Recognizing that short film is a unique and valuable art form, the Dam Short Film Festival aims to seek out original, unusual, and entertaining short films from around the world and make them available to the general public via the annual Dam Short Film Festival.

The 16th Annual Dam Short Film Festival will be held February 13-16, 2020, in beautiful and historic Boulder City, Nevada, and will feature 120+ short films of varied style, subject, and origin.

Submission categories include Drama, Comedy, Documentary, Animation, Sci-Fi/Horror, Music Video, Student, and Nevada Filmmaker. Films from all years are invited to submit and there is no premiere requirement.

The Festival will feature an Awards Screening, Post-Awards Party, 16th Dam Mixer, Meet-n-Greet, and other parties and events.

Boulder City, home of the Hoover Dam, is 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip and only four hours from Los Angeles. Screenings will be held at the beautiful and historic 400-seat Boulder Theatre, located in charming downtown Boulder City.

Selected filmmakers will receive access to all screenings, parties and events, and will receive fine swag, hotel discounts, and a travel per diem.

The 16th Annual Dam Short Film Festival has eight award categories, all based on audience votes: Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Sci-Fi / Horror, Best Music Video, Best Nevada Filmmaker, and Best Student. In addition, there is one Best of the Fest award, also chosen by the audience. Award winners receive a one-of-a-kind award statuette made by a local artist. The Leslie Paige Award for Excellence in Short Filmmaking will be awarded by the festival board of directors; in addition to a special award statue, the Leslie includes a $1000 cash award. Award winners are determined by the festival board of directors and all decisions are final.

1. The Dam Short Film Festival welcomes short films with any content and in any style, whether it be live-action, documentary, or animation. Entries must have a total runtime of 40 minutes or less. The year of production does not matter and there is no premiere requirement.

2. The festival has eight award categories, all based on audience votes: Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Sci-Fi / Horror, Best Music Video, Best Nevada Filmmaker, and Best Student. In addition, there is one Best of the Fest award, also chosen by the audience. Award winners receive a one-of-a-kind award statuette made by a local artist. The Leslie Paige Award for Excellence in Short Filmmaking will be awarded by the festival board of directors; in addition to a special award statue, the Leslie includes a $1000 cash award. Award winners are determined by the festival board of directors and all decisions are final.

3. The Student category is open to students only. The submitted film must have been created while the film's director or directors were enrolled at a school, college, or university.

4. The Nevada Filmmaker category is open to any short that was created while the director or directors were residents of Nevada, or any short in which production primarily took place in Nevada.

5. An online screener may be submitted for festival consideration. Entrants may also provide an online link to a submission copy of the film. Selected films, however, must provide one of the following formats for exhibition: DCP (Digital Cinema Package) or a .mov (Quicktime) with sufficient quality to convert to a DCP. Official Selections must submit an exhibition copy by January 26, 2020. Electronic/online delivery of exhibition copies is encouraged. Physical copies of exhibition copies mailed on thumb drives or disk drives will be returned after the festival. Failure to submit an exhibition copy by January 26, 2020 (if your film is selected) will disqualify your film from all award considerations. Once a film is selected, it cannot be withdrawn from the festival.

6. Non-English language films must be subtitled with subtitles in English or contain minimal dialog.

7. Selected films will be notified by email on or close to January 1, 2020.

8. A press kit is not required for submission. Upon selection, filmmakers are highly encouraged to provide a high-quality digital stills from the film if they are not already available via FilmFreeway.

9. The festival programmers do not share festival selection committee comments or ratings with the public or submitting filmmakers. In fairness to all filmmakers, fee waiver requests will be declined.

10. The festival programmers may program selected films in any category or programming block deemed appropriate; after announcement, the festival schedule cannot be changed.

11. All submission fees must be in U.S. funds. Films submitted without the correct payment will be disqualified.

Overall Rating
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Networking
  • Brigitte James

    Dam Short is definitely a festival every Indy filmmaker should attend. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and found the networking and events attached to the festival to be beneficial. It was important to meet others and share our personal journeys and we certainly got that opportunity whether it be at the hotel or at the theater. To our surprise, The Boulder City community supported everyone and gave honest feedback. The community was clearly into theater arts and clearly supported in numbers. We left the festival feeling more loved and appreciated by the community and definitely want to make it an annual event to attend. We could not have asked for a better experience. Thanks Dam Short Team!! #RapQueen

    May 2019
  • JEFF ZAMPINO

    LOVE this festival. Best on in our area!

    March 2019
  • Frederique Nahmani

    So pleased our film was selected and premiered at DAM Short Film.

    March 2019
  • François Zaïdi

    It is hard to find the right superlative to express how wonderful this festival has been to me. I saw great films, met excellent fellow filmmakers in a very relaxed ambiance. Aubrey and Svet are fantastic hostesses, and there were a sense of feeling welcomed by all, and of course a DCP projection in a very fine theater. Congrats John LaBonney for leading such a festival.

    March 2019
  • Matias Vellutini

    Great festival with screenings in a beautiful theatre in Boulder City. The team is just amazing and had it all very well organised. It was great fun. It was an honour to have our film selected at this festival.

    March 2019