Do you feel that there should be more to the life of your short film, after a few festival screenings? Do you think that your film should be able to reach worldwide audiences and build their fan base just like feature films and TV shows do?

CULT SHORTS is a new kind of film festival, inspired by the urgent need for a new approach to curating and exhibiting short films. This is a great new opportunity for filmmakers to find an audience and recognition for their works.

We created CULT SHORTS to draw the magnificent, shocking, hilarious, terrifying, transgressive, imaginative short films from the brink of oblivion and to bring them to the largest audience there is – the internet. But this is NOT another online festival.

Our mission is to select a wide range of films that we believe are delivering their message in an engaging and entertaining way and make sure these films reach the widest possible exposure.


From here on, it is all up to the audience to decide the finalists and ultimately, the winner. The 35 films that will create the largest following online, will receive our official CULT SHORTS FINALIST laurel and will be included in the live screenings of the CULT SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL.

The film that has created the largest cult following – estimated by online views, comments, likes, and shares, will be awarded a cash prize of 1000 Euros, a statuette, and a laurel “CULT SHORT OF THE YEAR” at the closing ceremony.

We are open to any genre and style but we are especially excited to see films with vivid characters that can spark a strong emotional response! Films in traditionally underrepresented genres within the European festival circuit: comedy, horror, thriller, fantasy, science fiction, adventure, musical, mystery, western – are especially encouraged to apply!

"A cult classic often times has a deep-seated theme or critique about society, but it tells these narratives in a less conventional way, often pushing the boundaries of film genre and style."

While an online release has now become an integral part of a short film’s distribution in the English speaking world, in continental Europe, filmmakers seem to lag behind in understanding the enormous possibilities of online distribution. Part of the reason is that European film funds rarely evaluate a short film’s success with audiences, perhaps because of the wrongful assumption that a short film does not attract any audience.

!!! Our understanding of the potential of a short film’s distribution online does not mean we want to limit the release of our films only on computer screens. On the contrary. We believe by making short films popular online, we can motivate people to want to see them in cinemas too. We understand a film’s enormous power to communicate ideas and feelings, to cast light on urgent social matters and we believe that the best films do so, by also being entertaining.

Each year, a sleepy small town will come to life with screenings, discussions, and parties, that will engage not only the local community but will also attract visitors from outside and abroad. The festival invites the filmmakers of the finalists which provides the essential opportunity for networking, building friendships and future collaborations, as well as establishing a global film community united by CULT SHORTS.

The shortlisted 35 finalists, including a curated non competitive selection of short films, will screen live during the festival event in Delchevo, North Macedonia in September 2021. !!! Please note that due to the ever changing circumstances with Covid-19 pandemic, the event could be moved to a later date, so we can make sure to organize the event in its full potential.
Read more about the location of the first edition of Cult Shorts here

Cult Short of 2021 Award - cash prize 1000 euros

We add a short fade in/out of our CULT SHORT logo with the appropriate category, at the beginning of every film.
If you plan to release the film on other YouTube channels, or if your film is already online, you can still submit, but the film can only be considered for the non-competitive ORBIT SELECTION.
The 35 finalists and the winner of the 1000 euro cash prize award, will be chosen based entirely on audience views, engagement – likes, comments, and shares on YouTube and Vimeo. This is why films in the official competition may not be released online on other channels and platforms, prior to or during the one year while in competition.
YOU MUST HAVE LICENSING RIGHTS FOR ANY MUSIC USAGE. Please make sure your licenses are for online usage (including YouTube) for all territories. If you have “handshake” agreements with labels or musicians, you must obtain formal licenses to pass through YouTube’s automatic copyright system, or be prepared to reach out to your contacts to clear all copyright claims that pop up.
There is no limit as to how many films you can submit. However, each film can only be submitted once in one single category.
The completion date does not influence the submission selection.
Previous Festival history for the film does not influence the submission selection.
You are free to request a withdrawal of your film from our selection before the announcement of our official finalists. We are not able to provide any refunds.
If selected for the festival the applicant acknowledges and agrees that the film will be displayed online on YouTube and Vimeo with an option of live screenings for the selected finalists and any additional special-screening programs.
All films in any different language from English must necessarily be subtitled, in English.