Submissions now open!

Every year, Short Circuit screens work from over 30 countries and welcomes filmmakers from around the Pacific Ocean to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Short Circuit is presented by CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers -- we acknowledge and respect the long history of the Lekwungen people, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, on whose traditional and unceded territory we carry out our activities.

In 2020 we were forced to move the film festival online. And it was a blast!

Despite the change of format, we received tremendous support from both creators and audiences. We managed to break records for submissions, ticket sales, video views, and guest filmmakers. 30 short films were presented in 6 online screening programs, with 17 filmmakers tuning in to online Q&As from around the world. We supported struggling artists by sharing ticket sales with the filmmakers, and our CINE⚡SPARK script + pitch competition crowned its fourth winner.

Filmmakers from all regions bordering the Pacific Ocean are invited to submit your short film for consideration. We are looking for great films made after January 1, 2019 in all genres with a maximum running time of 20 minutes. Your film will also be considered for upcoming Short Circuit touring programs.

We are crossing our fingers that public event restrictions will be relaxed in time for our 2021 program, so that we may gather at the cinema in person. However, it is possible that we will once again be forced to hold it online. Final details of the festival format will be announced along with our film selections in April 2021.

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CINE⚡️SPARK script competition and production program is also back again with a prize package valued at over $17,500!

Now entering its fifth year, CINE⚡️SPARK awards a hefty production package of cash, resources, and equipment rentals to the production of an outstanding short film script by a writer/filmmaker from the Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands region in British Columbia, Canada. The Top 5 will pitch their projects at Short Circuit in May 2021, and one winner will receive the production package! Sponsored by Modo and William F. White International Inc. Please see for full program guidelines.

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Short Circuit and CINE⚡SPARK are presented by CineVic and located in Victoria, British Columbia's beautiful capital city on Vancouver Island. Victoria sits on traditional unceded territory of the Songhees, Esquimalt, and W̱SÁNEĆ Indigenous peoples.

Nestled between Vancouver and Seattle, the city is surrounded by historical landmarks and natural landscapes sure to captivate any traveller. Victoria is a Royal destination and has been named one of the Top 5 Cities in Canada by Travel + Leisure, one of the Friendliest Cities in the World by Condé Nast, and one of the Top 20 Places to Visit by CNN, while Canada was recently picked as the #1 destination country by Lonely Planet. Our world-class locations also attract many well-known film productions such as X-Men, Deadpool, Sonic the Hedgehog, and SEE.

• Outstanding International Film
• Outstanding BC Film
• Outstanding Documentary Film
• Outstanding Director
• Outstanding Cinematography
• Outstanding Art Direction
• Outstanding Screenplay
• Outstanding Performance
• Outstanding Sound
• Outstanding Music
• Outstanding Editing
• Audience Choice

Short Circuit rules:

1) Entries and submission fees are only accepted via the FilmFreeway online portal.

2) Film submissions are only eligible from residents of the following locations:
• British Columbia or Yukon, Canada
• Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, or Guam, USA
• Australia, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea
• Japan, Russian Far East, North Korea, South Korea, Pacific Coast Provinces of China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Thailand
• Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Pacific Coast States of Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru
• Entries truly originating from outside of these states/provinces/countries will be deleted. NO REFUNDS.

3) Entries may be fiction, documentary, animation, experimental, or other genre. Films must be in English OR contain English subtitles. Maximum running time is 20 minutes including credits. Only films completed after January 1, 2018 will be considered.

4) Films which are publicly available to view online are not eligible.

5) Only films which are selected to screen at the festival will receive notification.

6) If selected for screening at the festival, the filmmaker will be required to submit the following:
• Minimum two high-resolution film stills
• One high-resolution Director's headshot photo
• Brief synopsis of the film
• Film exhibition copy in 2K or 1080p resolution, in DCP, ProRes, or MP4 format
• Film trailer file and/or online link

7) Once a film has been selected for the festival it may not be withdrawn.

8) Screening fees will only be paid to Canadian films/filmmakers which are selected to screen at the festival.

9) One representative from each selected film will be provided with a pass to all festival events.

10) Your submission of this entry form confirms that:
• You have the legal right to represent and submit this film for consideration along with your acceptance of Short Circuit film festival regulations.
• CineVic, Short Circuit, and CINE⚡️SPARK are not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, or royalty infringements related to the work.
• You agree to allow the festival the use of your film and its publicity materials (including name, photo, and bio of Director) for promotional purposes.

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CINE⚡️SPARK rules:

• The CINESPARK production program is open to anyone residing on Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands. Eligibility will be determined at the script stage by the address stated in the submitter's (Writer's) FilmFreeway profile, and for the pitch competition by the address provided for the other team members (Director, Producer).

• Entrants must submit a complete short film script in standard screenplay format. THE WRITER'S NAME AND CONTACT INFO MUST BE REMOVED.

• You may submit as many scripts as you wish, but only one script per writer/submitter will be allowed in the Top 5.

• Scripts may be 10 pages maximum, not including title page. Scripts must be an original work and must be live-action narrative in any genre. (Documentary, animation, or experimental films are not eligible.)

• Submissions are judged based on both creativity and feasibility of production.

• We are unable to provide feedback on either successful or unsuccessful script submissions.

• The Top 5 finalists will be announced in April, 2020. These 5 Writers must then form their teams with a Director and a Producer for the pitch event. The Writer may fill 2, but not 3, of these key positions. The Top 5 will be required to submit a headshot photo and bio of each team member for promotional purposes.

• Teams will pitch their projects at Short Circuit in May 2020 (exact date and time TBA). Any one or a combination of all three team members (Writer, Director, Producer) may participate in the pitch presentation. Teams will be allowed 5 minutes maximum for their pitch, followed by 5 minutes maximum Q&A period with the jury.

• The winning team will receive: a $1,500 cash grant; up to $13,500 of in-kind CineVic equipment rentals toward production of the submitted film; $2,500 of in-kind William F. White equipment rentals toward production of the submitted film; $100 Modo driving credits toward production van rental; production insurance with 10 consecutive days of coverage; and a one-year complimentary CineVic Production Membership. Total package is valued at over $17,500 (no cash value).

• The winning team will enter into a Production Agreement with CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers and will be required to provide the completed film by April 1, 2021. The members of the winning team may not change after the pitch.

• The cash grant will be released via cheque in two instalments: 75% will be released upon signing of the agreement, and the remaining 25% will be released upon receipt of the finished film and promotional materials. If the film is not completed or provided by the deadline, all monies received by the winning team must be repaid to CineVic.

• The winning team will be required to provide a minimum of 6 production stills including: 2 action shots of filmmakers interacting with CineVic equipment, 2 action shots of filmmakers interacting with William F. Whites equipment, 2 action shots of filmmakers utilizing the Modo van.

• CineVic will maintain first rights to a Victoria premiere screening of the finished film.

• Any key members (Writer, Director, Producer) of a winning team may not submit to, nor participate in, future instances of this competition.

• CineVic, the selection committee, and pitch jury, may have already and may in the future receive or independently develop materials similar to the submitted scripts. All the above parties have the unrestricted right to use these similar materials, and you will have no right or recourse for use of these similar materials.

• CineVic reserves the right to cancel this program and refund entry fees.

Overall Rating
  • This festival was so lovely and hospitable. They are organized and on the ball and it's a great environment for a filmmaker. Highly recommend!

    September 2020
  • Lots of great films from the Pacific Rim and the Vancouver Island area in particular. I was initially somewhat disappointed that the festival had to be moved online in 2020, but after seeing what was put together in place of a physical event that disappointment subsided quickly. The filmmaker Q&As are a highlight of the festival and the quality of the films shown is high.

    September 2020
  • Javier Aparisi

    Highly recommended festival folks! I was honoured to participate in the last edition with my film "The Missing Picture" and I cannot but say good things about it. Organizers went above and beyond my expectations, particularly with the challenges Covid-19 imposed on them (they had to make the event online this year)

    June 2020
  • Cinespark treated our film team so well, despite the challenges of COVID-19 pushing it into an online festival for this year, I really felt they took such good care of us. Thank you to the CineSpark team.

    June 2020
  • Jim Knox

    Had a great time at this festival, great atmosphere and theatre!

    January 2020