Canada Shorts is proud to champion short filmmaking. We strive to award quality shorts regardless of their budget. We want to ensure indie filmmakers have the opportunity for festival success.

Canada Shorts works hard to recognize quality filmmaking and we offer awards based on these tiers: Best-of winners, Finalist Awards, Awards of Excellence, Awards of Distinction, Awards of Commendation, Awards of Merit and Honorable Mentions.

In total we award 120+ short films every season. We screen best-of winners, and genre winners during the festival.

Canada Shorts is an IMDB qualified festival.

2022 Awards and placings

2021-2015 Awards and placings --> click 'Results & Awards' and select the year

We champion short filmmaking and strive to award quality shorts regardless of their budget:

• Best Short / Grand Prize
• Best Canadian Short
• Best International Short
• Best Director
• Best Writer
• Best Cinematography
• Best Music Score

• Best Action/Adventure
• Best Comedy
• Best Crime/Suspense
• Best Documentary
• Best Drama
• Best Experimental Film
• Best Family/Animated
• Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy
• Best Thriller/Horror

• Finalist Awards
• Awards of Excellence
• Awards of Distinction
• Awards of Commendation
• Awards of Merit
• Honorable Mentions

• We accept Canadian and International shorts.
• Maximum film length 30 minutes (we have no minimum length).
• Films in languages other than English will only be accepted with English subtitles.

To be eligible for entry in the Canadian Short category, your film must have been shot in Canada, OR the director or screenwriter must be Canadian.

If your short was not shot in Canada, or your director/writer are not Canadian then please enter it under our International Short category.

Submissions will be judged and scored based on criteria including: quality of screenplay (story, dialogue, character arcs etc), acting, production quality, originality, technical proficiency, cinematography, sound design, editing, locations and set design. We support indie filmmaking and will award additional points to shorts produced on a micro budget and/or minimal crew.

Your selection and award classification will be posted on our website. Canada Shorts works hard to recognize quality filmmaking and tends to offer awards to 120+ short films per season. That is considerably more than we could possibly screen. We screen all best-of winners (including genre winners) during the festival.

Canada Shorts will screen all 'Premier Award' winners including 'Best Of' winners.

Canada Shorts screens at The Cinematheque theatre, 1131 Howe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia.

If your short is selected for exhibition we will inform you. We will also send you an exhibition file request email. You will need to provide an HD (1920 x 1080) exhibition file.

Canada Shorts is an IMDB qualifying festival.

Canada Shorts communicates to entrants via FilmFreeway notifications. Please make certain the email address in your entry form is correct. Please also add to your Safe Senders list on your email platform.

Some email systems place FilmFreeway communications in junk/spam folders so we recommend you check those folders regularly and mark FilmFreeway comms as safe.

==> For our complete FAQ, Eligibility requirements, Rules & Terms please visit our website:

We work hard to keep our submission fees as low as possible – consequently we cannot provide fee waivers.

• The depiction of animal abuse whether real or implied is not acceptable and will lead to automatic disqualification and loss of entry fee.
• Canada Shorts has no festival premiere eligibility requirements. Shorts that have screened at other festivals are still eligible.
• Canada 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 fee.
• The decision of the selection committee is final.
• Stills of selected films may also be shown on the Festival website and publicity/promo material including press releases, festival brochures and other materials.
• All entry fees are non-refundable.
• Entrants are responsible for securing all rights and permissions from copyright and other holders relating to their short.
• Canada Shorts reserves the right to update or modify these terms and policies without prior notice.

• After selection, notification letters will be sent electronically.
• Canada Shorts does not accept trailers or rough assemblies but will accept work-in-progress cuts (picture lock with temp sound, color, etc.). Please be aware Canada Shorts will not view multiple updates/versions of your film for programming consideration.

• Custom-made personalized trophies will be presented to winners of Grand Prize, Best Canadian Short, Best International Short, Best Director, Best Writer (maximum one per entry)

Overall Rating
  • Kaori Danjo

    I am glad to be selected at this festival.
    I wish I could have attended the event.

    November 2023
  • Eric Bomba-Ire

    I was unable to attend the festival. It was virtual. But they promptly responded to any questions I had.

    August 2023
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Eric. Our best-of shorts selection screen at The Cinematheque in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. Your film 'What Happened Yesterday?' left a strong impression on our selection committee. The decision your film's character had to make was one of the most difficult a person could be faced with, making for a very emotive narrative. Thanks for submitting to Canada Shorts. We wish you continued festival success.

  • Space Boy MX

    It was an honor for us to have been included in the Canada Shorts with our short film "10:35" The opportunity to share our story and message through film is invaluable and we are grateful for this platform to spread it. We thank the organizers and everyone involved in the festival for their dedication and effort to make it happen. Thank you so much! Spaceboy.

    May 2023
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you. 10:35 features stunning 3D art and leverages advanced motion capture technology. The scenes are breathtakingly beautiful. You are a highly talented 3D artist and director. 10:35 is a very deserving Finalist award winner. We wish you continued festival success.

  • I enjoyed being chosen and felt their communication was excellent

    February 2023
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Bill. 'Gerro!' was a touching and inspiring film, highly rated by our selection committee. It showcased well the passion, struggles and success that can be experienced by independent artists and creatives as they fight to bring their work to the World, regardless of their age. We wish you continued festival success. Thanks for submitting to Canada Shorts.

  • Anne Kmetyko

    Thank you very much Canada Shorts - Canadian & International Short Film Fest! Deeply honoured to have been selected as a Quarter finalist, this is an important opportunity for our film, and the selection means a great deal to our cast and crew! Thank you!

    January 2023
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Anne! Your film 'If...Then...Now…' told a powerful narrative of grief, loss and love. The selection committee praised the time-bending emotive narrative and your direction. The industry needs more female writer/director creative voices like yourself. We wish you continued festival success. Thanks for submitting to Canada Shorts.