A free-form celebration of world cinema, we showcase short films, providing a platform for visual artists to present their work to a global audience.

Home of Eastman Kodak and nicknamed "The World's Image Center," Rochester has a long history of supporting the performing arts and is the birthplace of numerous renowned artists including Oscar-winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Oscar-nominated actor John Lithgow, Oscar-nominated actor Robert Forster, actress Kristen Wiig and soprano Renée Fleming.

Silent film star Louise Brooks spent the last years of her life in Rochester writing her memoir, “Lulu in Hollywood”. Known for her independent spirit and displeasure for pretentiousness, she is one of the influences behind the event. The other influence is Susan B. Anthony, a women's rights activist who played a key role in the women's suffrage movement. She moved to Rochester with her family in 1845 and was partly responsible for women being granted the right to vote in the United States.

The Rochester Global Short Film Series truly embraces independent filmmaking. We want to see stories told from the heart- a story that you were so passionate about, you picked up a camera and just started shooting because you had to tell it. We don’t care if you have a production company, a distribution company or if you are representing yourself. We just want to be moved by your story.

Our judges will vote in several categories depending on what stands out in our final lineup.

Films must be no longer than 15 minutes, experimental films, no longer than 5 minutes, and have been completed after January 1, 2020.

Overall Rating
  • Dru DeCaro

    Great communication. Great competition. We were honored to be a part of the 2023 class. Til next year!

    June 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks, Dru! We thoroughly enjoyed your film. Best of luck with your future projects.

  • Hot Chilli Films

    It was a pleasure to be part of this year's edition and we were very happy with the award received by our João Ayres, an Independent Painter

    April 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you! We were so happy to learn about the work of João Ayres, and to share his art with our community.

  • Amazing! So well organized and excellent selection of films!
    My film was named the best film of the festival!!

    May 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Zoran! We enjoyed your film very much.

  • Betsy Stern

    This is a really excellent festival with extremely knowledgeable folks behind it. The communication was tops and the efforts to keep me in the loop extraordinary. I was very honored to receive the award for Best Experimental film. Thank you for all that you are doing!

    May 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Betsy! We appreciated your artistic expression on such a relevant topic.

  • Erin Kokdil

    We were fortunate enough to have a member of our Youth Media Academy have their film screened at the Rochester Independent Global Film Series. We appreciate the opportunity that you have created for emerging filmmakers. The experience was a positive one for our student. Thank you.

    April 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Erin! It was great to have a film from your program in our second edition!