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.

Overall Rating
  • mahmut taş

    It is a very beautiful festival that aims to be good to the world and hope. We were honored to be a part of the festival.

    March 2022
  • Pencil Design Studio

    We really had a Great Experience .

    January 2022
    Response from festival:

    We absolutely loved having Maa in the film festival lineup. Thank you for making such an incredibly beautiful film! :)

  • Hervé Bressaud

    Great festival ! I am very honored to have been a finalist with Urban Oasis and I enjoyed the film program a lot !

    January 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks, Hervé! We thank you for making such a lovely film. We are honored to include it in our festival. :)

  • B. Suresh Kumar

    UMANO international short film festival is unique in its own way of Selecting variety of Talents around the Globe. Proud to have my film
    ' School Bell ' as one of the Finalists in this Prestigious Platform. The Festival management and Jury contribution is commendable. Looking for the next Edition eagerly. HATS OFF UMANO.

    January 2022
    Response from festival:

    An excellent film you've made, Suresh! A stark reminder that we have a lot of work to do to make our world a more equitable place and a kinder place for all. Thank you for making such a moving film. :)

  • Donna Guthrie

    We were so proud to have MAGGIE MAY screened at this festival. Great communication...we hope to submit our new documentary to this festival in the coming months.

    January 2022
    Response from festival:

    Maggie May was an essential part of our festival lineup, Donna! Thank you for making such a huge, overwhelming issue so platable. We heard from numerous audience members that they didn't feel encumbered by the looming issues before them, instead, they felt inspired thanks to the light-hearted approach. Thank you. :)