Submission Criteria

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Submissions for the 2024 Pittsburgh Shorts + Script Competition are open!

Pittsburgh Shorts and Script Competition presents the best contemporary short films from around the world and around the corner. The festival has gained a reputation for curating an extremely high caliber of films, including those that have gone on to be Oscar nominees and winners. With a well-respected short script competition and filmmakers' conference, Pittsburgh Shorts has become a destination festival for creators from around the world.

Pittsburgh Shorts includes well-attended screenings, thoughtful filmmaker Q&As, live script readings by professional actors, generous cash awards, networking events, a well-stocked filmmakers’ lounge, and super fun after parties! And the festival's Filmmaker Conference offers informative talks, workshops, and panel discussions led by industry pros.

We hope you’ll submit your project and experience the festival other filmmakers have raved about. As a previous attendee said, "The Pittsburgh Shorts festival is one of the most professionally and thoughtfully run festivals I have had the pleasure of attending as a filmmaker and guest. Having had films in other festivals, including Sundance and Tribeca, I can confidently say that Pittsburgh Shorts is run as well as those, and with the character of Pittsburgh. The staff did an incredible job of attracting real talent to submit and attend. They kept the filmmakers networking all day and night, and we closed the bars with our after parties each night.”


The festival culminates in a ceremony where prizes of $1,000 each and beautifully designed trophies are awarded for Best Narrative, Best Documentary, and Best Animated films as determined by our diverse jury of industry experts, and a Programmer's Choice award. We also have Audience Awards for Best Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Comedy, and other categories.

Our Script Competition showcases the top four scripts with live staged readings by professional actors and awards these prizes:

• First place - $500 and a 1-hour consultation with a Roadmap Writers executive
• Second place - $250
• Third place - $150
• Fourth place - $100

And all writers who submit a script to the competition will receive a free educational webinar from Roadmap Writers plus a 10% off discount on any additional program at

Our 2024 Script Competition juror will be Academy Award winning screenwriter, Tom Schulman.

Pittsburgh Shorts offers travel assistance to accepted filmmakers and script finalists on a first-come, first-served basis.


Pittsburgh Shorts is open to all independent filmmakers, including college and graduate-level film students, as well as professionals in the field. Please note: Film Pittsburgh does not pay screening fees for short films.

Eligible films must adhere to the following criteria:

• Must be a Pittsburgh premiere (no prior public Pittsburgh screening)
• Films must have been completed in 2022 or later
• Foreign language films must have English subtitles
• Length: forty (40) minutes or less
• Single episodes of web series ARE eligible
• Films that are available online ARE eligible (must meet above criteria)

Eligible scripts must adhere to the following criteria:

• Screenplay submissions must be in English and be 15 pages or fewer.
• Scripts written using any form of artificial intelligence (AI) are prohibited.
• Entrant(s) must hold all rights to perform, reproduce, display, and distribute their work
• The work must not have been previously optioned, sold, or produced


Entrants may submit more than one film or script. Each entry requires a separate submission form and fee.

Please include the following as part of your submission:
• Film synopsis (50 word maximum)
• Country of Origin
• Languages spoken in the film
• Type of film (Live Action, Documentary, or Animation)
• Length of film
• Prior Festival Screenings and Broadcast History
• Honors and Awards
• Filmmaker contact information
• Short Director’s Bio (100 word maximum)
• Short Personal Statement (100 word maximum)


Please submit online via FilmFreeway. Vimeo links are strongly preferred.


Deadline: Entries are due by July 31, 2024.


Payments must be made via FilmFreeway at the time of submission.


Filmmakers will be notified of their selection status by October 18, 2024.


Selected films will need to be submitted as follows:

Preferred format: ProResHQ 422 QuickTime File AND DCP

Also acceptable:

H264 QuickTime File (must be a maximum quality – 30mb/s or higher)
MP4 (must be a maximum quality MP4 – 30mb/s or higher)

• 1920 x 1080 Pixels
• 24 Frames Per Second (23.98fps is also accepted)
• 5.1 Audio (Stereo is also accepted)

The above-mentioned specs are preferred. If your project settings do not match, a master quality file of your project in its native frame-rate and resolution is acceptable.

Questions? Please email


Terms and Conditions

Film Pittsburgh is not responsible for late, lost, damaged or ineligible entries. Entrants will retain all ownership rights to their submitted films. By submitting to this festival, the entrant certifies that they have the legal right to submit and exhibit the film. The applicant is responsible and liable for any breach of rights or the law in the submission and exhibition process. By submitting your film you give Film Pittsburgh the right to exhibit your film at the JFilm Festival. Entrants may be required to sign an affidavit confirming that their film is original and that he/she holds all rights. All federal, state, and local taxes, and customs fees, when applicable, are the sole responsibility of the entrant. The undersigned assumes responsibility to ensure the submission payment information is complete and correct and agrees to reimburse Film Pittsburgh for any additional fees incurred by incorrect submission payments, submission disputes, and credit card chargebacks. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Film Pittsburgh for any and all fees, claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving submission payment disputes, copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the content submitted and/or screened. By entering the festival, the entrant grants the right to publish or transmit portions of the film for the purpose of press or promotion, unless otherwise noted. Additionally, entry constitutes permission to use winners’ name, likeness, and voice for advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation. Void where prohibited