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!

We are happy to announce SHORTS FROM OUR FRIENDS. 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.

Our 2020 guests are Matilda Szydagis from the Emmy and Golden Globe winning series THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL. Matilda Szydagis, who plays Zelda on the hit show, will be screening THE HOOSAC! Co-directed by Szydagis and Ric Sechrest, THE HOOSAC is a ghost story about a lonely soul who can't escape his past life. This film is very dear to her heart as it is the first installment of a trilogy which includes THE RUINS and THE DAM.

Veteran TV writer and producer Mark Goffman. We will be screening his short film STUDIO NOTES! A comedy written and directed by Goffman.   Goffman presently serves as Executive Producer on Netflix's THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY. He has also served as writer/producer on BULL, LIMITLESS, SLEEPY HOLLOW, WHITE COLLAR, THE WEST WING, ELEMENTARY and LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT to name a few.

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.

We are thrilled to have Matilda Szydagis, Mark Goffman and Michael McMillian join Rock the Shorts Film Festival as our special guests and we look forward to hearing their personal stories during the Q&A after the screenings!

We are currently planning our next special guest spots for Rock the Shorts 2021!

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! ($500 cash)

Only shorts with a TRT of 40 minutes or LESS are eligible for submission. We have five categories: Animation, Documentary Short Subject, Drama, Comedy and Thriller/Horror. There will be six 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. The winning "Best of the Fest" filmmaker will receive a $500 cash prize.

We will hold our selections to a high standard as we will be making great efforts to attain the honor of being an Academy Qualifying Festival in the future. Therefore, we will strive to match our guidelines to that of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Presently, the academy has three short film categories: Animation, Documentary Short Subject and Live Action. In the case of Live Action, we have created three additional categories: Drama, Comedy and Thriller/Horror. We want to personally acknowledge these genres in separate categories.

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: 35 mm, DCP or BluRay.

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

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.