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 prizes.

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.

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)
- DAN LIN, Producer (Lego Movie Franchise)
- EMILY BEST, Founder and CEO of Seed&Spark
- TROIAN BELLISARIO - actress/director (Pretty Little Liars, Good Trouble)
- KABIR AKHTAR - director (Grownish, Crazy Ex Girlfriend)
- JEREMY HOWE, writer/producer (The Big Bang Theory)
- DOUG JONES (Shape of Water, Pans Labyrinth)
- INA PIRA (curator at Vimeo)
- MATT FAGERHOLM (film critic,
- PAUL SLOOP (Shorts Programmer, Cleveland International Film Festival)
- GREG SORVIG (Artistic director, Heartland Film Festival; Associate Programmer, Tribeca Film Festival)

Interactive PANELISTS have included Jenni Konnor (HBO's Girls) and Darious Britt (D4Darious).

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 it's 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.

Festival cannot provide lodging or travel stipends, but we will put traveling filmmakers in touch with affordable options.

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, 2020.

Overall Rating
  • Afton Quast Saler

    I cannot say enough wonderful things about this festival! From beginning to end, they love their filmmakers and make you feel like a part of their community. The team is filled with talented filmmakers in their own right, so they really get how to throw a successful event, screening, and Q and A. I had numerous people that came to my screening say it was one of the best-programed lineups of shorts they had seen. Seriously, there wasn't a dull moment and each and every film, whether it was a style/genre you liked or not, was objectively fantastic. I met the best filmmakers and am endlessly grateful for this festival experience! Submit now!

    January 2022
  • Salute Your Shorts was truly one of my favorite festival experiences on our run with Raspberry. From the first call of acceptance through the preparation emails running up to the event, it was clear that Erin, Becky, and Lauren have put together a festival that is caring in a way that is so easily be lost on short films. I was just so pleased with the work I discovered in the 2 days I attended: a tightly curated lineup filled with exciting discoveries.

    They OBVIOUSLY care deeply about every single film programmed and it's not like some other festivals where it feels like they're just trying to make everyone feel good and it all rings false and meaningless. It's clear that they chose each of these films because it resonated with them on a deep level, which I think is what we are all truly seeking. All in all, so much of what they do feels intentional.

    The theater space is lovely, warm and welcoming and down to Earth in a town and space that can feel so cold and impersonal. The smaller size of the fest allows for more quality engagement amongst filmmakers and the programmers themselves. Honestly the challenge in the years ahead for this festival are to see it grow yet also maintain its special intimacy. I really hate to name drop but feel compelled mainly to contextualize how wonderful of an experience I had at Salute Your Shorts... that it sits next to Sundance and Palm Springs Shortfest as one of our best festival experiences: devoid of gross ego and filled with a sense of family.

    I hope this seemingly hyperbolic but honest review of the fest encourages anyone to seek this festival out. Thank you SYSFF team for a highlight of my 2021, introducing great films to me, and I will always be excited to submit future work or even just attend. My humble gratitude - Julian

    September 2021
  • Brian Steele

    We had the best time screening our film at Salute Your Shorts! What an honor to be selected. Hands down the best film fest in LA. Their team truly cares about the filmmakers and each film they select to be a part of the fest. It's refreshing to be a part of a festival that values community with independent filmmakers. Their team goes the extra mile with plenty of events surrounding the fest to meet and chat with other creative folks. Plus watching all the films was a blast! Can't recommend enough, and can't wait for next year!

    September 2021
  • A top-notch festival. The entire festival team really cares about the filmmakers and truly goes above and beyond to cultivate a memorable experience for filmmakers and audience members alike. A must-submit fest!

    September 2021
  • Kevin Ung

    What can I say, the SYS team is amazing and punches way above its weight. A film festival for filmmakers, by filmmakers, which care for each and every film they program.

    The amount of effort they put into highlighting every film and event is something I have rarely seen, and the programmers deserve credit for such a great festival.

    August 2021