Q. Do you accept non-Canadian shorts?


We accept Canadian and International shorts. Non-Canadian shorts should be entered under our International category.

Q. Will you post my short on-line for the public to see?


Canada Shorts will not post your short on-line.

Q. My short has already screened at another festival. Can I still enter?


Canada Shorts has no festival premiere eligibility requirements. Shorts that have screened at other festivals be they North American or elsewhere are still eligible.

Q. My short is available on-line (YouTube, Vimeo). Can I still enter?


Canada Shorts has no public broadcast or internet (YouTube, Vimeo etc) eligibility requirements. If your short has screened on YouTube or Vimeo, it is still eligible for entry at Canada Shorts.

Q. What short length eligibility requirements do you have?

Maximum short length allowed is 30 minutes. We do NOT offer exemptions to this rule. We have no minimum length.

Q. How will my short be judged?

All submissions will be viewed in their entirety by at least three judges.

Submissions will be judged and scored based on criteria including: quality of screenplay (story, dialogue, character arcs etc), acting, production quality, originality, technical proficiency, cinematography, sound design, editing, location/s used and set design.

We support indie filmmaking and will award additional points to shorts produced on a micro budget and/or minimal crew.

Q. What are the Canadian Short category eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for entry in the Canadian Short category, your film must meet at least one of these requirements:

  • Your short must have been shot in Canada
  • OR the director must be Canadian
  • OR the screenwriter must be Canadian

Q. What are the International Short category eligibility requirements?

If your short was not shot in Canada, or your director/writer are not Canadian then please enter it under our International Short category.

Q. What awards do you offer?

We champion short filmmaking and strive to award quality shorts regardless of their budget:

  • Best Short / Grand Prize
  • Best Canadian Short
  • Best International Short

  • Best Action/Adventure
  • Best Comedy/Romcom
  • Best Crime/Suspense
  • Best Documentary
  • Best Drama
  • Best Experimental Film
  • Best Family/Animated
  • Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  • Best Thriller/Horror
  • Best Director
  • Best Writer
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Music Score

  • Official Finalists
  • Awards of Excellence
  • Awards of Distinction
  • Awards of Commendation
  • Awards of Merit
  • Honorable Mentions

Q. Do you accept Work In Progress cuts?

Yes, we accept work in progress cuts provided the film is to an advanced level (e.g. picture lock with temp sound or temp color grade, temp VFX). Your entry fee will grant the film to be reviewed once (the cut you submit) by the selection committee.

If your film is selected for screening, and the completed film is NOT made available when requested (typically we send requests for exhibition files approx 2-3 weeks before the festival date), you will forfeit your screening and entry fee.

Q. My short was made on a micro-budget and/or with a minimal crew. Have I any chance of being selected?

We have seen some outstanding micro-budget shorts that were shot with little money and often minimal crew. How did they still manage to produce a great short? The central components of script, story and acting were all to a high standard.

We support indie filmmaking and will award additional points to shorts produced on a micro budget and/or minimal crew.

Q. You selected my short. Will it be screened?

Firstly, congratulations!

Your selection and award classification will be posted on our website, and eventually our Archive section.

Canada Shorts works hard to recognize quality filmmaking and tends to offer Awards to 120+ short films per season. That is considerably more than we could possibly screen.

What we can and do screen are all Premier Award winners including Best Of winners.

Q. You selected my short. Where will it be screened?

Canada Shorts will screen all Premier Awards winners including Best Of winners.

We may also screen some shorts outside these award placings that deeply impress our selection committee.

Canada Shorts screens in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Theater details will be published closer to the festival date. Most years we screen at The Cinematheque in downtown Vancouver.

Q. Exhibition format.

If your short is selected for exhibition we will inform you. We will also send you an exhibition file request email. You will need to provide an HD (1920 x 1080) exhibition file. The highest quality is ideal. ProRes is ideal. H264, H265 etc are also acceptable.

If you film has non-English dialogue please ensure you include English subtitles.

The file should be sent to us as a downloadable link using MailBigFile, WeTransfer, Google Drive, Dropbox or similar. A FilmFreeway link or Vimeo link with HD downloadable file is also acceptable.

Films with incomplete materials by the deadline will forfeit their ability to screen in the festival.

Q. When is your notification date and what is the notification process?

The notification date is stated on our FilmFreeway page, typically it is late November or early December.

All notification letters will be issued electronically using FilmFreeway.

All awards will also be posted on the Canada Shorts website - see Results & Awards on left menu bar.

Q. Do you accept music videos?

Only if it is story-based or features particularly stunning or unique cinematography.