*Update: Under normal circumstances Rock the Shorts Film Festival would be held at the historic Downtown Independent Theater. However, due to Covid-19 we will be going virtual with many personal touches to specifically highlight and celebrate the filmmakers. We hope to make it an even more special event in its second year.

The founders of Rock the Shorts Film Festival are both filmmakers and huge fans of short films. Short films can pack an emotional punch and take us on a wonderful ride in 40 minutes or less. The creators of such entertainment deserve recognition and encouragement.

When your film is an "Official Selection" and celebrated at a well-organized film festival it is the most gratifying experience. This is what we want to bring to you. Our goal is to further inspire you to keep creating...keep writing...keep directing...keep producing...keep acting...keep telling stories...keep making short films! Short films Rock!

Many actors, directors and writers have launched their careers by making short films. Many continue to make short movies to tell their stories, their own way.

Actor and author Michael McMillian will screen THE ARRIVAL.  A dark comedy written and directed by Jocelyn Deboer & Dawn Luebbe and produced by Natalie Metzger. McMillian stars opposite Deboer and Luebbe as a husband who magically has two wives after his son wishes for a "new mommy." McMillian is best known for his TV roles on TRUE BLOOD, CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND and SILICON VALLEY.

Best Animation Short Film (certificate of achievement)
Best Comedy Short Film (certificate of achievement)
Best Documentary Short Subject (certificate of achievement)
Best Drama Short Film (certificate of achievement)
Best Thriller/Horror Short Film (certificate of achievement)
Best of the Fest short Film! (trophy)

Only shorts with a TRT of 30 minutes or LESS are eligible for submission. We have five categories: Animation, Documentary Short Subject, Drama, Comedy and Thriller/Horror. There will be five 60-90 minute film blocks with a Q&A with the filmmakers to follow. Each category will have an award winner and an overall "Best of the Fest" winner will be announced at the close of the festival.

We appreciate and respect the hard work you put into your film. We won't skim over it as many larger festivals will do with thousands of submissions waiting to be viewed. We look forward to watching and we wish you good luck!


Exhibition materials:
Will only be returned upon request and at the expense of the filmmaker.
Arrangements with self address, pre-paid envelopes must be made PRIOR to the festival. Posters and Collateral must be picked up by the close of the festival.
Exhibition Formats: DCP only.

By agreeing to the terms and conditions on the entry form for Rock the Shorts Film Festival, the person or entity (the Applicant) submitting an entry (the Short) to Rock the Shorts Film Festival (RTS) acknowledges that s/he has read, understood and agrees to the following rules and guidelines:

1. The Applicant is legally authorized to enter the Short in RTS, and the Short is not subject to any claims or litigation and is not threatened by any claims or litigation.

2. Entries must be 40 minutes or under in length and submitted in one of the following categories: Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama or Thriller/Horror..

3. Non-English language shorts must be subtitled in English.

4. RTS can only accept, consider and notify entries submitted with valid entry form and non-refundable entry fee. To be considered for RTS, the Applicant must fill out the entry form on FilmFreeway. Applicant must submit a Secure Online Screener. Entry Fee payment must be made online through FilmFreeway.

5. Late Entries: For Late entry request please contact RTS at info@rocktheshortsfilmfestival.com.

6. To verify RTS has received your entry, we advise that you check the FilmFreeway status before emailing us with further questions.

7. All films will be notified of their status by late January or early February. If your contact information or premiere status changes between entry submission and our notification date, please update your information on FilmFreeway and email any changes.

8. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials in the Short. The Applicant releases and discharges RTS, its employees and agents from any and all claims, demands or causes of actions related to misappropriation or infringement of copyright or violation of any other right arising out of or relating to this Short.

9. In the event that the Short is accepted as a Finalist by RTS, the Applicant hereby agrees to the following rights and requests and grants to RTS without reservations, conditions or qualifications:

10. RTS reserves the right to screen an exhibition-quality digital file of the Short (see guidelines for accepted formats).

11. RTS reserves the right to use excerpted clips, still images and/or titles, and information from or relating to the Short for promotional purposes in all media including Rock the Shorts Film Festival website.

12. RTS reserves the right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the Short and to use all associated names, likenesses and biographical information.

13. RTS reserves the right to provide contact information for the director and producer(s) of the Short and to grant RTS the right to provide this information to film industry organizations sponsoring Festival events at its discretion.

14. RTS reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees, any entry which is in violation of the guidelines and participation agreement.

Overall Rating
  • Sirad Balducci

    Rock The Shorts was an incredibly wonderful film festival, we were so honored to be part of a fantastic group of filmmakers and creators. The event was run beautifully and we were honored to win Best of Festival. The Directors were fantastic and went above and beyond. Our first film festival and it couldn't have been better!

    November 2020
  • Maggie Craig

    We had such a great time at Rock The Shorts. Roxanne & Josef were amazing. Great hosts, great communication. Very organized. Super professional. These guys really care about the filmmakers and their films. I made a lot of great connections at the festival. Highly recommend.

    June 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for the kind review. It was a pleasure to meet you Maggie and we were thrilled to screen THE FORK. It was a honor to give your film the “Best Thriller” title. It was up against stiff competition, congratulations again on your win!

  • It is young indie festival, which just gone through its first year of showing - and I must say done it very well.

    Despite being relatively small and run by just 2 persons (Roxanne and Josef), festival managed to deliver on par with well established events. They run for almost whole day, showed around 30 project of different genres in very cozy and stylish film theater Downtown Independent LA, with Q&A session after (and I must add - one with meaningful questions).

    Festival even gone forward, and provided things, which rest of indie events acquire only on their 2 or 3 year - quality red carpet with on-site photographer during whole day and video interviews event.
    Add to that proper communication (we needed to do several technical alterations to film, and it all was discussed and done on time) and just humane and charming hosts.

    I am honestly trying to remember any drawbacks or problems, and can’t come up with any. For starter festival they managed to avoid most major troubles.

    It was one whole pleasant experience. I wish for Rock the Shorts to prosper and open successfully during next year.

    Definitively festival that worth to submit to.

    May 2020
  • We had a wonderful time at the Rock the Shorts Festival and really enjoyed all the comedy shorts.

    April 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Jake! We enjoyed the screening of "Rug And a Hard Place" and thank you for your participation in our Q&A with the directors. We look forward to seeing more of your work!

  • Hamish McCollester

    The festival directors and crew at Rock the Shorts did an amazing job making every filmmaker feel welcomed and appreciated, while offering a great, seamless experience for the audience members who came out to support these great short films.

    I have attended well-established festivals that weren't run nearly as smoothly as this one, so the fact that this was the inaugural edition really speaks well for its future. The fest was held at LA's Downtown Independent Theatre, which is an A-plus destination for indie film screenings. It was scheduled and curated perfectly, ran on time, and allowed for great Q&A sessions and networking opportunities for the filmmakers.

    Overall, I was extremely impressed with what they pulled off and I hope to have the honor to be a part of it again someday. Thank you, Rock the Shorts!

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Hamish:) MOVIE NIGHT was creatively written and directed with a stellar cast. We were lucky to have your film as part of our festival. Your attendance and participation in the Q&A helped make the festival an even bigger success. We look forward to your future projects. :) Rox & Josef