The Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest of 2018 was such a success, we've decided to do it again! This two-day, film festival is hosted by the Waltham Film Factory, a community-based collaboration residing at the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation.

The core of the Museum's mission is to encourage and inspire future innovation in America. The Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest has been created to celebrate the filmmaking industry and the art and science that it manifests. The short film genre was chosen because of its inclusiveness; more films can be viewed in the time available, and more aspiring filmmakers are able to complete high quality short projects than feature-length films—a truth that will inspire—in a very inspiring place.

The Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest welcomes films of up to 15 minutes in length. Festival categories are:

• Documentary
• Narrative
• Animation/Experimental

English-language subtitled Foreign Language submissions are welcome.

Refreshments will be available. There will be Q&A's with present filmmakers at each other screening breaks.

**The Charles River Museum is located in the historic Francis Cabot Lowell Mill, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Mill, portions of which also have National Historic Landmark status, was the first fully-integrated factory in the United States, and is the cornerstone of the American Industrial Revolution.**

The Inaugural Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest offers filmmaker awards in several different categories and $2,000 in cash and prizes.

1) Entries must not exceed 15 minutes in duration including all titles and credits.

2) There is no production date restriction.

3) If the film is not in English, then it must have hard-coded English subtitles.

4) The Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest (WFFSF) reserves the right to refuse to screen any submission deemed by the Festival to be inappropriate. Should you wish to question WFFSF about their decision, you can contact us by email at

5) All submissions are screened and evaluated by the WFFSF Preview and Selection Committees, appointed by the festival director. Their reports are final and confidential. All films received, which meet our criteria, will be screened at the festival at the Charles River Museum. These films will be screened at least once during the festival. Due to the amount of films we receive only the top scoring films will go through into the competition. Submitters will be advised via email as to whether they’ve been selected. Selections will be announced on our website and on our Facebook page on September 31, 2019.

6) In the event of a film being withdrawn, WFFSF will not be liable to refund the fee or return the materials entered.

7) WFFSF will determine the date and time when submissions will be screened. WFFSF cannot be held accountable for changes to the schedule after the festival line-up is announced.

8) Participation in WFFSF grants us the authorization to show the entered film at the Festival. Viewing will only be possible during the Festival.

9) A fee is required upon submission. For payment structure, see elsewhere on FilmFreeway website.

10) One entry fee per category, per film. The same film can be entered into one or more categories, but each category requires an entry fee. If the filmmaker chooses to enter more than one category with the same film, please add an incremental numerical addendum in brackets after the title; i.e. “Film Title” (1), “Film Title” (2) etc. as the system requires this differentiation in the case of multiple entries with the same title.

11) Exclusively the participant shall pay all fees in relation to the uploading or mailing. The Festival will not be responsible for the cost of receiving any additional materials i.e. posters, photos, etc.

12) If music or additional film material used in your film is not original, then permission from source must be obtained. The responsibility for this rests entirely with the filmmaker. Failure to obtain clearance could result in your film being withdrawn from the Festival. In this event, WFFSF will not be liable to refund the fee or return the materials entered.

13) The submission of a film to WFFSF will be considered to be an acknowledgement of the festival rules.

14) Entrants should UPLOAD their film to FilmFreeway on the day that the entry form is completed. Please include your press kit including still photos. Please write a 10-15 word (ONLY) synopsis for use in our festival program – should your film be selected. WE WOULD LIKE TO ENSURE THAT THE JUDGES VIEW YOUR FILM IN THE HIGHEST QUALITY POSSIBLE SO WE WILL ONLY ACCEPT FINAL VERSIONS. PLEASE SURE THAT YOUR FILM IS READY AT THE TIME OF ENTRY.

15) WFFSF will contact you if there are any problems with your film. Once downloaded by us, your film will be loaded onto our festival server.

16) Please do not send DVD’s or copies of your film directly to us unless requested to do so. At time of submission we will only accept your entry if your film is uploaded to FilmFreeway.

17) WFFSF will attempt to resolve any technical matter related to your submission. For more information and queries contact

18) Once we have received your Film, Photo(s), Fee and Form you will receive an email confirming your entry is ‘In Consideration’. Please note that unless we receive ALL these items your entry is NOT confirmed.

19) All queries relating to your submission should be sent to

Overall Rating
  • Jenn Gomez

    What a great festival! We really felt like our presence was appreciated by the judges and the venue was a super cool spot. Michael was a great host and took the time to speak with me and my crew at the end of the evening. Hoping to be able to submit again in the future!

    December 2019
  • Radheya Jegatheva

    truly wonderful festival. so thrilled that one mf my mentors could attend on behalf and following froma distance was amazing too. very thoughtful awards as well representing the history of the region! Hope I am back in next year :)

    December 2019
  • Laurel Vail

    I so wish I could have gone. The venue is a museum that used to be a factory, so it looks like such an amazing space to have this event. They had great communication as well.

    February 2019
  • Anastasia Dyakova

    What a fantastic festival. I was not able to attend but I feel like I was there. Great communication, great social activity, extremely friendly, super professional. 10 out of 10. Thanks for your work, all the very very best!

    January 2019
  • Nathan Hepp

    The inaugural Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest, held at the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation, was a phenomenal experience. Festival Director Michael Bavaro, Museum Executive Director Bob Perry, and the rest of the festival team assembled an impressive line-up of engaging films over the course of three days. The fascinating venue was an industrial museum located in the historic Francis Cabot Lowell Mill, which was the first integrated textile factory in the United States. Surrounding the movie screen and seating for the festival were dozens of museum artifacts representing incredible examples of innovation over the years, including a centuries-old paper bag machine and a coal-powered fire engine.

    NH Cinema Production’s original short film “Day Off” screened in the first set of films on Friday, December 14, 2018 alongside four other exceptional films. One film that especially stood out in this set was Raouf Zaki’s “Fireflies”, which relied solely on images to tell the story of a Middle Eastern refugee as he experienced loss and then prejudice in his new life in America. After this first set of five films, there was a short intermission. Nathan Hepp of NH Cinema Productions engaged in an interview with Festival Director Michael Bavaro during this intermission to explain the evolution of "Day Off" and shed some light on the filmmaking process. Raouf Zaki was also in attendance and shared the story behind his film "Fireflies" in a subsequent interview. The evening then continued with the screening of five additional films and an opportunity to network with other filmmakers and guests.

    On Saturday, December 15, 2018, the remaining ten films premiered in the afternoon, followed by an evening awards ceremony. Two finalists in each category – animation and experimental, documentary, and narrative – were screened again, followed by an awards presentation. Cathleen O’Connell’s film “The Best Way Is By Hand”, a short documentary featuring a seventh generation local cobbler, won the festival’s highest award as the Waltham Film Factory Pick. The awards themselves, which were antique textile factory shuttles, were especially intriguing and reflected the overall mission of the festival to “spin tales and weave stories” through film.

    The festival concluded on Sunday, December 16, 2018 with an additional screening of all twenty films. Attendance was high at all events and the festival organizers paid careful attention to detail, incorporating unique and meaningful awards, beer and wine, snacks, and a red carpet entrance. It was an honor for “Day Off” to compete with so many other high quality short films in this inaugural event. It was a wonderful experience to connect with other filmmakers and lovers of film in the Greater Boston area who appreciate creativity, innovation, and production value in filmmaking.

    December 2018