Welcome to SoCal Summer Camp for filmmakers!

Beloved by filmmakers and alumni, SALUTE YOUR SHORTS has been recognized alongside Sundance, Clermont-Ferrand, and Austin as one of "29 BEST FILM FESTIVALS FOR SHORT FILMS" by Divvy Magazine.

We curate an intimate lineup of stellar shorts from around the world in every genre, showcasing them to a community of artists seeking inspiration and conversation. Selected films will enjoy an audience of working entertainment industry professionals and compete for cash and prize packages.

Our festival was started by filmmakers for filmmakers. Every decision is steeped with intention and care - from the programming, to the parties and the marketing. The entertainment industry can be a cold and competitive place, and we seek to combat that through genuine care and connection. Community is one of our core values and thus, selected filmmakers are adopted into our filmmaking family. Notable alumni include Jim Cummings (Thunder Road), Ursula Taherian (United States of Al), David Fried (True Colors), and Danny Madden (Beast Beast).

We are seeking thought-provoking, conversation-starting stories that align with our mantra: Films with an Aftertaste. Whether they are shot on the iPhone or the Alexa, we seek to program a slate of films that represents the diverse and distinct voices in our world today.

You can read reviews from our alumni below.

We grant a $500 cash prize to our juried BEST OF FEST, $250 for our Programmer's Choice winner, and award $250 to our AUDIENCE FAVORITE. There is also a substantial prize package for our LOCAL FILMMAKER award.

In 2022 we gave more than 10K dollars away in cash and prize packages combined.

Additionally, "Best in Category" awards are determined by jurors. We recognize WINNERS and HONORABLE MENTIONS in the following categories:


Jurors from past years have included:
- TONY HALE - Emmy Winning Actor (Veep, Arrested Development, Toy Story)
- DAN LIN, Producer (Lego Movie Franchise)
- TROIAN BELLISARIO - actress/director (Pretty Little Liars, Good Trouble)
- KABIR AKHTAR - director (Grownish, Crazy Ex Girlfriend)
- JEREMY HOWE, writer/producer (The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon)
- DOUG JONES (Shape of Water, Pans Labyrinth)
- INA PIRA (curator at Vimeo)
- MATT FAGERHOLM (film critic, Rodgerebert.com)
- PAUL SLOOP (Shorts Programmer, Cleveland International Film Festival)
- GREG SORVIG (Artistic director, Heartland Film Festival; Associate Programmer, Tribeca)
-CÉLINE ROUSTAN (Programmer, Short of the Week, SXSW)
- ABIRAM BRIZUELA (composer, former director of Artist Development -Sundance Institute)

Panelists have included:
- BEN PROUDFOOT (Academy-Award Winning Doc Director)
- JIM CUMMINGS (Sundance & SXSW Winning Filmmaker)
- SUJATA DAY (Sundance Lab Fellow and HBO Visionaries Ambassador)
- ANNA BAUMGARTEN (Austin Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Winner)
- EMILY BEST, Founder and CEO of Seed&Spark
- DARIOUS BRITT (D4Darious on Youtube).

We DO NOT require premiere status and will consider shorts which have been made available for online viewing.

Every submitted film will be viewed in its entirely by member(s) of our selection team.

** Shorts vying for the "best super short film" must have credits rolling by 4:59. If your credits sequence pushes your film past 5:00, please submit it in its appropriate category (i.e., animation, comedy, drama, etc...). It will still be considered for the super short award.

Directors living in Southern California are eligible for the local film award.

Students are welcome and should include school information in their cover letter.

All submitted material must be the original work of the author(s) aside from copyrighted music (which we accept).

Music videos, screen-dance, and experimentally constructed films should be submitted under the experimental category. Music videos may be spec.

We accept material from anywhere in the world. All submitted material must be in English or with English subtitles.

Entry fees are non-refundable. No refunds will be issued for any reason.

Contest applicants must accept without reservations the decisions rendered by the competition.

We do not provide screening fees.

In 2022 we provided traveling stipends for select visiting filmmakers. We will make our best efforts to expand upon this offering in 2023. However, Salute Your Shorts Film Festival cannot guarantee lodging or travel stipends. We will put traveling filmmakers in touch with affordable options if requested.

Upon invitation, participants will be contacted via email by the Print Traffic Coordinator with format confirmation, exhibition details, and delivery instructions.

We have the right to NOT award in any category if we are unable to make a selection based on our panels scores.

This year, we are accepting films completed on or after January 1, 2021.

Overall Rating
  • Kate Morgan Chadwick

    One of my absolute favorite film festivals I have ever attended! First and foremost, these people have genuine love for filmmaking, but incredibly caring hearts for filmmakers themselves. Our team felt so incredibly welcomed into this community. Truly one of the top curations of short films I have ever experienced. One of the top 3 short film festivals I would recommend any filmmaker submit to -- beyond worth the submission fee. A truly special community that we are so lucky to have been a part of !

    December 2022
  • April Maxey

    Thank you Salute Your Shorts for an amazing festival, curated with such care!!! I had a lovely time attending!

    September 2022
  • Salute Your Shorts is THE BEST FESTIVAL. So thoughtfully curated. Each block felt perfectly timed and programmed. The level of quality was outrageous. Meeting the other filmmakers was a treat. The whole team at SYS are sincere, kind, and enthusiastic about film. What a dream community. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it.

    September 2022
  • We absolutely loved our time at Salute Your Shorts! The programming was excellent, the team organized and welcoming, and we met plenty of fantastic filmmakers.

    September 2022
  • John Beder

    I'd never seen our NYT Op-Doc on a big screen until this festival. It was a special moment for us to finally share it in person. Thank you for including us in this special festival. The other films were also spectacular and met some lovely fellow filmmakers I hope to keep in touch with for years to come. Wonderful time, Thank you!

    August 2022