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 nine festivals under our belt, our goal for our tenth annual film festival is to showcase films under 30 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 in the Alex Theater at the Metropolitan at the 9 hotel in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Filmmakers and patrons can stay at the hotel at a discounted rate and enjoy food and beverages throughout the festival.

In the event of a need to move the festival online for health and safety concerns, all selected films will screen online on our website, which will require a password protected secure login to view them.

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 on Saturday, February 27th, 2021.

The top screenplay award winners will be announced in advance and will be read live at a table reading during the film festival. The table readings will be directed and read by Cleveland based directors and actors and the readings will be free and open to the public, 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 or .mpg4 format for presentation.
• A majority of films in digital video formats will be transferred temporarily onto a hard drive system for presentation.
• All entries must be postmarked by Thursday, December 31st, 2020. (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 15th, 2021.
• Prints or videos for presentation must arrive no later than Monday, February 1st, 2021.

Overall Rating
  • Sow the Seeds Productions

    Loved being a part of it. Organized with a lot of heart. Thanks for having us!

    April 2021
  • Eddie Shieh

    Super honored to have screened my 3rd film with SSFF again. They're great at communicating, updates and do a great job networking filmmakers. All this through the pandemic. I hope to be back to experience it in person. Thanks again and be safe!

    April 2021
  • Keith Eyrich

    Awesome fest! Communication with Mike was excellent, the Q and A was extremely well organized, and he even took the time to mail out customized certificates! Highly recommended!!!

    March 2021
  • Vahan Bedelian

    I was impressed by the quality of films at this festival. I've been to festivals in the past where some of the films were good, but some of them were unwatchable. Every film I saw at this festival met a level of quality that I was proud to have my film screened alongside.

    The theater is comfortable, the staff is friendly, and I had a great time networking with the other filmmakers.

    March 2021
  • Jack Tarling

    Mike and the folks at Short. Sweet Film Fest were great! Super accommodating with the online festival and setting up the online Q&A. Hope to submit my next shorts to them in the near future!

    March 2021