Ruthless Film Awards is a brand new way of thinking short films.

Let’s face it. The film festival market is experiencing a saturation that has drastically decreased the value of awards and “Official Selection” titles. RFA wants to disrupt this trend by raising the bar and acting as a reliable quality checker for shorts.

Held in the heart of Los Angeles, the RFA ceremony is not a film festival, but a one-night-only private screening of five (5) selected short films for an exclusive audience of registered agents, managers, producers, and entertainment lawyers.

Why only five? Executives don’t have time, and at RFA we know that to catch their attention, we gotta keep it short and sweet.

So what about everyone who does not make it to our top five? In an industry that walks on eggshells, receiving honest and actionable feedback on a completed project is rare — who’d want to risk the discomfort, or worse, potentially burn a bridge, by giving blunt feedback?

We’re here to be the brave fools who give you what others won’t: rigorous honesty. Rather than inflate your ego with useless awards a ‘la “best film with a dog,” RFA will provide one page of notes and scores for every entry. We’ll tell it to you straight: this is what works, this is what doesn’t, and here’s why.

Every participant will receive a detailed one-page analysis with a "Ruthless Score," broken down into individual scores for:

- Directing
- Screenwriting
- Cinematography
- Acting
- Sound & Editing

The 5 short films with the highest score will be screened at the AFI Theatre in front of an audience of registered agents, managers, producers, and entertainment lawyers.

Ruthless Film Awards – 2021

• Films must have been completed after January 1st of the current year.
• Films must be in English or in the original language with English subtitles.
• Films’ premiere status does NOT affect eligibility.
• Entry fees are non-refundable.
• Films must have a running time of no longer than 25 minutes (credits included).
• If your film is selected for the RFA ceremony, you must submit the following:

A. DCP copy of the film.
B. Digital press kit.
C. English subtitles, if the film is in a foreign language.


• Although it is not a requirement, we strongly advice that submitters meet at least one of the following criteria:

A. One (1) Winner award at an another film festival.
B. Two (2) Finalist titles at separate film festivals.
C. Three (3) Official Selection titles at separate, non-first-year film festivals.

• Entrants are responsible for obtaining any licenses, royalties, release forms, clearances, and permits necessary to present their work. RFA is not responsible for any claim involving copyrights, trademarks, credits, or royalty infringements related to the work.

• Ruthless Film Awards (RFA) reserves the right to add, alter, or delete any portion of the requirements at any time and without notice.

• Ruthless Film Awards (RFA) will provide the best quality projection possible but it will not be held liable for any failure in the technical quality of the projection, nor will fees be refunded in any such case.

• The RFA management team reserves the right to modify or suspend the event.

• All information above shall supersede any other guidelines associated with the RFA’s ceremony. RFA is entitled to make interpretations in any case not considered in these rules and regulations and may make exceptions whenever justified.

• Submission to the Ruthless Film Awards (RFA) implies understanding and acceptance of the above regulations.

• Due to the nature of our scoring system, RFA does NOT accept experimental shorts.