Santa Monica Shorts aims to provide a virtual online cultural alternative to the commercial film experience, support independent filmmakers, and promote the art of short filmmaking and its related disciplines. The festival has a monthly and annual structure. The monthly winners have the option to be screened online every month. Every year, we will screen the best of the monthly editions in our annual screening and competition.

The festival is dedicated to international and American short films of all genres, aiming to find new voices and perspectives to celebrate the power of cinema, independent filmmaking and arts. We are committed to short filmmaking.

Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California. The city has been an artistic center for Southern California for generations, and a remarkable 43% of local residents work in creative businesses – believed to be the largest concentration in any American city.

Throughout the years, many important American films had scenes which were shot in Santa Monica. One of the oldest exterior shots in Santa Monica is Buster Keaton's Spite Marriage which shows much of 2nd Street. Other films that show significant exterior shots of Santa Monica include Fletch, Species, Get Shorty, Ocean's Eleven, Demolition Man, and Rocky III.

We champion short filmmaking. We strive to award quality shorts regardless of their budget. We want to ensure indie filmmakers have the opportunity for festival success.

We are excited to welcome filmmakers from all over the world and short films of all genres.

Best U.S. Narrative
Best International Narrative
Best U.S. Documentary
Best International Documentary
Best Short Film Director
Best Short Film Producer
Best Short Film Cinematographer
Best Short Film Editor
Best Short Film Composer
Best Short Film Poster
Best Short Film Actor
Best Short Film Actress
Best Animation
Best Horror
Best Science Fiction
Best Student Film
Best Comedy
Best Thriller
Best Web-Series-Pilot
Best Independent Short
Best Music Video
Best First Time Filmmaker
Best Female Filmmaker
Best Art photo
Best Black and white photography
Best Musician

Films must have been completed in the past 24 months.
Films under 50 minutes are considered short by our committee.
Entry fees are non refundable since we have to go through each submission at least twice.
Premier status is not required.

Overall Rating
  • very good festival. Nice selection of films

    June 2021
  • Steve Beta

    Thank you so much to Santa Monica Shorts for the best US narrative award for our short, BOTS. We're grateful for the good communication and professionalism. Highly recommend this festival.

    Steve Beta

    June 2021
  • Sandra Cruze

    Love Santa Monica shorts. And it’s in our own back yard. Thanks you all. So grateful

    June 2021
  • tom mickel

    Honored for the recognition, one of the best!

    June 2021
  • Derick Thomas

    Amazing experience as a filmmaker to be apart of this festival. Thank you.

    June 2021