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 17th Annual Dam Short Film Festival will be held February 11-15, 2021, 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.

There will be award screenings, mixers, and parties.

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 will receive fine swag, hotel rooms, and a travel per diem.

The 17th 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 Audience Favorite award, also chosen by the audience. The Leslie Paige Award for Excellence in Filmmaking will be awarded by the festival board of directors; in addition to a special award statue, the Leslie includes a $1000 cash award. Audience votes are tallied 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. All film must be submitted through FilmFreeway - there are no exceptions. Links to films or other external submissions will not be excepted. Selected films 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. Selected films must provide an exhibition copy by January 26, 2021. Electronic/online delivery of exhibition copies is preferred. 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, 2021 will disqualify selected films 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 January 1, 2021.
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8. A press kit is not required for submission. Upon selection, filmmakers are highly encouraged to provide a high-quality digital stills, and poster 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.

12. Add FilmFreeway.com to your email list for you to receive email notices from us and it doesn't end up in your spam folder

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Ashleigh Flynn

    We originally submitted our music video here because the poster design caught our eye and WOW, it did not disappoint! Stunning location, wonderful small town vibe, big beautiful historic theater, awesome attendance including sell-outs, lines around the block and often some LA/Hollywood press, impressive lineup of films and filmmakers, thoughtfully organized screening blocks, well-run rowdy Q&As, engaged and energetic audiences, and above all else, the hospitality and warmth of the staff and volunteers is unrivaled… all the way down to the handwritten postcard you get in the mail thanking you for submitting. It was so special to have the opportunity to be a part of this. If your film gets in, definitely GO.

    March 2020
  • David Franklin

    I loved the Dam Short Film Festival. I've been in festivals all around the world over the course of my career, and this was definitely one of the most purely enjoyable experiences I've had as a filmmaker. The staff (especially the volunteers) are excellent, the venue is outstanding, the attendance is amazing, and the camaraderie among the filmmakers was truly exceptional. Keep up the great work, and I hope to get a chance to attend again in the future.

    March 2020
  • Michelle Yoon

    It was a great honor for my film to be shown at Dam Short Film Festival. They were very organized and hospitable. Special thanks to Mr. Keith Holloman and Mr. Aubrey Oiler who contacted me several times for a smooth screening. I hope the Dam Short Film Festival will be forever and ever.

    March 2020
  • Outstanding festival in every respect - terrific hospitality and excellent communication from the highly professional festival team, great opportunities to meet and interact with other filmmakers, fun and beautful setting, and a fantastic and historic venue. Highly recommend this festival and will certainly submit again!

    March 2020
  • Corrie Francis Parks

    This was such a fun festival. Every screening was well-attended and some even sold out in a very large theater with good quality projection and sound. People were very engaged and interested in talking to filmmakers. Communication with the festival staff and volunteers was easy and there were more snacks than even a flock or hungry filmmakers could devour! Highly recommend going to this lovely little Nevada town for the festival.

    February 2020