The Palm Springs International ShortFest is one of the largest showcases of short-form cinema in North America. The seven-day competitive festival is Academy Award, BAFTA and Goya-qualifying, screening annually more than 330 shorts from approximately 60 countries. ShortFest accepts submissions up to 40 minutes in duration, in the form of both fiction and non-fiction shorts. Categories include Animation, Documentary, and Live Action.

Official Selection
The ShortFest Official Selection comprises the 330+ shorts curated thematically into programs of approximately 90 minutes in duration which aim to bring together a diverse cross-section of contemporary cinema. Distinct works from filmmakers of various international backgrounds come into conversation with one another in unexpected and exciting ways. ShortFest maintains an inclusive attitude toward presenting short-form moving image work, with a variety of genres and forms converging throughout the Official Selection.

Film Market
Running concurrently to the festival, the ShortFest Film Market provides accredited industry, media and filmmakers with the opportunity to watch, learn and collaborate.

***Each filmmaker who submits a short is eligible to receive access to screenings, panels, classes and roundtables at the Forum, regardless of selection outcome. ***

The ShortFest Forum consists of roundtables, interactive events, panels, classes and networking opportunities with industry professionals who lend their knowledge and expertise at this unique gathering.

First-place winners in the Non-student Animation, Non-student Documentary and Non-student Live-Action categories, as well as the Best of the Festival Award winner will automatically become eligible to submit their shorts to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscars consideration.

Oscar® Qualifying Awards:
Best of the Festival Award
Best Animated Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Live-Action Short Over 15 Minutes
Best Live-Action Short 15 Minutes and Under

Special Jury Awards:
Best International Short
Best U.S. Short
Local Jury Award
Young Cineastes Award
Best Comedy Short
Best LGBTQ+ Short
Best Midnight Short

Student Short Awards:
Best Student Animated Short
Best Student Documentary Short
Best Student International Short
Best Student U.S. Short

- Completed entry on FilmFreeway
- Digital screener – Vimeo link (preferred) or Secure Online Screener
- Submissions must be uploaded and submitted no later than the deadline date to qualify for the respective submission fees
- Submission fee paid

- Shorts must have been completed in 2019, 2020 or 2021.
- Shorts must be no more than exactly 40 minutes in length, credits included.
- If selected, shorts must be available for projection in DCP.
- All non-English-language shorts must have English subtitles.

Q: Are student shorts eligible for non-student awards?
A: Yes, student shorts are eligible for all awards, with the single exception of the Future Filmmaker Award.

Q: Do you accept works-in-progress?
A: ShortFest accepts work-in-progress cuts that are picture locked and include an opening slate listing what still needs to be completed (color-correction, sound mix, special effects, etc.). Please note that we will only review one cut.

Q: Do you accept shorts that are already available online?
A: Yes! ShortFest does not require a premiere status, so online shorts are eligible.

Q: If my short could fit into two categories, such as an animated documentary, how do I choose which category to submit to?
A: Submit to the category that you feel best represents your short. If accepted into the Official Selection, it is likely that the short will be included in all the applicable categories.

Overall Rating
  • Ariane Boukerche

    Great Film Festival. Thank you very much.

    November 2020
  • Joana Vogdt

    We celebrated the world premiere of our short film at Palm Springs International Short Fest, that due to corona had to take place online.
    I was amazed about how well the festival handeled the extraordinary situation. They created online possibilities to network, that were incredibel. All over one of the most pleasant and best organised festival that I've been to. Thanks for all that!

    July 2020
  • Ria Pavia

    Enormous kudos to these folks who were somehow able to provide an intimate, celebratory, creative environment for a festival newbie like myself ... virtually! After collectively mourning the fact that we couldn't gather in person (due to the pesky pandemic), we were provided dozens of exciting opportunities to learn and connect - forums, social media groups and my personal favorite - Happy Half-Hours. Getting to "see" filmmakers from all over the globe was inspiring. We shared stories, lifted each other up and made plans to gather when it's safe to do so again. We saw some incredible work and were eager to discuss and applaud our fellow filmmakers. We were all so sad when the week wound down and are grateful to have been provided contact information for the other selected filmmakers, as well as recordings of many of the forums. We "pinkie promised" to convene at the festival next year and are grateful to be invited by the organizers. I truly think being forced into this virtual platform was a blessing in many ways.

    July 2020
  • Ellie Wen

    An absolutely wonderful experience, despite it being virtual this year. The festival did an incredible job creating a sense of community among the filmmakers and providing us with a forum filled with fantastic speakers. Everything was very professionally run and the communication was great. Thank you for a wonderful experience!!

    July 2020
  • Natasha Ngaiza

    What a weird year for a film festival! I was so disappointed about not being able to go to Palm Springs in person, but the programmers/organizers made the Virtual Fest a great experience. With the regular virtual happy hours and the closed Facebook group, I felt like I got to "know" some filmmakers, and really felt a part of the community. It was easy to access the films and I had a great time watching them. Thank you!

    July 2020