Short Com Film Festival

After a two year hiatus, the much adored shorts film festival Short Com will be returning to the world’s largest arts festival, The Edinburgh International Festival in August 2019!

We will be maintaining our ethos by selecting the funniest short films and introducing a new category to highlight directorial talent.

Short Com has a solid track record over the years for showcasing talent, Ben Mallaby, Tea&Cheese, Big Red Button to name a few have been previous winners of prizes from Blackmagic Design and Final Draft. The last Short Com took place at the London Hackney Attic to a warm (intoxicated) audience hosted by comedian Bec Hill.

In the past, Short Com has screened programmes in some of the UK’s major cities such as Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol, London and in Glasgow as part of the Glasgow Short Film Festival, presented by Josie Long and local legend Greg Hemphil from Still Game fame.

A keen advocate for suicide prevention charities, Short Com has raised over a thousand pounds for charities such as CALM (Calmpaign Against Living Miserably) and Scottish Association for Mental Health.

The underlying belief of Short Com is that there is a wealth of comedic film-making talent out there under appreciated by the industry and also the best way to watch short films is in front of a live audience.

So what sort of films make it into Short Com?

There is no definitive answer to this but what is the most important is if it is funny. Of course that is massively subjective but we have been getting it right for years. We do look for variety, we’ve screened films from ten seconds to over fifteen minutes. We abide by the unwritten rule that the shorter the better.

We have two categories to separate those just making their strides into film-making and those looking to make the leap from shorts to features. The Vision programme is for films that showcase special directorial talent. Directing comedy is not the easiest but having the eye to tell a story and create something cinematic is no easy feat.

Submissions from all backgrounds of life is highly encouraged, particularly those from BAME origin and female led films.

All footage and music must be original content unless copyright has been obtained. Material of a racist, sexist and unethical material will be immediately disqualified.

We will be looking to partner up with new sponsors for 2019 and looking to offer brand new exciting prizes and opportunities for competition winners.


Short Com was one of the first festivals to lend their support to my films and I’ve always been appreciative of the work they do to raise awareness of emerging filmmakers. Ben Mallaby

“Sometimes short comedy films get lost in other festival programmes but with Short Com it feels like a perfect home that gives you a feeling of recognition” Johnny Burns

“Winning an award at Short Com felt like the validation that we never got from our parents”. Liam Tate from Tea & Cheese

Johnny Burns and Pier Van Tijn from Big Red Button


We accept that short films and sketches have a life online and are essential to the career of onscreen and off-screen talent thus we do not discriminate if a film has a life online. We are looking for the very best funny sketches and narrative short film.

Films must be no older than March 2018 and the final deadline is June the 7th.

We operate that the shorter the film the better, it’s easier to programme a shorter film than one that is longer. Although our ‘Vision’ programme strand does look toward films that demonstrate a sense of narrative and directorial flair.

Non-English language films must have English subtitles.


Further prizes will be announced in due course but we are delighted to be continuing our partnership with film festival strategy experts Festival Formula.

Festival Formula are a consultancy company helping filmmakers focus on how to spend their budget on best suited festivals across the worldwide circuit. They will be offering to the Short Com prize table a chat about the winning project either face-to-face in London or via videocall with a view to recommending festivals to submit to as well as other areas to focus on. If the winning filmmaker would like to and is
eligible to join their slate they would be offered discount.

$500 for the funniest film. Decided by a panel of industry led experts.

We’re delighted to receive continued support from the leading screenwriting software in the industry. Final Draft have donated three copies of their software, which will be awarded to the three best written films from the programme.

Previous Programmes

Click below to get an idea what we have screened in the past and the quality of films we have selected.

2015 Best of Programme at the Glasgow Short Film Festival

2015 International at the Glasgow Short Film Festival

2016 Best of Programme at the London Hackney Attic


You can submit via the film festival platform FilmFreeway by clicking on their respected image below.

Friends of Short Com

Knowing what festival to send your film to can be an unknown game, but we’re happy to affiliate ourselves with the below festivals run by good eggs who have a great following. Consider submitting your film to them to.

Short Com is run by creative director and founder Chris Aitken. He began Short Com after making his first short film and not knowing where he could submit it. Over the years of running Short Com he has taken it to major UK cities such as Manchester, Bristol, London, Glasgow and Edinburgh. He is a MA screenwriter and has script read for companies such as Sprout Pictures, Cowboy Films and Cascade Pictures. He has collaborated with several directors and outfits such as Loonatic & Drinks, Turtle Canyon Films and Ben Mallaby. His aims for Short Com are to inspire emerging filmmakers; promote emerging talent to key decision makers in the film and TV industries, entertain audiences, forging collaborations between creative talent, making film more accessible for those from working class backgrounds, with disabilities and those outside of London. Above all, he really hates talking about himself in the third person. Urgh.

For any queries, please submit below.

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