The Annapolis Film Festival is proud to announce the 2023 Shorts Challenge, an exciting film pitch competition showcasing the best short film ideas from emerging and established filmmakers around the world. This year’s festival will take place from March 23-26, 2023, and will feature an incredible lineup of films, and special programs including the highly-anticipated Shorts Challenge. This is where contestants vie for a chance to win a $30k production package of in-kind services to make their short film. Like American Idol, industry judges put the top five through their paces as they compete to make their short film.

The Shorts Challenge is an opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their work to a diverse audience, while competing for prizes, recognition, and exposure and a prize package of camera, sound, lighting, and postproduction benefits area giants such as Henninger Media, DC Camera, Serious Grip and Electric and Studio Unknown/The Sound Department. This year, the festival will accept submissions in the categories of documentary, and narrative shorts. Each year the theme changes.

As we embark on the next decade of the Annapolis Film Festival after celebrating our tenth-year last year, the main theme is “Looking Beyond.” As this hopeful mantra informs our Shorts Challenge this year, with the official theme of “Envisioning Tomorrow.” The theme can be interpreted in a literal sense of a metaphorical sense. Your project can be a personal story or a larger, societal story, using fiction or a documentary format. Your story can be as intimate as a character struggling to get through the day with hopes of a better tomorrow, or it can be as grand as documenting a positive solution for the future of a community, our country, or our planet. It can be as technical as the future of the film medium itself or it can be as philosophical as the future of storytelling. Your subject can be told through a comedic lens or a dramatic lens…science fiction or reality…but it should be an inspiring take on the future.

“The Annapolis Film Festival is proud to host the Shorts Challenge and provide a platform for talented filmmakers to showcase their work,” said Festival Director, Patti White. “We are committed to supporting and promoting independent filmmakers, and the Shorts Challenge is a testament to that commitment, and it shows the we have the resources right here in Maryland to make great films,” says Lee Anderson, Co-Founder and Festival Director.

The Shorts Challenge is one of the most highly anticipated events of the festival, attracting filmmakers and film lovers from around the world. This year, the festival is expected to receive hundreds of submissions, and the top 5 of the best will be selected to compete live during the festival.

The 2023 Shorts Challenge will take place on Saturday, March 25th in the morning at the Maryland Hall in the Main Theater. After the screenings, jurors and esteemed film industry professionals will determine the winner which is announced at the Saturday Bash.

To submit a film to the Shorts Challenge or for more information on the Annapolis Film Festival, please email your one sheet to:

Contact: Lee Anderson, Festival Director Annapolis Film Festival 410-263-3444.

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