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 in series of 90-minute programs. ShortFest accepts submissions up to 40 minutes in duration, in the form of both fiction and non-fiction shorts. Categories include Animation, Documentary, Episodic Pilots, Live Action and Music Video.

Official Selection
The ShortFest Official Selection comprises the 330+ shorts—selected from the thousands of submissions received—projected theatrically in front of public audiences during the festival. The shorts are 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 concurrent to the festival, the ShortFest Film Market provides accredited industry, media and filmmakers with the opportunity to watch, learn and collaborate at our Forum, Marketplace and Video Library.

*** Each filmmaker who submits a short that is not selected to screen as part of the Official Selection will still receive 2 complimentary Market Badges, guaranteeing access to all regular screenings, the Video Library, the Filmmaker & Industry Lounge, the Awards Brunch and all panels, classes and roundtables at the Forum. ***

The ShortFest Forum consists of 3 days of roundtables, interactive events, panels, classes and pitching opportunities for attending filmmakers. Over 75 industry professionals lend their knowledge and expertise at this unique gathering.

Located adjacent to the Filmmaker Lounge, the ShortFest Marketplace offers designated table exhibition space to production/streaming/rental companies, talent agents, distributors and other short-form interested parties to advertise, promote and interact face-to-face with filmmakers and industry players.

Video Library
All submitted shorts—regardless of whether they are ultimately selected to screen in the Official Selection—are automatically included 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.

If you would like to opt out of the Video Library, please fill out this form:

ShortFest bestows over 25 competitive awards with prize money and services valued at over $70,000. 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 North American Short
Best U.S. Short
Bridging the Borders Award
Local Jury Award
Young Cineastes Award
Kids' Choice Award

Student Short Awards:
Best Student Animated Short
Best Student Documentary Short
Best Student Live-Action Short Over 15 Minutes
Best Student Live-Action Short 15 Minutes and Under

Programmer Awards:
Future Filmmaker Award
Best Emerging Student Filmmaker Award

Audience Awards:
Best Animated Short
Best Comedy Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Genre Short
Best LGBT+ Short
Best Live-Action Short
Best SHORT Short
Best Student 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 or 2020.
- Shorts must be no more than 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 could a documentary pilot or an animated music video, 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.

For a more detailed FAQ, please visit our website:

Overall Rating
  • Georgina French

    I was unable to attend the festival, but we were so thrilled that ‘Nothing Important’ was selected for this wonderful festival! Thanks very much for having us!

    September 2019
  • An amazing festival, everyone working there couldn't have been more welcoming and friendly. The volunteers were so lovely and everything ran like clock work. The forums were fantastic and the quality of films was super inspiring. And not forgetting the awesome parties and the new filmmaking friends I made. If you get the opportunity to go, do it you won't regret it!

    September 2019
  • rolf brönnimann

    Palm Springs was a wonderful experience, lots of great films, perfectly organized. The film makers are treated very kindly. There was great enthusiasm for our work.

    August 2019
  • Rebecca McCutcheon

    Our Director and AP had a wonderful time attending this festival.

    July 2019
  • patrick moser

    Superb in every way, a wonderful festival experience

    July 2019