Leiden Shorts was established in 2009 as a new platform for short films, and today is the second-largest short film festival in the Netherlands. The festival aims to embrace diversity and inclusivity, not only in culture but also in discipline, medium and expression, providing a crucial space for new talent, different stories to be heard, and various audiences to participate. Every year, Leiden Shorts receives over 1200 submissions from over 70 countries around the world and screens approximately 100 films annually.

Leiden Shorts consists of three competitions and corresponding awards which are decided by a professional jury:

International Competition, “Best International Film Award”
National Competition, “Best National Film Award”
International Student Competition, “Best International Student Film Award”

Additionally, there is an “Audience Award” which can be awarded to any film in the programme and is voted by the audience.

Each award includes a cash prize.


Films are eligible for submission provided that they fulfil the following conditions:
Completed after January 1, 2023
Maximum duration of 30 minutes
Any genre is accepted (fiction, animation, documentary, experimental, etc)

Films that are freely available to the public online are not eligible.

Films that have had a limited online festival screening are still eligible. Leiden Shorts may make an exception in specific cases.

Films that have previously been submitted and rejected are not eligible to be considered for the festival again.

Works in progress are accepted, as long as they are submitted before the deadline and will be completed before March 2024.


You can submit your film via one of the following platforms:

The complete entry form must be filled out.

Please provide us with complete credits and promotional materials (stills, trailer, press kits) via submission.


The submitted films will be reviewed by Leiden Shorts Programming Team who will select the films for the following competitions:
International Competition, “Best International Film Award”: all films that fulfil the above conditions (“Eligibility”) and are not Dutch productions are eligible.

National Competition, “Best National Film Award”: only Dutch productions are eligible for this competition.

International Student Competition, “Best International Student Film Award”: only student films can be selected for this competition.

The winning films are selected by a professional jury.

All selected films are automatically also eligible for the “Audience Award” in addition to any other competition for which they might be selected. The “Audience Award” is voted for by the audience.

All awards include a financial award given to the filmmaker(s).


International Competition & National Competition

Early Bird Deadline: November 6, 2023 - €10,50 submission fee (€9,00 via Leiden Shorts website)

Regular Deadline: December 17, 2023 - €13,50 submission fee (€12,00 via Leiden Shorts website)

Last Chance Deadline: January 8, 2024 - €20,00 submission fee (€17,50 via Leiden Shorts website)

International Student Competition

We offer discounted submission fees for the International Student Competition:

Early Bird Deadline: November 6, 2023 - €6,00 submission fee (€5,00 via Leiden Shorts website)

Regular Deadline: December 17, 2023 - €9,00 submission fee (€8,00 via Leiden Shorts website)

Last Chance Deadline: January 8, 2024 - €15,50 submission fee (€13,50 via Leiden Shorts website)

Please upload your valid student card as an attachment when using this discount.



Digital file (ProRes or H264) with embedded English subtitles or with subtitles in a separate .srt file. The festival will make the DCP of the films on location.

All films need to be available for an English-speaking audience (either spoken language or subtitles need to be in English). Films with strong dialects may require English subtitles, even though the film is English-spoken.

3 High-Resolution Film Stills

Film Poster (digitally)


Synopsis & Credits

The data and pictures provided through the submission will be used for diverse publications (programme, trailers, website, and social media). By submitting your data you agree to their usage by Leiden Shorts for promotional purposes only. In case no promotional material is provided, we can use excerpts from the film for promotional purposes.

The selected films will be stored in the archive of the festival but will not be screened again unless agreed upon with the rightsholder of the film.


The films’ screening copies must be sent to the festival no later than April 30th 2024.


Leiden Short will consider granting waivers or discounts to filmmakers who cannot afford the submission fee due to lack of funding opportunities. In such cases, please email us at submissions@leidenshorts.nl, and explain your situation in detail.


By submitting a film to Leiden Shorts the submitter accepts the terms and conditions. Leiden Shorts has the right to cancel the submission if the film does not conform to the rules. Once the film is submitted, there will be no refund of the submission fee.

A selected film cannot be withdrawn from the programme after accepting the selection invitation.

By submitting a film, the submitter guarantees they have cleared all intellectual property rights needed for screening during Leiden Shorts and shall indemnify the festival against all third-party liabilities.

Leiden Shorts is entitled to consider films for another competition that the one originally submitted to.

The festival has the right to invite films to be submitted or considered.

The management of the festival can decide on exceptions to the regulations.

For any questions regarding submissions, please email: submissions@leidenshorts.nl.

Overall Rating
  • Leiden has been an endearing experience. A festival that takes care of the films, that accompanies them, that generates spaces for debate and reflection, that understands the importance of documentaries and offers avenues for their dissemination. We are very grateful to have been part of its official selection 2022!

    June 2022
  • Gisela Chicolino

    A festival like it is really a necessary one. Please keep working on generating this exquisite programming for the audiences.

    September 2021
  • We from ECHO had a very warm welcome from the Leiden Shorts team. Located in a central spot in beautiful Leiden. It was really great to be able to see our own film with an audience, it was our first live screening in the Netherlands because of COVID.
    Thank you for screening our film! Love, the ECHO team

    September 2021

    A lovely festival with strong films carefully selected. Totally Recommended

    June 2019
  • Thomas Ash

    Beautifully curated films, warm festival staff and volunteers, great venues, and welcoming hospitality all in a charming city! The communication with the festival was amazing and many filmmakers were in attendance from all over the world which provided great networking opportunities and fascinating post-screening discussions. It was an honour to screen at LISFE, and I look forward to attending a future edition!

    May 2019