SUMMER SHORTS FILM FEST is the cinematic offspring of the critically lauded SUMMER SHORTS, festival of new American short plays which ran for thirteen seasons at 59E59 Theaters in New York City. The play festival featured playwrights such as Neil LaBute, Terrance McNally, and Paul Weitz. Submit your film today and join us this July in the lovely town of New Paltz, NY, where we’ll screen selected films in the state of the art DENIZEN Theater, and enjoy all that summer in upstate New York has to offer.

SUMMER SHORTS FILM FEST showcases short cinema by emerging artists and established professionals.


* Every submission is reviewed by our Programming Team, who have over twenty years of experience on the festival circuit. Your work will be judged by the individuals making the final decisions.

* Selected short films represent the very best of current movie-making in the short form. If your work is programmed, you will be one of the only 35-40 films.

* Your selected short will be thematically programmed, packaged with other fantastic movies exploring similar content and themes. Any of the six film blocks, may include a combination of narratives, documentaries, animation, or music videos.

* Awards for Best Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Screenplay and Best Performance — will be determined by juries consisting of established filmmakers, critics, and other festival programmers.

* Selected shorts are screened at the DENIZEN Theatre, located in New Paltz, NY within Water Street Market, a European inspired shopping village filled with independently owned shops and restaurants.

* Attending filmmakers are treated to opening and closing night parties, filmmaker cocktail reception, and an invite-only filmmaker brunch. Backstage at the DENIZEN (aka The Filmmaker Lounge) will have refreshments available daily.

* The town of New Paltz is located about an hour and a half north of New York City. A favorite gathering spot for outdoor enthusiasts, art-lovers, and day-trippers, the town is filled with shops, galleries, historic buildings, and a wide range of restaurants. Attend SUMMER SHORTS FILM FEST and experience the town The New York Times calls “sporty, brainy, cultured and beautiful.”

For more information, please visit and don’t forget to subscribe to our email list.

Best Narrative
Best Documentary
Best Animation
Best Director
Best Screenplay
Best Performance
Best Local Short

* Submissions may be no longer than thirty minutes

* Submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2023

* Local Short submissions must have a director who resides in New York State, excluding the five boroughs of NYC (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island)

Overall Rating
  • Fantastic! Summer Shorts was executed to perfection. Sure didn't seem like an inaugural festival, more like a well oiled machine. Thanks JJ, Tim and Warren and everyone for a great experience all around.

    August 2023
  • Tona Wilson

    What a fantastic festival, in all ways! It was an honor and a pleasure to participate in. Wonderful programming - Every Single Film I saw was truly outstanding, and the order they were presented in felt just right. The intros and Q &As were insightful - and fun, as a couple of my friends who attended commented - and the venue - The Denizen Theatre - was perfect as a place where communication felt genuine and unforced and even intimate in a sense. JJ, Warren, and Tim were all accessible and wonderful to work with. I really can't say strongly enough how thoroughly I recommend this festival. Definitely looking forward to its future iterations!

    August 2023
  • Max Cohn

    This was an incredibly programmed festival with amazing filmmakers in attendance. The guys who run it couldn't have been more supportive and passionate about short filmmaking. Highly recommend if you have a short you want to premiere in the Hudson Valley, or just want to see some awesome shorts from around the world in a beautiful part of New York!

    August 2023
  • Adam Peltier

    The town. The team. The programming.
    The absolute BEST!
    JJ has put together something truly special in New Paltz, NY. It’s an oasis for filmmakers/film lovers where everyone in the community makes you feel like it’s your hometown. And to top it all off…they’ve got WALLA WALLA’s very own Warren Etheredge as the festival programmer. His passion for short films and the people that make them is unmatched. He’s the best in the country at what he does and I have no doubt that his presence, along with JJ’s incredible direction, will put Summer Shorts Film Fest on the map. My advice: plan your visit to New Paltz now. And be prepared to visit every summer :)

    August 2023
  • Sean Wainsteim

    I was so honoured to have my short film selected for the inaugural Summer Shorts Film Fest. You wouldn't know it was their first festival year thanks to the curation, organization and communication that Warren, JJ and Tim pour into this incredible fest. Not only is the programming exceptional but they have inspirational panels, super prestigious judges and really unique awards.... plus there's a barn!! How many festivals have a barn?! (I don't have the actual numbers... but it's probably relatively low). Amazing fest set in a community that's already got an incredible influential and engaged theatre scene. And this is (checks watch) still year one?! What?! Amazing stuff.

    July 2023