A New Kind of Festival
Short of the Week is the premiere destination for short films, a trusted source by fans and industry since 2007, showcasing work from the top emerging filmmakers.
Find Your Audience
You’ve worked tirelessly on your film—it deserves an audience. On Short of the Week, your film takes front page on the top destination for short films where you’ll find thousands (sometimes millions!) of new fans and connect directly with the largest community of short film producers, programmers, and filmmakers.
Don’t wait months for an answer. You’ve got plans to make and films to shoot. Get a final response from us within 7 days.
Not ready to launch yet? Whether you’re still finalizing your film or finishing up a festival run, you can submit your film and launch when you’re ready.
Access to Shortverse
Shortverse offers all the tools you need to create a landing page for your film, set up screenings, and connect with a community of producers, programmers, and filmmakers.
Before You Submit
- Under 40 Minutes: Films need to be 40 minutes or less. We prefer most films sit on the shorter end of that spectrum—the average film we feature is 10 minutes. The longer your film (over 15 minutes), the tougher judges we tend to be.
- Premiere Status: We like premieres but no premiere status is required. There is also no completion date requirement, so films completed at any time in the past can be submitted.
- All Rights Secured: We require films to have all necessary rights and releases secured for us to feature them. Yes, this includes music.
- Free to View: We only select films that are free for audiences.
What to Expect
Learn more about why we do submissions the way we do, what we look for in a film, and see examples of real feedback we offer. Learn more
What We Look For
We look for great stories that brave new territory. We value great characters, interesting new worlds, and stories that surprise us over fancy visual effects, famous actors, or silly one-liners that often feed much of online videos. So when screening films, we tend to score them based on three attributes:
- Head—Does it break new ground and have us thinking about something in a new way?
- Heart—Does it stir us emotionally?
- Hand—Does it exhibit great skill and craftsmanship?
The best way to understand what we look for is to watch the short films in our collection. You can get a good sense of our taste by looking at what we have curated in the past.
What We Avoid
We have no hard and fast rules. Every film is different and there are always exceptions. In general, though, the following tend to not be a good fit for us:
- Music videos or abstract films with no or little story
- Films driven solely by special effects
- Commercials or purely promotional pieces (Branded films are okay)
- Timelapse/travel photography videos
- Comedies that rely heavily upon on a single punchline
- Profile documentaries that may be interesting but lack a strong narrative arc
Unfortunately we cannot refund a submission fee once you’ve submitted your film. Please make absolutely sure you want to submit your film before doing so.
As with other festivals, your fee is paid for your film to be considered. By no means does submitting your film guarantee that your film will be accepted for Short of the Week. If your film is not accepted, your submission fee is not refunded. We receive thousands of submissions every year and are only able to select 2–3% (Learn more about our selection process).
If Your Film is Selected,
For every selected film, we employ a unique strategy we’ve developed that we call Be Everywhere At Once. This means we will be your launch partner and provide our expertise gained from launching thousands of films to tailor a strategy for your film’s online launch that maximizes for impact. We will get your film in front of audiences on all the major platforms—YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter—and seed it with key media and industry players.
Once selected, the fun begins! The first thing we want to know is more about you—your preferences for things like launch date, your hopes for your film, and perhaps most importantly, where you want to go as a filmmaker.
- You will have the opportunity to specify a preferred launch date for your film, and we will do our best to accommodate—more advanced notice is better.
When should I submit my film?
As soon as it’s completed. Seriously. We give filmmakers full flexibility to determine the online release date for their film. You can submit now and release it months from now. You don’t have to wait to hear back from other festivals or finish screenings to start planning your release. Give yourself the time and submit early. Some filmmakers even prefer to submit their film before it’s fully-completed to get a jump start on their release planning.
Will releasing my film online hurt my chances at film festivals?
This is one of the biggest scares for filmmakers (it was ours, too). So we did the research and found that 66% of the top film festivals (in 2013) will accept online films. And with big name festivals like Sundance and SXSW leading the charge, this is a growing trend. If you want to know about a specific festival, take a look at our Essential List of Festival Eligibility to see if the festivals you’re considering are online-friendly.
What is Shortverse?
Shortverse is the launch pad for short films. Shortverse helps filmmakers launch their short films—you can learn more about it here. It’s also how we manage film submissions to Short of the Week! This allows us to more closely help filmmakers manage and launch their films . If you’re trying to submit to Short of the Week, you’re in the right place :)—and included in your submission fee is a free month of Shortverse on us.
If I’m declined for Short of the Week, will I be able to release my film on Shortverse?
Yes! Shortverse was designed to help all filmmakers looking to launch their short films. As part of our consideration process for Short of the Week, your film will be approved for release on Shortverse.
Can I submit an incomplete film (for example, a film with scratch music)?
Yes. Sending an incomplete film is a great way to get a film on our radar early so that we can best help coordinate a successful launch. If we like your film, we will tentatively accept it. You’ll then be asked to resubmit the final cut (at no extra charge) where we’ll deliver our final verdict.
Can I submit a web series?
Thank you for reaching out. We do feature web series! For us to feature one, the episode should feel like it stands on its own, as we only would be able to feature a single entry. You can view some past web series selections.
Can I submit a Non-English spoken films?
Absolutely! However, your film must include English subtitles either baked into the video or as closed captions.
If I’m accepted, can I set a release date in the future?
Absolutely! We encourage filmmakers to submit as soon as possible so that you know your full range of options as you plan out your film’s release. Then, if selected, we will work with you to schedule a release date that fits your plans.
If I’m accepted, how will you set a release date?
We want to release your film when it’s most optimal for you. If accepted, you will submit a form with your preferred release date for your film and we will do all that we can to accommodate. If you have a specific release date that you need, please give us 3 or more weeks prior notice to accommodate your request.
If I’m accepted, can Short of the Week guarantee that my film will go viral?
No, and no one can guarantee that your film will go viral. If anyone tells you differently, they’re simply lying. Number of views is no longer the goal for short films and it shouldn’t be yours. We look to connect your story with producers, agents, and others in the industry who can get you to the next step in your film career.
If I’m accepted to Short of the Week, will I be a Staff Pick on Vimeo?
No. We have no affiliation with Vimeo. While there may be overlap between the films we feature and those selected by Vimeo and other film curation sites, we operate under completely independent curatorial guidelines.
If I’m accepted, do you require exclusivity?
No. We know how harmful exclusivity deals can be to filmmakers. They can tie your film up in a losing distribution channel for months or years and there’s nothing you can do. At Short of the Week, your film becomes part of our very popular archive that is completely searchable by style, genre, and keywords for as long as you wish it to be. If you land a big deal that requires you to pull your film down, we’ll congratulate you and give you a virtual high-five not throw a contract in your face. Further details are in our licensing agreement.
Where should I host my film for the submission?
We prefer films be uploaded to either Vimeo or YouTube. If your film is not yet released, be sure you keep your film private by setting a password on Vimeo or setting it to unlisted on YouTube.
Do you watch every submission?
It is our policy that every submission is viewed in its entirety and given full consideration. We take this very seriously. If, for any reason, you feel your film wasn’t viewed in its entirety, you’re welcome to reach out and test us.
My view stats show that my film wasn’t watched to completion. What gives?
Unfortunately, view stats as reported on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo have become an unreliable metric to measure whether a film was viewed and how much of a film was viewed. As tracking restrictions have increased through browser security measures, this method has become even more tenuous. We encounter this often where a video embedded on a private platform like ours via the API will not register a view back to the hosting platform or in some cases only register a partial view. Vimeo and YouTube have acknowledged the issues and we continue to work with them to improve tracking.
Can I resubmit my film if I was previously declined?
We do allow for resubmissions but only if the film has undergone significant changes from the original submission. Films are rarely declined for one or two fixable reasons, so this is a higher bar to clear than it might seem. Only consider this if you’ve significantly reworked your film.
My film played at 50 international film festivals and won 8 awards, surely it must be right for Short of the Week?
While we congratulate you on your film’s success, prior accolades do not factor into our judging decision. This means we may decline very well-decorated films that we don’t connect with and we may accept unknown films that notable festivals have passed on. We pick films based on our own criteria in what makes a great short film (see above). Other programmers and curators will pick different films. And we think that’s how it should be.
I was declined—did I make a bad film?
Having your film declined doesn’t mean it’s a bad film. Curation is subjective—we pick films we like while others may pick different films. If your film was declined for Short of the Week, try somewhere else. We often even offer tips on who you can reach out to.
Sometimes, yes, you did make a bad film. But that’s not a terrible thing. We’ve made bad films too (believe me!). Every filmmaker, even the legends, have made a bad film especially early in their careers. Filmmaking is a learning process, and failure is the best teacher. Try one more time. Then again.
If you want to know why your film didn’t work, try opting for our Feedback option when submitting to receive one full page of constructive insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your film (additional charge).
Do you only feature one film a week?
Not anymore. Way back when we first started in 2007, we only posted one film a week (hence the name!). But, now, we feature a film almost every day. The “of the week” moniker has stuck, however.
Do you offer submission fee waivers?
Not at this time.
Can I submit my film via FilmFreeway?
Yes, you can. Note: the Feedback option is not available for FilmFreeway submissions.