About / Rules

film festival shorts


The Best Shorts Competition is unique in the industry.  Attracting both powerhouse companies as well as talented new filmmakers, The Best Shorts is an exceptional, truly international awards competition, not a traditional film festival – which allows filmmakers from around the world to enter their films in this prestigious competition.

Established in 2011, Best Shorts is an avant-garde worldwide competition that strives to give talented directors, producers, actors, creative teams and new media creators the positive exposure they deserve. It discovers and honors the achievements of filmmakers who produce high quality shorts and new media. Best Shorts promotes award winners through press releases to over 100,000 filmmakers through our partners at FilmFestivals.com.

Our talented award winners have gone on to win Oscars, Emmys, Tellys and other awards.

Where our filmmakers are from:

The Best Shorts Competition puts filmmakers first and provides a direct opportunity for recognition and publicity for high quality films and documentaries. It is international in scope and has granted awards to producers in Australia, Bahrain, Bali, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States and more!

What kind of media:

The Best Shorts Competition is an excellent venue for films, documentaries, new and experimental media, television pilot programs, animation, educational programs, remixes & mashups, movie trailers, music videos, webisodes and tube length works. As long as the entry is 57 minutes or less, it is eligible for submission.


With thousands of entries each year from around the globe – we believe that filmmakers other than “Best Of” deserve recognition for their work.  Toward that end, a scoring system is used and quality and creativity are celebrated in four levels of awards: Best of Show, Outstanding Achievement, Award of Excellence, Award of Merit and Award of Recognition.

The judging takes place by in-house staff and a committee of industry professionals including Emmy, Telly and Communicator award nominees and recipients.

As with the Tellys and regional Emmy Awards, entries do not compete against each other. Instead, entries are judged against a high standard of merit and are scored accordingly. Judges score entries on a performance scale and winning entries are recognized and awarded as Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit, Award of Recognition or no award.

Best of Show honors are granted to the top scoring entry for each season.  Outstanding Achievement Award is given to a film who is very close in scoring to the Best of show.  Awards of Excellence are granted to entries with truly exceptional filmmaking and those with the “Special Mention” delegation are the Top 10 scoring films of the competition.  Notable artistic and technical productions are recognized at the Award of Merit award level and Award of Recognition recognizes achievement in a specific category of entry.

No fixed number of awards are granted at any level but rather fluctuate based on the total number of entries received for each competition deadline.


Each submission received through the Best Shorts Competition website or film portals will be contacted via electronic mail to confirm entry. Film portals such as Film Freeway generally also notify through their system.

After judging is completed, winners in all categories will be notified if their scores are high enough to qualify for an award.   If  so, they are notified of their award level and are provided the opportunity to acquire statuettes and other keepsakes to commemorate their achievement. Submissions that were not awarded will be notified after the judging process.

Filmmakers who do not quality for an award – are directed to a “scoring criteria” page that allows them to evaluate where their craft may be improved in the future.

We proudly comply with Film Festival best practices

Serving Filmmakers is our top priority.

Humanitarian Award:

Each year the Best Shorts Competition grants its Annual Humanitarian Award for dedicated service to Social Justice, Animal Welfare, Political, Environmental, Wellness, or Conscious Awareness issues.


Submissions must be 57 minutes or less to be categorized as a “short”.

•Submissions in other than English must be subtitled.

•Multiple entries are allowed for each filmmaker and each entry may be entered in multiple categories.

•The entry fee for the first judging category is $60.00. Each additional judging category is $40.00.

•Please provide an online link to your submission and be sure to include the password on the attached online submission form. Or you can send a DVD screener in NTSC format.

•Written comments describing entries are beneficial.

•DVD Entries will not be returned.


The Best Shorts statuette is exceptional in this industry and is a work of art.  Covered with 24k gold it is manufactured by the company that makes the worlds’ most prestigious and celebrated awards, the Oscar, Clio, and Accolade.   For more information about the statue click here:

Sister Competitions:

The Best Shorts sister competitions are the Accolade Global Film Competition, the IndieFEST Film Awards   and the IMPACT DOCS Awards.  All four competitions share administrative offices but have independent judging and judging results from one competition will not influence the outcome of the other.

To enter online click here: