DC Shorts Film Festival

September 10–19, 2020

How-to Guide


Our screening committee watched over 1200 films from over 38 countries to select the final films for your enjoyment.

The key to enjoying DC Shorts is to get involved — watch film trailers, read film descriptions, interact with filmmakers — then check the schedule of screenings with your calendar.

All 19 Showcases consist of 6–8 films that vary from 2 minutes to 29 minutes in length. The showcases are like a delicious tapas platter — a sampling of the top short films from around the world. You will see comedies, dramas, animation, documentaries, experimental films, thrillers and even musicals from filmmakers as close as the District and as far away as Australia. All showcases are approximately 90 minutes in length. All foreign language films are subtitled. The ticket price covers all of the films in a single showcase.

On opening weekend, all of the Showcases are followed by a moderated Question and Answer session. You are encouraged to ask filmmakers about their films, their inspiration, the creative decisions behind them, and any other aspects of their craft.

The Parties allow you to interact with visiting filmmakers and fellow audience members. Nibble on scrumptious bites, enjoy custom cocktails, beer and wine, and dance to DJs and live bands. A separate ticket is needed to attend the parties.

On Friday, September 27, we present the DC Shorts Screenplay Competition, where six writers will present their short scripts, performed by local actors, to an enthusiastic audience. After the presentation, audience members vote on their favorite script, and that writer wins $2,000 in cash and prizes to shoot a film, which we will be shown at DC Shorts 2020.

DC Shorts concludes with multiple screenings of The Best of DC Shorts. In addition to jury prizes, we also screen the Audience Favorites as polled during the opening weekend. There are two different Best Of shows, each with a unique set of films — a separate ticket is needed for each show.

And if you want to see more films in the comfort of your home, there is the DC Shorts Online Film Festival. Many of our films are available to watch online through this website. The ticket price for the Online Festival gives you access to all of these films from Friday, September 20 at 6:30pm through midnight on Saturday, September 28.

We look forward to seeing you September 19-28!

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