Toronto Youth Shorts is Ontario's largest youth-based film festival that offers young filmmakers from the region a chance to showcase their work to a captive audience, learn from one another, and engage experienced working professionals.

The festival is supported by many industry and community organizations. NOW Magazine calls it "a festival with an intriguing mandate and a sense of genuine discovery."

Founded in 2009, Toronto Youth Shorts is a unique platform that exclusively screens media content created by local young talent from Southern Ontario. What started as a single screen has evolved into a multi-event festival featuring the best films by the industry's bright future stars. Like the city that hosts the festival, the programming repertoire highlights many voices of different backgrounds, providing a true reflection of diversity.

Participating films and artists gain industry credential and exposure in many ways, including television airtime and online media coverage. A jury panel made up of industry professionals provides feedback on the festival selection and determines the annual awards. Buyers attend the festival and many films have been acquired for distribution, a rare opportunity for youth-based festivals.



Screen-based work that is 20 minutes or less created by Ontario born or based residents aged 30 and under are eligible to submit to the festival. The event will take place in the Fall of 2023. Selected films are considered for juried awards and prizes.

Juried Awards include:
Achievement in Directing: Fiction
Achievement in Directing: Nonfiction
Achievement in Animation
Cultural Relevancy Award
Youth Emerging Artist Award

Non-Juried Awards:
-Audience Choice
-Industry Choice

PLEASE NOTE: We much prefer you upload your film directly to FilmFreeway instead of linking to Vimeo or YouTube.

The following conditions must be met for your film to be eligible:

-Films must be submitted by the director or producer.
-The DIRECTOR must be aged 30 or under on Sept 1, 2023
-The DIRECTOR must be born in, residing in, attending school in or will return to school in the Province of Ontario in Canada.
-We prefer for all films to be hardcoded with English subtitles.
-Films must be no longer than 20 minutes. In fact, the shorter, the better.
-All genres accepted.
-No works in progress. Incomplete films are not eligible.

For full festival rules and submission guidelines, please visit

Overall Rating
  • Arianna Grace Goarley

    Love to have an event for youth to see and celebrate each others work- it's also a good opportunity to network in our area.

    November 2023
  • Brayden Morin

    Really great festival! Lots of talent and great selection of films.

    September 2022
  • Jaskaran Gill

    I enjoyed every moment of my experience with Toronto Youth Shorts. The communication prior to the event was timely and respectful. On the day of the festival, I was greeted with a warm welcome. The quality of the films that played were impeccable. I was so inspired that our film 'The English Teacher' was playing alongside such great talent. And we went home with an award! All around excellent.

    September 2022
  • Jake Lee

    The organizers are very welcoming and enthusiastic, and, as a beginning filmmaker, I feel honoured to have my work shown at this small festival.

    November 2019
  • Excellent Toronto film festival! The films were amazing, the staff were so kind and helpful! They ran great events to help filmmakers network and get feedback on their work. There was lots of emerging talent and a great variety of films! Definitely something for everyone and I'd recommend attending their next festival!

    September 2019