12th Annual

NBCUniversal Short Film Festival

August 22, 2017 to October 18, 2017


Webseries Episodes


Deadlines & Entry Fees

All fees will be charged in U.S. Dollar

Online Services Offered
Entry Form
Fee Payment
Press Kit
Submission Copy
Earlybird Deadline
April 17, 2016
Regular Discounted
No Entry Fee 0.00 *
Regular Deadline
May 15, 2016
Regular Discounted
No Entry Fee 0.00 *

Discounted fees apply to projects with pre-purchased Discount Packs, on entry fees greater than 30.00.

Category Details

Approximately July 28, 2016

Shorts: From 2 minutes to 20 minutes

Projects completed after February 1, 2014

Projects must originate from USA

No premiere requirement

Project must not have distribution

Submission & Exhibition Format Requirements

  Secure Online Screener
Media Files
  .MOV (QuickTime)

Subtitled Dubbed Dialog List

Media Files
  .MOV (Quicktime)
  .MPG (MPEG or MPEG2)

Subtitled Dubbed Dialog List

Press Kit Requirements

A press kit is required, but only after acceptance.
> Production Still Photos - Digital
> Photo of the Director - Digital
> Biography/Filmography - Director
> Biography/Filmography - Writer
> One-Sheet Art - Posters

Prizes & Awards

This category is a competition.

Best Director
2015 Best Director received: 1. Post Prod Services: one day of sound mixing (NBCU Operations) 2. final round placement into NBCU Emerging Director’s Program 3. Development Meeting with Universal Pictures 4. $60k Camera Package donation from the Panavision New Filmmaker Program to be used toward next project All Finalists: 1. Annual Subscription to Variety 2. Annual Subscription to TheHollywoodReporter.com 3. Annual Subscription to Variety Insight 4. Opportunity to air films on Xfinity and the NBCU Short Film Festival HULU Channel

Best Writer
2015 winner received 1. Two tix to The WGA Awards + Two tix to The Final Draft Awards 2. FINAL ROUND Placement for Universal Emerging Writers program OR NBC Writers on the Verge 3. Final Draft Product Suite 4. 16gb iPad Air

Best Actor
2015 Winner was Awarded: 1. Announced with Headshot in both The Hollywood Reporter & Variety 2. Annual Subscriptions to both TheHollywoodReporter.com & Variety 3. NBC Talent Holding Deal

Audience Choice Award
2015 Winner Recieved: 12TB G-RAID Hard Drive Offered to winner of live and/or online voting.
Value of Goods/Services: 1,300 U.S. Dollar

Best of Fest Award
2015 winning team received 1. Hotel/Airfare to Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival celebrating diversity in film 2. Premiere Software Editions of both Movie Magic Budgeting & Scheduling 3. $10k cash grant from Xfinity
Cash Award Value: 10,000 U.S. Dollar
This prize is shared with other categories.

Oxygen Award for Best Female Film Maker
2015 Winner Received: 1. Pitch meeting w Oxygen 2. GoPro Hero4 4K Ultra HD camera 3. SoloShot2 Auto Tracking camera with tripod 4. iMac with Retina 5K display w/ Magic Mouse, Wireless Keyboard and Accessory Kit
Sponsor:Oxygen Network

Open Possibilities Award for Film with Greatest Impact for Social Change
2015 Winner Received: 1. Two passes to the upcoming 2016 AFI DOCS Film Festival in DC, including airfare & hotel 2. $5k cash grant to advance the winner’s filmmaking career
Sponsor:Open Possibilities
Cash Award Value: 5,000 U.S. Dollar

Category Rules

• The producer, writer, and director must be over 18 years of age and a legal resident of the US, able and ready for employment.

• The writer, director, cast, or theme of the short must be diverse, either: ethnically, culturally, or of a diverse voice or community. Examples of diverse and inclusive backgrounds, including female writers & directors, the LGBTQ community, and artists who are differently-abled.

• Short films must qualify under one of the following narrative genres: Comedy, or Drama. We strongly encourage Comedic Pilot Presentations and stand alone Web Series episodes. Any Documentaries, Animations or Music Videos are not eligible.

• Projects must be 2-22 minutes in length. All others are not eligible.

• Submitted works must have been completed no more than 2 years prior the submission date (no earlier than February, 2014). Any film completed over 2 years prior is not eligible.

• Submitting parties must hold complete ownership and rights of submitted product.

• Submitting parties must be able to grant screening rights and online streaming rights.

• Only original works are accepted. Submissions are disqualified if based, in whole or in part, on pre-existing material, fictional or nonfiction, produced or un-produced, published or unpublished, unless such material was originally created and published/produced by the applicant, in another medium.

• This is a non-exclusive festival, meaning there is no conflict for your projects to have screened or to screen in future at other festivals.

• Films with prior commercial distribution or broadcast within the US are NOT eligible to submit. In the case of small non-commercial, non-publicized showings, the committee reserves the right to waive this rule.

• In August, the festival semi-finals events and screening will take place in New York City. The entire team will be invited to attend. NBCUniversal will award one (1) airfare & accommodation to either the director or writer. All other team members are invited but are responsible for their own travel and accommodations should they choose to attend.

• If selected to screen in the New York semi-finals in August, semi-finalists must provide their shorts in one of the following formats: DCP, HDCam (regular not SR) or QuickTime Pro Res 422.

• No revisions or updated versions will be accepted after the initial submission.

• An applicant may submit multiple separate entries.

• There is NO FEE for submitting a film to this festival.

• The 2016 submission window opens March 1st and closes May 15th.

• Withoutabox profiles will be noted with a confirmation of receipt within one week of arrival.

• The submitter of each film will be contacted & notified directly if selected as a semi-finalist & finalist. The submitter will have sole responsibility to contact & notify the writer, director, cast, producing parties, joint rights holders, etc.

• In October, the finalist screening will be held in Los Angeles. The entire team will be invited to attend. NBCUniversal will award one (1) airfare & accommodation to either the director or writer. All other team members are invited but are responsible for their own travel and accommodations should they choose to attend.

• In the event your project is selected as a finalist, you will be required to provide additional items, such as: trailer, high res poster artwork, still images from the film, revised synopses, short bios of writer, director and lead cast member and possibly social media handles & hashtags.

• NBCUniversal Short Film Festival reserves all right to cancel events & showcase screenings at its own discretion.