WILL Pressroom

Illinois Public Media seeks independent films for PBS Short Film Festival


Illinois Public Media is seeking short films from local filmmakers for inclusion in the 2021 PBS Short Film Festival. Generating more than nine million streams over the course of the festival’s history, the Webby Award-nominated PBS Short Film Festival continues to be an engaging annual digital event.

“We’re honored to again be a curator for the PBS Short Film Festival. This event is a great way to showcase the breadth and increase the visibility of just some of the independent filmmaking talent we have right here in our backyard,” said Moss Bresnahan, CEO of Illinois Public Media. “And it’s through an event like this that the importance of diverse storytelling can really shine.”

Since its inception in 2012, the PBS Short Film Festival—previously named the PBS Online Film Festival— has showcased independent films of all genres. Over the course of its almost ten years, the festival has highlighted topics such as social injustice, religion, addiction, public policy, love, and other subjects inspiring to the filmmakers. During the festival (dates TBD), viewers will be able to watch, love, and share their favorite films on a variety of digital platforms. At the close of the festival, a prize is awarded to the film chosen by the hand-picked jury.

To enter, filmmakers should send a link or video file of their film to reelmidwest@illinois.edu so it can be reviewed. In addition, please include the title of the film, the filmmakers’ contact information, plus a two to three sentence description of the film. Films should be 3-15 minutes in length and can be fiction or non-fiction. The most appropriate films for this festival are those who have creative or compelling storytelling, as well as high production quality. 

For full consideration in the 2021 PBS Short Film Festival, submissions must be made by February 23, 2021.

If selected, filmmakers will be required to adhere to technical requirements for the festival, as well as submit additional information about their film upon request. If you have questions about the requirements for the festival, please send them to reelmidwest@illinois.edu

Here are the winners from the PBS Short Film Festival in 2020.