The world’s best short film festivals 2022

Short films are crucial for aspiring filmmakers: Film students have cut their teeth by making short films with their classmates. A “proof of concept” can help a director attract investors. And the best short films tell stories even more clearly than feature films. With the help of filmmaker Anderson Matthew (Baja Descend) and producer Katie White (Best summer ever, Caity), we’ve assembled a panel of filmmakers and producers to help us assess and refine this list of the world’s best short film festivals. While the blocks of shorts at other film festivals are also important, the following 20 film festivals celebrate short films with a special emphasis on form.


A: Academy-qualification

B: BAFTA qualification

Aspen Shorts Festival

Aspen, CO // April 5-10, 2022


“Perhaps the best selection of shorts I’ve ever seen and filmmakers I’ve had the chance to meet,” says producer Megan Leonard, who notes that “the lineup does not overlap. not, so you can easily watch everyone’s movies. Each April at this festival, audiences, filmmakers and special guests from around the world participate in screenings, panels, workshops and other events dedicated to the art and craft of short films. The last edition included a conference with Reinaldo Marcus Green, whose king richard Did the fall festival tour with great reviews. Many of the films scheduled for this Oscar-qualifying festival are going big: in 2020, four of the shorts were nominated for the Oscars. Of course, Aspen also has a thriving foodie scene, and you might just enjoy a day of skiing in the spring.

Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival

Clermont-Ferrand, France // January 28-February 5


Megan Leonard says that creating links with the industry is a major asset during this gathering in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. “They hosted us in France and we projected packed rooms in a room with more than 1,000 seats. We have met international filmmakers from all over the world, including co-producers who have provided international funding for our next short film, ”said Leonard.

“I was blown away by the audience’s participation at the ISFF Clermont,” says producer Kate Chamuris. “The competition block shorts were screened about once a day during the festival – about seven screenings. Each screening was packed. I have never seen such a thing. Entire families present in the middle of a weekday. Lines for each projection.

Curta Cinema

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil // Fall 2022


The November edition of the three-decade-old festival will feature nearly 200 short films by a diverse group of filmmakers from Brazil, South American countries and around the world. Curta Cinema often hosts retrospective screenings alongside new works, and the “Great Directors in Small Doses” program has included short films by directors like Gus Van Sant and Jane Campion.

Curta Cinema also presented a special program of Brazilian shorts at another short film festival, Shorts México, in September.

Curtas Vila do Condé

Vila do Conde, Portugal // July 9-17, 2022

This coastal festival hosted many sold-out screenings last July, and the programming team then traveled with the competition winners to the Trindade Cinema in Porto and the Ideal Cinema in Lisbon, attracting an equally large turnout. The festival also hosted an online component for those who couldn’t make it to one of the three cities.

With 245 films screened from 46 countries, Curtas Vila do Conde makes a special effort to balance local and international cinema. Diogo Costa Amarante’s special 13-piece video exhibition, “Be Your Selfie”, was a highlight of this year’s festival. Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay has been honored as part of Curtas’ InFocus 2021 program, which has programmed three of her first shorts alongside her best-known feature films.

Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival

Prizren, Kosovo // August 2022


Filmmaker-programmer-critic Courtney Stephens screened a film at the 20th DokuFest and aptly describes its appeal to the Balkans: old Yugoslav cinemas to the ruins of an Ottoman palace. A lot of heart has made this festival an international destination, and it shows.

This festival plays feature films, but elevates short films. At nine days, it’s longer than many festivals, leaving time for documentary photo exhibitions, debates, master classes, and live music, among other pleasures. The DokuFest website notes “the aim of the festival to revitalize cinema and cultural life in Prizren”.

DokuLab is another remarkable initiative of DokuFest. It consists of a digital library with over 150 films and 80 guide films for students.

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