The Defiant Arc International Short Film Festival (DAISFF) is an annual short film festival for short films of any genre up to 30 minutes. There will be two overall winners annually, for Best Short and Best ‘Defiant’ Short, as well as additional Category Awards. Its inaugural year will feature a live screening with a Q&A on Saturday, May 29, 2021.

DAISFF’s name is derived from its mission: to defy the traditional Hollywood arc, where it is exceedingly difficult for those not already ingrained in the industry to find success, and to provide resources and access to talented filmmakers to help them make their mark on the world.

All short films submitted to DAISFF will be scored by at least two judges using DAISFF’s scorecards. DAISFF's judges all work or have worked at prominent entertainment companies, including Netflix, Shed Media, NBCUniversal, AMC Networks, the Writers Guild of America, Lionsgate, Paradigm, HBO, Platform One Media, and Disney, among others.

All Finalists and Category Awards will be screened at the festival. In addition:

Best Short will receive a $250 cash prize.

Best ‘Defiant’ Short will receive a $250 cash prize.

Official Selections and Semi-finalists will receive laurels. Finalists will receive laurels and a complimentary ticket to the live screening.

In addition, all submissions are eligible for the Category Awards, which receive laurels, a print-ready digital certificate in PDF and a complimentary ticket to the screening. Category Awards depend solely on the results of the judge’s score cards and will be announced alongside the Finalists. Category Awards are still eligible for the overall awards.

The Category Awards are as follows:

Best Director
Best Actor/Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Sound
Best Screenplay

**If you submit your film ONLY to Scorecard Request, you will receive two judge's scorecards after the conclusion of judging, but your film will not be included in the judging for an award. You must submit to at least one of the award categories in order to be considered for an award.

For more information on scoring, please go to our website, listed on the left of this page.

* What we’re looking for? Story-based films, which can be in the form of narrative (fiction), music video, documentary (non-fiction), or animation.

*You must submit your screener via a private link. DVD submissions are not accepted.

* All films must include English subtitles (unless the spoken language is English)

* By submitting your film, take note that:
– You agree to use parts of your film (including trailer/teaser/film poster/screenshots) for promotional purposes.
– You must own all the rights to the video.
– Fees are not refundable.

DAISFF does not accept the following:

1. Amateur videos
2. Extremist or propaganda content from religious or political organizations
3. Films made before 2013
4. Political films
5. Films with a poor production standard (bad sound, lack of subtitles/captions for non-English films, video resolution less than 720p HD)
6. Films produced by Defiant Arc Entertainment

Overall Rating
  • Kaveh Jahed

    Thanks for your great festival

    July 2021
  • Edris Naseri

    Great experience! Definitely recommend. Thank you!

    June 2021
  • Ken Sagoes

    I'm deeply honored that “The McHenry Trial - Don't Judge a Kid by Their Hoodie" was selected as a Semi -Finalist in your remarkable festival! The festival is well-organized with great communication. May the festival continue to provide filmmakers a platform that fosters creativity and self expression.

    June 2021
  • We sincerely thank you for being selected my short film. We wish you luck.

    June 2021