PÖFF Shorts is the biggest short film and animation festival in the Baltics, an integral part of the FIAPF-accredited Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF).

The festival’s mission is to showcase the best animated and live action short films of all genres from cutting edge talents and bold visionaries across the world.

In addition to a variety of film screenings, the programme includes a selection of guest programmes, Q&As and special events made to bring filmmakers and audiences together in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

The festival joins together two internationally recognised programmes: Sleepwalkers for live action and Animated Dreams for animation.

Both programmes have their own Main Competition and Student Competition, as well as a joint PÖFF Shorts National Competition designed to provide a platform for Estonian filmmakers and animation directors.

Check out our other festivals:

Black Nights Film Festival

Just Film Youth and Kids Film Festival

Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival


International Live-Action Competition
Jury prize for Best Film

International Animation Competition
Jury prize for Best Film

National Competition
Jury prize for Best Film

New Talents student film competition – animation
Jury prize for Best Film

New Talents student film competition – live-action
Jury prize for Best Film

Short film and animation festival
PÖFF SHORTS 2019 / 19 – 27 November / Tallinn Estonia

• Be short or half-length films (up to 45 minutes): fiction, documentary, experimental or VR; live-action or animation
• Premiered after the 1st of January 2018 (regarding competitive programmes).
• Be presented in an HD video screening format (minimum 1920x1080px, Prores, DNxHD), DCP.
• Have English subtitles if they are not in English.
• Films submitted to the student film competitions must be directed by a film, animation or media student.

Films produced in Estonia or are Estonian-co-productions, which have premiered previously in Estonia are also eligible.
The festival reserves the right to evaluate eligible films for the competition and assign the programme section for the film on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants for competitive and non-competitive programmes are requested to submit the film and required supplementary materials only via the indicated online submissions page.
Entries submitted by post, e-mail or any other form except the online submission form are not considered eligible for selection.
The festival reserves the right to refuse late submissions.

Submission fees are to be paid by secure online payment with a credit or debit card. Submission fees are non-refundable.

For a successful submission via the submission platform the applicant is required to:

1) Fill in and submit the entry form.
2) Provide a non-expiring screening link - with English subtitles and a password if necessary.
3) Upload high quality stills from the film (jpg).
4) Provide the film trailer as a non-expiring downloadable link or HD-resolution file.
5) Upload a photo of the Director (jpg).
6) Upload a poster of the film (jpg) (if it exists).

Upon confirmation of the film, the Festival will inform the applicant no later than the
15th of October 2019.

Upon confirmation of the film to the Festival's Competitive or Non-Competitive sections, the applicant agrees to:
• Confirm participation of the film in the Festival.
• Provide all necessary information and materials (see 1. Film submission).
• Provide all missing information and materials from the original submission in the way indicated by the festival team.
• Provide the required screening copy (see 1.2 Technical requirements for screening copies) in the way indicated by the Festival team.
• Grant permission to include the screener in the festival’s video library, reserved for the jury and accredited industry members only (restricted access).
• Authorize to screen the film and/or promotional materials (stills, trailer) at the Festival and at any presentation of the Festival programmes, side and promotional events in any location if organised by/or participated in and authorized by the Festival organisation.

Confirmed titles may not be withdrawn from the festival programme after its participation has been officially confirmed and the producer or producer's authorised representative has verified confirmation of the film to the programme.

If, for exceptional reasons, the film has to be withdrawn three weeks or less before the opening of the festival, the applicant agrees to reimburse all costs to the festival related to confirmation and programming of the film including screening fee (when applicable), print delivery and handling costs as well as associated travel costs for the film delegation.

The invoices for the film rights or print loans should be issued and delivered for payment no later than two months from the end of the festival. The festival does not accept or reimburse invoices issued after that date.

To ensure the highest quality and presentation of confirmed films, all screening copies must be in high-quality High Definition video (minimum 1920x1080px) in a low compressed format (Prores, DNxHD etc.), DCP and with English subtitles.
Damaged or dubbed copies, non-compatible DCP’s and files on broken hard drives are refused.

Requirements for video files:
• Preferred file formats: Prores, DNxHD, h264
• Minimum resolution: FullHD 1920x1080px
• Framerate: 24 or 25fps;
• Field order: None/Progressive;
• Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square
• Sound: Mono, Stereo, 5.1 surround
• Sample rate: 48kHz
• Bitrate: 16 or 24bit
• Subtitles: Hardcoded (if needed). If hardcoded subtitles are present, they must be on the
active picture area! That means on the picture area, not on the letterbox area (if present).

Requirements for DCPs:
DCP’s have to be provided either as Interop or SMPTE with subtitle tracks of a clearly stated DCP format, aspect ratio, subtitle and soundtrack information marked on the casing and drive (or accompanying tech sheet). If physical copies are being sent, DCP’s have to be provided and shipped on industry standard and protected hard drives.

Damaged or dubbed copies, non-compatible DCP’s and files on broken hard drives are refused and the festival has the right to demand new copies (as well as KDMs) free of charge for damaged and non-working DCP packages.

Please note that:
• The Festival supports 2K and 4K content in all screens. However, not all screens have a 4K projector. The Festival cannot guarantee that a 4K film will be screened in a 4K resolution.
• All screens support both Flat and Scope content.
• The Festival requires all DCP’s to be in XYZ color space encoded in JPEG2000.
• Countdown / start leaders must not be included.
• Surround content should be submitted in 6 discrete channels in the DCP.
• Hard drives must be formatted in EXT2, EXT3.

The filmmaker or film representative has to provide appropriate KDM’s for the original language soundtrack and English subtitle tracks at least 72 hours prior to screenings. If the festival is provided with broken or wrongly assigned KDM’s, appropriate new KDM’s must be provided free of charge by the film submitter or representative to meet the minimum Festival requirements.

The festival reserves the right to demand screening copies of competition films free of charge including alternative keys to DCP copies or new DCP packages if quality standards are not being met. These include missing subtitles or wrong soundtracks. Thus, the festival has the right to refuse and withdraw the screening of a film in the competitions if the above-mentioned guidelines are not being followed.

All other formats must be confirmed by the festival technical team.

Screening copies should be delivered electronically via indicated means by the festival team upon confirmation.

Festival accepts films uploaded to film distributors upload environment or can provide its own upload environment. All technical questions and information regarding file formats, DCP’s and upload should be sent to dcinema@poff.ee.

As of 2019, the festival does not accept physical copies for films less than 50GB in file size.
Details about the delivery of physical copies will be given by the festival team.

The Festival may invite members of the crew of any film in any section providing either travel, accommodation and/or festival accreditation.

The awards and juries will be announced by the Festival Director no later than during the opening press conference of the Festival. No jury member can be involved in the production or promotion of any film in the competition.


Overall Rating
  • Walker Hare

    Had a blast at PÖFF Shorts! The volunteers and staff worked incredibly hard to put on a top-notch festival! The screening venues were beautiful, the parties were fun (including a vodka fueled tram party!), great chances to network with industry from the BNFF and the other filmmakers were awesome. Saw some great films and fell in love with the beautiful city and people of Tallinn!

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    Hei Walker! It was great to have you here and many thanks for the kind words!
    See you next year!

  • Luka Hrvoj

    great festival. good comunication. good luck

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you!