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 Friday November 24 until Saturday December 2 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 €9-11, 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 and accommodation (depending on the country of origin), as well as an accreditation for the complete festival. Films outside of competition are paid a screening fee, or can request accommodation (places are limited), and an accreditation for the festival.
All selected directors can request 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.

EUROPEAN COMPETITION (Live-action fiction, animation & documentary)
- Jury Award: €1.000 donated by the festival
- European Film Awards nomination
- Academy Award™ Qualification
- 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 for best Flemish Short Film: Academy Award™ Qualifying

- Jury Award: €12.500 shooting kit hire from Camalot
- Audience Award: €2.000 purchasing prize from CANVAS + €5.000 post-production support from Sondr. and A-Sound.
- Jury Award for Best Debut: €1.500 donated by SABAM
- Jury Award for Best Actor: €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


- Follow category guidelines
- 50% of the production needs to be European (for the European Competition).
- European = Geographical Europe excluding transcontinental countries such as Russia or Turkey.
- Other types of short film (International non-competitive programmes**)
- Duration: max. 35 min.
- Finished after January 1st, 2022
- English subtitled (recommended even when dialogue is English)
- International entry deadline: August 15, 2023
- Flemish entry deadline: September 15, 2023
- No premiere requirements
- No online restrictions

We strongly advise submitting 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 regard 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.

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

Overall Rating
  • One of the best festival experiences I've ever had. The organization, the selection, people - wow! Saw some life changing films and met amazing filmmakers. Thank you so much Vincent and Kian for your hard work and love for short films and people who make them.

    December 2022
  • Gargantua Film Distribution

    Thanks so much for screening "Happy New Year, Jim" by Andrea Gatopoulos!

    December 2022
  • Qurratul Ain Saeed

    A wonderful festival with a friendly and warm atmosphere. Really grateful to have been selected among some amazing and inspiring works!!

    January 2022
  • Good experience, I which I could been there during the screenings. Thanks for selecting our shortfilm: ‘Covid Love’ in the comedy section.

    December 2021
  • Adam Starsmark

    Wonderful experience visiting this festival with my short. Very clear communication from early on, great hospitality and nice people working with the festival. Also a very high level of shorts in the competition. Inspiring!

    December 2021