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.



1) The 10th anniversary edition of the film festival, featuring work that are 20 minutes or less by Southern Ontario residents aged 30 or under. Traditionally, films that play at our main festival encompasses a narrative, fiction or factual, that audiences can follow (but we make exceptions for great experimental works as well). This takes place in September over two days and is where films are considered for juried awards and prizes.

2) The 2nd edition of TYS180, our microfilm showcase featuring work that are 180 seconds (3 minutes) or less. We are partnering with the Doors Open Toronto for this year's showcase. We are seeking any type of screen-based work with themes of urbanism, architecture, space, and design but also encourage you to send us work that is quirky and a little more "out there" with this category.

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

The following conditions must be met in order to be eligible for our programs:

-Films must be submitted by the director or producer.
-The director must be aged 30 or under on September 1, 2018
-The director must be born in, residing in, attending school in or will return to school in the Southern Ontario area in Canada.
-Films can be of any language but films with non-English dialogue require English subtitles.
-All genres accepted.
-No works in progress. Incomplete films are not eligible.

Submissions to the 10th annual Toronto Youth Shorts film festival must be 20 minutes or less.

Submissions to the 2nd edition of TYS180 must be 3 minutes or less.

For full festival rules and submission guidelines, please visit

Overall Rating

    Great time and a great audience for our film!

    November 2018
  • Spencer Ryerson

    I have luckily had the chance to be a part of TYS on a few occasions now and it's always a pleasure to be a part of the festival. Henry and his team are communicative and it's great to see films from so many other talented young filmmakers. There's also a jury that the filmmakers get to speak to before their films play, which is a great opportunity for getting feedback on one's film and discussing it with someone who has no prior knowledge of the project.

    October 2018
  • Ryan Shuler

    TYS was the finest experience we have had in the festival run of our short, Green Shoes. Henry has put together an elite team of programmers, and in turn, a slate of shorts that is the highest caliber we have enjoyed in our time on the circuit. Thank you for an incredible weekend!

    -Jessica Ryan and Justin Giegerich (Green Shoes)

    September 2018
  • Sean K

    Great festival run by some great people. Loved the energy and selection. Can't wait to participate again in the future!

    September 2017
  • Enjoyed every aspect of the festival from the meet up to the award ceremony. A great opportunity for emerging filmmakers to network and watch a screening of their film!

    August 2017