The Festival



Q: What are some examples of diverse & inclusive voices or communities?
A: A few include: women, LGBTQ, and artists who are differently abled.

Q: Who can submit to the Short Film Festival?
A: Since one of the core missions of the festival is to identify and support talented artists with career opportunities, the producers, writers, directors, and lead actors will be honored and nominated for awards in front of NBCUniversal development teams and industry players. Each of them must be over 18 years of age and legal residents of the US able and ready to be employed.

Q: Who can attend the Short Film Festival Showcases?
A: The finalist showcase screening in Los Angeles and semi-finalist screening New York are both open to the public but require invitation and RSVP, no seating is guaranteed.

Q: Why should I submit a short to this festival?
A: The NBCUniversal Short Film Festival provides an opportunity for content creators to screen their original work directly for film industry, network, studio and cable executives. In addition, the festival gives aspiring writers, directors, producers and actors a platform to showcase their talent to the managers, agents and other industry figures in attendance. The Festival will hold an award ceremony honoring the stand out shorts and artists.

Q: What are some of the awarding categories?
A: We recognize: Best Short, Best Director, Best Writer, and Best Actor. Only one representative will be awarded one prize per category.

Q: Can I expect my short to air on television immediately or get a deal to do a full length version of it following the showcase?
A: The executives are primarily scouting for individual creatives such as the writers, directors or actors, who show promise and potential for future collaborations, not the specifically submitted content itself. Select finalists may have the opportunity to air their short on our Hulu Channel and other OnDemand platform partners.

Q: Does a producer or production company submitting to the showcase retain the rights to the short?
A: Per our release agreement, the producer retains rights to the material but NBCUniversal may elect to use excerpts from selected films in promotions for the festival or the NBCU Diversity Initiative. Filmmaker will be a free agent in taking meetings and negotiating with any producer or company following the finalist festival screening, however NBC will not screen any films for which the submitter or producer do not hold the rights.

Q: Is there a separate category for web series episodes?
A: YES! All submissions must be narrative and submitted under a selected category of either COMEDY SHORT, DRAMA SHORT, WEB SERIES EPISODE or PILOT PRESENTATION. All works are judged and showcased alongside one another.

Q: Is there a separate category for Student films?
A: There is no separate category; student shorts are shown alongside all others. Based on the previous affiliated university agreements, restrictions may apply regarding our online, set top box platforms promotion and opportunities. It is the sole responsible of each producer to attain written permission should any restrictions apply if chosen to appear on our screening platforms, ie: limited adfree runs on Hulu or Xfinity.

Q: What if I have more than one short or webseries episode that I want to submit?
A: An applicant may submit multiple entries, however, each must be registered separately through

Q: Is the submission deadline a received by deadline?
A: Yes. The submissions deadline is a received by deadline. Submissions received past the deadline will not be considered.

Q: What are the acceptable screening/exhibition formats for your festival?
A: We screen all submissions online through WithoutABox, who accept digital .mov files. We showcase the semi-finalists and finalists at the festival theaters on DCP, HDCam (regular not SR) or QuickTime Pro Res 422.

Q: If my film is not chosen, may I speak with a programmer for notes or feedback?
A: Unfortunately due to time constraints and the large number of submissions, we are unable to give individual feedback.