Pittsburgh Shorts and Script Competition presents the best contemporary short films from around the world and around the corner. The festival has gained a reputation for curating an extremely high caliber of films, including those that have gone on to be Oscar nominees and winners. With a well-respected short script competition and new filmmaker conference, Pittsburgh Shorts has become a destination festival for creators from around the world.

Pittsburgh Shorts includes well-attended screenings, thoughtful filmmaker Q&As, live script readings by professional actors, generous cash awards, and networking events including a well-stocked filmmakers’ lounge and super fun after parties!

The festival also includes a can’t-miss filmmakers' conference with talks, workshops, and panel discussions led by industry pros.

Our 2021 festival was presented in person and we plan to do the same in 2022. However, due to the ever-changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will remain flexible. Should circumstances require us to present the 2022 festival virtually, we will update this listing and contact filmmakers by early October.

We hope you’ll submit your project and experience the festival other filmmakers have raved about. As a previous attendee said, "The Pittsburgh Shorts festival is one of the most professionally and thoughtfully run festivals I have had the pleasure of attending as a filmmaker and guest. Having had films in other festivals, including Sundance and Tribeca, I can confidently say that Pittsburgh Shorts is run as well as those, and with the character of Pittsburgh. The staff did an incredible job of attracting real talent to submit and attend. They kept the filmmakers networking all day and night, and we closed the bars with our after parties each night.”

You won’t want to miss it!

The festival culminates in a ceremony where prizes of $1,000 each and beautifully designed trophies are awarded for Best Narrative, Best Documentary, and Best Animated films as determined by our diverse jury of industry experts, and a Programmer's Choice award.

Our script competition showcases the top four scripts with live staged readings by professional actors and awards these prizes:
• First place - $500 and a 1-hour consultation with a Roadmap Writers executive of their choice
• Second place - $250
• Third place - $150
• Fourth place - $100
And all writers who submit a script to the competition will receive a free educational webinar from Roadmap Writers.

Audience Awards are voted on for Best Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Comedy, and other categories and announced on closing night.

The winner of our Filmmakers’ Conference Pitch Competition receives three free pitches with written or verbal feedback from an executive of their choice from Roadmap Writers.

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. Please note: Film Pittsburgh does not pay screening fees for short films.

Eligible films must adhere to the following criteria:
• Must be a Pittsburgh premiere (no prior public Pittsburgh screening)
• Films must have been completed in 2020 or later
• Foreign language films must have English subtitles
• Length: forty (40) minutes or less
• Single episodes of web series ARE eligible
• Films that are available online ARE eligible (must meet above criteria)

Eligible scripts must adhere to the following criteria:
• Screenplay submissions must be in English and be 15 pages or fewer. SCRIPTS OVER 15 PAGES WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
• Entrant(s) must hold all rights to perform, reproduce, display, and distribute their work
• The work must not have been previously optioned, sold, or produced

Entrants may submit more than one film or script. Each entry requires a separate submission form and fee.

Please include the following as part of your submission:
• Film synopsis (50 word maximum)
• Country of Origin
• Languages spoken in the film
• Type of film (Live Action, Documentary, or Animation)
• Length of film
• Prior Festival Screenings and Broadcast History
• Honors and Awards
• Filmmaker contact information
• Short Director’s Bio (100 word maximum)
• Short Personal Statement (100 word maximum)

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

Entries are due by August 15, 2022

Payments must be made via FilmFreeway at the time of submission.

Filmmakers will be notified of their selection status by October 24, 2022.

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.

Questions? Email us at: Info@FilmPittsburgh.org

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 and scripts. Scripts over 15 pages will not be read or considered. By entering this festival, the entrant certifies that they have the legal right to submit and exhibit the film and/or script and acknowledge the understanding that Pittsburgh Shorts does NOT pay screening fees to films that are selected. 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 or short script is original and that he/she/they hold 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 or script for the purpose of press or promotion, unless otherwise noted. Additionally, entry constitutes permission to use winner's name, likeness, and voice for advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation. Void where prohibited.

Overall Rating
  • Jonathan Coleman

    This was our first festival for THIS FEELS RIGHT, and it was truly an honor to be selected - everything was perfectly curated, from the films to the events and even meals. What a remarkable fest. Cannot wait to apply again next time!

    January 2022
  • Milethia Thomas

    Pittsburgh Shorts has to be one of the best festivals for writers and film-makers to submit work to. At every stage, from submission to the end, communication was excellent; I was never in any doubt about the timeline for what was going to happen. Very professional. There is a real sense that they champion both writers and filmmakers of the short form. I live in England, but in the future, Film Pittsburgh would be a first-choice festival to attend. As writers, we write in isolation most of the time, and to receive an accolade for the work we pour our creativity into is wonderful - so thank you, Kathryn and the team at Film Pittsburgh. Here's to a peaceful, healthy and creative 2022.

    December 2021
  • Film Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival is world-class! We had the honor of participating in the 2021 festival in-person and it was such a pleasure to see our short film “Tales of the Marvelous and News of the Strange” on the big screen! The experienced programming team did everything in their power to make the filmmakers feel welcomed and like the stars of the show! The enthusiasm of the entire staff was palpable and created a wonderful and unique atmosphere. The venue (the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty) was beautiful and organized. Thank you to the entire Film Pittsburgh team for putting on a great and safe in-person festival!

    December 2021
  • We appreciate the amplification fo our work.

    December 2021
  • Bongo Bill

    It was an honor to have our short selected to the Pittsburgh Shorts & Script Competition.

    November 2021