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Collecting Submissions Now!


In conjunction with the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival, we are very excited to announce the Short Film Competition. Our annual competition event unites young filmmakers with professionals as well as in-house audiences. We will shine the spotlight on competitors who have a unique vision and who can stimulate meaningful conversation through their films.

New Cellphone-Film Category! (1)_edited_

$1,000 Grand Prize* 
$500 Second Prize*
$250 Audience Choice**
$250 Shot-on-a-Cellphone Prize***

CMU IFF 2024 Short Film Competition

With new Cellphone-Film Category

Submission Deadline: 
March 24th

*The Grand and Second Prize will be selected by a panel of four respected filmmakers and scholars, based on merit. 
**The Audience Prize will be determined through voting on Eventive during the screening period of the Short Film Competition. The winner of the Audience Prize will be announced with the winners of the Grand Prize and Second Prize.
***The Shot-on-a-Cellphone Prize will award short films shot, either partially or entirely, in any smartphone device, and will be selected by the panel of judges.

Full Rules


  1. Filmmakers should be at least 15 years old and must be based in the United States.

  2. Each director can submit a maximum of 2 short films.

  3. Only original works are accepted. Submitting parties must hold complete ownership and rights to the submitted product.

  4. All the films must be submitted prior to March 24th, 2024. Failure to submit prior to the due date may result in rejection. Filmmakers will be notified about acceptance by March 30th.

  5. All submissions are final. Repeated submissions will be considered ineligible to win.

  6. Video submissions will be uploaded to the CMU IFF FilmFreeway account. Participants will receive a confirmation email from CMU IFF confirming their submission has been received.

  7. The film must not have been submitted to CMU IFF Short Film Competition before 2024


Ten selected submissions will be screened virtually and at the festival’s Short Film Competition night. The date of the showing of the top ten films will be announced on our website, social media channels, and by e-mail.

Submission Process

Warranties/Representations, Right of Use and Indemnity
By making a submission:

    (1) The filmmaker warrants and represents that the film is the filmmaker’s original work and that the filmmaker has obtained any and all rights and permissions needed for the Carnegie Mellon University Film Festival and/or Carnegie Mellon University to show the film in public and to use the film, or portions thereof, in educational, advertising and promotional materials in any medium.
    (2) The filmmaker grants to the Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival and/or Carnegie Mellon University the right to use the filmmaker’s name, image and likeness and biographical information, in educational, advertising and promotional materials in any medium.
    (3) The filmmaker agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival and Carnegie Mellon University, and each of their trustees, officers, employees and agents, from and against any and all claims, suits, actions, demands, liabilities, injuries, losses, costs, damages or arising from or connected with the filmmaker’s submission.

  1.  MP4 or MOV Formats

  2. Use H.264 Codec

  3. Code Rate: 5M per second

  4. Video Size: 720P (1280x720)

  5. Duration:
    -General competition:    5 to 15 min
    -Cellphone film category:    3 to 10 min


Please email for other payment methods, submission details, or any other questions concerning the Short Film Competition.​

Image by Riccardo Sanmartini

Register by March 24!*

Congratulations to our 2023 winners!

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2023 Submissions

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