Short Films – Guide to 2019 SXSW Film Festival Submissions

Interested in submitting a short film to the 2019 SXSW Film Festival? Before you submit, be sure to take a look at our guidelines below to ensure your film is eligible for SXSW and check out the Film Submissions page for deadlines and fees.

Short Film Submission Guidelines

  • Your film must be under 40 minutes in length.

  • If your short film HAS NOT screened in Austin, Texas you are eligible to submit to SXSW. For more information about premiere status and eligibility click here.

  • Your project must have been completed in 2017, 2018 or be on track for completion in early 2019.

  • The shorts program consists of ten curated programs: Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Animated Shorts, Midnight Shorts, Music Videos, Texas Shorts, Texas High School Shorts, Independent Episodics, Virtual Cinema, and Title Design Competition.

  • Please note if your submitting an Independent Episodic to apply via the Film Festival Episodic application. If you are submitting a Music Video, Texas High School Short, Virtual Cinema or Title Design Competition project, please apply through their respective applications.

  • SXSW does not accept trailers or rough assemblies, but will accept work-in-progress cuts (picture lock with temp sound, color, etc.) Please be aware SXSW will not screen multiple updates/versions of your film for programming consideration.

  • Please submit your application when you are ready to send your film in the most complete and finished form possible, as we will only watch the first cut submitted.

  • All short films must be submitted via a secure URL link. Please note, if you change this link or any of your login information prior to March 2019 without contacting SXSW your film may become ineligible for consideration.

  • SXSW is proud to be an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards Short Film competition. The winners of our Narrative, Documentary, and Animated Short Film categories become eligible for the Academy Awards.

  • The 2018 SXSW Film Festival marked the 25th edition of the festival, click here to get inspired and read stories from our film alumni!

  • For specific questions about submitting your film, look no further than our Film Submissions FAQ. Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to email

  • Once you have submitted, you will receive a confirmation email from SXSW within 48 hours. This email will confirm that your film has been submitted correctly. If you do not receive this email within 48 hours, you should follow up by email ( to ensure your film has been submitted properly and is under consideration.

  • All applicants will be informed of the status of their project no later than Friday, February 8, 2019.

Submit Your Short Film

Join Us in March 2019

Register to attend SXSW 2019 and book your Austin stay! A Film Badge gets you primary access to all SXSW Film events including world premieres, roundtables, workshops, and parties. Film registrants also have primary access to Convergence events including the Comedy Festival and nine unique conference tracks, as well as secondary access to most Interactive and Music events.

See you in March!

Midnight Shorts Q&A - Photo by Claudio Fox

By Neha Aziz