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, annually screening hundreds of 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 approximately 300+ 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.

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.

Video Library
All submitted shorts—regardless of whether they are ultimately selected to screen in the Official Selection—will be invited to participate in the ShortFest Video Library. The Video Library consists of secure viewing stations open to accredited sales agents, distributors and other industry representatives. A short's inclusion in the Video Library is not considered a public screening and does not affect a short's premiere status. Please note that the digital screener you include in your submission will be the one available to view at the Video Library.

Q: Do you accept works-in-progress?
A: ShortFest accepts work-in-progress cuts that are picture locked and includes 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 films that are already available online?
A: Yes! ShortFest does not require any kind of premiere status, so online films 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.

Q: Are student shorts eligible for non-student awards?
A: Yes, student shorts are eligible for all awards.

Q: What is the Video Library?
A: The Video Library runs concurrently with ShortFest, as part of the Film Market, and consists of thousands of titles available for digital viewing to accredited sales agents, distributors and other industry representatives.

Q: Does participating in the Video Library affect my premiere status?
A: No. The Video Library isn’t considered a public screening so it won’t affect a film's premiere status.

Q: How do I opt-in to the Video Library?
A: All films that are officially submitted to ShortFest via FilmFreeway will receive an invitation to have their film participate in the Video Library. The invitation will be included in FilmFreeway’s notification message, which you will receive on our before our notification date of May 19, 2023. You will need to fill out and submit the form before June 2, 2023 for your film to be included in the Video Library.

Q: How do I opt out of the Video Library?
A: You don’t need to do anything to opt-out of the Video Library. The Video Library consists only of films that have opted in to it.

Q: Is the Video Library the same as Official Selection?
A: No. The Video Library includes films (Official Selection and non-Official Selection) that were submitted to the festival for consideration and have decided to opt into the market. There are no laurels for participating in the Video Library.

Q: Can I buy tickets to the Film Market Video Library?
A: No. The Film Market is open only to accredited ShortFest industry.

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

Q: Are student shorts eligible for non-student awards?
A: Yes, student shorts are eligible for all awards.

- 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 2022 or 2023.
- 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.

Overall Rating
  • Lennert Madou

    Thank you Palm Springs! This is a wonderful festival in every way!

    August 2022
  • Jore Janaviciute

    Thank you, Palms Springs International Shortfest for selecting our film "Parking Lot". I am so happy that I had a chance to visit the festival in person. I have never been in a festival where everybody would be so hospitable and supportive! This festival is exceptional, because the program is really big and a lot of filmmakers from all over the world come there with their films, so this offers a lot of networking opportunities as well as an opportunity to make friends.

    July 2022
  • Sean Addo

    This festival is amazing. It's for filmmakers and truly the advancement of their careers and enriching of their network. Not to mention the competition is so strong. The movies are carefully curated for every type of film lover. I'm still kind of blown away.

    July 2022
  • Dylan Boom

    truly one of the best festivals out there. fantastic experience all around, the staff is great and the environment everyone creates is so friendly to filmmakers. we love shorts fest !

    July 2022
  • Allen Cordell

    Had an amazing experience at the Palm Springs ShortFest with my short The Lizard Laughed. From the one-on-ones to all the amazing forums, late night hangouts and film screenings, it's clear that the organizers go above and beyond to provide special networking opportunities for filmmakers. Can't recommend this festival enough!

    July 2022