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 6 finalists, which are nominated for Film of the Month award. The 6 finalists will qualify to 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 6 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 30 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, 31-120 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 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
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 First Time Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
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 (31-120 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)

28 Reviews

Overall Rating
  • false
    Mark Renshaw

    A lovely, friendly festival. The online aspect adds a nice element, as lots of filmmakers and film fans can view, vote and comment on your film. The festival use real guest judges who take the time to not only add comments about the films, but make their presence known online as they are viewing the films so you know it is legit.

    The festival keeps you informed regularly via email and arranges online events on Facebook to really make you feel involved. Highly recommended!

    May 2017
  • false
    Larry Blackman


    May 2017
  • false
    James Rowlins

    Amazing festival! Thank you guys so much for the Special Mention for Best Actor in an Indie Film! Definitely one of the best annual online festivals and worth submitting to! Thanks so much for the experience as well as the 2 Audience Choice awards! :) Reagrds, Jack.

    May 2017
  • false
    C. Hope Belmont

    Such an amazing festival and top notch organizers...I was incredibly impressed. TOP SHORTS is indeed the top of its field. My team and I were just honored to be nominated alongside so many awesome filmmakers, but when our short film Vigilantes won Best Dark Comedy, we were thrilled. Props to Roy and Nami and their incredible team of reviewers. Their kindness and professionalism was outstanding. Thanks again Top Shorts!

    May 2017
  • false
    Kip Bennett

    Top Shorts is not just a film festival. Its mind, its resources and its conceit are far more open than that. This is truly an enterprise that defines itself by its ability to showcase quality work without a ceiling or a floor. They see quality in your creativity, the enthusiasm humming through your end results and their own personal reactions to your work. It is difficult wading through the politics and competition of the festival circuit, and Top Shorts is a stop where you will be thankful for the faithfulness toward your vision, unburdened by pandering or rivalry, and graced by a loving atmosphere, where you are mutually supportive of your competitors, where you feel affirmed in your collective sense of learning, that we are all in the process of both embracing a level of production value as well as realizing how much more we have to learn. This is why it is so important for a festival like Top Shorts to exist.

    May 2017