The Shawna Shea Film Festival (SSFF) is a fringe independent international film festival. We love quirky and experimental films as much as we love straight narratives. All are welcome.

Established in 2012 the SSFF is a fundraiser for the Shawna E Shea Memorial Foundation Inc, a 501(c)(3), to honor Shawna's unique independent spirit by highlighting truly independent films that share the same quality.

The funds raised from the festival go towards scholarships and fellowships, including a Women in Film Fellowship.

Every year we have an opening night networking party and on the closing night we have an awards ceremony and party with food and a band. It is a party!


As you are all aware these are challenging times for film festivals and the filmmakers we try to support. With Covid-19 we are all trying to navigate this pandemic and do what is best for all involved. And for us safety is our primary concern.

We had hoped we would be in better shape by this Fall but containing the virus seems to be challenging. SSFF and the SSFF Shorts Festival are fringe festivals. We do not screen in movie theaters. In some cases we screen in bars. As it is right now in Massachusetts, the establishments we like to call home for both festivals aren’t open, or if they are open, can not fill our needs. A block of shorts with only ten people in the audience is problematic. 

So it is with great reluctance we are announcing that we will be screening the SSFF Spring Shorts online to October 3rd. It will be a one day festival, geo-blocked to just the USA, much like Fantasia is geo-blocked to Canada only and each block will run at a specific time. Once.
You will get more information in the coming weeks.

As for the major SSFF October Festival, we are postponing that until next May, when we normally run the shorts festival in hopes that we can have a live event by then. We will still close submission on August 19th to be fair to all who have submitted so far. We will push back the announcements until October 5th so it will be after the SSFF Shorts Festival ends. Once we solidify the date of the festival we’ll update it on FilmFreeway.

So basically we are going from Spring into Fall and then Fall into Spring with both festivals.

Our thanks go out to all of you as you are helping us grow the Shawna E Shea Memorial Foundation, Inc. For that we are all extremely grateful.

We appreciate all of your support and now, patience. 

Every year we give out Best of Awards in many categories including the Women in Film Award and the William Gerrity Award.

We also offer a Female Fellowship Award every year to aspiring female filmmakers from around the world. Go to the Shawna E Shea Memorial Foundation website for more details.

All films must have been produced in the past three years. We accept digital files only for screening purposes. No fee waivers are offered. We reserve the right to screen accepted films at festival events throughout the year. All films that are not in English must have subtitles. For our screenings we require MP4 files.

All screenplays must be under 110 pages for features.

No Waivers. Please don't ask for waivers. This is a fundraiser for our foundation. That would defeat the purpose.

We are not responsible for travel or accommodations.

Overall Rating
  • Fatemeh Mohammadi

    Thanks a lot for selected my short film.This is proud for me

    December 2019
  • Inga Vosk

    It was great experience, great communication, though I couldn't attend this year. Skip Shea is very friendly and welcoming. All of the other filmmakers were very nice too finding me on social media to communicate. My feature #STEALTH completely shot on iPhone was highly estimated (I couldn't even believe) it means a lot to me! I will do all my best one day to attend the Festival myself, in person. Thank you!

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you! We look forward to seeing what you produce next!

  • Adam Newman

    Skip Shea runs a fantastic festival with a unique and eclectic selection of films. Will absolutely be submitting more films to this festival in the future.

    October 2019
  • Although I couldn't attend, I am thrilled that It's Time for Tea was part of the 2019 Shawna Shea Memorial Film Festival. Thank you!

    October 2019
  • Rachel Thomas-Medwid

    Thrilled that my short screenplay "The Squirrels in the Attic" won first place! Unfortunately I couldn't be there but the communication was excellent and prompt. Thank you so much for the honor and I hope to submit again and hopefully attend.

    October 2019