Oxford Shorts (formerly The Oxford International Short Film Festival known as OXISFF) celebrates the diversity and creativity of short films. We accept both fictional and factual entries with great stories which stir the emotions, have strong characters and unique voices or evocative worlds. Selected films will be considered for awards which are judged by a panel of industry filmmakers prior to the event across various categories.

We have screened over 300 films live and online and given 69 awards since our inaugural festival in March 2019. These entries have included BAFTA/BIFA winning films and best short film nominees at Cannes, Sundance, and TIFF. Aside from screenings we've also held over 100 Q&As with filmmakers (including with Oscar Winners) and have held a series of industry related workshops.

Our 2023 festival will once again be held at the lovely grounds at St John's College (University of Oxford). There will be limited (and very reasonably priced) onsite accommodation available for International members who wish to travel to the festival to represent their films and get a taste of the Oxford experience.

You can view some of our previous Festival Trailers on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/OXISFF

Being filmmakers ourselves, we know how frustrating it can be to submit a film but not know the reason why the film has not been selected. We would like to see this change, so if your submission was unsuccessful and you would like to know why - please let us know and we will try our best to provide some brief feedback for you! We'd like to think this is one of the things which make our festival unique.

If you are a local filmmaker from Oxfordshire, or you have already had a film selected at one of our previous festivals, we encourage you to get in contact before submitting your entry (we will be keen to support you)!

We are still transitioning from OXISFF to Oxford Shorts but we are open for 2023 film submissions. Find out more by following our website link.

Shortlisted films will automatically be considered for any eligible awards in the following categories:

- Best Film
- Best Documentary
- Best Director
- Best Lead Actor
- Best Lead Actress
- Best Young Performer
- Best Cinematography
- Best Screenplay
- Best Editing
- Best Production Design
- Best Music Score
- Best Sound
- Best Special Effects

Additional awards may be added closer to the event.

1. Eligibility

1.1 Your film (including credits) should be no longer than 21:00 minutes. Longer films may still be considered, but this is down to the discretion of the festival.
1.2 The film must have been completed on or after 1st January 2019.
1.3 Any film not in the English language must contain burned-in subtitles.
1.4 Any work submitted must be the completed version. We will not accept any works-in-progress.
1.5 You must own or obtain all clearance rights for any of the material you submit to the festival.
1.6 Multiple entries are allowed. You can submit more than one film to the festival but the submission fee must be paid for each film.
1.7 We do not require premiere status.

2. Payment

2.1 All submissions must be entered online via FilmFreeway and paid via credit card.
2.2 All fees are non-refundable.
2.3 The festival and its organisers will not be held accountable for any costs, damages or legal responsibilities incurred by the submitting party.
2.4 The submitting party shall indemnify the festival and its organisers from any claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to legal fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

3. Film Selection

3.1 We will aim to contact all submitting parties on the notification date.
3.2 Any film shortlisted by the festival must be distributed electronically to the festival organisers within two weeks of the notification date. Failure to do this likely to result in the film being deselected.
3.3 Films should ideally be delivered in mp4/mov format (minimum 1080p quality) and encoded using h.264/AAC or ProRes. We also accept DCP.
3.4 The submitting party will allow festival organisers rights to use promotional material associated to the submitted film (such as posters, trailers, photos, short clips) for related festival purposes.
3.5 No film may be withdrawn from the festival programme by the filmmaker after it becomes an official selection.
3.6 All responses to filmmakers will be by email. Please check your spam folders if things seem quiet!

4. Screenings and Awards

4.1 All attendees must be aged 18+
4.2 Audience numbers are limited, so film screenings will be ticketed. We will aim to give priority to shortlisted filmmakers. Selected filmmakers and guests will be invited for drinks at the private College bar after the screenings.
4.3 Award entries will be judged by an independent panel on their artistic or technical quality.
4.4 If the filmmaker wins an award but is not present to collect at the awards ceremony, we reserve the right to charge shipping and handling fees should the filmmaker want us to post the award.
4.5 The film may be screened to both live and online audiences (please note: these will not be Geo-blocked).
4.6 Food and drink is strictly prohibited in the auditorium area. We do not offer food or drink at the venue, but there many nearby cafes, restaurants and shops.
4.7 Festival attendees are responsible for travel and all other expenses.

Overall Rating
  • Remy Archer

    The Oxford team put together a fantastic festival in what was a difficult year for all live events. They were very communicative and welcoming and curated a brilliant lineup of international films. We hope to be back with another film next year!

    October 2021
  • I loved screening The Fullest Day of Summer with Oxford International Short Film Festival. It was intelligently programmed with other short films that handled similar themes. The Q & A with Andy and Stan was handled professionally, with excellent questions. I also loved the opportunity to be on the panel with another short film director, Paul Holbrook and his gifted actress Katie Francis. Definitely recommend it to other filmmakers!!!

    September 2021
  • Courtney Lamb

    Loved having TEST (THE IVF FILM) in the virtual fest this year -- the festival is put on by people who clearly love films and filmmakers and carefully put together exciting blocks of programming. The other films in our block were outstanding and I learned a lot from filmmakers from many other countries from participating in the Q&A and watching those for other blocks. Highly recommended.

    September 2021
  • Paul Holbrook

    Excellent communications, stunning venue, supportive staff. Really excited to see how the festival evolves from here because they have all the right ingredients to be up there with the biggest and best in the world :)

    September 2021
  • Jemima Hughes

    I was really happy my film was selected for this festival, and very sorry I couldn't go to Oxford for it, though I think the way they organised a part online part in person festival was the best idea. The communication was very clear and friendly, and I enjoyed watching lots of interesting and varied films online. I'm deaf, so it was important that the Facebook live stream had subtitles (though YouTube didn't). The q&a interviews were interesting and I was happy I could join that in the live chat; I wish more of the filmmakers had joined it to allow more networking. I really hope I can go to this festival in Oxford in future.

    September 2021