About/ Rules

One-Reeler is a unique international awards competition that recognizes and promotes quality short films with a runtime of 12 minutes or less. Attracting filmmakers from all over the world, the competition emphasizes original, concise and impactful storytelling – the same qualities film festivals and distributors look for. With thousands of short films submitted every year, placement in our competition signifies to the film community that your “one-reeler” is exceptional.


The One-Reeler Short Film Competition is international in scope and has recognized filmmakers in Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, Sweden, United Kingdom, the United States and more!


One-Reeler is an ideal venue for live-action, documentary, and animated short films. As long as your entry is 12 minutes or less and tells a story, it is eligible for submission.


Judging takes place by in-house staff and a committee of industry professionals. There is one primary category: Best Short Film. In addition to the primary category, all submissions will be considered for Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit, and Honorable Mentions. Subcategories can be selected for an additional fee. These subcategories include Best Animated Short, Best Documentary ShortBest Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Music, and Best Screenplay.

There can be only one winner per category, save for Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit, and Honorable Mentions, which have no affixed number of winners but rather are based on the number of entries the competition receives as well as judge’s recommendations.

One-Reeler Short Film Competition winners are announced twice a year on June 30th and December 31st. Submissions are accepted year-round.


Each submission received through the One-Reeler website will be contacted via electronic mail to confirm entry. To help make the submission process even easier, we are investigating popular film portals such as Withoutabox and Film Freeway. JOIN OUR E-MAIL LIST to receive updates on this, as well as other pertinent news, filmmaker Q&As, and special offers.

After judging is completed, winners in all categories will be notified of their award and are provided the opportunity to acquire awards and other keepsakes to commemorate their achievement. Submissions that were not awarded will be notified after the judging process via electronic mail. Filmmakers have the option to be notified via regular mail as to wether or not their film has advanced to the next round of judging. There is a $5 processing and postage fee for this service.


• Submissions must be 12 minutes or less (including end credits).

• Submissions in other than English must be subtitled English.

• Screenplay submissions must be uploaded as a PDF file, typed in English, and properly formatted using 12-point Courier font. Most screenwriting software will do this for you. CLICK HERE to display an industry format guide.

• Multiple entries are allowed for each filmmaker and each entry may be entered in multiple categories.

• The entry fee for the primary judging category is $60. Each subcategory is $40.

• Please provide an online link to your submission and be sure to include the password on our submission form if applicable. DVDs are not accepted.