Big Teeth Small Shorts Film Fest (BTSSFF) focuses exclusively on Micro Shorts (60-sec or less) and Small Shorts (1-5 min). 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 judged by a jury of industry professionals, that will look for powerful and innovative ideas, creativity and quality. Official selections are screened in person at the festival, and every quarter the winning films in each category will be showcased online. ALL films submitted to our festival are watched by a screening team.

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

Best Film - Small Short
Best Film - Micro Short
People's Choice Award - Small Short
People's Choice Award - Micro Short

- Length requirements:
- Small Short: 61 seconds minimum - 300 seconds (5 minutes) maximum
- Micro Short: 1 second minimum - 60 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 any 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
  • Honvault Anais

    We were very happy to be part of your festival ! :D!! Thank you again!!
    See you!!

    September 2020
  • Gary Hankins

    I am so honored to have been selected for screening at BTSS! This was my first public screening and I couldn’t be happier. Wonderful people and fantastic communication. I so wish I could have been in Chicago for the fest - hopefully another time. Thanks BTSS!

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Gary. We really enjoyed showing "Hawthorne" as part of our show. We love to mix in experimental films with more traditional styles of filmmaking and give our audience a taste of all types of work they may not have as much exposure to. Keep sharing your work with us and hopefully you can make it to the next one in person.

  • The Big Teeth Small Shorts Festival was a fantastic event with the great company of other short films. I screened my film to a packed crowd and the support was beyond reassuring. I could not have asked for a better place to premiere my film. Thank you folks!!

    February 2020
    Response from festival:

    Yeah Carlos! We were honored to be your premiere and can't wait to see what comes next for you and for our beloved little Kenya!

  • Tobias James

    BTSS is an amazing, relatively young festival. The communication with filmmakers before and after the festival was excellent. The venue was a brewery in Chicago which was really cool and they sold out the event too! Recommend.

    February 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Toby. It's been a great pleasure getting to know you and your fellow filmmakers as part of the process. We're glad you had a good experience with us this time around and can't wait to see more work from you in the future.

  • Fantastic communication. Wish we were there. Thank you for screening our one minute short Dark Passage. Ya'll are the best!

    February 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the review Roshni. The audience enjoyed your film and it was a great addition to our fest. We look forward to seeing more work from you in the future.