The 16th Annual San Francisco International Festival of Short Films (SF Shorts) celebrates more than a decade of diverse short film programming – seeking to push forward dynamic films that fill audiences with thought-provoking wonder. SF Shorts explores a wide mix of genres and cultures without circumscribing them into niches. Fueled by enthusiastic audiences and a focus on presenting compelling stories, SF Shorts programs exclusively from its pool of submitted entries. Unlike most festivals, all SF Shorts entries are individually screened by the festival director responsible for programming.

We accept all types of short films, which for us includes music videos. Our festival prides itself on its range. It's our mission to present the widest possible scope of content. Go to our website to view the range of films programmed last year.

SF Shorts does not use screeners. A director of the festival will watch every single entry, so you can be assured that your film is fully considered. All films selected for the festival are automatically eligible for a variety of honors and prizes. The result is a festival where filmmakers, films, and audience collide into a cinematic celebration.

At SF Shorts, wildly diverse films are mixed together to spark programs that electrify audiences. SF Weekly has praised SF Shorts for its programs of "concentrated inspiration, breathtaking craft, and unabashed entertainment value." Submit your short today, and find out what this unique celebration has to offer in San Francisco !

Visit our website at to read filmmaker testimonials and to see the diversity of films from the very successful 2020 season.

Grand Jury Prize
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollar

Jury Prize (#1)
Cash Award Value: 250 U.S. Dollar

Jury Prize (#2)
Cash Award Value: 250 U.S. Dollar

Filmmaker Travel Grants
For those filmmakers traveling to the festival from out of the state, we will divide a budget of cash for stipends.
Cash Award Value: 2,500 U.S. Dollar

Additional Honors vary by year; see our website.

Approximately August 20, 2021

Shorts: maximum 30 minutes

All genres accepted including Narrative, Documentary, Animation, Experimental, Dance, and Music Video

No requirement for completed by date

Projects may originate from anywhere in the world

No premiere requirement

Projects may have distribution


All entrants will be notified of selection by August 20th, 2021, approximately.

Please ensure if you are submitting a film that contains copyrighted material by anyone other than yourself, that you have obtained festival clearance for that material used. By entering your work, you agree to this and all the responsibilities involved.

Films screened in the festival should be presented in English. For all dialogues presented in other languages, the festival will accept subtitling and/or dubbing.

All films selected for the festival are automatically entered into competition for a variety of honors and prizes.

Film Length up to 30 minutes.

Overall Rating
  • Great festival. So happy to be included!

    March 2021
  • Kelly Wittenberg

    I am so glad I submitted my film--and made the effort to attend--SF Shorts. It really makes a difference to see your film screen in the context of the other films that were chosen. As I watched the selections each night of the festival, I was both impressed and honored to have been programmed with such a thoughtful group of filmmakers. There just wasn't a stinker among them. Bravo Tim and Jim for the effort and passion reflected in the 14th annual program. If you care about the content of your film you should submit to SF Shorts because Tim and Jim care about what you are trying to convey with your images. If you want to see short films that can change the world--this is the festival you should attend!

    November 2019
  • Rick Gomez

    Great Festival. Beautifully curated. Jim and Tim do a fantastic job.

    October 2019