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
  • 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
  • Anastasiia Platoshyna

    Toronto Youth Shorts was a great chance to talk to fellow film makers as well as take a look at their amazing hard work and learn from it. Getting feedback from the jury on our film was a very delightful part of the event as well. I definitely enjoyed the the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the festival and I am looking forward to attending TYS next year! Thank you for a wonderful experience!

    August 2017
  • Alexandra Kellner

    Great festival. Meeting the jury was a nice touch :) would totally be a part of it again

    August 2017
  • Toronto Youth Shorts was an amazing festival to be apart of! The whole team of program coordinators are amazing and made my first experience in a film festival a great one!
    Everything from the organization, pre-meet ups, networking experience, to the festival itself was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to meet and talk with other up and coming filmmakers.

    August 2017