Big Teeth Small Shorts Film Fest (BTSSFF) focuses exclusively on Small Shorts (91-sec - 5 min) and Micro Shorts (90-sec or less). We believe that there are tons of talented filmmakers out there who either can't afford to make longer films or believe in very short form storytelling, and we want to help them showcase their work.

Since so many great festivals consider short films to be anywhere from 40 minutes or less, it can be hard to submit a much shorter piece in that category. That's why we hope to give talented filmmakers a chance to show who they are in just a few seconds or minutes.

The BTSSFF is a quarterly film festival with screenings in Chicago that began as a 60-second film fest in 2015 and spread its wings to longer (but still short) films in 2019. ​Every single film submitted to our festival will be viewed by a dedicated screening team. The films chosen as Official Selections will then be screened at a live, in-person festival and judged by a jury of industry professionals, that will look for powerful and innovative ideas, creativity and quality.

To find out more about who we are, our mission and history visit

Best Film - Small Short (91-sec - 5 min)
Best Film - Micro Short (90-sec or less)
People's Choice Award - Small Short (91-sec - 5 min)
People's Choice Award - Micro Short (90-sec or less)

- Length requirements:
- Small Short: 91 seconds minimum - 300 seconds (5 minutes) maximum
- Micro Short: 1 second minimum - 90 seconds maximum

- For each individual film you submit, we recommend entering in only one genre category (comedy. documentary, etc.) and tagging additional genres within your project on FilmFreeway, rather than entering the same film into multiple genre categories.

- If your credits add up to 10% or more of the length of your total film duration, we reserve the right to edit them for time if selected to be screened.

- If selected, we reserve the right to pull stills from your film to use in programming materials.

- Every single film submitted will be viewed by our screening team.

- Recommended sizes: 1080p

- There is no limit on number of submissions or production date.

- If your film is selected for the Big Teeth Small Shorts Film Festival (“BTSSFF”), you will receive free entry to our local screening in Chicago, IL. No travel expenses are included.

- Filmmakers hold sole responsibility for acquiring copyrights, licenses and releases for media used in their films and will indemnify and hold harmless BTSSFF and its owners, producers, sponsors, and employees against any claims brought against the foregoing as a result of Filmmakers’ failure to obtain the same.

- All films submissions must be submitted via FilmFreeway. NO DVDs or other media that need to be physically mailed will be accepted. All of the fields during the registration process on must be completed or your submission will not be accepted.

- All entries must be either in English or subtitled in English unless dialogue is minimal and not necessary for the comprehension of the film.

- Filmmakers retain the rights to their films.

- Filmmakers agree that, upon official selection, their film can be played at any of BTSSFF's live screenings. The number of screenings the film appears in is at the sole discretion of BTSSFF.

- Filmmakers agree that, upon official selection, their film can be shown on BTSSFF digital channels with written (email) consent from the filmmaker.

- BTSSFF does not pay screening fees. Further, Filmmakers acknowledge that they are not entitled to any portion of the admission fees or other receipts received by BTSSFF in connection with any screening.

- BTSSFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission if it does not meet the requirements outlined.

Overall Rating
  • Ming-En Lloyd Cui

    BTSS was a fantastic festival to be a part of. Their staff communicated clearly from the beginning and, while I couldn't be physically present, the team went above and beyond to send photos of work that was screened.

    If you receive an award from BTSS, it will go on their website and be publicly available for future clients or collaborators to see, which gives them an edge over lower-publicity festivals.

    Were I to shoot another short film that is relevant to their categories, I'd certainly send it to them again!

    December 2022
    Response from festival:

    Hey Ming-En thanks so much for that thoughtful review. Much of what you said is exactly what we aspire for so it means a lot that you had the experience you did. We aim to support our filmmakers and loop them in whether they’re able to come to screenings or not. Congrats on the success of your excellent short and can’t wait to see what’s next for you.

  • Duncan Falconer

    I wasn’t able to go to the festival in person, but it seems a really fun one. Communication was good and the online presence is really useful to keep up to date with the festival. And I love the laurels!

    December 2022
    Response from festival:

    Hey Duncan,

    Thanks for the very kind review. Knowing that many of our filmmakers can't always make the trip to Chicago we do our best to keep everyone informed and involved and we're glad that was the case with you. Keep sending work as you have it!

  • steve chappell

    Thanks for including my short ED GEIN RARE RESTORED FOOTAGE FOUND IN 2019! in the Big Teeth Small Shorts Film Festival! (The title is longer than the film!) This festival is well organized and the communication is top notch. I recommend this festival to all you filmmakers out there!

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Steve. We're always glad to be a space for non-traditional shorts to be screened and your film was a great addition to our show. Stay in touch with more work as you have it.

  • Matt Mckisson

    Thanks for including my film "She Doesn't Like Pizza"! Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend, but I had great communication with the festival and I'm glad there was a decent platform like this to display my micro film.

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Sorry you couldn't be there in person Matt but you got lots of laughs and perhaps a bit more empathy towards those weirdos who don't like pizza! Keep us posted on any future work.

  • Zoe Kim

    Great! Thank you for including my smartphone micro short!

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the review Zoe. The crowd really enjoyed it, and your film is our first ever to be screened in 9x16 aspect ratio... so there's that :) Can't wait to see your next film.