The Short Encounters International Film Festival (SEIFF) is an awarding body dedicated to groundbreaking, independent cinema, from all around the world. SEIFF opens its doors to the future of cinema by welcoming emerging filmmakers, actors, cinematographers, editors and producers to present their films and to be recognised for their talent, their unique vision and have their films seen globally.
We seek new voices that transcend stereotypes and norms, suggesting new meanings about our world and its era. We seek authenticity; short films with great stories and strong characters, creators honest and sincere to their art, that move beyond the slippery slope of self-display, breaking the safety boundaries of conventional methods, and through their work can evoke universals.
As the film production has moved beyond the control of the studio system and indie cinema can work outside the mainstream, a new age has emerged for indie filmmakers, that leaves room for experimentation, artistic growth, and for gaining the necessary confidence to take it to the next level; to make a feature. I feel you’ll agree with me when I'm saying that for the majority of short film creators, a short film is considered a stepping stone to making a feature film. But, in order to do that, your work needs help to reach the right audience, be recognized and celebrated for its value. Our AIM is to do all in our power to get your work seen and your talent appreciated because we know, as well as you do, that “getting your work seen is the precursor to getting your abilities valued” (M. Rabiger).
We are not impressed with technological competency but with aesthetic essence. We are impressed with meaning. Technical evolution did not make us more talented. It just opened a door to talent. The access to state of the art hardware or the mastery of it did not make us inspiring and “cool” directors. It just made it easier for us. I mean, let's face it. Learning Spanish however fluently, will not grant you the ability to write “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.
As Scorsese tells us “the key thing is that the technology does not dictate the Art; the Art dictates the technology. The Art comes first”. In Short Encounters IFF, WE LOOK FOR ART.
All films competing should have the opportunity to participate with other independent movies and with world-class talents in an equal competition, regardless of budget constraints. Therefore, we don’t let production limitations overshadow your creativity and originality. Our goal is to be a platform for valuable, clever and unique independent films that tend to create unique narratives and explore social, political and/or psychological themes and topics. Unfortunately, there are cases that production weak spots cannot be overlooked. And while some works exceed in dramatic depth and resourcefulness, nevertheless they fail to produce a convincing and completed result. In order to honour these works, we introduce the Short Encounters Award. This is a seperate from the main categories award, given to shorts produced on a no/low budget and/or minimal crew, aiming to reward the merits of what could otherwise be fabulous projects, but due to a reduced overall production design they lack in authenticity, cohesiveness etc. An Award that aims to reward potential!
(More information regarding the SE Award can be found on the “HOW IT WORKS” section).
We are not here to state that our festival is better than any other.
There are a lot of wonderful festivals out there, with huge respect for creators and their works, worthy of the submission fee.
We say that we are one of them and that we are here to write our own wonderful history.
If you want to be part of this history feel free to join our journey!

Short Encounters IFF hosts an annual competition round, during the annual film festival live event, therefore IT IS NOT an online competition. We will be hosting our annual events in major European cities, which are going to be different each year. The inaugural edition of the festival will be held in Athens (and/or Thessaloniki), Greece in December 2021. SEIFF begins its journey from Greece and will be travelling all around Europe promoting amazing projects from all around the world.

We won't ask for multiple submissions in different categories. One submission is valid for all the awards, and with a reasonable price. So, you do not need to pay more than one fee. By submitting to Short Encounters IFF, filmmakers will be submitting for consideration across all of the festival's competition categories for awards/nominations with ONE submission fee.

Our main competition is divided into two budget groupings. No/Low Budget Short Film & Short Film. As stated above, regardless of the budget groupings, all films competing enter the main competition and all other categories’ awards. BUT only No/Low Budget projects are eligible for the Short Encounters Award, as described in the “WHO WE ARE” section.

We do not provide individual feedback on every entry we get, unless you opt for a critical review, nor justify/explain ourselves for not selecting your work. No inquiries or arguments will be entertained regarding non-selected films. If you opt for a critical review one of our team’s professionals will provide one in due time (no more than 7 to 10 days, depending on the workload).

The selection process takes place in three stages.
During the first stage, our knowledgeable group of more than twenty five screeners, along with the festival director and artistic director, will choose the films that meet the minimum requirements, according to the festival’s standards, to go onto the second stage and to the selection committee. The selection committee, constituted by qualified guest jurors along with a second, smaller group of screeners, will judge the entries and decide on the Official Selections.

At this stage, the final decision will be taken by the selection committee, which in turn will present the results to the final judging team and on to the last stage.

The judging panel is independent of the selection committee, making their voting entirely independent of one another and deciding for the nominees and eventually the award winners of the bimonthly round.

We don't screen the films online! The members of the jury watch the films online privately.

The Annual Official Selections are automatically qualified to compete at the annual festival and be screened live during the annual event along with all selected projects.

Official Selections will be optional for promotional purposes to send an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) to info@shortencountersiff.com including:

• at least one still photo from the film (in .jpg or .tif format at 300 dpi)
• a synopsis of the film in English
• a brief biography of the director in English
• director’s photograph (in .jpg or .tif format at 300 dpi)
• film official poster HQ
• film credits


Best Short Film
Best Experimental Short Film
Bet Animation Short Film
Best Student Short Film
Best Director
Best Original Score
Best Editing
Best Cinematography
Best Screenplay
Best Art Direction
Best Leading Actor
Best Leading Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress

All entries are promoted for free through our social media and website, with a featured page of each project, unless the submitter prefers not to. For this purpose, we recommend that projects must be fully entered on FilmFreeway, including synopsis, and downloadable poster and trailer.
All officially selected projects will receive the Short Encounters IFF official laurel and the customised digital certificate of achievement according to their final status in the competition (Nominees and Award Winners).
Besides the Major Award for each category, it can also be given Short Encounters Grand Jury Awards, Honourable Mentions and the SHORT ENCOUNTERS AWARD eligible ONLY for No/Low budget short films.


Best Short Film of the Annual edition receives;
Winner laurel, Framed Certificate, SEIFF Trophy, Cash Prize

Best Director of the Annual edition receives;
Winner laurel, Framed Certificate, SEIFF Trophy, Cash Prize

All other categories receive;
Winner laurels, Framed Certificates

To be eligible for the Short Encounters International Film Festival, films must comply with the following:

●In the 2023 edition WE ACCEPT ALL GENRES
● Entries are accepted exclusively through www.FilmFreeway.com.
● The film must have been completed on or after January 1, 2020.
● In order to submit, the total running time of the film needs to be of less than 30 minutes (including credits).
● Premiere status does not affect eligibility. We place no restrictions on your work in terms of premiere status or whether your work has been made available online.
● The official language of the festival is English. Therefore, all films must be submitted in ENGLISH or with English subtitles (if in a different language). In the event subtitles are missing, you will be notified by email and asked to update your work. If your updated submission fails to be provided by the final deadline, your work will be disqualified with no refunds of the submission fees.
● Multiple submissions must be provided as individual submissions.
● You will not be eligible for any refund of submission fees for any reason once your film is in “In Consideration” status on the platform FilmFreeway.
● Submitted films must be either uploaded directly to FilmFreeway via their Secure Online Screener system, or supplied as a password-protected Vimeo link or unlisted YouTube link entered directly into the FilmFreeway online application form.
● Important: SEIFF does not accept screeners via email; you must upload directly to FilmFreeway or to a third-party site such as Vimeo or YouTube.
● If selected for screening, a theatrical quality screener must be provided. Anything less than HD at a minimum of 1920x1080 will not be screened.
● If the password changes at any point between the submission and the Festival, the Submitter must inform SEIFF via email as soon as possible. Any film that is submitted with an incorrect or outdated password cannot be considered for the Festival; in such a case, the submission will be disqualified, and any and all fees paid will be forfeited.
● The submitting filmmaker must be either the producer or director of the film.
● The Producer/Director warrants to the Short Encounters IFF that they have obtained all the necessary permissions to enter this film and that the film does not infringe the rights, including copyright, of any third party and that all rights and clearances have been made. This includes use of music and literary material. You accept to hold full legal responsibility for the intellectual property herein.
● The film is not subject to any litigation nor is threatened by any litigation. In addition you hold SEIFF harmless from damage to, or loss of any or all materials en route to, from or otherwise at the festival. You assume all legal responsibilities therein (including but not limited to attorney's fees and costs of the court).
● Any technical issues with the submitted films are 100% the responsibility of the filmmakers. If, at the time of judging, your video file doesn’t work it will be automatically rejected, without a refund. Please contact the festival team if there are any issues with the submission process, and a solution will be found.
● By submitting your project to Short Encounters IFF, the submitter and filmmakers associated with the entry project consent to the posting of stills and short clip fragments from the film on the festival's website/platform plus social media channels, for solely promotional, non-commercial and educational purposes. Stills from your film could be used for example within our final list of winners/nominees, and short clip fragments from your film could be used within our festival trailer.
● If your film is selected for screening during the annual live event, or possible intermediate live events, you confirm that an exhibition copy will be available to the SEIFF in a required format for screening during these events. By Agreeing to these terms, you hereby agree to indemnify SEIFF, in the event that such rights have not been properly transferred.
● Our judges have access to all films and they vote without sharing your work publicly.
● ​​Additionally you consent to the festival director having access to download your film(s), if necessary, to facilitate offline study and the festival's programming/curation needs and functions. You can opt out from this whilst still being able to participate in the competition.
● We cannot provide refunds.
● We reserve the right to update our terms and conditions.

Overall Rating
  • James Cleave

    I have nothing but a huge amount of praise for Short Encounters International Film Festival. The level of care, attention to detail and honesty(!) throughout the awards process has been nothing less than exceptional.

    The marketing of everyone's projects on social media from acceptance, to nominations, right through to winners has been in my mind, so positive for everyone submitting. It is the first festival to have award our short film 'Sometime Else' an Official Selection; the first for multiple nominations; and the first double win for Best Editing and Honorary Mention for Best Leading Actor. These alone, hold a special place in our hearts.

    On behalf of my cast and crew, I wish to thank Kiriakos (especially), the fantastic judges and organisers of this festival, and I personally cannot wait to see how popular this festival will become in the coming years. I know I will be submitting future projects without question! Thank you!

    January 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much dear James for your amazing words! For us, there is no greater reward than receiving such a positive feedback. My team and I (Kiriakos), could not be more grateful. To know that you had such a productive experience with our festival means that our efforts to establish an objective event that values the hard work and vision of independent filmmakers and their teams, are successful. Your review spoke to our hearts and we will cherish it for years to come!
    Again, thank you for your feedback!
    We are looking forward to your future projects!

  • Michael Kehoe

    Filmmakers spend an incredible amount of money of festivals and wether they win or lose most festivals ignore you future. Not Short Encounters! Their passion for cinema and support for filmmakers is remarkable. I recommend this festival to all filmmakers! They are a part of your journey!

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    Dear Michael, thank you so much for taking the time and writing this wonderful comments regarding SEIFF. Our appreciation is beyond words. We are particularly happy you had such a constructive experience with us. We wish you all the best!

  • Andrey Volkashin

    A very organized, professional, and passionate group of people! Every step of their selection and awarding process was transparent and communicated. A really great opportunity to have your works recognized! Thank you Short Encounters, it was an honor!

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    Dear Andrey our appreciation is beyond words. Thank you for taking the time to comment on your experience with SEIFF. Me an my team extend our gratitude. Cheers!

  • Aleix Masferrer

    It is one of the few international film festivals that has a very personal treatment. From the beginning you have communication with the director and at all times you are informed of the entire process. Film festival marvel and delightful festival director

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Aleix for your kindness and your wonderful feedback! We are extremely happy that you had such a productive experience with Short Encounters. Best!

  • Amazing opportunity! I am impressed by the their thoughtfulness and all the incredible and diverse talent managing and participating in the process.
    Great support, communication, and general good vibes from all the people involved.
    Big hugs

    March 2021
    Response from festival:

    Dear Nawar, we are more than grateful for your kindness and this amazing feedback! The SEIFF team deeply thanks you and extends its gratitude!