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
  • I had the absolute honor of being awarded "Best Screenplay" at Short. Sweet. Film Fest. 2020 and I can't fully express what a wonderful time I had at the festival!
    Festival Director Mike Suglio and team showcased a Staged Reading of my short "People in A Box" performed by a professional director and actors. They also hosted a phenomenal Q & A afterward that left me beaming with inspiration and excitement to collaborate with these folks to eventually produce the film. Short. Sweet. showcases such high caliber short films in facilities that were both fancy and comfortable where I got to meet other filmmakers who are now my good friends!
    I can't recommend this festival enough!

    April 2020
  • I have been fortunate enough to have had two films play at the Short. Sweet. Film Fest. I haven't been able to attend in person yet (though I'm hopeful I'll get the chance to do so one day), but I've been thoroughly impressed by how smoothly it's run and how great the communication is from Michael Suglio, the festival director. Everything is really well done!

    April 2020
  • Short. Sweet. Film fest had excellent communication and wonderful programming! Although not able to attend, we were honored to screen and be recognized as Outstanding Horror Short. The festival directors were courteous and always kept us informed on scheduling and updates. Attendees contacted me to follow up on the film as well! Highly recommended!

    March 2020
  • Mike Suglio and team have a deep passion for indie film that is evident with each aspect of SSFF. The programming gets stronger and stronger each year, and every year there is more community involvement. The venue is fantastic.

    He does a really great job of connecting regional filmmakers, so if you live within driving distance of Cleveland Ohio, this is a "must submit" event.

    March 2020
  • Simone's Music n' Stuff

    I was lucky enough to have my film festival debut at Short Sweet. Such an entertaining weekend, filled with nice, talented people, and a very well-organized event in itself. Such a privilege to be there. Thank you Mike!

    March 2020