ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival 2021 Is Now Open for Submissions!

ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival (ShPFF) returns in June 2021 (tbd) to celebrate 13 years of sharing onscreen stories about the love, hardships, growth and triumphs of LGBTQ individuals in China, Asia and around the world. We are very excited to reunite the community for a festival of LGBTQ films again this year!

ShanghaPRIDE’s cinematic component has come a long way over the past 13 years, evolving from a single film night to a vibrant festival that supports emerging Chinese filmmakers while showcasing international queer cinema to audiences in Shanghai.

ShPFF began as a collaboration with the Beijing Queer Film Festival (now Love Queer Film Festival) to host film screenings and discussions. Since 2012, we’ve collaborated with foreign consulates in Shanghai to screen foreign LGBTQ films, and in 2014, ShPFF created an independent category for Chinese LGBTQ films.

In 2015, ShPFF launched the first annual Chinese LGBTQ Short Film Competition, in which the winner competes in the UK’s Iris Prize Festival, a tradition that has since continued every year. In the same year, we also co-founded the Asia-Pacific Queer Film Festival Alliance (APQFFA) with ten other LGBTQ film festivals from throughout the region.

In 2015, acclaimed actor, Peipei Cheng opened ShPFF with her film, Lilting, where she played the role of a mother of a gay son. The trailblazing director of East Palace, West Palace, Yuan Zhang, joined us in 2016 for a screening and Q&A to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film, while esteemed actor Sir Ian McKellen sent his wishes to the festival that same year. In 2017, ShPFF traveled to Sydney, Hong Kong, and Taipei to share Chinese LGBTQ films.

In 2018, our milestone tenth anniversary festival ran for 12 days, with 45 hours of film. The submissions for the Chinese Short Film Awards achieved an all-time high of 50 films. We also welcomed award-winning and nominated films like Alifu, The Prince/ss (Taiwan Golden Horse Awards 2017) and 120 BPM (Caesar Award 2017, Cannes Film Festival 2017 and Palme d’Or Award 2017), in which the main actor of the former, Utjung Tjakivalid and co-screenwriter of the latter, Philippe Mangeot joined us for a full-house Q&A.

Our 2019 festival was an 11-day marathon, including the Berlin International Film Festival Teddy Jury Award Winner, A Dog Barking at the Moon, as the opening film. The audience did a Q&A with Xiang Zi, the director of the film via video chat. Another highlight was a special curation, the Nordic Day, which we collaborated with foreign consulates from the Nordic countries. Vincent Lacoste, star in Sorry Angel surprised the Shanghai audience right before the festival with a lively discussion during his visit. The Best Film of the Chinese Short Film Awards, We Outlaws, was among the leading nominations in UK Iris Prize Festival too!

Unfortunately in 2020, due to the pandemic, like many fellow LGBTQ film festivals around the world, we have to postpone the festival. We managed to announce the nominees for Chinese Short Film Award and hopefully able to screen them alongside with international entries in 2021.

ShPFF 2021 will once again offer an exciting roster of events and unique opportunities for filmmakers. The submissions period for the festival begins TODAY, and we are thrilled to welcome Chinese and international LGBTQ films and filmmakers to join us on this amazing journey.

Chinese Short Film Awards

There are two categories in this year’s festival:

Chinese Short Film Awards
The Chinese Short Film Awards invite filmmakers to submit works of fiction, documentary, experimental film, and animation that tell stories about LGBTQ Chinese characters. The film length is limited to a maximum of 40 minutes. Filmmakers of all backgrounds and experience levels are eligible.

Our grand prize includes the chance to win funding for your next film through our partner, Iris Prize Festival. In 2020, the top Iris award was £30,000 (around RMB 300,000).

World Cinema
The World Cinema category invites filmmakers to submit works of fiction, documentary, experimental film, and animation about LGBTQ characters. There is no limit to the length of the film. Filmmakers of all backgrounds and experience levels are eligible.

ShPFF Submission Requirements
1. Films must focus on LGBTQ subjects.
2. The filmmakers themselves do not need to identify as LGBTQ.
3. The submission period is January 12, 2021 to April 11, 2021.
4. Films can be in any language. Films not in Mandarin Chinese MUST include Mandarin Chinese subtitles. Films not in English MUST include English subtitles.
5. Films must have been produced after January 1, 2019 to be eligible.

Please direct any questions to

Overall Rating
  • Mahsa Beheshti

    my film is selected but they don't reply emails since May 2020!

    August 2020
  • We received a letter from Film Freeway that our film, BEKI'T AKO, is a finalist at the ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival but when we checked the list, our film was not included. I sent a message to the festival but they didn't answer the query. I believe it holds true to the Playa del Carmen Queer Film Festival in Mexico, we also received a message in the email from Film Freeway that our film got selected. But as we checked the festival's list of selected films, our film isn't included for the second time. I sent them a message but didn't reply. I just sent my second message. Hope to get an answer from them. Thank you.

    September 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Romeo, thanks for your support! Finalist for our festival does not mean being selected and screened. It is a recognition for your film and support as well. Thanks.

  • Gargantua Film Distribution

    Thank you for selecting our short film "Antoine".

    August 2019
  • Same here, only got the information that my film "PRISON" is in the "Finalist" list. After that no idea what happened. But loved that finalist official laurel.

    June 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Nilip, thanks for your support! Finalist for our festival does not mean being selected and screened. It is a recognition for your film and support as well. Thanks.

  • James Mileham

    Fantastic organisation and brilliantly executed

    June 2019