The Shortcut 100 International Film Festival is an annual showcase dedicated to promoting the best in independent short film from both established and 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 unique artistic visions of independent cinema from around the world.
Based in Chicago and run by filmmakers from Nebula Creatives L3C, every year features an opening reception, awards chosen by our audience and an after party with filmmakers in attendance - all in a ‘short-and-sweet’ 3-hour program.
2024, we celebrate our 11th anniversary! Same as last year, we are proudly partnering with Pixquid. Winners at our festival will have an opportunity to distribute their award winning short films on the platform. Official selections will automatically be entered for distribution consideration. Either way, your hard work and passion would finally pay off! For more information about Pixquid, sign up for a free account at and check it out!

Your short film could be screened and awarded as follows:

1) Shortcut 100 Audience Award
Distribution Opportunity on Pixquid (
Audience Award Trophy
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2) Best Shot In Chicago Award
Distribution Opportunity on Pixquid (
Best Shot In Chicago Trophy
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3) Female Filmmaker Showcase Award
Distribution Opportunity on Pixquid (
Female Filmmaker Showcase Award Trophy
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4) Best Short Screenplay Award (up to 20 pages in length) - presented by Chicago Screenwriters Network (CSN)
CSN Award Certificate
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5) Student Spotlight Award
Distribution Opportunity on Pixquid (
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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 via FIlmFreeway. 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 2018 and August 2024.
• 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
• 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, 2020.
• 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
  • Great Festival. Communication was fantastic. It was a joy to be apart of this festival and its unique platform, still in shock to take home the Audience award.

    November 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Carter, and congrats on the award! Looking forward to having you and your work again in the future!

  • Wonderful festival, very inclusive and communication was first rate! Delighted to have been a part of it.

    November 2023
    Response from festival:

    It was so lovely to have you and Sophia at our festival! You both were amazing and supportive. We look forward to featuring you and again in the future!

  • Thanks for selecting "Enter the Room" into your festival. The communication was clear and concise and I received everything that I needed. I had a good experience overall and will consider submitting future projects to Shortcut 100.

    November 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the review, Harry! We missed you at the closing night but we're glad you shared you work with us. Looking forward to having you and work at our festival again in the future!

  • It was a pleasure to participate in this festival. A really interesting experience. Thank you

    November 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Antonio for the review! Looking forward to an opportunity to check out your work again next year!

  • Joe Leone

    I thank you for the recognition of FARM CLUB as short Screenplay award winner. It is greatly appreciated! I look forward to submitting additional material in the future 👍🏻

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Hi Joe! Thank you for the review! It was an honor to have your screenplay as this year's winner. Looking forward to the future!