Oakland Short Film Festival is an event founded by filmmakers for filmmakers.

We aim to create a festival where independent short films of all genres and countries of origin get the recognition they deserve, where filmmakers can come together and celebrate each other's work, at a fully sold-out cinema, filled with cinephiles.

Short films have difficulties reaching larger audiences, which is why Oakland Short Film Festival's goal is to showcase the best indie short films of the past years to a large crowd. We aim to show people the high quality of short films, and how they provide a unique film experience, which can be just as rewarding and interesting as watching a feature-length film.

The festival program will consist of international short films of different genres. All styles, genres and languages are welcome. Our team of judges, who come from filmmaking and film criticism backgrounds, will select the most diverse screening selection.

We will award winners in the following categories:

Best Short Film
Best Documentary Short
Best Drama Short
Best Comedy Short
Best Experimental Short
Best Animation Short
Best Director
Best Scriptwriter
Best Student Short Film

The winners will be announced at the festival, after the screening, and online the next day.

✓ All films must be submitted in English or with English subtitles (if in a different language).

✓ All films must have been made in or after 2022.

✓ Short films must not exceed 45 minutes.

✓ Filmmakers are responsible for sorting out the copyright on their own materials.

✓ By submitting to us, you give us consent and right to screen your film in front of a live audience, and, under special circumstances, online screening.

✓ Nominations: These are all the films that have been nominated for an award in a category. Not all nominated films will be screened.

Official Selection: These are all the nominated films selected for screening, which will be notified via email. If you received a Nomination email, but no Official Selection email, it means your film will not be screened, but is still a contender for an award in its category.

Award Winners: Chosen from the Nominations (which includes the Official Selection).

✓ We may promote clips from your film on social media, based on the press kits you provide us with.

✓ We retain the right to change the date and venue of the festival under special circumstances. All filmmakers will be informed about any changes through email and our online platforms.

✓ We place no restrictions on your work in terms of premiere status or whether your work has been made available online.

✓ We do not accept partial screeners, trailers, or screener links that require access other than password protected links.

✓ Any technical issues with the submitted films are 100% the responsibility of the filmmakers. If, at the time of judging, your video file doesn’t work or doesn’t have English subtitles (if in a language other than English), it will be automatically rejected, without a refund. Please contact the festival team ASAP if there are any issues with the submission process, and a solution will be found.

✓ We cannot provide refunds.

✓ If you have submitted your project in the previous year, please do not resubmit the same project to the current edition.

✓ By submitting to us you agree to our terms and conditions and to receiving marketing newsletters and discounts about film festivals in the form of emails. We will never sell your information to third parties.

✓ We reserve the right to update our terms and conditions.

Overall Rating
  • Wonderful, thank you for the huge honor of playing my film "Americanized" and for awarding us Best Short Film!

    May 2022
  • Michael Grant and Stephanie Katherine Grant

    Thank you Oakland Shorts for an incredible film festival! The entire team is very responsive, kind, and attentive to make sure the festival goes smoothly. Even though the festival was held online, we felt very involved in the screenings and events. We are so honored to have won Best Cinematography for our short film KEPLEY!

    May 2022
  • It‘s an honor to be part of the festival!

    April 2021
  • Joey Clift

    Good festival! Good communication! Can't recommend enough!

    April 2019
  • Deborah Craig

    Thanks for accepting my film, but it felt strange for the film then not to screen. Maybe have a two night festival next time. Still keep up your good work.

    April 2019
    Response from festival:

    Dear Deborah,

    Thank you for your feedback. After a huge interest in our first event, we are working on extending the festival.
    The programming process is complicated, and our panel's decisions are based not only on merit but a variety of factors, such as overall compatibility with the rest of the selection. We wish to celebrate as many great filmmakers as we can in each category, which is why we also nominate and award films that for different reasons, might not be selected for screening. Please see our rules and terms for the differences between Nomination and Official Selection or contact us via email, we’re happy to answer any questions you might have about the process.

    Kind regards,
    The Festival Team