Shakespeare Shorts is a competition for all films and animations inspired by Shakespeare. It is brought to you by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Entries are invited in the following categories:
1. Best film inspired by Shakespeare (up to 10 mins)
2. Best film with the theme 'Shakespeare and Hope' (up to 10 mins)
3. Best Shakespeare-themed animation (up to 5 mins)
4. Best Shakespeare film or animation by a young filmmaker (up to 10 mins, 5-17 year olds only)

Each category longlist will be shortlisted into a Top 3, selected by our panel of film industry and Shakespeare experts. The winner of each category will then be sent to our festival patron, Sir Kenneth Branagh, who will provide feedback to all four finalists as well as choosing an overall winner.

For the categories 'Best film inspired by Shakespeare', 'Best film with the theme 'Shakespeare and Hope'', and 'Best Shakespeare-themed animation', there will be cash prizes. For the category 'Best Shakespeare film or animation by a young filmmaker', the prize will be a virtual one-to-one animation workshop and an animation kit, provided by Let's Animate.

This year's awards ceremony will be hosted online. We anticipate this will take place in the month of April 2023, and will inform successful entrants as soon as possible.

Entry Guidelines:

• Submissions will ONLY be accepted via FilmFreeway. Entrants must upload their short films onto FilmFreeway.
• The submission must be a finished product.
• Entrants will be asked on the submission form to assign their film a rating (U, 12, 15, 18). Failure to declare any graphic or explicit content will result in disqualification.
• The submission must not contain any pornographic or obscene content.
• All submissions must be short films; anything over the maximum time will not be watched.
• We have no policy restricting when the film was made. As long as you created it, your film will be accepted.
• If the film has been submitted to this competition in previous years, it may be submitted again, providing it was not selected.
• The film can have originated in any country in the world, but if it is not in English we would request that it has English subtitles.
• We reserve the right to disqualify any individual we find to be tampering with the submission process, or to be acting in a manner that we deem to be not within the spirit of the competition.


• The film must be your own original work, meaning that you must have been one of the principal creators and have the right to submit it to this competition and authorise it to be screened to the general public.
• The submission must not contain any third party work, INCLUDING ANY MUSICAL RECORDING OR COMPOSITION, unless (1) you have a license to use such work in the submission from the owners/licensors; (2) such work is in the public domain.
• The submission must not infringe on any third party’s intellectual property or privacy rights.
• Where required by law, you must have obtained appropriate releases for every person who appears recognisably in your submission.
• Your submission must not breach any contractual obligation.
• We cannot be held responsible for any losses arising from any third-party action against you in relation to your submission.
• No animals must be used in your film without the owner’s consent.
• You must be able to provide licenses, releases and permissions upon request.
• You must be happy that we screen your film at a public screening.
• Films must not have exclusivity rights elsewhere.

The Screenings:

• If you are selected as the winner, you must be able to provide us with a high resolution version of your film.
• We assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries.
• We reserve the right to cancel, modify or suspend the competition, although we will try our best to provide notice to all entrants.

Ownership and rights:

• Grant of Licence: As between you and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, you will own all intellectual property related to your submission and shall retain ownership of such intellectual property.
• By submitting your entry, you grant the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust a non-exclusive, worldwide license to use, publicly perform, display, reproduce, transmit, sublicense, and distribute in all media formats that exist now or in the future the submission in connection with (1) the Shakespeare Shorts competition and the promotion of stated competition; (2) the promotion of future iterations of the Shakespeare Shorts competition.
• Where permitted by law, each winner agrees to grant the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the right to print, publish, broadcast and use, worldwide in any media now known or hereafter developed, including but not limited to the world wide web, at any time or times, his or her name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness and biographical information as news or information and for advertising, trade and promotional purposes without additional consideration, and without notification, review, or approval.
• Each winner agrees to grant the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust the right to contact them in the future, in relation to Shakespeare Shorts, via the contact information given in the submission.

Overall Rating
  • Sean Tansey

    The work being done at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is indispensable and vital. It is a great reassurance knowing Shakespeare's works and legacy are in such hands. I am honoured to have had my film chosen as a finalist. I thank you all sincerely.

    December 2022
  • Phillip Whiteman

    We didn't get to experience much of it in 2020 but I would imagine this is a lot of fun. Interesting prizes and it has inspired other ideas. We hope to come back with something soon...

    December 2020
  • Wonderful festival!
    It is an honor for me to participate in this festival!
    The people who organize and evaluate it are so closely in touch with Shakespeare's heritage, and are true connoisseurs of his epoch. Thank you for the festival, and I greatly appreciate the high praise of my animation film.
    I am deeply touched with the Festival Patron Kenneth Branagh's words, as he subtly noticed everything.
    Thanks to Greg McLeod for the positive review and video review of my film.

    December 2020
  • Mark Burghagen

    Fantastic festival and glad that there is a festival entirely dedicated to Shakespeare's works on film. So proud that our Richard II soliloquy got selected!

    December 2020
  • Brendan Hickey

    So cool that this festival exists and amazing to screen our Romeo + Juliet here. Much love to the whole team.

    February 2020