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
  • Katie Green

    Great communication with the team and so happy that our student film, "Something Blue" was accepted.

    November 2022
  • Absolutely wonderful festival and organisers! The communication was amazing and I would definitely submit again!

    Thank you for including Cat and Moth in your line-up for 2022, it was an honour!

    November 2022
  • vijaykumar mirchandani

    It was my first time at Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival, and I must say ...hands down it is by far one of the best festival i have attended. Such a great team that works in unison to make sure every corner is covered. The communication, programming, hospitality, events, co-ordination and of course networking is top notch. I would highly recommend to add this on top of your list. Kudos to the entire team...keep up the great work!!! Till next year ...save my seat :)

    November 2022
  • Jonathan Hammond

    The films were incredible. The programming team was incredible. The Festival Directors were incredible. The Panels were top-notch. I think this is a big-deal festival already, but I suspect it will be the majors in no time.

    November 2022
  • A real honor to have my short script Full Tilt achieve Semi-finalist in such a fine competition.

    November 2022