Cinema St. Louis (CSL) and the Saint Louis Science Center are excited to announce the first edition of a science fiction and fantasy short film contest – an opportunity for regional filmmakers to let their imaginations shine.

Cinema St. Louis will then screen the winning film as part of the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase (SLFS). CSL will also hold the submissions for consideration in the SLFS, held annually each July at the Tivoli Theatre.

The cash-prize winners and additional works in the program will be announced on Friday, May 4, 2018, at the Science Center’s First Friday: Movie Magic.

This juried competition will award cash prizes to the top three entries: $500 for Best of Fest, $200 each for Best Sci-Fi and Best Fantasy selections. The winning shorts will then be featured at the Science Center's First Friday program on Friday, May 4, 2018, and will screen in the Science Center’s OMNIMAX® Theater. In addition to the three cash-prize winners, additional works will be chosen to screen throughout the First Friday program .

A four-person jury of film professionals (filmmakers, film scholars, film critics) and a scientist will select the finalists, including both the three cash-prize winners and the additional films. Jury members will be announced on CSL’s website.

Filmmakers interested in participating must submit shorts that meet the following criteria:

Films must be easily categorized as science-fiction or fantasy.
Run a maximum of five minutes, including credits (no minimum running time).
Contain no profane language or offensive imagery; if CSL and the Saint Louis Science Center deem a work inappropriate for viewing by audiences of all ages, it will be eliminated from consideration.
Include sound (e.g., dialogue, ambient sound, effects, and/or music).
All conceivable approaches – including experimental, narrative, and animated– are acceptable. The shorts can be shot in any film or video format, in either color or black-and-white.
Films must have a production date no earlier than 2011.

In addition, the following conditions apply:

Filmmakers must have secured rights to any music, words, or images used in the work.
Filmmakers will retain ownership rights to submitted works, but by submitting a short to the competition, a filmmaker grants the Saint Louis Science Center the right to screen the work in its exhibition spaces. Submission of a short does not guarantee its use.
Filmmakers must live within a 450 mile radius of St. Louis.
All films must be submitted using FilmFreeway with a secure online screener link. No entry fee is required. Submission deadline is March 30, 2018.

Overall Rating
  • Jason Turner

    I was not able to attend, but the festival was very communicative in their emails.

    September 2018
  • Dave Uhler

    Had a great time. Working with the Science Center made the whole event very educational... and there were lots of fun vendors.

    May 2018
  • Jared Goudsmit

    A great festival! Fantastic organization, tons of seminars and activities, regular communication, and it's at the OMNIMAX Theater! Enjoyable all around!

    May 2018
  • Levi Kirby

    This first year festival was an awesome idea (with great execution) and I hope will continue to grow its audience in the years to come! Put on Cinema St. Louis and the Saint Louis Science Center, there was a great curated selection of films and an impressive breadth of filmmaking workshops and activities for all ages. Highly recommend to filmmakers.

    May 2018