The Progeny Short Film Festival takes place annually in Blacksburg, Virginia, hosted by Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts. The festival aims to provide a platform for independent filmmakers and students around Southwest Virginia. Progeny seeks to uplift filmmakers producing thought-provoking content showcasing a diverse range of styles, genres, and interests. While Progeny Short Film Festival is proud to uplift our local community, we also welcome submissions nationally and internationally as well.

***Due to COVID-19, we are taking every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of our supporters and community. Progeny Short Film Festival will be held on Saturday, October 17th, 2020 regardless of whether we can gather in a physical space or not. If necessary, we will go virtual! More details on the physical location or virtual event will be announced ASAP.***

Furthermore, we wish to provide an opportunity for budding filmmakers to thrive, so we’ve made the first wave of submission fees completely free for all students!

You’re more than welcome to submit to more than one category if you feel that your film is representative of multiple styles or genres. The earlier you submit, the lower the entry fee, so get your films in now! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!


Narrative Short
Documentary Short
Experimental Short
Animated Short
High School Short
Hokie Short
International Short

Each category is awarded $150; winners will also receive a printed certificate of achievement!

Best Narrative Short Film
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Experimental Short Film
Best Animated Short Film
Best Hokie Short Film

Progeny Film Festival will also be awarding several no cash, judges choice awards, as well as an audience award, in order to further recognize your accomplishments! Winners of the following accolades will receive a printed certificate of achievement:

Audience Award
Best International Short
Best High School Short


*Submissions are open to independent filmmakers and students. The submitted films must have been completed on or after January 1st, 2017.
*In your cover letter, please discuss how your film is affiliated with the Southwestern Virginia region (if at all), whether that’s origin or residency of cast/crew, subject matter, or simply through the overall spirit of your production!
*Films must be 15 minutes or less, including credits, with the exception of the Short Short category, in which the film’s must be 3 minutes or less, also including credits.
*Films may be submitted to more than one category.
*All films must be in English or have English subtitles at the time submitted.
*Submission fees will increase incrementally as we near the final deadline.
*We must have a link to your film in order to review it. Hard copies and/or files requiring download will not be considered. However, if your film is selected for screening, we will contact you for a high-quality, downloadable copy.
*Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included in their films, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights. Progeny expressly disclaims all liability or responsibility for any violations of the foregoing.
*Films must be the original work of the applicants. If a film is based upon another person’s life or upon a book or other underlying work, applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation rights agreements to the Festival. Neither the Festival nor its jurists investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you represent that you have secured all necessary rights.
* If you’re submitting as a student, you must send confirmation with a picture of your valid university identification. Please send us an email at
* We reserve the right to use stills, posters, and descriptions for promotional purposes.

Overall Rating
  • aaron curtis

    I had a lot of fun at the Progeny Short film festival. It was a great experience and my documentary Fighting Two Wars: The Story of Thalia Jane Ainsley was selected for Best Short Documentary and Audience award.

    September 2018
  • Grant McMillan

    Great staff, really entertaining program, and fantastic location. Nothing not to love.

    September 2018
  • I've loved being part of this festival, although I could not get time off to fly out to the festival, I still felt very connected to the Progeny through their amazing communication and networking online. I also heard that it was a fantastic screening and I am hoping to network with attendees to see their films that I've missed as their posters have looked amazing and really gripping!

    September 2018
  • sandra jovanovska

    I am very thankful for the excelent comunication with the festival's director, thanks to which I heard of the succesfull screening of my film! Furthermore I won best experimental film award! Can't wait to recieve it! And again...a very big thanks to the super-nice crew, who were also very well responsive and professional. I absolutely recommend this festival!

    September 2018
  • Christopher Lusk

    A great experience with a beautiful and historic venue. The Progeny staff was top notch, communicated well, and were very generous to the filmmakers in attendance. Thanks, guys and keep up the good work.

    September 2018