About the Fest

Named the “Coolest Short Film Festival” by Moviemaker Magazine, the 16th DC Shorts Film Festival and 12th Screenplay Competition make up the largest short film event on the East Coast of the United States.

In 2018, we screened 125 films from 30 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


16th Annual DC Shorts Film Festival – September 19-28,  2019. 
DC Shorts turns the spotlight on truly independent short films created around the globe. This year, we received over 1,200 entries from 70 nations. We ultimately programmed 155 films into 19 unique showcases that played over 9 days to a combined audience of over 9,000 people.

12th Annual DC Shorts Screenplay Competition – September 27, 2019. 
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.