Pittsburgh Shorts presents the best contemporary short films from around the world. The festival has already gained a reputation for curating an extremely high caliber of films, including those that go on to be Oscar® winners. The 2019 festival featured 116 films from 34 countries and included 9 films that went on to be shortlisted, six that became nominees and one that won an Oscar®. With the addition of a short script competition in partnership with Carnegie Screenwriters, it has become a destination festival for creators from around the world.
As one of our previous attendees 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 this brand new festival. They kept the filmmakers networking all day and night, and we closed the bars with our afterparties each night. The focus on local filmmakers speaks volumes and serves as major motivation to me.”
Pittsburgh Shorts includes well-attended screenings in a beautiful theater, live script readings by professional actors, cash awards, and filmmaker networking events including a filmmakers’ lounge and after parties.
Our hope is to present Pittsburgh Shorts in theaters with in-person Q&As and networking opportunities and we continue to plan for that. However, we are mindful that social distancing restrictions may keep us from doing so. Please know that we are considering our options, which include either an in-person festival that includes some virtual streaming screenings and events or a completely virtual festival to be held online. Either way, rest assured the show will go on!
Three Juror’s prizes of $1,000 will be awarded to Best Narrative, Best Documentary, and Best Animated films. In addition, there will be a Programmer's Choice award that includes a $1000 prize. 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.
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)
• Films must have been completed in 2018 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.
• Entrant(s) must hold the right to perform, reproduce, display and distribute their work
• The work must not have been previously optioned, sold or produced.
All applicants must submit via FilmFreeway. Entrants may submit more than one film or script. Each entry requires a separate submission and fee.
Please include the following as part of your FilmFreeway 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 31, 2020
By June 30: $20
By July 31: $30
After July 31: $40
Payments must be made via FilmFreeway at the time of submission.
Filmmakers will be notified of their selection status by September 30, 2020.
Selected films will need to be submitted as follows:
Preferred format: ProResHQ 422 QuickTime File
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.