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 21, 2022. You will need to fill out and submit the form before June 3, 2022 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 MarketVideo 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 2021 or 2022.
- 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
  • Jose Manuel Velez

    Palm Springs was an amazing festival, and a great way of getting off the pandemic blues. Watching dozens of shorts a day really reignites your brain to keep creating, and Palm Springs offers a wide variety of films that was really surprising. It was also our first time showing our film in a big screen, so it was definitely a significative moment. Hope to return in the future!

    November 2021
  • Ricardo Varona

    Felt so taken care of by the festival staff. Truly a festival that goes above and beyond for the filmmakers. Absolutely stunning work back to back to back.

    Hope to be back soon!

    August 2021
  • Lincoln Robisch

    Amazing festival! Fantastic curation and an incredibly welcoming staff!

    July 2021
  • Isak Kohaly

    The ShortFest team was very responsive, very nice and just a pleasure to work with. The festival was naturally in reduced capacity compared to non-Covid years but they still did their best to make everyone feel welcome. I met a ton of amazing people and it was a great experience.
    Thank you very much!

    July 2021
  • Great festival! Super organized with an amazing team. Very responsive. All the films were of high production quality which was really impressive. I met a lot of great filmmakers there, but what was the most helpful was the industry events: one-on-ones with people in the industry, or the Agents/Managers round table where you get 15 min of their time to chat. I'd highly recommend signing up for the filmmaker events if you go. I can't wait to play here again!

    July 2021