Year two of COPA SHORTS FILM FEST has begun and we’re seeking short films and screenplays to showcase during our festival from February 16-18, 2018.
If you’ve wanted to receive recognition for your talent in film, now’s the time to fine-tune your short film (2-20 minutes) and shorts screenplays (up to 15 pages) for our fun festival!

Our first festival was declared, a “Wow” by filmmaker Jim Politano whose short, funny, sci-fi film, Flight Fright, was shown at CSFF #1. (“My movies have been playing in festivals all over the country, as well as London and Australia, so I have room to compare. From the minute I walked into the theater lobby and saw the table set-up, I knew this would be an above average film festival. The way they treated you, the incredible venue (One of the best I've ever been to), and the overall professional staff easily made this the best film festival in Arizona in quite some time. Congratulations on a great first year. Wow.”)

Think about it! We showed 56 short films in a 2-day period, produced 4 table reads of short screenplay finalists’ work, and provided educational workshops with great talent. We also started and ended with a party offering great musical entertainment.
Don’t you want to be in Arizona in February? Maricopa, Arizona is the location for Copa Shorts Film Fest at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, a state-of-the-art digital theater complex.

Giancarlo Fusi, a screenplay finalist from California, arrived just in time to hear and see the table read of his “Hell to Pay: The Legend of Robert Johnson.” He was thrilled to see his name on the screen in gigantic letters.

We're still a small festival, so you have a great opportunity to win a category. Many people were recognized for their talent in 2017. We also awarded cash and software prizes.

Time to edit and ready your films and screenplays! We’ll be accepting entries starting May 12th for our EarlyBird rate exclusively on FilmFreeway. Our last date to enter for 2018 CSFF is October 13th.

This year, we’re adding a category of films to honor our veterans. Films can be written, produced, or directed by a military veteran OR the subject matter may share veteran life or concerns. Or the veteran film produced can be by and about a veteran. These films can be in any genre – documentary, animation, sci-fi, drama, comedy, fantasy, etc.
See the rules and details below.

We can’t wait to see your fantastic work! You’ll love it at CSFF in Maricopa, Arizona in February !!

SAVE the DATE – and enter your films and screenplays!!

Awards & Prizes

Awards & Prizes

Awards for each genre category

Best Of The Fest: Cash Award + Software prize to be announced

Screenplay Contest: Table Reads for 4 Finalists; Cash award for Grand Prize Winner + Software prize to be announced

College Student Category Winner: Cash Award + Software prize to be announced

High School Student Category Winner: Software prize to be announced

Native American Category Winner: Cash Award + Software prize to be announced

Veterans Category Winner: Cash Award + Software prize to be announced

Rules & Terms


• Please submit all short film(s) or screenplays (RULES BELOW) to DVD copies will not be accepted.
• Films should be no shorter than 2 minutes or no longer than 20 minutes including credits.
• NO FEE WAIVERS are available.
• All foreign/non-English language films must have English language subtitles.
• Works-in-progress will not be considered.
• To be considered for competition, the film must have been completed AFTER January 1, 2016.
• “MATURE SUBJECT MATTER”: If film warrants it, must be designated on FilmFreeway

Project Details
• We do not accept films containing: Porn, Child Pornography
• No submissions will be accepted after the extended deadline.
• Entry does not guarantee screening at the festival.
• Entries that have been chosen for screening at Copa Shorts Film Fest 2018 will be notified. We will not contact you if your film has not been selected for presentation.
• Film must not have been screened on the Internet, You Tube, national broadcast, cable or satellite television.
• Films must not have a distribution agreement in place at the time of the festival or they will be ineligible for screening. If you receive distribution prior to screening, please contact us.
• The film may not be copyrighted by anyone other than yourself or you must have full written permission to submit and screen this film. The film must have clear copyright of all audio and images presented in the film. Not having clearance could be grounds for non-acceptance to the festival.
• Please ensure if you are submitting a film that contains copyrighted/trademarked material by anyone other than yourself, that you have obtained clearance for that material used. The burden of determining that any material is not protected by copyright, trademark, rights of privacy, publicity or any other proprietary rights rests with the entrant. Give credit to all copyrighted materials, including music, in your closing credits.
• Officially selected films will be notified via e-mail on or before December 18, 2017.
• Digital Press Kits will be requested upon acceptance for screening at the festival.

NOTE: All festival screenings will be presented on a Barco/DLP HD projection system.
•• Please upload your film in the highest quality available on Vimeo for best results

• For all student entries, a photocopy of an official student ID or a letter from the school must be sent with the entry submission as proof of student status when the film was produced.

• HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: In addition to a student ID, a letter of permission is needed from either a parent, or teacher.

Veteran Filmmakers -
• Any filmmaker who is currently serving, or has served in the U.S. military.
• Films can be written, produced, or directed by an active, or military veteran

Non-Veteran Filmmakers -
• Main character/s is serving or has served in the military
• The subject matter shares veteran life or concerns, or subject is military themed.

To qualify for the Arizona Veterans Showcase award - film must be a Military theme
where 60% of the cast, crew and locations are from Arizona.

• By submitting his/her work to the COPA SHORTS FILM FEST, submitter gives permission for the festival to screen the film to attending press, at festival parties, and at other festival-related events.
• Festival organizers reserve the right to show officially selected films in any film block and/or to show officially selected films in more than one film block.
• Entrant agrees to the use of their submission, in part or whole, for publicity, promotions and screenings on the CSFF website and in other media.

QUESTIONS: If you have any questions, you may contact us at


The following agreement sets the terms of submission for short screenplays. By submitting a short screenplay to Copa Shorts Film Fest you agree that you have read and will comply with the following guidelines.

This screenplay contest is intended for non-produced films only. Principal photography must not take place before the live reading (Please see note following guidelines).


• Submit your short screenplay to FilmFreeway (follow the link below) in .pdf format
• We only accept screenplays that follow standard Hollywood format
• Acceptable genres are: drama, comedy, sci-fi, horror, documentary
• Scripts must not exceed 15 pages in length, excluding cover page
• Screenplays must have been completed after May 12, 2016 • All screenplays must be submitted in English
• No material deemed pornographic by the judges will be considered
• No substitutions of pages or scripts will be accepted after submission
• This contest is open to any writer, 16 years of age or older
• High school students (grade 10-12) must have parental & teacher approval
• Multiple screenplays require separate submission fees
• We strongly recommend copywriting your screenplay with WGA or, but it is not required
• Entering this competition gives Copa Shorts Film Fest, Inc. permission to use your name and photo (both the Finalists and the Grand Prize Winner) for publicity and promotions with no additional compensation
• You agree that you are the sole author, or co-author, and have exclusive rights and authority to submit the work
• You agree that Copa Shorts Film Fest, their affiliates, sponsors, employees and judges are exempt from any and all claims, loss or liability that may be asserted against you or incurred by you or any associates, at any time in connection with the submitted work.

NOTE: If principal photography begins before the Table Reading at the festival, the screenplay will be disqualified and the screenwriter will forfeit award money. Reimbursement for prizes and any associated expenses will be pursued from the screenplay submitter.

• Acceptance letters of winners only will be emailed no later than December 18, 2017 — Please make sure that your email address is correct.

• All selected scripts may be excerpted for Copa Shorts Film Fest publicity purposes.

• The top four finalists receive a table read in front of a live audience at the festival plus screenwriter-oriented prizes to be determined by the prize sponsor.

• Copa Shorts Film Fest will present $500 to the winning screenwriter at the awards party.
• If the Grand Prize-winning screenwriter’s screenplay is produced into a 2-20 minute film, and delivered to Copa Shorts Film Fest by November 1, 2018, it will be guaranteed a screening at the 2019 Copa Shorts Film Fest.
• An additional $500 will be awarded to the grand prize winner if a completed film and press kit is delivered to Copa Shorts Film Fest offices via digital download by November 1, 2018.

2 Reviews

Overall Rating
  • false
    Dave Lojek

    Great Quality Films, many special awards, lovely hosts of the event. We won BEST FOREIGN FILM with our comedy PROVERBIAL LUCK.

    February 2017
  • false
    Jim Politano

    My movies have been playing in festivals all over the country, as well as London and Australia, so I have room to compare. From the minute I walked into the theater lobby and saw the table set-up, I knew this would be an above average film festival. The way they treated you, the incredible venue (One of the best I've ever been to), and the overall professional staff easily made this the best film festival in Arizona in quite some time. Congratulations on a great first year. Wow.

    February 2017