The 2018 festival featured 93 films from 24 countries and included 8 films that went on to be shortlisted, four that became nominees and one that won an Oscar®.

In addition to film screenings, the 2019 event will host a script competition in partnership with Carnegie Screenwriters. Up to three scripts will be selected for seated readings by professional actors to be held during the November 2019 festival in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Three Juror’s prizes of $1,000 will be awarded to Best Narrative, Best Documentary, and Best Animated films. A $500 grand prize and a $250 runner-up prize will be awarded to the top two scripts. Up to three scripts will have seated readings by professional actors to be held during the festival.

Audience Awards are voted on for Best Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Comedy, and Best Student film and announced at Closing Night of the festival.

Pittsburgh Shorts offers travel assistance to accepted filmmakers on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pittsburgh Shorts is open to all independent filmmakers, including college and graduate level film students, as well as professionals in the field.

Eligible films must adhere to the following criteria:
• Must be a Pittsburgh premiere (no prior public Pittsburgh screening or TV broadcast)
• Films completed in 2017 or later
• Foreign language films must have English subtitles
• Length: forty (40) minutes or less

Eligible scripts must adhere to the following criteria:
• Screenplay submissions must be in English and be 15 pages or fewer.
• Entrant(s) must hold the right to perform, reproduce, display and distribute their work to enter the competition.
• The work must not have been previously optioned, sold or produced.

All applicants must submit via FilmFreeway. Entrants may submit more than one film. Each entry requires a separate entry form and fee.

The following info should be included as part of the FilmFreeway submission.

Film synopsis (50 word maximum), country of origin, languages spoken in film, type of film, length of film, screening and broadcast history, honors and awards, filmmaker’s contact information, biography (100 word maximum), and personal statement (100 word maximum).

Please submit online via FilmFreeway. Vimeo links are strongly preferred.

Entries are due by August 15, 2019

By June 15: $20
By July 15: $30
After July 15: $40

Payments must be made online with a credit card or mailed in the form of a U.S. bank check or money order. Personal checks from outside the U.S. are not accepted. Do not send cash.

Filmmakers will be notified of their selection status by September 13, 2019.

Selected films will need to be submitted as follows:

Preferred format: ProResHQ 422 QuickTime File

Also acceptable:
H264 QuickTime File (must be a maximum quality – 30mb/s or higher)
MP4 (must be a maximum quality MP4 – 30mb/s or higher)

• 1920 x 1080 Pixels
• 24 Frames Per Second (23.98fps is also accepted)
• 5.1 Audio (Stereo is also accepted)

The above-mentioned specs are preferred. If your project settings do not match, a master quality file of your project in its native frame-rate and resolution is acceptable.


Additional Terms and Conditions:
Film Pittsburgh is not responsible for late, lost, damaged or ineligible entries. Entrants will retain all ownership rights to their submitted films. By entering this festival, the entrant certifies that they have the legal right to submit and exhibit the film. The applicant is responsible and liable for any breach of rights or the law in the submission and exhibition process. Award winners will be required to sign an affidavit confirming that their short film is original and that he/she holds all rights. Affidavits of winners under 18 years of age at time of award must be countersigned by parent or legal guardian. All federal, state, and local taxes, and customs fees, when applicable, are the sole responsibility of the winners. The undersigned assumes responsibility to ensure the submission payment information is complete and correct and agrees to reimburse Film Pittsburgh for any additional fees incurred by incorrect submission payments, submission disputes, and credit card chargebacks. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Film Pittsburgh for any and all fees, claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving submission payment disputes, copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the content submitted and/or screened. By entering the festival, the entrant grants the right to publish or transmit portions of the film for the purpose of press or promotion, unless otherwise noted. Additionally, entry constitutes permission to use winners’ name, likeness, and voice for advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation. Void where prohibited.

Overall Rating
  • David Altrogge

    Such a fantastic festival! Incredible programing, friendly and helpful staff, will definitely be submitting next year!

    November 2019
  • Emily Skyle-Golden

    What a wonderful experience! From a beautiful venue that was literally a 3 minute walk from the Host Hotel, to a film-loving audience, longer than average Q&A opportunities, after parties every night, great filmmaker attendance, a filmmaker's lounge and a really genuine and supportive team - this is now one of my favorite festivals. With Programmer Paul Sloop, who also programs the Oscar Qualifying Cleveland International Film Festival, the films you screen with are INCREDIBLE - I found myself going to every block I could. Both Paul and Kathryn are huge supporters of filmmakers and truly love and appreciate the art of short films. Submit, attend and enjoy - I know I will be again!

    November 2019
  • Gerry Pass

    What an amazing well run film festival by good people who are truly in live with the craft of filmmaking. Delightful time.

    November 2019
  • Rylan Soref

    Incredibly impressed by this festival. From presentation to curation, filmmakers to staff, Pittsburgh is building a great platform for short filmmakers.

    November 2019
  • Jose Muniain

    Great Festival, very professional and great films.

    November 2019