About the Fest

Named the “Coolest Short Film Festival” by Moviemaker Magazine, the 13th DC Shorts Film Festival and 10th Screenplay Competition make up the largest short film event on the East Coast of the United States.

In 2016, we screened 131 films from 26 countries in 18 unique showcases that played over 11 days to a total audience of over 9,000 people. We also hosted a table read of six screenplays, and awarded the winner an incredible prize of $2,000.

As we have done since 2003, after programming is announced, all entrants receive a report with the review committee’s comments. We believe that filmmakers deserve to understand why their film or screenplay was selected or rejected — and what that process entails. On our submission website, DC Shorts spells out the entire selection process, and offers resources to research the types of material we are most likely to program. We highly recommend reviewing our processes, past festival catalogs and other materials at dcshorts.com


14th Annual DC Shorts Film Festival (September 9-17, 2017) 
DC Shorts turns the spotlight on truly independent short films created around the globe. In 2016, we received over 1,400 entries from 67 nations. We ultimately programed 131 films into 18 unique showcases that played over 11 days to a combined audience of over 9,000 people.

10th Annual DC Shorts Screenplay Competition (Friday, September 15, 2017) 
DC Shorts is proud to present a different kind of screenwriting competition. A panel of readers consisting of filmmakers, screenwriters, and critics review and provide condensed coverage (feedback) for scripts of 15 pages or less. Six finalists are invited to attend DC Shorts and, with the assistance of local directors and agents, cast a live table reading of the script from a bank of actors. The readings are performed in front of an audience, who vote on their favorites. These votes, along with the scores of the readers, determine a competition winner. You must submit for the Screenplay Competition at dcshorts.com.

DC Shorts and the film camera symbol are trademarks of the DC Film Alliance, registered in the United States.