The Short. Sweet. Film Fest. is a short film only film festival created by actual filmmakers. We found it challenging to showcase our own short films at film festivals who mainly program around feature films. In the age of streaming there are more opportunities than ever before to share your work, but we often asked ourselves, "do we really want to premiere our short film alongside silly kitten videos?" Even though we love kittens (who doesn’t?), we love short films more and want to present them in the professional setting they deserve.

With eleven festivals under our belt, our goal for our twelfth annual film festival is to showcase films under 40 minutes to the growing art scene in the greater Cleveland area and highlight the works of student to veteran filmmakers across the country. We look for short, sweet, original, and unique films that would often soar under the radar of most festivals. Our staff are looking for the best short films locally, nationally, and internationally. So send them our way!

Students should submit to the short student film category to receive a significant discount off of the submission fee.

Our festival will take place at Atlas Cinemas in the heart of downtown Shaker Square.

All selections are eligible to win best, outstanding, or honorable mention in their respective categories. These awards will be announced at the end of programming for each category of film.

The top screenplay award winners will be announced in advance and will be read live at a table reading recorded in advance to be streamed online. The table readings will be directed and read by Cleveland based directors and actors and the readings will be free to stream, so screenwriters may receive the maximum amount of exposure.

• Productions made after January 1, 2015 may be submitted.
• Do not submit works in progress.
• Do not submit industrial or instructional works.
• All films submitted must be available in .mov format for presentation. No exceptions.
• A majority of films in digital video formats will be transferred temporarily onto a hard drive system for presentation.
• Filmmakers are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to send films with closed captioning if selected as they will be featured in additional programming and prominently displayed within the online festival.
• All entries must be postmarked by Saturday, December 31st, 2022. (Early submission discounts apply until September 30th – see fee schedule.)
• Flash or Memory sticks submitted will NOT be returned.
• Films selected for the Short. Sweet. Film Fest. will be announced no later than Friday, January 20th, 2023.
• Prints or videos for presentation must arrive no later than Wednesday, February 1st, 2023.

Overall Rating
  • Steve Wieclaw

    Had a wonderful time at the Short Sweet Film Fest. It was great to travel back to Cleveland to watch my film Agua Eterna with friends and family. The staff was friendly and the location was incredible. I highly recommend attending this festival!

    September 2022
  • Debi Fellows

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for screening my dark comedy, The Specialist. Great festival. I appreciated the dual format, as it ended up that I could not attend. See you next year!!

    April 2022
  • Dan Edwards

    This is my fourth time participating in the Short.Sweet. and it is consistently a great experience. The screenings are well attended, and the overall atmosphere is very positive toward the filmmakers. For anyone considering submitting their film, I highly recommend it!

    March 2022
  • Tim Wesemann

    I love this festival even though I did not attend in person but I was so impressed with every aspect while following on social media and through their communication. Kudos to a job well done. I was honored to be an official selection and look forward to entering my future projects.

    March 2022
  • Frederic Eynck

    The Short. Sweet. Film Fest. was really great. Not only was this our first festival in person since Covid but we traveled from Germany as we premiered in Cleveland. Mike and the whole team made the whole festival a fantastic experience and we were able to make a lot of new connections with other filmmakers, besides the great selection of films in the different programs.

    March 2022