We’re cultivating a platform for Micro Budget Indie Filmmakers to showcase their talents and compete within a class of their own.

Illume Short Film Festival is in search of rarefied content created from little to no budget. From Short Films to Episodics, Trailers to Music Videos and now Short Scripts, we welcome projects from all over the world. Entering year two, the festival will remain strictly online due to the uncertainty of 2021 conditions. Illume Short Film Festival will level the playing field by selecting projects based on the maximization of a limited budget plus all of the elements that make for a great project.

Awards & Prizes

Best Narrative Short Film - $2K Cash Prize & Certificate

Best Trailer - $500 Cash Prize & Certificate

Best Short Script - $500 Cash Prize & Certificate

SPARK Award - Certificate
People's Choice (An Award For Each Category) - Certificate

General Awards (An Award For Multiple Categories *BUT NOT ALL*):
Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Cinematography & Best Screenplay / Story

Honorable Mention - Certificate

Rules & Terms:

All submissions are screened and evaluated by the ISFF Preview and Selection Committee. All films received, which meet our criteria, will be screened online via our website, on the festival event day only.

Filmmakers may submit multiple projects. However, a separate submission fee will be required for each project.

In the event of a film or trailer being withdrawn, ISFF will not be liable to refund the fee. Refunds in any capacity will not be given.

ISFF will attempt to resolve any technical issues related to submission as much as reasonably possible. Ultimately the full weight and responsibility of submission technical matters fall on the submitor (Entrant).

Submission of your film or trailer to Illume Short Film Festival confirms that the festival has the permission to exhibit your film(s) or trailer(s) during the festival and /or at any other Festival event. Submission of a work implies that the Festival can employ moving image excerpts and reproduce stills of exhibition promotion. Credit will be given to any film-maker or screenwriter of such material is used in Festival promotion. The original copyright holder retains all rights to their work.

Eligibility Requirements:

Short Films must run a minimum 3 minutes with up to 30 minutes maximum run time inclusive of credits.

Episodic (TV or Webseries) & Docuseries may submit (1) a single episode or pilot minimum 3 minutes, 10 minutes maximum or combine multiple episodes up to 30 minutes maximum run time inclusive of credits.

Trailers may have up to 3 minutes maximum run time.

Music Videos must be between 1 to 7 minutes maximum run time.

Short Scripts can be of any genre up to 15 pages maximum.

Entrants must be 18 years old or older.

Competition is open to U.S. and International entries.

Films must be in the English language or contain English-language subtitles.
Films must have completed post-production on or after January 1, 2019.

ISFF has no premiere requirements for short film and trailer submissions. Content submitted to other festivals are still eligible and welcome with ISFF.

Films must NOT have had any previous exhibition on broadcast or cable

Films must NOT have been previously exhibited on, or licensed for exhibition on, any form of television prior to the scheduled ISFF online event date, July 17, 2021.

Employees of ISFF, Movie Lingo, Artistry ULTD and Malign Pictures are not eligible to win, but may participate in submitting content.

Submission Instructions:

Submit your film and information online via FilmFreeway.com. Your submission must include the following:

Film Synopsis

Poster and/or 2 Photo Stills from the film

We do not accept unfinished works. What you submit is what will be screened if accepted

Please note: Applicants will be notified of the festival’s decision no later than July 3, 2021.

If Your Film is Selected:

If your film is selected as a semi-finalist or finalist, you will be required to provide a private/unlisted Youtube or Vimeo link providing access to your film. This will allow us to promptly prepare our site for online streaming and all views will be credited to you and your account. We ask that you comply promptly following notification of your selection, if possible, but no later than July 10, 2021.

Those selected will be showcased, for all to see, on our website for 30 days ... July 17, 2021 to August 15, 2021. At the end of the 30 days all winners will be announced on the site. Cash prizes and trophies or certificates will be sent out within 14 days.

Overall Rating
  • Zandras L. Spivey Jr

    This Festival was amazing really glad I was able to be apart of this. Cant wait till next years festival.

    August 2021
  • Although the festival was online, I appreciated the kind and clear communication as well as the friendly attitude from the staff. I'm grateful to them for the opportunity to participate. And it was especially nice to see a festival honor trailers.

    January 2021
    Response from festival:

    We are honored and we thank you for elevating our festival library with your work! And we are especially thankful that you chose to take part again this year.

  • A wonderful festival overall. Happy to be a part of it this year , and I look forward to submitting for it again in the future .

    September 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much! We were amazed at the quality of your work with such a short time in the industry. Thank you for taking part and we look forward to your next submission!

  • Such a fantastic festival! We had so much fun, even though it was online It was still ultra interactive, and for our friends and family to be able to finally see the film no matter where they lived was awesome!

    September 2020
    Response from festival:

    So glad you enjoyed the festival as much as we enjoyed putting it on. We can't thank you enough for taking part and elevating our library! Hope to see more work from you next season.