* Covid 19 Update. We are still open for submissions and will be looking to move screenings to September once it is safe to do so.
The Short Com International Film Festival takes place in Edinburgh during the world's largest cultural arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe and International Festival in August, where world class talent and comedy eager audiences descend.
Short Com is a short comedy film festival that has grown from strength to strength from humble beginnings back in 2011, where it started in Manchester.
Short Com prides itself on the quality of its programme and the range of comedy stylings it has screened. The most emphatic thing we look for in a film is its ability to make an audience laugh or smile, thus we consider ourselves the most competitive comedy short film festival in Europe. Short Com has screened films from BAFTA nominated films and multiple award winners to simple home made films that have warmed and vastly amused audiences.
Short Com has screened during the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, in London and for the first time in Bristol and finished its run and closed with its award ceremony at the Glasgow Short Film Festival. One of the largest short film festivals in the UK.
Why submit to Short Com? Short Com prides itself on the quality of its programme. There is a great deal of honour to selected filmmakers who make it to the annual best of screenings. Plus it will be taking place during the world's largest arts and culture festival. In the past we have been sponsored by Blackmagic Design, Final Draft and Festival Formula all donating fantastic prizes for winning films in our category awards section. We will be looking to work with new brands to continue this tradition and bring some excellent prizes.
Please find the selected films from 2016 and 2019 below.
2019 Programme https://issuu.com/theweeshort/docs/short_com_teaser_brochure__2_
Check out our trailer on youtube https://youtu.be/WY6S1t9svvY
Sitcom Script Competition
Short Com is delighted to announce its first ever script competition. Having screened some of the funniest short comedy films for several years by emerging comedy film-making talent to audiences and industry alike, we are now looking to unearth comedic writing talent to help kick-start their writing career.
What Are We Looking For?
It’s one thing to be able to write funny ideas but can you also write a story within 22-30 pages and have characters that stand-out in a world that we’d want to come back and see in the next episode? Whether your idea uses a single-camera setup or is the more adventurous multi-camera format, we’re looking for solid sitcom ideas, great writing, and plenty of humour that shows wide audience appeal.
What is a sitcom? Sitcom is short for the term situation-comedy where a fixed set of returning characters carry on over from episode to episode which is often set in the same location. They’re sometimes considered an economical format to create a series in a minimalist setting, but even some of the big budgeted shows continue to return to their home setting, like the converted living room in Silicon Valley as an incubator hub to the squalor flat that Eddie and Rickie wreaked havoc in Bottom.
Our expert panel of readers will judge over scripts by breaking down a script’s strengths in areas such as characters; plot, dialogue, concept, writing and how funny it is. The reading team are experienced script readers who have read for reputable production companies and script competitions. And have a G.S.O.H. ;)
$500 for the funniest film voted by a panel of judges.
We can finally announce the judges for Short Com this year. We're really pleased to have the writers and directors of the international hit sitcom Norsemen on Netflix Jon Iver Helgaker, Jonas Torgersen as well as film producer Chiara Ventura and Charlie Perkins from Blink Industries presiding over the finalised programme selecting what they deem to be the funniest entrants.
Consultancy from film festival strategy experts Festival Formula.
Digital certificate awarded to those screened at the awards ceremony.
More prizes and awards to be announced. Previous prizes in the past have been camera and software equipment from Black Magic Cinema, screenwriting software from Final Draft and consultancy prize from Festival Formula.
The winning writer will receive extended development feedback and the script will be considered to be circulated to appropriate production houses.
Films ideally should be no longer than twenty minutes for extended narrative based shorts. Do be warned though, usually the shorter the film the better. Our audiences are used to shorter films and it would have to be something exceptional to keep an audiences’ attention if a long short. There is no set minimum length and we have shown shorts under a minute.
Sketch vs. Narrative. We are a fan of both and this year we will be creating two separate programmes. We have a tendency at Short Com for putting funny content before production values and we aim to continue that. But we will also running a ‘Vision Category’ that focuses on directorial vision in comedy.
Films must be released after March 2019. Try to be honest please.
Foreign language entries must contain English subtitles.
Content must not be offensive to minorities or portray racism. Politically incorrect is okay but try to know your boundaries.
The filmmaker gives permission for Short Com to use images and footage of their film for the purposes of promoting Short Com events.
Submitting your film to Short Com does not mean your film will be selected for screening at Short Com events. Only selected films are screened in the Short Com programme.
A final disclaimer. You have the right to submit the film and are responsible for any copyrighted material within your film. Short Com cannot be held responsible for the promotion and distribution of materials that contain footage or music that does not have the required legal permissions. Basically we’re not having our arse sued because you’ve been a bit lazy. Short Com is under no obligation to screen films that do not satisfy the criteria set above.
For Film schools or individuals who would like to submit several films, get in touch regarding a discount for packaged submissions.
Scripts must be written in industry screenplay format. If you don’t know what that is… https://screenwriting.io/what-is-standard-screenplay-format/
Scripts are between 23-30 pages.
Include a one pitch page that outlines your concept of the sitcom, series outline and potential ideal cast in mind.
No discriminatory language.
Material is your own original writing. (Writing teams are permitted) Breach of copyright is not permitted unless prior permission is sought and granted.
Authors of submissions will contain their copyright of their own material.
Entrants cannot have a sitcom previously commissioned by a serious network or broadcaster that has gone out to broadcast.
Entrants cannot approach readers or the judging panel enquiring the judging status of their script. Entrants can be immediately disqualified if found to have broken this rule.
Our judging panel are made up of expert and experienced comedy producers and writers.
We’re proud to announce our panel of judges for the first Short Com Sitcom Competition are:
The judging panel could be subject to change.
We’re not saying you have to obey the rules of screenwriting and the craft but it’s good to know what they are.
The BBC Writers Room has a good archive of scripts of some of their sitcoms from over the years that you can find here if you’re looking for examples of different sitcom scripts.
Structure can be a tricky thing to wrap one’s head around. This article by Luca Giordano has some handy tips to get you thinking about the importance of getting structure right in sitcoms.
How To Enter?
We will ensure that all scripts are read in their entirety. To prove this we will provide a minimum of one page feedback on standard entries. We also offer the option of extended feedback of scripts at £60. This is recommendable to those who are fairly early in their screenwriting career.
Early Bird Deadline – April 3rd- £35
Regular Deadline – June 15th – £40
Late Deadline July 1st £45
Submit a PDF copy of your script to email@example.com along with a one page pitch of your sitcom idea.
We are flexible upon payment method, Paypal, Transfer Wise or Bank Transfer.
Do not hesitate to ask us any questions.
Best of luck,