Indie Short Fest is an LA-based international film competition with special red carpet screenings and Q&A all year round and an annual awards event.

Every month, Indie Short Fest establishes a comprehensive hierarchy of the most important films in the festival circuit, awarding a considerable number of projects in several different categories.
A MONTHLY breakdown, listed by IMDb, that allows you to be, at the same time, in a TRADITIONAL ANNUAL FESTIVAL competing for a spot among the world’s best short films of the year to be screened in Los Angeles.

Besides the red carpet screenings and Q&A all year round, Indie Short Fest qualifies directly the monthly top award-winning projects for the annual event, to celebrate in average over 80 films, the best of the year.

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All entries are judged by a random team of invited experts from academia and film industry against a high standard of merit and a very competitive acceptance rate.

All projects officially selected in each monthly round receive the Indie Short Fest official laurel and the custom certificate of achievement according to their final status in the competition.

At least 3 different judges score the quality and creativity of each entry. The highest rated entries are nominated for the awards of the respective categories and finally the winners are chosen.

Besides the main award for each category, it can be given also Outstanding Achievement Awards and Honorable Mentions.

Also, for each monthly round, Indie Short Fest decides and awards two overall winners (chosen from all categories) as Best Short (spoken in English) and Best Foreign-Language Short, plus 2 special jury mentions (Awards of Excellence).

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

Categories with no submissions meeting the requirements have no awards.

(the traditional annual format)

From the pool of nominees and awards winners of each cycle of 12 monthly rounds, Indie Short Fest shortlists the annual finalists (the top #150 of the year) and decides the 3 top nominations for each of the awardable categories.

All nominated projects are screened at the annual event which closes with the awards ceremony for the best of the year.

The event date in Filmfreeway designates the day of the announcement of the award winners of each monthly round.
The special screenings and Q&A as well as the annual awards have a different timeline that is announced through our website and social media outlets. All submitters are always kept in loop and in advance to be able to do the preparations to attend the events.

All genres are accepted with a maximum length of 60 minutes.
All short scripts should have a maximum of 60 pages.

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

For public screenings, the preferable accepted format is DCP. If not possible, we can play full HD mov and mp4 files also.

By submitting the film, the submitter agrees that:
1. Indie Short Fest can use trailer/teaser/film poster/stills or BTS for promotional purpose (but do not release, under any form or circumstances, the full film)
2. Entry fees are non-refundable.
3. The submitter owns all the rights to the film, meaning that the submitted work (i) does not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity, that (ii) does not constitute or include a defamation of any person or entity, and that (iii) its representatives have paid and will pay in full all license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from or associated with the exhibition of the Film at or in connection with the Festival. Also, that the submitter is duly authorized, on his own behalf and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights or interests (including, without limitation, intellectual property rights) in or relating to the film, to exhibit the film at the Festival.
4. The submitter cannot withdraw the submission after the official selection announcement. If submitter fails the observance of this rule, the festival has the right to proceed with any legal action at its sole discretion.
5. The information about the entries can be disclosed to Indie Short Fest associate film festivals.

For student fees, it is mandatory the student status evidence (e.g copy of student card included in the project).

(i) Indie Short Fest has two associate events only: Independent Shorts Awards and IndieX Film Fest. Any resemblance to other events is purely coincidental. We do not represent or can be represented by any other organization.

(ii) Also, we do not disclose any kind of information with third parties.

(iii) Finally, please be aware that we do not ask for or accept any kind of donations.

Indie Short Fest 2018-2023 © All Rights Reserved

Overall Rating
  • Joseph Sernio

    Great festival. Thank you all so much.

    January 2023
  • Seth Jarrett

    Very excited that my script NIGHTMARE was chosen as a finalist. This is a superb festival and I am honored to be a part of it. Continue your incredible support of independent film- it is appreciated by so many writers and filmmakers.

    January 2023
  • Nell Dashiell

    Thank you so much for acknowledging our short, GPS -- we feel well and truly honored. It's been a pleasure working with you, and we can't wait to return with our next venture!

    January 2023
  • Excellent communication! Always was great with keeping us in the loop. Thank you for the awards for our film "Fleeced"!

    December 2022
  • Carolann de Leon

    Great experience and direction. Thank you for the nominations for best costume design and best female director for The Girl from Guatemala. It is a wonderful boost of encouragement.

    December 2022