Guide to Submitting a Short to the 2020 SXSW Film Festival

Submissions for Shorts are now closed. If you are in need of an extension, please fill out this form.

If you are submitting a Short to SXSW, please triple check that your film meets our requirements below. Don’t forget to take a look at our Film Submissions page for additional 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 2018, 2019 or be on track for completion in early 2020.

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

  • 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 2020 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.

  • Need some inspiration? Read interviews with some of our 2019 SXSW Film Festival directors in our Filmmaker in Focus series.

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

  • 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 (filmfest@sxsw.com) 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 7, 2020.

Join Us in March

Register to attend SXSW 2020 and get ready to experience World Premieres, screening Q&As, Keynotes, Featured Sessions, and more.

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Dive into 2019 Music Tracks

Shorts Program – Photo by Katie Marriner

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