The Fifteen Minute Film Festival 2023 will take place (tentatively: it may be a week earlier, or a week later. Definite details to come) on July 22, 2023, at 6:00PM at the beautiful Towngate Theatre in Wheeling, West Virginia. Our mission is to celebrate the art of the short film in all genres. Our low entry fee (always $5.00, $4.00 for FilmFreeway Gold members) allows you to spend more on your own film's budget. All winning submissions will be shown on a screen in a real theater filled with short film enthusiasts, fans, friends, and other filmmakers. The Towngate Theatre is located in the heart of Wheeling's Historic Centre Market and is close to local breweries, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.

Cash Prizes! 1st Place - $100! 2nd - $50. 3rd - $25. From all entries, fifteen films will be selected to be shown at the Festival. Student entries will be judged alongside of all other entries. From those fifteen, three will be selected as the first through third place winners, and there will be an Audience Choice winner selected the day of the Festival. All fifteen selected submissions will receive "Official Selection" laurels upon notification of acceptance, and the first through third place winners will receive additional laurels, as will the Audience Choice winner. Monetary awards will be distributed only through PayPal, and winners will have thirty (30) days from the day of the announcement to claim their monetary prizes. Attending filmmakers from each of the fifteen selected films will receive two (2) free passes to the Festival.

All films must be complete upon submission. No works in progress will be accepted. Films made after 2020 are preferred, but it is not a requirement. Short films up to fifteen minutes in length including credits qualify. The Festival will not post your film anywhere online, but we may list a title/screen shot on our website of accepted entries. You may be asked to send a digital file of a poster for your film. By submitting, you agree that you own all copyrights and intellectual properties to your work. Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry. Any violations of that agreement will result in immediate disqualification from the Festival, and The Fifteen Minute Film Festival, its coordinators, vendors, directors, curators, or exhibitors are not to be held responsible.
The Fifteen Minute Film Festival reserves the right to use any part of your submission for promotional purposes regarding the Festival itself. This includes social media, advertising, and other related outlets to promote the Festival.
Submitting does not guarantee selection. We reserve the right to disqualify anyone based on violation of our rules, objectionable content, or any other reason. Films not submitted in English must be subtitled. Please, no pornography or animal cruelty.
All entries must be submitted by the final deadline, which is May 31, 2023. As a bonus, $1 from each submission through December 31, 2022, will be donated to a local charity, The Friends of Towngate, which is a theatre and cinema supporter.
All winners will be notified of acceptance by June 12, 2023. All decisions made by the judges, programmers, and organizers will be final, with no refund of entry fees. FilmFreeway is the only platform to be used to submit your entry to the Festival. There is no limit on the number of films you can submit, but each entry requires its own fee/submission. There will be no waivers given, so please don't ask.
The submitters of each of the fifteen films selected for the Festival will be asked to authorize the Festival to download a digital copy once notified of acceptance into the Festival. If permission to download is not granted by June 18, 2023, your film will be disqualified and another will be selected to take its place. Thanks, and good luck!

Overall Rating
  • Great festival! Honored that my short-documentary "Tri-Hard" was selected for it. The community and the host of the event were all amazing! The passion for film and filmmaking definitely shined through from everyone involved

    August 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Shawn. We loved your film (Tri-Hard), and we were so glad that you and your crew were able to be there to watch it with the crowd. Hope to see you next year. Keep filming!

  • Johnny Antonini

    What a nice event. It was such a cool venue to see our project in. I'm definitely submitting my next film to this festival. I want that audience choice award glass!!

    October 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks, Johnny! We were honored to have you there with us.


    It was an absolute honor to have our film "Nuovo Cinema Para-Virus" included in such a great festival! Thank you so much!

    August 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you! Your film was loved by everyone in the audience.

  • D a m n! I was all set to make the 9-hour drive to Wheeling to be on hand for the premiere of my short film, and then my car broke down and I couldn't make it. So I can't really comment on the "quality," "value," and "networking" categories, but I can say that Jeff was excellent with his communication and it sounds like the entire event was successful. If I'm lucky enough to have my next short accepted (whenever or whatever that might be), I'll make sure to find a way to get there!

    July 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks, Rick! We wish you could've been there, too.

  • We really enjoyed The Fifteen Minute Film Festival. Wheeling is a charming town, and it was great to see the films at the Towngate Theatre which is a lovely and historic venue. We were thrilled that our short film “Stella” won the Audience Choice Award. The communication and hospitality of Jeff, the festival director, was terrific. He curated a memorable and enjoyable collection of films for the festival. It was wonderful to meet some of the other film makers, and we hope to be back next year!

    July 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks, Renée! We loved "Stella" and hope to see you next year!