We 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.

All films that receive an award will receive both an award laurel and an award certificate that you can quote on IMDB, your film's website etc.

We screen best-of winners, and genre winners during the festival.

Canada Shorts is an IMDB qualified festival.

2020 Awards and placings

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/Romcoms
• 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 100+ short films per season. That is considerably more than we could possibly screen. What we can and do screen are all 'Premier' Award winners including 'Best Of' winners.

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

Canada Shorts is held at the the elegant Mary Oland Theatre of the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John, New Brunswick (Canada).

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 admin@canadashorts.com 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
  • John M Nyce

    I wanted to take a moment to extend my most sincere thanks for choosing my short film last year. Cant wait to submit my next film.

    November 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks John. We're looking forward to viewing you latest film. We wish you continued festival success. Thanks for submitting to Canada Shorts.

  • This festival was amazing :-) Thank you so much!!!!

    November 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Karoly. 'Lecho' is a very emotive story, powerful on multiple fronts. We wish you continued festival success.

  • Javier Aparisi

    Don't miss to submit to this festival! Lot of awards and special mentions for many of the films selected. I felt honoured to participate in last edition and to get an "Award of Commendation"

    June 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Javier. The selection committee very much enjoyed your short 'The Missing Picture'.

  • Fernando Lorenzana Gámez

    This is a very good film festival in which I had the honor of being selected. I would love to be more involved in the near future.

    March 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Fernando. Your short, 'The Distance', was rated very highly by our selection committee. They rated highly the direction, emotive script and naturalistic performances by the two teen leads. It was a very deserving Finalist award winner, and was in close contention for the Best Drama prize. We wish you continued festival success.

  • Thank you very much for the recognition of our movie !!! It has made us very happy !!! Good luck with the Festival !!!

    February 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Miguel. We wish you lots of festival success with 'The Breath Of Celia'.