UPDATE: In light of Corona-virus, we want to assure our filmmakers that we are fully committed to run our events and honor all filmmakers who have submitted to us from around the world.

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.

Our venue, The New Parkway theater is a community-centered cinema and pub located in Oakland’s Uptown district, a place where you can enjoy great movies with good food and drinks in cozy couches. We believe that a great venue is the first step in creating a truly valuable film festival, it's the best way to reach the right audience and to provide the best possible festival experience for both the filmmakers and the festival-goers.

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 Writer
Best Cinematographer
Best Student Short Film

All winners will receive certificates, VOD distribution deals and other treats!

The winners will be announced at the festival, after the screening, and online the next day. The evening will be closed with a networking party.

✓ 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 2019.

✓ Short films must not exceed 30 minutes.

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

✓ By submitting to us, you give us the right to screen your film in front of a live audience at The New Parkway Theater.

✓ 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.

✓ 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 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
  • 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

  • Ashley Brim

    We really enjoyed sharing our film at Oakland Short Film Festival! The other films were excellent and well-programmed, the venue was great, and the audience was full. Zsuzsanna was quick to reply to emails and very well-organized. Thanks for having us!

    April 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Ashley for your kind words, it was great to have you at the festival!

  • Ellie Wen

    It was such an honor to be a part of the first year of the Oakland Short Film Festival! My subject Anita and I had a great time watching the other films in this wonderfully curated program and meeting the other filmmakers and audience members. The festival staff were a pleasure to work with and the whole night was run very smoothly and professionally. The packed audience in the New Parkway Theater created a wonderful, cozy atmosphere and fun vibe. Can't wait for next year!

    April 2019
    Response from festival:

    Lovely to meet you Ellie, and hope to see you next year, too!