Pensacon proudly presents the eighth annual Pensacon Short Film Festival as one of its official events. As part of this convention, the films screened will celebrate science fiction, horror, fantasy, comic books, pop culture, animation, and documentaries (documentaries must be related to the previously stated genres).

Each Official Selection will be given two weekend passes to Pensacon (travel not included) to attend the screening, and filmmakers may participate in a Q&A session about their films immediately following the screening.

Over the past seven years, Pensacon has taken pride in screening some of the best short films from all around the world. In addition to the United States, we have had submissions from Australia, Canada, China, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and United Kingdom.

Awards include Best in Show (determined by Pensacon staff), Jury Selection (chosen by a panel of Pensacon guests), and Audience Choice (voted on by audience members during all screenings). Specific categories are also awarded, which may change from year to year depending on entries.

Pensacon would like to congratulate the following 2021 winners:

• BEST IN SHOW - "Monstrus Circus" written, directed, and produced by Jordan Inconstant
• JURY SELECTION - "It's Okay" written by Audrey Flegel; directed by Justin Giddings & Ryan Welsh; produced by Audrey Flegel, Stephen Laferriere, Heather Ensley, Rebekah Walendzak, Paul Culos, Michael Perez
• AUDIENCE CHOICE - "Gone" written by Sam Siversson; directed by William Jackson; produced by Simon Daniele
• BEST ANIMATED FILM - "Hero" written and produced by Aoze Luo, Ziqian Zhao, Huaiyuan XU & Xiantao Zhu; directed by Aoze Luo
• BEST DOCUMENTARY - "The Flip Side" written, directed and produced by William Stead
• BEST FANTASY FILM - "Pine Mountain Overnight" written and directed by Geena Marie Hernandez, produced by William Stead
• BEST HORROR FILM - "Shaken" written and directed by Chayse Banks, produced by William Stead
• BEST POP CULTURE FILM - "The Legend of Stella" written by Maren Curtis; directed by Aileen Sheedy; produced by Molly Preston
• BEST SCIENCE FICTION FILM - "Sundown Trail" written and directed by Luke Guidici; produced by Luke Guidici, Patrick Reasonover, Matthew Edwards, and Victoria Hill
• BEST SUPERHERO OR COMIC BOOK FILM - "Imperceptible" written and directed by Alexa Shackelford; produced by Alexa Shackelford and Franz Salvatierra

Trophies for 20201Best in Show, Jury Selection, and Audience Choice winners provided by GinGee Girls Art.

Entry Rules
• Films must have been produced after January 1, 2019.
• Films must have a running time no longer than 20 minutes. Films longer than 20 minutes will be disqualified.
• Categories—science fiction, fantasy, horror, superhero or comic book-related, pop culture, animation, and documentary. Documentary films must have topics in the previously stated categories.
• Films may contain “R-rated” content, but no pornography.
• It is permissible to enter films that have screened at other film festivals, but not commercially distributed.
• Films cannot have been previously screened at Pensacon.
• Filmmakers must retain the rights to characters, stories, and music. Fan films (i.e. fan-made versions of established properties) are not allowed and WILL BE DISQUALIFIED WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT OF ENTRY FEE.
• Unfortunately, Pensacon Short Film Festival is UNABLE TO OFFER FEE WAIVERS.
• Entry fees are paid for the purpose of being judged for participation in the Pensacon Short Film Festival and will not be refunded in the case of films not accepted, withdrawn, or disqualified from selection.

Selection Process
• Official Selections will be determined by Pensacon staff based on a number of factors, including but not limited to genre, content, quality of filmmaking, time allotment, and copyright ownership. All decisions are final.
• Pensacon staff and their families are ineligible to enter.
• All Official Selections will be announced via email to the filmmakers and on the Pensacon website and social media on December 11, 2021.
• Entry fees will be charged to all submissions, but do not guarantee acceptance into the film festival. Entry fees will not be reimbursed for films not selected, withdrawn, or disqualified.
• Pensacon reserves the right to change the category for submissions as deemed appropriate.

Additional Info
• It is recommended to upload the best quality of your film upon submission. However, an updated screener copy will be accepted until January 8, 2022. Resolution should be 1920x1080 with an audio bit depth of 16 bits.
• We recommend making the video file available to download, either through FilmFreeway, Vimeo, or YouTube (with password is fine). Otherwise, you will need to provide means for us to download the film such as through Dropbox or OneDrive no later than January 8, 2022.
• Publicity material such as stills and a movie poster are optional, but must be submitted no later than January 8, 2022.
• Non-English language films must be subtitled in English.
• All Official Selections of the Pensacon Short Film Festival will be shown as an official event of Pensacon during the weekend of February 18-20, 2022.
• Each Official Selection will be provided with two free weekend passes to Pensacon (travel not included) to attend the screening, and filmmakers may be invited to participate in a Q&A session about their films immediately following the screening.
• Admission to the screening will be free to anyone with a Pensacon weekend pass or day pass on the date of the screening.
• Due to the possible content of the films, anyone under the age of 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
• Posted schedule is subject to change.

Overall Rating
  • Nick Smith

    As part of a busy convention, this festival could easily be an afterthought. But thanks to the care and attention of the organizers and host, it is enjoyable with high quality entries and instructive Q&As. I look forward to seeing the Short Film Festival grow as the years go on!

    June 2021
  • Jennifer Trudrung

    Fantastic festival, wonderful communication, and great support for indie filmmakers. Thank you!

    May 2021
  • Ali Keller

    Great Festival to Work With!

    May 2021
  • Daniele De Muro

    Honoured to have my short film"Horizon" at this beautiful Festival. I hope to submit a new project next year.

    March 2021
  • Vanessa Powers

    Returning to Pensacon for the second time, the event has grown and attracted a higher caliber of films. WIth an “off-site” location about half mile away from the main convention hall, the film festival still was drawing full houses for the showings.

    Additional seats were even added to the venue to accommodate the people. The films were screened in one hour blocks with a half-hour break in between. The only real issue with the venue was the volume control. The movies were not balanced and it would go from one film almost being inaudible to the next deafening people. Luckily the staff started stepping in and adjusting each film as it started to please the audience.

    Speaking of the staff, they were all very helpful and courteous, along with being very enthusiastic about film. The way they treated the film makers at the screening was excellent, asking great questions and getting the audience excited and involved when one of the film makers was doing their Q & A.

    The films overall were surprising, in a good way, longer than what is seen in many other festivals. While a little out of the way, this festival is worth attending to see some high quality films in a nice section of downtown Pensacola Florida. This is an excellent festival to submit for 20 minute plus short films, and one that I recommend that you as the film maker attend for a more personal question and answer session.

    March 2020