IMDb qualifier's Independent Shorts Awards is a Los Angeles-based international film festival, with monthly live screenings at the Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, CA, along with a major annual awards event at the same venue every August.
Besides the premiere screenings at one of the most prestigious venues of Hollywood, Independent Shorts Awards offers a distribution deal to all award winners through its streaming TV channel, plus the exclusive official trophy (at the annual event) and other rewards.

Important note on COVID-19: Although currently postponed, all of the screenings and Q&As will be rescheduled for the first safe opportunity, merged in extended events. Until then, Independent Shorts Awards has optional streaming opportunities for who wants to join via ISA TV channel.
This means that our event dates designate, at this temporary stage, the day for the announcement of the award winners of each season. The respective live events will take place as soon as possible.
Everything else is working as usual.

Independent Shorts Awards is looking for independent projects from all genres, particularly low or no-budget ones, as well as from all countries, especially from those traditionally underrepresented in the global film industry.

Each round, the submitted projects are judged by a random team of invited experts from academia and film industry, against a high standard of merit. The monthly winners are automatically qualified to compete and to be screened at annual event. Some of them, selected by the programmers of Independent Shorts Awards, are publicly screened in Los Angeles at the end of each monthly round.

Every submission can add additional judging categories (via multiple submissions). The name(s) to be credited should be included in the cover letter or sent by email.

All entries are promoted through our social media and website with a featured page with synopsis, film stills and trailer.
For this purpose, we recommend that projects must be fully entered on FilmFreeway, including film stills, production pictures, downloadable poster, and trailer or teaser.

All projects officially selected in each season receive the Independent Shorts Awards laurel and custom digital certificate. Some of the award-winning films are screened every month at the Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, CA, and their crews invited to attend and participate in a public Q&A. Independent Shorts Awards accept mov and mp4 files that are converted in DCP with no fees.

Based on the highest rates, the pools of monthly Platinum and Gold Awards given during the annual cycle are eligible for the nominations for the annual awards. Our judges' committee can decide to nominate also other award-winning projects.

As an additional reward, the highest-rated projects from all categories receive a 12-month free subscription to IPitch and special discount waivers to submit to our associate film festivals.

Finally, the most competitive films are invited to join our exclusive streaming channel.

At the annual events, award winners receive also for free the official Independent Shorts Awards trophy, an exclusive piece of art made in crystal. These trophies can be ordered by any award winner from the monthly rounds.

Judges score quality and creativity of entries on a performance scale and winning entries are recognized and awarded monthly at four levels:

Platinum Awards, Gold Awards, Silver Awards, and Bronze Awards.
It can be given also Honorable Mentions and Outstanding Achievement Awards.

The awards by category:
Best Short Script
Best Narrative Short
Best Indie Short
Best Student Short
Best Animation Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Experimental Short
Best Microfilm
Best Music Video
Best Drama Short
Best Comedy Short
Best Dark Comedy Short
Best Thriller Short
Best Parody Short
Best Horror Short
Best Crime Short
Best Film Noir Short
Best Mystery Short
Best Fantasy Short
Best Sci-Fi Short
Best Western Short
Best Children Short
Best LGBTQ Short
Best Women Short
Best Screendance Short
Best Web Series/TV Pilot
Best Web and New Media
Best Mobile Short
Best Drone Short
Best First Time Director (Female)
Best First Time Director (Male)
Best Young Filmmaker
Best Director (Female)
Best Director (Male)
Best Student Director (Female)
Best Student Director (Male)
Best Acting Ensemble
Best Acting Duo
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Child/Young Actor
Best Child/Young Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Sound Design
Best Original Score
Best Original Story
Best Special FX
Best Visual FX
Best Trailer/Teaser

All genres are accepted with a maximum length of 55 minutes.
For student fees, it is mandatory the student status evidence (e.g copy of student card included in the project).

The films must include English subtitles (unless the spoken language is English).

By submitting your film, you agree that:
1. Independent Shorts Awards can use parts of your film (including trailer/teaser/film poster) for promotional purpose.
2. Entry fees are non-refundable.
3. You own all the rights to the film.
4. You cannot withdraw your submission after the official selection announcement of each round.

Independent Shorts Awards 2018 - 2021 © All Rights Reserved

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Been in this festival with a couple of films now -- always a great experience!

    March 2021
  • Alex Bush

    On behalf of the whole team of She, we are so grateful for your honorable mention of our work! Thank you for running a supportive, communicative festival. Highly recommend to all filmmakers!

    April 2021
  • Chris Oledude

    From Christopher R. Owens, President, CESO Enterprises, Inc. crowens@cesony.com: On behalf of CESO ENTERPRISES, INC., Alyssa Dann, Chris Oledude, and all of our production participants, I would like to compliment the organizers and operators of the Independent Shorts Awards. When we created our first music video (which was long enough to be a short film), we knew nothing about film festivals. With the help of FilmFreeway, we started researching. The categories were good. Everyone who contacted us on behalf of this festival was helpful. The submissions looked excellent.
    It was indeed exciting to discover this new world and to be so warmly welcomed by the inhabitants! To have GEORGE FLOYD: SAY THEIR NAMES selected for inclusion was an honor in and of itself. We were happy to “get the word out” and continue motivating people worldwide to consider the injustices embedded within our nation’s criminal justice system. After all, situations where a powerful segment of the population uses its law enforcement apparatus to abuse and oppress other segments of the population are recognizable in and common to many societies. So, to be awarded Finalist was thrilling and beyond what we expected! We recommend submitting your work to the Independent Shorts Awards and we certainly intend to participate again in the future. Peace and stay safe!

    April 2021
  • They say that the first time is the most meaningful. I am truly humbled by the honorable mention of Best Visual Effects and enjoyed the experience of participating in the Independent Shorts Awards Festival. There's still more to come but it's safe to say that the festival will continue to be a memorable and enjoyable experience. Thank you very much, it was certainly a worthwhile choice to submit to your prestigious event. Thank you as well on behalf of our Post Production team Q-Logic Entertainment.

    April 2021
  • Thank You To Independent Shorts Awards. This being my first go at Film Making I was so honored to receive 2 awards for our Film The 2020 Kid. We appreciate your consideration and highly recommend this Festival for future submitters as we will definitely submit again. Cheers!!!!

    March 2021