8th Annual Short Film Contest

Submission Fee:

$69.50 $79.50
Next Deadline
Wednesday, Apr 12TH 11:59PDT Regular Deadline
Next deadline ends in:

Submit Now

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Anthony and I have done well in several screenwriting contests, but Stage 32 was the first to set us up with actual production companies and managers. That can’t be overstated.
Keith Strausbaugh Keith Strausbaugh

Contest Info

You've made a short film. You've put in your time, effort, blood, sweat, tears, and perhaps even some serious money into your project. Your goal isn't only to get your film seen, but to get it seen around the world and by people who can make a difference in your career. Would being screened by an Oscar qualifying film festival matter? How about having it screened for over 1,000 executives including managers, agents, producers, film financiers and more? Look no further.

The most prestigious short film competition on the planet is back. For the 8th straight year, Stage 32 is looking for the best short films for our 8th Annual Short Film Program. For the last 7 years, we've screened our winning filmmaker's films at some of the most prestigious festivals around the world, and for our stable of 1,000+ Stage 32 executives, and this year will be no different.

In this DIY, control your own material world, legions of filmmakers are turning to short films to have their voices heard. Further, with more and more film festivals adding short programs into their lineups and with so many filmmakers shooting short films as proof of concept to showcase their talents, short films are finally getting the attention they deserve.


Our top 5-10 winning filmmakers receive:

  • Inclusion in our 8th Stage 32 Short Film Program - The most anticipated short film program in the business.
  • Their film screened theatrically at the 2023 Hollyshorts Film Festival in Los Angeles
  • Participate in a Filmmakers Q&A Panel hosted by Stage 32
  • Their film screened online to a worldwide audience on Stage 32 - This global screening will be available to all of our 100,000+ members on the platform
  • Their film showcased to over 2,000 executives who work with Stage 32 - All of our executives will be able to view an online screening of the program. If a meeting is requested between the executive and the filmmaker, we will facilitate.
  • Our Grand prize winning director will be flown to Los Angeles (travel permitting)- Walk the red carpet at Hollyshorts!


We welcome entries from filmmakers all over the world. Last year's contest produced entries from Stage 32 members in 40 countries and resulted in a curated program of 7 incredible and well received short films made by filmmakers from 3 countries.

Over the last 6 years, our winning filmmakers have gone on to be signed (UTA, Echo Lake, Verve, and more), financed, and produced. One of our winning screenwriter/directors even went on to have one of the biggest spec sales in recent years, with Warner Brothers winning a bidding war which was based off a short film!

The Stage 32 Short Film Contest gives you the opportunity to show your chops and shine by providing access to some of the top executives in the business and exposure to film festival and worldwide online crowds. This is access, opportunity, and exposure you won't find anywhere else!


The Stage 32 Short Film Program has been featured to critical acclaim in Variety and Indiewire.

Contest Prizes

Screening in Special Stage 32 Short Film Program at the 2023 Hollyshorts Film Festival

The top 5-10 films will be screened in a special Stage 32 Shorts Program Showcase at the Oscar-qualifying 2023 Hollyshorts Film Festival!

Special Worldwide Online Screening

The top 5-10 Short Films will be screened online to a worldwide audience on Stage 32 in a special global event!

Exposure to over 1,000 Stage 32 Executives

The top 5-10 Short Films will be placed in a special private section on Stage 32 and sent to over 2,000 Stage 32 executives who will be able to view the films. If there is interest we will facilitate the meetings between interested parties and the filmmakers.

Grand Prize Winning Director Will Be Flown to LA for Hollyshorts

The grand prize winning Director will be flown to Los Angeles, CA for the Hollyshorts Film Festival (travel permitting) to walk the red carpet!

Our Track Record

Update on our winner, Gwenn Joyaux (Tomorrow Island)

Gwenn Joyaux (French born director based in Argentina) is now represented by Le'Ander Nicholson from Believeland Management


Update on our winner, Virginia Bach (Tell Him)

Virginia is now in talks with Zero Gravity for representation!


Update on our Finalist Sy Huq (Things That Fall)

Sy is now in talks with Zero Gravity for representation!


Update on our finalist Dicky Chalmers (Angel)

Dicky Chalmers is not in talks with David Chien from Art/Work Entertainment for representation!


Update on our finalist Olivier Dressen (Passport)

Olivier Dressen is not in talks with Brooklyn Weaver from Energy Entertainment for representation!


Update on our Finalist Steve Desmond (Monsters)

We screened Steve Desmond's film Monsters in front of executives from WME, Whitewater, Lionsgate and more and he went on to have a massive bidding war for his spec Harry's All Night Hamburgers, which was picked up by Warner Bros. and now has Ted Melfi attached to direct!


Update on our Finalist Aaron Bierman (Burning Bright)

Aaron Bierman's film was screened at the Hollyshorts Film Festival and the Raindance Film Festival and Aaron went on to be represented by legendary agent David Boxerbaum, partner at Verve Literary and Talent Agency after Verve watched his online screening on Stage 32.


Update on our Finalist Zara Burdett (Maneater)

Zara's film, Maneater was screened at the Hollyshorts Film Festival and the Raindance Film Festival. After we set Zara up on meetings around town she has signed with UTA and Echo Lake Entertainment!


Update on our Finalist Dinh Thai (Monday)

Dinh's film Monday earned rave reviews and we sent him on meetings around town based on his unique style as a filmmaker. He has signed with Paradigm Agency and Kaplan / Perrone Management and won NBCU's Next Generation Filmmaker and Outstanding Director Awards.


Update on our Winner, Terez Koncz (The Letters)

Terez has been set up on meetings internationally - with an award-winning producer in the United States, as well as with a veteran executive who is based in Budapest, Hungary. She is now meeting with Good Fear Film + Management to discuss representation in the US!

Update on our Winner, Lisanne Sartor (Six Letter Word)

Lisanne Sartor, writer & director of Six Letter Word, has taken her short as a proof of concept and finished her feature script. Through Stage 32, her film, Six Letter Word, screened at the Richmond Film Festival and the Hollyshorts Film Festival and in front of Lionsgate, Samaco Films, Whitewater Films, Kodak, Legion M and CAA. She is now directing the feature version of this film and is out to actresses to package the project!



Update on Our Winner, Director Matt Kazman (Killer)

Stage 32 member Matt Kazman's film, KILLER, premiered worldwide in the Stage 32 Short Film Program at the Raindance Film Festival where Matt was featured in Variety. Through Stage 32 Matt went on to meet with many executives and has since signed with UTA and Rise Management. Matt's film KILLER went on to screen as an official selection at Sundance Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, IFFBoston, Florida Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival. Matt has gone on to work on Middle of The Night Show for MTV.


Q&A with the filmmakers at the Hollyshorts Film Festival

Contest Judges

Contest Rules

This contest not only offers the chance to have your work exposed to industry executives, but to have your film as part of a program at two film festivals! All short films in all genres are welcome. All films must be a minimum of 3 minutes and a maximum of 23 minutes to qualify for entry.

Entrant Rules

Void where prohibited by law.

Adults only can enter.

Entrant agrees to Stage32.com terms and conditions.

Stage 32 Short Film Contest is not a game of chance. All material is watched and reviewed by industry professionals.

All finalists and winners are subjectively determined by our judges.

Entrant's short film must not have received compensation totaling over $25,000 USD for options, television, motion picture or digital streaming.

There is no limit to the number of short films an Entrant can enter. The same short film cannot be submitted multiple times under different names. If so, you will be disqualified.

Entrant must not be an immediate family member or friend of any of the judges or their respective companies.

Entry fees will not be returned or adjusted.

There are not discounts or waivers available.


Short Film Rules

Short film total running time must be a minimum of 3 minutes and no longer than 23 minutes. Any submissions shorter or longer than the minimum or maximum length will be disqualified.

The short film must be made within the last 3 calendar years.

All short films must be in digital format. No DVDs, VHS tapes or any physical format will be accepted.

Short films can be in any language, but if not in English, they must contain English subtitles.

All genres are welcome to enter.

Short film must be the original work of the Entrant and may not be based whole or in part on any fictional or non-fictional material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced for which the Entrant does not have rights.

The rights to the Entrant’s short film should not have been previously optioned or sold.

After a short film is entered, no new submissions or corrected videos can be made by the Entrant. No exceptions.

Selected films for the Stage 32 Film Program Contest will be eligible to screen out-of-competition at Raindance Film Festival in London, provided the films are available to preview before the London festivals programming deadline.


How Do I Submit My Short Film?

1. Make sure your short film digital file is ready before you check out.

2. Click on the "Register Now" area on the Contest page and follow the checkout process for the contest.

3. AFTER you complete the payment you will be prompted to upload your short film directly to the contest by the green button

4. Submit the digital file of your film by either pasting a link (red button) or uploading your file (black button)

  • Put the TITLE of your film in the comment section.
  • If your film is password protected, put the password in the comments section.
  • Your film upload is in a secure location not accessible to the public.


How Do I Know if I Submitted My Short Film Correctly?

You will receive an order confirmation on the submission page that says "Your film has been successfully submitted!"


Winner Announcements

May 26
Quarter-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jun 09
Semi-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jun 23
Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jul 07
Contest Winners Announced
on Stage 32
* Announcement dates subject to change.

Contest Deadlines

Super Early Bird

Friday, Feb 24 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $49.50

Early Bird

Thursday, Mar 16 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $59.50

Regular Deadline

Wednesday, Apr 12 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $69.50

Final Deadline

Wednesday, May 17 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $79.50

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