Festival date: May 28 to June 2, 2020
17th edition
Download Submission Terms (88 KB)

Submission deadline: January 31, 2020

VIS Vienna Shorts is Austria’s leading short film festival and qualifying festival for the Academy Awards®, the European Film Awards, the British BAFTA Awards and the Austrian Film Awards. Every year in June, the festival is all about international short films with a maximum length of 30 minutes, attracting 10.000 visitors and 600 industry representatives.

VIS wants to create tension and encourage fantasies, pique people’s curiosity and incite discussions, in short: generate the desire for short films. No matter if fiction or documentary films, animated or experimental work—at best, the experience of watching a film doesn’t end with the credits rolling and the festival represents enrichment for both the local audience as well as international short filmmaking.

The festival presents films in four competition sections as well as in Spotlights, Retrospectives, Special Programs, and Expanded Cinema. The festival continues and enhances the promotion of short films year round.

Submitted films can cover any topic.

The competitions consist of short films with a maximum length of up to 30 minutes and a completion date of 1 January 2019 . Each competition has an international jury and awards.

Fiction & Documentary – international short fiction films, documentaries and narrative animation as well as hybrid forms

Animation Avantgarde – international animation, experimental and avant-garde film, digital media and video art

Austrian Competition – films of all genres (co-)/produced in Austria or films by Austrian filmmakers

Austrian Music Video Award – music videos or music films (co-)/produced in Austria or films by Austrian filmmakers

Films can be submitted here:


Or via the platforms below:

If you have any further questions please contact film(a)

We are looking forward to watch your films!

Submission terms



VIS Vienna Shorts is an international short film festival organized by the association Independent Cinema in Vienna. The festival will take place from May 28 to June 2, 2020.

The festival presents about 300 films under 30 minutes in several sections every year. The competition is divided into four categories, the other sections consist of retrospectives and thematically curated programs.

VIS is a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® (Oscars), the European Film Awards, the British BAFTA Awards and the Austrian Film Awards and awards prize money in the amount of more than EUR 20,000 (the amount of cash awarded may be subject to change).

The Vienna Shorts Awards are awarded as main prizes in the four competition categories of the festival (see II.A) and are endowed with EUR 1,000 to 5,000 each. The additional three Jury Prizes are endowed with EUR 1,050 to 3,000 as well as residencies in Vienna. In addition, special prizes (e.g. for the best female director) and audience prizes are awarded in several categories.

For VIS 2020, films of all genres and formats can be submitted up to 30 minutes in length and with a completion date after January 1, 2019, if they have not previously been

submitted to the festival. (A repeated submission is only possible if the film has been substantially altered.)

The films can be submitted via the festival's own platform Filmchief (via the website or via the submission platforms FilmFreeway, Shortfilmdepot and Festhome. For questions regarding submissions, especially in the case of film schools and distributors, please contact us at

If the submitted film contains non-English dialogue or text, English subtitles must be provided. German language films without subtitles will be accepted for the selection process only.

The regular deadline for all submissions for the 17th festival edition is January 3, 2020. The deadline for late submissions is January 31, 2020 (this date may be subject to change). No films will be accepted after the late deadline has expired.

Submissions are possible in four competition categories: Fiction & Documentary is dedicated to international short fiction and documentary films, Animation Avantgarde to international animation and experimental films. The Austrian Competition takes care of the national production, the Austrian Music Video Award is awarded to the best national music video. (Mission statements on all four categories can be found on the festival’s website). Prizes are awarded in all categories by expert juries. The jury of each competition consists of three international film industry professionals who are diverse according to their field and gender and who will be invited by the festival.

International productions can be submitted for the two competitions Fiction & Documentary and Animation Avantgarde. Only productions by Austrian directors or producers or works that were (partly) produced in Austria or were financed mainly by Austrian bodies are eligible for the Austrian Competition and the Austrian Music Video Award. The festival reserves the right to assign films to a category other than the one for which they were originally submitted.

Submissions are also possible for non-competitive festival sections. (All films that are submitted for a competition section will be viewed for all festival categories and do not have to be submitted additionally for the non-competitive section.) This category is open to films that either do not meet the terms of the competition categories or can be assigned to the following categories: international music videos, late-night movies, socio-political cinema. Films of all genres and formats (which do not meet competition criteria) up to a length of 45 minutes and with a completion date after January 1, 2018 will be accepted.

In order to guarantee a high-quality selection process and professional handling, VIS charges an entry fee. This fee is EUR 15 (USD 17) for short fiction and documentaries (Fiction & Documentary) and EUR 10 (USD 12) for animation and experimental films (Animation Avantgarde) within the regular submission period. For non-competitive films (out of competition) EUR 7 (USD 8) will be charged.

During the extended submission period, the entry fee for all competition categories—including the Austrian Competition and the Austrian Music Video Award—will be raised by EUR 10 (USD 12) respectively.

The festival reserves the right to change the entry fee. We would also like to point out that the platforms FilmFreeway, Shortfilmdepot and Festhome as well as the payment platform PayPal may charge additional handling fees.

In addition to the preview copy, the following materials are also required for submission: 1) at least one film still (300 dpi), 2) the director’s filmography, 3) a list of screenings and prizes for the film (especially in Austria), 4) the main credits for the film.

Only the basic data of the film will be requested during the submission. In the case of an invitation to VIS 2020, in a second step we will request the completion of the data for the catalogue and the website.


There is no strict rule for premieres. In order to guarantee the audience and the professional guests the highest possible relevance of the competition entries, those films are preferred in all competition categories which were not shown in Austria before VIS.

In addition, an exclusivity clause applies to public cinema screenings in Vienna: If films are presented to an audience in Vienna between January 1, 2020 and the end of the festival, they can only be shown “out of competition” at VIS. (The only exception are competition screenings at the Viennese animation festival Tricky Women).

All submitted films will be viewed and judged by professional programmers and viewers. This process can partly take place outside Austria and does not have to take place via the submission platforms.

By April 30, 2020 at the latest, all submitted films will receive an email notification from us. Notification of the selection for the program of VIS 2020 will be sent by March 31, 2020 at the latest. Please be patient, as the selection of the program will take place step by step due to the large number of submissions and will not be completed until this date. In any case, a notification will be sent by email. (Should the email not arrive due to

technical reasons, e.g. spam filters, the status of the film can also be checked via the submission platforms from the beginning of May).

If the submitted film is selected for VIS 2020, the festival will immediately communicate the deadline for receiving the screening copy and request further data for the catalogue and website. Festival programmers and/or curators write individual film texts for the catalogue and the website per competition entry. With reference to the authorship (first name surname, VIS Vienna Shorts), the respective synopsis may also be used further. In addition, our guest department will contact the director (or other representatives of the creative team) to allow for a personal presence at the screening in Vienna. We support an environmentally friendly travel.

VIS cannot cover screening fees or licence fees for the presentation within the framework of the competition. If the film has been submitted as a non-competitive film and is screened outside the competition, VIS will pay screening fees or royalties.

If the submitted film contains non-English dialogue or text, English subtitles must be provided for the screening of the film.

For cinema screenings we accept DCP, 35 mm film and 16 mm film. The DCP (unencrypted, Interop, SMPTE, 2k, 24 fps/25 fps/30 fps) must have been tested in advance in a cinema. We do not accept files as screening copies, but are happy to provide advice at The film prints will be insured for the duration of the festival. In addition to the screening copy, we need a backup file.

The screening copy can be made available to the festival by post, courier or via a download link. All deliveries from outside the European Union must be marked with the phrase “no commercial value—for cultural purposes only”. The festival will not accept shipments that are subject to customs duties, taxes or shipping charges.

The festival will return the screening copy (incl. postage) to the original delivery address or to an address previously specified by the entrant.

By submitting a film, the entrant guarantees that he or she owns all rights to the film (in particular intellectual property) and that no third-party rights will be infringed by a screening or any other use for the purposes of the festival. Should the rights of third parties nevertheless be violated, the festival will indemnify the submitter.

In the case of a selection, the submitted film may be shown several times (including repetitions) during the festival period. Should the film win a prize at VIS 2020, it may also be shown twice as part of best-of programs following the festival. In this case, the entrant will be notified in advance.

With the submission of the film, the festival is permitted to use the film title, credits and the name of the director as well as film stills and film excerpts (max. 40 seconds) for general promotion within the framework of reporting on the festival (incl. TV, web, cinema, showreel). The festival also reserves the right to make a password-protected copy of the film accessible to representatives of the press or selected industry professionals.

For the video library, we require a (password-protected) viewing link on a public online platform (e.g. Vimeo) that will be active from May 28 to June 30, 2020. All selected competition entries are automatically part of the video library. The viewing links are available to all accredited guests for individual viewing. The video library is password-protected; only accredited guests have access during the festival on site and online until June 30, 2020. Participation in the video library is free of charge.

With the submission for VIS, the festival is permitted to use the data provided for the purpose of processing the festival and its archives. This consent is the legal basis for the data processing (according to the EU General Data Protection Regulation—GDPR). The data will only be stored for as long as is necessary for the above-mentioned purpose and will not be passed on to third parties. Further information on data protection and rights under the GDPR can be found on our website under “Data Protection Declaration”.

The regulations for the submission to VIS Vienna Shorts are published in German and English. In case of doubt, the German version shall prevail.