award: Prize from Allied Industry Sponsor

Screenplay Contest: Grand Prize Winner - Cash award + Software prize to be announced. Runner-Up - Software prize to be announced

College Student Category Winner: Cash Award + Software prize to be announced

High School Student Category Winner: Software prize to be announced + Gift Card

Middle School Student Category Winner: Software prize to be announced + Gift Card

Native American Category Winner: Software prize to be announced

Veterans Category Winner: Software prize to be announced


• Please submit all short film(s) or screenplays (RULES BELOW) to DVD copies will not be accepted.
• Films should be no shorter than 2 minutes or no longer than 20 minutes including credits.
• NO FEE WAIVERS are available.
• All foreign/non-English language films must have English language subtitles.
• Works-in-progress will not be considered.
• To be considered for competition, the film must have been completed AFTER January 1, 2018.
• “MATURE SUBJECT MATTER”: If film warrants it, must be designated on FilmFreeway

• We do not accept any films containing: Porn, Child Pornography, Graphic Violence.

• Middle & High School STUDENT FILMS: Films should be suitable for all audiences. Adult language and situations may disqualify your film.

• Entry does not guarantee screening at the festival.
• No submissions will be accepted after the LATE deadline.
• Entries that have been chosen for screening at Copa Shorts Film Fest 2019 will be notified. We will not contact you if your film has not been selected for presentation.
• Film must not have been screened on the Internet, You Tube, national broadcast, cable or satellite television.
• Vimeo Password-Protected projects are recommended due to piracy/copyright issues
• Films must not have a distribution agreement in place at the time of the festival or the film will be ineligible for screening. If you receive distribution prior to screening, please contact us.
• The film may not be copyrighted by anyone other than yourself or you must have full written permission to submit and screen this film. The film must have clear copyright of all audio and images presented in the film. Not having clearance could be grounds for non-acceptance to the festival.
• Please ensure if you are submitting a film that contains copyrighted/trademarked material by anyone other than yourself, that you have obtained clearance for that material used. The burden of determining that any material is not protected by copyright, trademark, rights of privacy, publicity or any other proprietary rights rests with the entrant. Give credit to all copyrighted materials, including music, art and products in your closing credits.
• Officially selected films will be notified via e-mail on or before December 22, 2018.
• Digital Press Kits will be requested upon acceptance for screening at the festival.

•• Please upload your screener to FilmFreeway with the highest quality available on Vimeo for best results in all categories

Selected Festival Films should adhere to the following formats and ratios:

Festival screenings for ALL FILMS:
Preferred format: ProResHQ 422

• For all student entries, a photocopy of an official student ID or a letter from the school must be attached with the entry submission as proof of student status when the film was produced.

• HIGH SCHOOL/MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS: In addition to a student ID, a letter of permission is needed from either a parent or teacher.

Veteran Filmmakers -
• Any filmmaker who is currently serving, or has served in the U.S. military.
• Films can be written, produced, or directed by an active, or military veteran

Non-Veteran Filmmakers -
• Main character/s is serving or has served in the military
• The subject matter shares veteran life or concerns, or subject is military themed.

• By submitting his/her work to the COPA SHORTS FILM FEST, submitter gives permission for the festival to screen the film to attending press, at festival parties, and at other festival-related events.
• Festival organizers reserve the right to show officially selected films in any film block and/or to show officially selected films in more than one film block.
• Entrant agrees to the use of their submission, in part or whole, for publicity, promotions and screenings on the CSFF website and in other media.

QUESTIONS: If you have any questions, you may contact us at


The following agreement sets the terms of submission for short screenplays. By submitting a short screenplay to Copa Shorts Film Fest, you agree that you have read and will comply with the following guidelines:

This screenplay contest is intended for non-produced films only. Principal photography must not take place before the festival (Please see note following guidelines).


• Submit your short screenplay to FilmFreeway (follow the link below) in .pdf format
• We only accept screenplays that follow standard Hollywood format
• Acceptable genres are: drama, comedy, sci-fi, horror, documentary
• Scripts must not exceed 20 pages in length, excluding cover page
• Screenplays must have been completed after July 1, 2017 • All screenplays must be submitted in English
• No substitutions of pages or scripts will be accepted after submission
• This contest is open to any writer, 15 years of age or older
• High school students (grade 9 -12) must have parental & teacher approval
• Multiple screenplays require separate submission fees
• We strongly recommend copywriting your screenplay with, but it is not required
• Entering this competition gives Copa Shorts Film Fest, Inc. permission to use your name and photo (both the Grand Prize Winner & Runner-Up) for publicity and promotions with no additional compensation
• You agree that you are the sole author, or co-author, and have exclusive rights and authority to submit the work
• You agree that Copa Shorts Film Fest, their affiliates, sponsors, employees and judges are exempt from any and all claims, loss or liability that may be asserted against you or incurred by you or any associates, at any time in connection with the submitted work.

NOTE: If principal photography begins before the festival, the screenplay will be disqualified and the screenwriter will forfeit award money. Reimbursement for prizes and any associated expenses will be pursued from the screenplay submitter.

• Acceptance letters of winners only will be emailed no later than December 22, 2018 — Please make sure that your email address is correct.

• All selected scripts may be excerpted for Copa Shorts Film Fest publicity purposes.


• Copa Shorts Film Fest will present $250 to the winning screenwriter at the awards party plus a certificate for Screenwriting Software from Write Bros./Movie Magic Screenwriter.

• A certificate for Screenwriting Software from Write Bros./Movie Magic Screenwriter.

Overall Rating
  • Even though I was not able to attend due to illness in my family, I deeply appreciate the good communication and professionalism of the festival organizers and I would definitely submit again in the future.

    April 2018
  • Joseph Szoltysik

    The Copa Shorts Film Festival was full of entertaining films, networking opportunities, free workshops, and wonderful state of the art accommodations.

    February 2018
  • Alfred Thomas Catalfo

    Copa Shorts is a first class festival run by gracious people who care about film and filmmakers. We won Best Drama in 2018 with our film SPLIT TICKET and look forward to making Copa Shorts a regular stop for our future films!

    February 2018
  • Giancarlo Fusi

    Great festival and super well-organized for a new fest. Roger & Shelley Gillespie were very gracious hosts who really care about films and screenplays. As mentioned in the festival description above, I was thrilled to see my script's title and my name up on the big screen during the table-reading at last year's fest. It was a real nice touch for screenwriters who are often treated like second-class citizens at other festivals. Look forward to returning.

    November 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Giancarlo-

    Thank you for the glowing words!

    As you've already found out, your newest screenplay will be featured in a table read at Copa Shorts Film Fest on February 18th.

    So glad you're planning to attend!

    See you soon at Copa Shorts!

  • Dave Lojek

    Great Quality Films, many special awards, lovely hosts of the event. We won BEST FOREIGN FILM with our comedy PROVERBIAL LUCK.

    February 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Dave -
    Thank you for the great feedback on our festival!
    Hope you can submit a film this year, too, and maybe even come to the festival.
    We personally loved Proverbial Luck!

    Shelley Gillespie
    Executive Director
    Copa Shorts Film Fest