Are you a filmmaker in Chicago? You may be eligible for submission fee waiver when submitting your short film before our early deadline on February 9! Email us for details.

The Shortcut 100 International Film Festival is an annual showcase dedicated to promoting the best in independent short film from emerging filmmakers.

For the same amount of time as an average feature film (around 100 minutes) we offer our audience access to the up-and-coming voices and artistic visions of independent cinema from around the world.

Based in Chicago and run by filmmakers from Nebula Creatives L3C, every year features a red carpet reception, awards chosen by our audience and an after party with filmmakers in attendance.

Our mission is to connect the diverse visions and voices of our community with audiences who will appreciate their work in an accessible and inspiring way.


This special year 2020 marks our 8th anniversary with our new and exciting partners:

The City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE)
One Hope United (
Chicago Screenwriters Network (CSN,

See details in the "Awards & Prizes" section below.

Your short film could be screened and awarded at one of this year's partnership programs:

Shortcut 100 + One Hope United Film Festival at the Cassidy Theatre, Chicago Cultural Center, on April 22, 2020 (eligible for One Hope United audience award) Children and Family theme. Submissions that creatively explore the topics of child abuse or child abuse prevention and/or examine how healing from trauma can be attained are strongly encouraged.
* Part of proceeds will be donated to One Hope United during Child Abuse Prevention Month*

Shortcut 100 + Wakandacon Sci-Fi Movie Fest at the Cassidy Theatre, Chicago Cultural Center, as part of the 2020 Wakandacon Event in August (eligible for an audience award) - Sci-Fi Theme

The 8th Annual Shortcut 100 International Film Festival - the original program in fall that offers:
1) Female Filmmaker Showcase Award (for best film by a woman filmmaker)
2) Best Shot-in-Chicago Award (for best locally produced film)
3) Best Short Screenplay Award (up to 20 pages in length) - presented by Chicago Screenwriters Network (CSN)
4) 2020 Shortcut 100 audience award

For short film submissions in all categories:
By submitting your film to Shortcut 100, you agree to the following terms and conditions:
• Filmmakers must submit their films to Shortcut 100 Film Festival as URL links (YouTube or Vimeo) online. Do not send your master tape or original.
• Submission of film constitutes your affirmation that it does not violate any copyright.
• Films must be 30 minutes or less. Films need to have been produced and/or completed between January 2016 and July 2020.
• The film(s) can be produced anywhere in the world.
• If selected, you must submit a bio and one or more high resolution production stills and/or promotional photos of key film participants. These files make it easier for Nebula Creatives to promote your film on the web, with media, and in the Festival program.
• The early submission fee is $20-25 per film, $25-30 for regular deadline, and $30-40 for extended deadline. The fee is non-refundable. (Do you follow us on Facebook and Twitter? You might be able to be eligible for a discount! Message us for more details.)
• Once entered, films may not be withdrawn from participation at Shortcut 100. Once withdrawn, the film may not be resubmitted.
• Applicant hereby grants Shortcut 100 Film Festival the right to utilize up to 60 seconds of the film for promotional purposes, also to use stills, biographical material, names and likenesses from the film for promotional purposes and in the Festival program. Further to provide copies of the film for journalists to review, to show the film at press screenings, if any, and during the Festival.
• Shortcut 100 Film Festival will use its best efforts to ensure the correct title and credits are listed in the Festival Program, but shall not be held liable for inadvertent errors or omissions.
• Festival programmers and judges shall determine selections and together with the festival audience for the award winners, if any, at their sole discretion.
• Shortcut 100 Film Festival reserves the right to decide all questions not specifically provided for in the Terms and Conditions.
• Nebula Creatives reserves the right to adjust dates and times of film screenings without notice. Nebula Creatives shall not be responsible for delays or cancellations due to equipment failure, shipping problems, or films damaged in transit.
• Any work produced or submitted by festival personnel or staff involved in organizing any aspects of the festival will not be accepted.

Guidelines for All Short Scripts:
• Scripts must have been completed after January 1, 2018.
• Submitted Short scripts need to be between 10 and 20 pages in length and must be an original script and the sole property of the applicant(s). No exceptions.
• All non-English language short scripts will need to be translated and submitted in English.
• A separate entry form and additional entry fee must be submitted for each script.
Submissions need to be the final version; no corrections or substitutions of pages will be
allowed once the script is uploaded into the web portal.
• Entries will need to be uploaded as a PDF.
• Scripts must not be in production.
• All ages are eligible.
• Submissions to the Short script contest are required to have a Cover page with the following information:

Screenplay Title
Participant’s Name
Page Count (excluding the Cover Page)
Participants Address
Contact Email Address (can include two email addresses if applicant so desires)
Phone Number (please include area code)

• If a submitted script becomes optioned, produced or purchased between the time of submission and the end of the judging period, that script will no longer be eligible to win an award.
• Scripts, including outlines, treatments, pitches, log lines or any developmental material related to the script, that have previously won any contest, competition, grants, lab, fellowship, mentorship, reading or award of any kind, are not eligible.
• Scripts submitted under a pen name will be immediately disqualified.
• The title for the script cannot be changed and resubmission later under a different name.

Overall Rating
  • Neal O'Bryan

    It was such an honor to have our film screened at Shortcut 100. We were unable to attend, unfortunately, but Rujanee and team kept us informed of any updates with the festival and were always quick to respond whenever we had a question. They even followed up with us after the festival. We definitely recommend this festival and would be honored to have another film screen here in the future.

    October 2019
  • Highly recommend ShortCut 100! Rujanee and the entire team were very responsive and professional throughout the whole process. It was a pleasure and honor to be part of the festival and am so grateful my script, First Day, was selected as Best Screenplay.

    October 2019
  • It was an honor to have our film COLLIDE screened at the Shorcut100 Film Festival. The selection of the 11 films was impressive. Each films was really very well done and all films fit the theme set by the program director. The organizers Rujanee and Christian were very friendly and helpful with all accommodations. Moreover, the choice of venue is ideal. Logan Cinema is an iconic theater in a very hip neighborhood of Chicago. Our friends, who we have invited, really enjoyed the event. Thank you again!

    September 2019
  • Truly an incredible selection of films! It was a really fun night with wonderful coordinators. Thanks again!

    September 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Hyten ! Congratulations to “West Virginian Starfish” being our winner in the best short screenplay. Looking forward to seeing you at the fest next year!

  • Christopher Oliva

    Our experience with Shortcut 100 was great. Their communication was wonderful and their passion for the films was equally good. They were very accommodating with any questions or concerns that we had. And the technical quality of the festival was of high standard.

    October 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the review, Chris! It was wonderful having "SPACEMAN." at our festival this year. We loved it and obviously so did our audience since it won the Audience Award. Looking forward to seeing more of your work next year.