Leuven International Short Film Festival is the yearly place to be in December for film lovers and professionals in Belgium and abroad. As Academy Award Qualifying festival since 2012, BAFTA recognised since 2016 and European Film Award nominating since 2017, it's the main Belgian gateway to the most renowned award ceremonies worldwide.

The festival will take place from Saturday December 5 until Saturday December 12 in the beautiful medieval city of Leuven. The festival programme consists of more than 100 screenings in 4 venues. The whole festival takes place at one location, with screening venues, workshop rooms, festival bar and kitchen only a few metres apart, creating a unique cosy atmosphere.
The programme contains live action fiction films, animated shorts, short films for children, non-narrative shorts , VR and yearly changing thematic compilations. Every year, the festival screens more than 200 short films from all over the world, divided into more than 25 different compilations.
Beside the film programme, the festival organises film concerts, live music, parties, dinners, masterclasses, workshops and panel discussions, giving film professionals from Belgium and abroad inspiring moments of learning and networking possibilities.

_____Why Pay a Fee? Return for filmmakers_____

With our fee at only €7-9, its sole purpose is enabling us to treat your film fairly. Without this fee, we would have too many submissions and we would not be able to give them all our full attention.

As a festival, we're proud to say our competition is 100% selected from paying submissions. We don't go prospecting for films at other festivals and give every film the same fair chance. We don't look at the festival screening history of the submitted films or the previous works of the directors. Everyone starts with a blank slate and we only judge the films based on their own merits.
Waivers are only given to filmmakers that were previously selected at the festival.

Directors selected for competition are invited and receive travel (depending on the country of origin), three nights of hotel, meals and accreditation for the complete festival. Films outside of competition are payed a screening fee, or can request accommodation (places are limited), meals and accreditation at the festival.
All selected directors receive fee waivers for next editions of the festival.

The festival's focus on directors makes it a great place to get to know colleagues and present your film to the broad audience present in Leuven.

- One short film in competition will be nominated for the European Film Awards

- Jury Award: €1.000 donated by the festival + Academy Award™ Qualifying
- Audience Award: €1.000 purchasing prize from Dalton Distribution
- Peer Award: selected directors pick their favourite film, with a spot in the next year's jury as the prize.

- Jury Award: €12.500 shooting kit hire from Camalot + Academy Award™ Qualifying
- Audience Award: €2.000 purchasing prize from CANVAS + €10.000 post production support from Sondr. and A-Sound.
- Jury Award for Best Debut: €1.500 donated by SABAM
- Jury Award for Best Actor/Actress: €1.000 donated by Playright+
- Jury Award for best Cinematography: €1.000 donated by Camalot.

- Audience Award: €2.000 purchasing prize from CANVAS

- Jury Award: €7.500 shooting kit hire from Camalot + La Guarimba 10 day residence programme in southern Italy


- Follow category guidelines
- Live action fiction (European* Competition)
- Other types of short film (International non-competitive programmes**)
- Duration: max. 35 min.
- Finished after January 1st, 2020
- English subtitled (recommended even when dialogue is English)
- International entry deadline: August 15, 2021
- Flemish entry deadline: September 15, 2021
- No premiere requirements
- No online restrictions

We strongly advice to submit your film earlier than the official deadline.

The festival will not confirm the receipt of submissions. We kindly ask you to refrain from calling or emailing us to confirm the receipt of your material. All applicants will be notified via e-mail about the selection or rejection of their film at the end of October. No earlier feedback is given.

If the original language of the submitted film is other than English, the film must be subtitled in English. We also require English subtitles for Dutch language films. Your film will not be considered if not subtitled in English (if not English spoken)., but even English spoken films are encouraged to provide English subtitles.

The selection committee’s decision to select or reject a film is final. No correspondence will be held in regards to this decision. If a film is selected for one of the competition programmes of Leuven International Short Film Festival, it can no longer be withdrawn.

* Geographical Europe excluding transcontinental countries such as Russia or Turkey.

** The international non-competitive programmes consist of:
- animation
- short films for children (without dialogue)
- non-narrative short films
- VR
- comedy shorts
- thematic programme: TBA
- other thematic programmes TBA

Overall Rating
  • Rocky Grispen

    For the moment we have 27 selections worldwide, but Leuven was the only festival where we could see the movie on the big screen in the theatre. Thank you for that experience. They take really good care of the filmmakers! See you next year!

    February 2021
  • Hans Vannetelbosch

    Leuven has always been a great festival and in the age of online editions their format was a shining example of how to do it right! The live streaming of the films followed by interviews with the makers was almost like being on a live talk show. Excellently done! As always there was a great selection of diverse short films of which I am very honored to have been a part of.

    January 2021
  • Terratreme Filmes

    Great Festival, with great program and communication!

    January 2021
  • Rani None

    The organisators of the festival were very kind and communicated everything on a very clear manner.

    The Livestreaming and interviews did go very smoothly in my opinion.

    A very nice and cosy festival.

    January 2021
  • We had a wonderful time at Kortfilm Festival Leuven. Despite the awful Corona situation, Vincent and the team managed to create an amazing alternative version of the festival where we felt warm and welcome.
    It's an honour to be part of this years edition!

    January 2021