About the 2021 Festival

Years Running
Streams across PBS and Social platforms
Independent films featured

A Decade of Being Seen

The PBS Short Film Festival is part of a multiplatform initiative to increase the reach and visibility of independent filmmakers from across the country and amplify the voices of diverse content creators. Since its inception in 2012, hundreds of films celebrating love, acceptance, family, strength, equality, friendship, loyalty and more have been presented under the festival’s banner. The 2021 festival carries the tagline “A Decade of Being Seen” as a reminder that the festival has always striven to amplify the untold stories of America.

Starting at midnight on Monday, July 12, audiences can watch and share all 25 films. In addition, a panel of nine jury members will select their favorite film of the festival for the Juried Prize.

Jury members are respected professionals in independent film and public media and were invited by PBS to participate. This year’s jury members include Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director, International Documentary Association; Nina Gilden Seavey, Documentary Filmmaker and Former Documentary Center Director for GW; Judith Vecchione, Executive Producer, WGBH Educational Foundation; Mike Sargent, Producer and Host, Reelworld/Nightshift; Eric Gulliver, Producer, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE; Adnaan Wassey, Digital Media Executive, formerly of POV; Wendy Llinas, Senior Director, PBS National Programming; Jada Leng, Senior Director, PBS National Programming; and Ximena Amescua, Artists Programs Coordinator, Firelight Media & Films.

Films featured in the PBS Short Film Festival have been selected and provided by 15 public media partners and PBS member stations. This year’s lineup includes films from Black Public Media, Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Independent Television Service (ITVS), Latino Public Broadcasting, Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), POV, Reel South, Vision Maker Media and World Channel, as well as PBS local member stations, Alabama Public Television (APTV), Illinois Public Media, KLRU-TV Austin PBS, Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), MPT Digital Studios, and WSIU (Illinois).

Generating more than 11 million streams over the course of the festival’s history, the PBS Short Film Festival continues to be an engaging annual digital event. The festival also received a 2015 Webby Awards nomination for Online Film & Video: Variety (Channel).

This Year's Award

A distinguished panel of nine jury members will select their favorite film of the festival for the “Juried Prize.”

Meet the Jury
The "Juried Prize" Laurel for the 2021 PBS Short Film Festival

Official Rules for the PBS Short Film Festival Sweepstakes (No Purchase Necessary)

The PBS Short Film Festival Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by Public Broadcasting Service, 1225 S. Clark St., Arlington, VA 22202 (“Sponsor”). Sweepstakes is void where prohibited. By entering, each entrant accepts and agrees to be bound by these Official Rules. Failure to comply with these rules may result in disqualification.

HOW TO ENTER: No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this Sweepstakes. This promotion begins at 12:00am Eastern Time (“ET”) on July 6, 2021 and ends at 5:00pm ET on July 12, 2021 (“Entry Period”). Entrants may enter this Sweepstakes by registering for the PBS Short Film Festival kick-off. Sponsor will draw 3 winners on July 12, 2021. Sponsor will keep all entrants’ personal information confidential unless disclosure is required by law. All entries submitted online will be considered made by the authorized account holder. Duplicate entries will be disqualified. Use of any automated entry software is prohibited.

All entries become the property of Sponsor, and Sponsor reserves the right to use any information submitted by entrants. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, misdirected or mutilated entries, including due to technical/network failures, human error, or any other error or malfunction.

Entrants agree not to upload, post or transmit any materials that contain any computer viruses, Easter eggs, worms, Trojan Horses or other harmful component or programming routines that are intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or personal information. Any attempt to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the operation of the Sweepstakes is a violation of criminal and civil laws, and Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any person who makes such attempt(s). Entrants also agree not to provide or upload any content which is defamatory, threatening, distasteful, racist, unlawful or otherwise objectionable.

Entry materials that have been tampered with or altered are void. Any questions regarding the number of entries submitted by an individual or the authorized account holder shall be determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, and Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entries by persons determined to be tampering with or abusing any aspect of the Sweepstakes.

ELIGIBILITY: This Sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. who are at least 13 years old at the time of entry. Sweepstakes is void where prohibited or restricted by law. Employees of Sponsor and their family members or persons living in the same households of such individuals are not eligible to participate in this Sweepstakes. By entering this Sweepstakes, participants agree to abide by all terms of these Official Rules and to be bound by the decisions of the Sponsor. All federal, state, and local laws apply.

RANDOM SWEEPSTAKES DRAWING: Sponsor will conduct a random drawing on July 12, 2021. Winner(s) will be selected by random drawing by Sponsor from all eligible entries received within the Entry Period. Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received. A purchase of Sponsor’s products will not increase the odds of winning. Winner(s) will be notified first when their name is called at the end of the PBS Short Film Festival launch event. Winner(s) must meet all eligibility requirements.

PRIZES: THREE (3) PRIZES will be awarded. Two prizes are gift cards, each with an approximate retail value of $50 USD. One grand prize, and Oculus Headset, will be awarded with an approximate retail value of $250 USD. Approximate retail value of all prizes to be awarded during the entire term of the Sweepstakes totals $350 USD. Prizes may not be exchanged or redeemed for cash, sold, or traded. No prize transfer, assignment, or substitution by winner(s) is permitted. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize, in which case a prize of equal or greater value will be awarded.

Winner(s) will be solely responsible for any and all local, state, and federal taxes, as well as any license and registration or other fees incurred by participation in the Sweepstakes.

CONDITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Winner(s) must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. Confirmation of U.S. residency, age, and identity are required to claim a prize. Winner(s) are subject to verification by Sponsor, whose decisions are final and binding in all matters related to the Sweepstakes. An entrant is not a winner of any prize unless and until entrant’s eligibility has been verified and entrant has been notified that verification is complete. In the event that a winner is determined to be ineligible or fails to respond to Sponsor within ten (10) days of notification, the Prize will be forfeited and Sponsor reserves the right to randomly select an alternate winner from among the remaining eligible entries. Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the Sweepstakes without awarding the prizes if no eligible winner(s) or alternate winner(s) claim the prizes within the required time period.

Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for the Sponsor to use winner’s name and/or account name for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law.

LIMITATION ON LIABILITY: Sponsor will not be responsible for lost, late, damaged, defaced, incomplete, stolen, illegible, indiscernible, mutilated, illegally obtained or misdirected entries, or for any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the Sweepstakes, or announcement of the prize and/or all Sweepstakes-related materials. By entering this Sweepstakes, each entrant forever discharges, releases, and holds harmless Sponsor, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and each of its parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, and each of its directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability, claims, losses, damages, causes of action, suits, and demands of any kind arising from or in connection with the Sweepstakes, however caused. These Sweepstakes are not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

SPONSOR’S RESERVATION OF RIGHTS: These Official Rules are subject to modification by Sponsor. In the event of a dispute, all decisions made by Sponsor are final and binding. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any person who tampers with or abuses the entry process, or who otherwise acts in violation of these Official Rules. Sponsor further reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, or modify this Sweepstakes if, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of completion as planned, including due to force majeure or non-authorized human intervention that compromises or affects the administration, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes.

PRIVACY POLICY/DISCLOSURES OF INFORMATION: Sponsor may collect and use personal information that entrants provide to enter the Sweepstakes to actually conduct the Sweepstakes and contact the potential winner(s). Personal information includes any information that can be tracked back to a specific individual, including name and account name. Sponsor’s complete privacy policy is located here.

WINNER(S) LIST: For the name of winner(s), please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to “PBS Short Film Festival Promotion Winner’s List,” Public Broadcasting Service, 1225 S. Clark St., Arlington, VA 22202, ATTN: Taryn Stewart.

Go Behind the Scenes

Filmmakers take us behind the scenes, sharing the inspiration behind their stories, the process that goes into the production of their films, new projects and more.
Go Behind the Scenes

Our 2021 Festival Partners