Top Shorts is the world's leading online film festival, separated into two parts:

1. MONTHLY COMPETITION - each month, our jury selects the winners through private screenings.
We also select 9 finalists, which are nominated for Film of the Month award. The 9 finalists will qualify for the annual festival.
- IMDb - Top Shorts is an IMDb qualifying festival. This means that all winners may add the awards to their IMDb titles.
- Certificate - all monthly winners receive a free digital certificate (in JPG), ready for print.

2. ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL - once a year, in May, we showcase the top rated short films (the 9 finalists of each month) online. *

* ONLINE - IMPORTANT NOTE: We understand that some of the films can't be available online. We won't put the full version of your film on our website if you don't want to. A TRAILER WILL DO.
If your film is a monthly finalist, it can be eligible for any award other than the Audience Choice award, which is for films that are available online during the festival. If your film can't be available online, just send us an email or mention that in the cover letter when submitting.

Top Shorts is an IMDb qualifying festival, and was recently ranked 8th Best Reviewed Festival out of over 4,000 of the world's best film festivals (and 1st from the online festivals, FilmFreeway May 2016).

We accept screenplays (up to 40 pages) and short films (up to 40 minutes length) in the following categories: Narrative, Web Series, Animation, Documentary, Indie, Inspirational, Experimental, Music Video and Micro Film.

We also have a Special Screening category for the annual film festival (for featurette and feature films, 41-120 minutes).

For any question, please contact us at

Awards & Prizes

BEST OF FEST (yearly - Best of Fest and Best Director receive a free statuette)

--- CATEGORY AWARDS (monthly) ---

Best Student Film
Best Drama
Best Comedy
Best Horror
Best Thriller
Best Crime Film
Best Romantic Comedy
Best Dark Comedy
Best Mystery Film
Best Parody
Best Western
Best Fantasy Film
Best Film Noir
Best Sci-Fi
Best Animation
Best Documentary
Best Micro Film
Best Inspirational Film
Best Indie Film (budget up to $5000)
Best Web Series
Best Music Video
Best Experimental Film
Best Trailer
Best Commercial/Promotional Video
Best Screenplay
Best Original Story

--- CAST & CREW AWARDS (monthly) ---

Best Director
Best Indie Filmmaker (film's budget up to $5000)
Best First Time Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Actor in an Indie Film (budget up to $5000)
Best Actress in an Indie Film (budget up to $5000)
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Young Actor (13-18)
Best Young Actress (13-18)
Best Child Actor (5-12)
Best Child Actress (5-12)
Best Ensemble
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Original Score
Best Sound Design
Best Visual Effects
Young Filmmaker Award (18 and under)


Audience Award - Animation
Audience Award - Documentary
Audience Award - Narrative
Audience Award - Inspirational film
Audience Award - Micro Film (up to 120 seconds)
Audience Award - Indie Film ($0-$5000 budget)
Audience Award - Web Series
Audience Award - Music Video
Audience Award - Experimental Film

--- OTHER RECOGNITIONS (yearly) ---

Special Screening (41-120 minutes)

* The Best of Fest yearly winner will receive one free Top Shorts statuette. Other winners may order a statuette for themselves and their team, for $290 including shipping.

Rules & Terms

* What we’re looking for? Story-based films, which can be in the form of narrative (fiction), music video, documentary (non-fiction), or animation.
* All films must include English subtitles (unless the spoken language is English)
* By submitting your film, take note that:
1. Unless you ask not to participate in the online competition, you agree to have your film streamed online on and/or Top Shorts' YouTube and Vimeo channels.
2. You agree to use parts of your film (including trailer/teaser/film poster) for promotional purpose. We upload some of the winners' trailers in order to promote the films.

Top Shorts does not accept the following:
1. Amateur videos
2. Extremist or propaganda content from religious or political organizations
3. Films which are made before 2013
4. Films with a poor production standard (bad sound, lack of subtitles/captions for non-English films, video resolution less than 720p HD)

58 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Kaushik Das

    The Team of ReFraction ( would like to thank the entire Top Shorts Festival Team for conducting such a world class event that celebrates the finest filmmaking from the world. We are also very grateful for being recognised by your Emmy Award winning Jury with awards in a number of categories. We very much enjoy following all the noteworthy films that are celebrated in your festival and it inspires us as filmmakers to carry the flames of our creative torch forward!

    September 2017
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    Vic Martonne

    Awesome festival! Communication is great and everyone is very attentive.

    September 2017
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    Pragyesh Singh

    TNV was delighted that our short film (Chhoti Si Guzaarish) was selected and won at Top Shorts in August 2017. Being a film maker, its always an honor and matter of pride to get appreciation from the other film maker specially who are experienced and part of the jury for the festival. Winning an award is always A silent craving which keep pushing the team member to do better. Festival work like heart for the passion to drive emotion in better way. We are honored to have won appreciation, I would advise film maker to keep participating in the film festival specifically its very much important for new filmmakers. Attending a film festival is like attending personality development program as this provides great learning for the filmmakers specially to understand the experimental cinema. The style of matching elbows with other amazing filmmakers not just give you chance of learning but appreciation from the expert help you to improve the way of working to build your future. Its magical to hear your name called from the hundreds who entered as a proud winner. Facing the seniors as audience is proud moment and long-lasting for the life. Comprehending a feeling that you grabbed the dream what lots of people around the world dream of attaining. After winning awards for First Time Dirctor from Top Shorts for my film "Chhoti Si Guzaarish" I realize with this award that nepotism is not vertebrae for decent work.

    Thank you, Top Shorts..

    September 2017
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    Debbie Sutcliffe

    Well organized and supportive festival, excellent Communication!

    September 2017
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    Joseph Reaney

    I was delighted that my first ever short film (The Man Who Stopped) was selected as Best Microfilm at Top Shorts in August 2017. It's an honour to have won this category, and the communication from Roy and the team was exemplary throughout, keeping me abreast at every stage of the competition. This isn't the cheapest festival entry in the world, but it's a prestigious one, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it for new filmmakers.

    September 2017