Offering an exciting mix of films irrespective of genre, style or budget, The Short Cinema provides writers, producers and directors with the opportunity to exhibit their work on the big screen to a discerning audience of film lovers.

The festival also allows filmmakers to meet and discuss their work with their peers, strengthening bonds with not just the Midlands filmmaking community but with international filmmakers alongside public screenings curated by partners.

Over the last sixteen years, The Short Cinema has grown from a small grassroots pop-up screening to a much bigger international (but still grassroots) festival. It aims to continue this growth, exploring and providing new opportunities for anyone involved in Midlands film to develop and exhibit their work, both in the region and worldwide, and celebrate short film as an art form in its own right.

During the pandemic, we pivoted to a quarterly event called The Short Cinema Show and Tell, which has been running since 2021, but this year sees a return to the festival programme.

The 2024 edition of the festival will take place at Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre, Leicester, UK, between 24th– 28th April 2024.

Best International Narrative Short
Best International Animation Short
Best International Documentary Short
Best International Experimental Short

Best UK Narrative Short
Best UK Animation Short
Best UK Documentary Short
Best UK Experimental Short

Other Awards:
Best Sound
Best Performance
Audience Choice Award
Special Jury Mention

Please make sure you submit your film into the correct category in relation to duration and origin of the film.

You may submit short films of all production techniques and genre including drama, documentary, comedy, animation and experimental films.

The main contact completing the application form must be authorised to submit the film for consideration including permission from a distributor or sales agent representing the film and must have obtained necessary permission for the inclusion of copyrighted music and/or images within the films.

The Short Cinema does not require any premiere status but please note that this may come into consideration during the selection process.

If the original language of any dialogue or text featured in the film is not English, the preview and screening copy must be subtitled in English or be accompanied by an English transcription.

All films are viewed by more than one person to be given a non-subjective decision but after that all programming selections are final.

If your entry is chosen for the programme, you will be asked to supply a DCP or MPEG-2 (H.262) file for screening at the festival.

Participants are not entitled to claim for rights or other fees for the screenings of their films at the festival.

At the point of payment on your submission, you will be asked if you have read and agree with the Terms and Conditions laid out on this page. By agreeing to proceed with your submission, you are agreeing to these Terms and Conditions and your application can then be processed. The entry of a film is binding and implies the acceptance of these regulations.

In the event of disagreement concerning the interpretation of the regulations, the interpretation of the festival will take precedence and failure to comply with these Terms and Conditions may result in the submission being disqualified.

These regulations are subject to change without prior notice.

Overall Rating
  • Tom Clover

    Absolutely amazing festival, felt honoured for my film to be a part of British Shorts category. The communication was spot on and felt very welcome at the festival.. they even gave me a goodie bag!

    Would highly recommend attending and/or entering this festival!

    Tom x**

    September 2019
  • I submitted 3 films and had 1 selected, which was great but unfortunately I was unable to attend. A few of friends of mine who are filmmakers loved the festival. I hope to attend if another film of mine is selected.

    August 2019
  • Lee Christopher Tomes

    An excellent international festival with firm local roots. The quality of films on show was exceptional. We where delighted our short film was chosen to screen at the 2018 festival and thoroughly enjoyed networking with fellow filmmaker afterwards.

    September 2018
  • We are massive fans of championing regional festivals, and The Short Cinema folks are no different. A strong programme and love and attention giving to running the festival - that's what you want and need as a filmmaker.

    September 2018
  • Sam Harvey

    It was a joy having my first doc short 'Valerie' included at the Short Cinema festival in Leicester. The standard of work was very high, the venue fantastic and have had some really pleasant and helpful interactions with the event organisers. I look forward to attending (and hopefully submitting) again in the future. Thank you!

    September 2018