We champion efforts to build empathy through storytelling. We strive to award quality shorts regardless of their budget.

The theme of our festival is Building Critical Empathy. To be eligible, your film must have a clear focus on a message that aims to make this world a better place taking humans, animals, and the environment into account. Your film could focus on key events or individuals, draw attention to different causes in a holistic manner or by encouraging others to join a cause. Please be as creative as you like and consider adding a call to arms to ensure that we encourage others to join in our efforts to make the world more compassionate.

Umano Cinema Shorts is created and sponsored by Umano, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Umano Cinema Shorts rewards the winner of each category with a $5,000 prize.

We accept short films (20 minutes or less) across 4 categories twice a year:

- Fiction
- Non-Fiction
- Animation
- Student

- We only accept short films based on our theme of radical/critical empathy
- Maximum film length 20 minutes (we have no minimum length)
- Films in languages other than English will only be accepted with English subtitles
- The official selection of films will be viewable on the Umano website
- In order to qualify for the Student Film category, your short must have been completed while you were enrolled in full-time education.
- Only electronic submissions are accepted, uploaded to Vimeo (either public or a private screener using a shared password).
- By submitting your film, you confirm that you own 100% of the rights to your work. If the work's copyright is held by more than one person, the submitter must have the written consent of all other owners prior to submitting.
- Entrant must be 18 years of age or older otherwise provide a written letter of consent from a legal guardian.
- Any decisions made by the judges and/or competition administrators must be considered final.
- Entry must be received by 11:59 PM PST on the due date specified.
- All rights to the submitted material remain with the entrant.
- A film may be entered into multiple categories.
- Umano Cinema Shorts has no festival premiere eligibility requirements. Shorts that have screened at festivals are still eligible.
- Umano Cinema Shorts has no public or internet broadcast eligibility requirements. If your short has screened on Vimeo etc, it is still eligible.
- Changes to submitted films will only be accepted if accompanied by a new submission.
- Stills of selected films may also be shown on the Umano website and publicity/promo material including press releases, brochures and other materials.
- Entrants are responsible for securing all rights and permissions from copyright and other holders relating to their short.
- Umano Cinema Shorts reserves the right to update or modify these terms and policies without prior notice.