Are you ready for a challenge?

Welcome to our inaugural Zeal Reel Micro Short Film Competition!

Maybe it’s our ADHD or our real-life focus pull, but around here, WE LOVE SHORT FILMS! We also love testing the limits of creativity. We are a film competition dedicated to giving scrappy, self-taught filmmakers an opportunity to show the world’s universal humanity and what is possible through the creative lens. This competition is just the beginning for your micro short. We encourage you to explore your character and develop your film further. As a winner, we hope our prize allows you to do just that.

We believe in celebrating your creative imagination for short form content and challenge you to make the ultimate short film in sixty (60) seconds or less. Will you accept this challenge?

Was that an, “OMG! I’m in!”, we just heard?

Can you tell a compelling narrative or documentary story in 60 seconds?
Then YOU are the filmmaker we’re looking for!

So much can happen in one minute. We want you to put on a masterclass with your visually stunning, well-written, character-based micro short.

We’re looking for a glimpse of cinema magic that leaves its audience wanting to know more about your character’s story. Show us your character’s universal story borne from personal truth.

A micro short film is not a commercial or a promotional video. We want to see your zeal – passion, energy, and intensity of filmmaking – come to life through innovative storytelling.

Texas-based filmmakers submit your micro shorts now for a chance to win the Texas Filmmaker Audience Award at our live screening event. All qualified and verified submissions by Texas filmmakers will be publicly screened.

Grand Jury Prize $2,500 USD
Texas Filmmaker Audience Award $1,000 USD

Best Director Award
Best Cinematography
Best Original Music
Best Sound Design
Best Editing
Best Actress
Best Actor
Best Costume/Wardrobe
Best Makeup/Hair
Best Production Design

Best Dramatic Film Award
Best Horror Film Award
Best Romantic Comedy Film Award
Best Comedy Film Award
Best Dark Film Award
Best Science Fiction Film Award
Best Documentary Film Award
Best Mocumentary Film Award
Best Action/Adventure Film Award
Best Animation Film Award

• Submissions must be sixty (60) seconds in length or shorter, including credits.
• Submissions must be a scripted motion picture, this includes documentary films, that could be developed into a longer length short film or feature film.
• Submissions per entrant is unlimited. Each entry is a separate fee.
• Submissions co-owned/co-created only need one person to serve as the entrant be it producer, writer, or director.
• Submissions must be in high definition.
• Submission can only be entered for one (1) category.
• Submitted material must not contain obscene, unlawful, or objectionable content.

See full Terms and Conditions at

Overall Rating
  • I didn't attend the fest but enjoyed very easy communication regarding my film and was pleased to have won "Best Comedy" for my short film. They also did a nice job promoting the filmmakers leading up to the fest itself. I'd be very happy to submit more in the future.

    February 2020
  • Gabriela Amerth

    I had such a great time attending this festival! Everyone was really lovely and welcoming. Communication was very clear from day one of submission! They're serious about encouraging new filmmakers to keep working, the grand jury prize allowed me to update my gear and subsequently the quality of my videos. I will always be thankful to those who are involved in this festival (especially to Shawn). I did not know one single person from inside the organization so I can attest that these are very honest and professional people. Go submit your film!

    December 2019
  • Greg Flakus

    This was the first year for the Zeal Reel contest so the organizers deserve praise for being able to carry it off smoothly. There were some problems with communication, but that was more than made up for by the lovely reception and screening. It was terrific for me and the star of my film to see it on a large screen with an audience. The networking opportunity was also very good. There were filmmakers from as far away as New York City and the audience/judges were a very diverse and talented group of people. It was a pleasure to talk with fellow producers of micro short films. I hope to produce something for next year.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Greg, it was wonderful to meet you. We're happy you and Reyna were able to see your film screened in front of an audience. Thanks for your kind words and we hope to get better with each passing year. Happy filmmaking!

  • Nate Carroll

    Excellent communications, to include a social media showcase of the selected films. We were very proud and honored to have our short selected by Zeal Reel's festival!

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Nate, we're honored Veteran Films chose to submit to our competition. It was our pleasure to share your film with our social media friends. Happy filmmaking!

  • Shihyun Wang

    My 1 min music trailer of Beatles “John from Liverpool” was selected and screened at the festival. We did not get to attend in person but very excited to be part of the great lineup of excellent films.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Shihyun, although you couldn't attend, your actors Brayden and Victoria attended the screening and proudly represented you and your film during the Q&A portion of the evening. We were happy to host little John Lennon. He even answered a question from the audience.