The TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival is a digital shorts competition that invites aspiring and established international filmmakers to share their original works through the world’s largest creative digital community — Instagram.
Now in its third year, the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival continues to celebrate new voices. TIFF recognizes that many creators with these new voices often face barriers when breaking into the film industry. In an effort to be the change we want to see, the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival is dedicated to meeting gender parity in 2018. TIFF encourages filmmakers of all backgrounds and gender identities to apply, including — but not limited to — creators who identify as trans, transgender, transsexual, transfeminine, transmasculine, pansexual, gender fluid, genderqueer, non-binary, gender non-conforming, neutrois, agender, two-spirited, female or male.
“TIFF remains committed to discovering and nurturing the talent of up-and-coming filmmakers,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF. “The TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival presents a unique opportunity for TIFF to engage with emerging talent on a global scale. This year, we hope TIFFxInstagram encourages even more talent internationally to create and submit films, highlighting perspectives and experiences from around the world.”
The finalists from 2018 have been selected! This year, between July 10 – 18, each film will be highlighted on TIFF’s Instagram channel, while the jury deliberates to select a winner for the Jury's Choice Award. A Fan Favourite Award will be awarded to the entrant film with the highest likes-to-views ratio. And new this year: The Share Her Journey Prize will be awarded to a female-identifying filmmaker selected by the Jury's Share Her Journey ambassador, Amma Asante.
To vote for a (tiny) film (or two!), watch the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival selections by clicking on their image below, and make sure to give your favourite 60-second-or-less films a Like on Instagram!
Jury's Choice Award
Chosen by the Jury
Fan Favourite Award
Most ♥'s on Instagram
Share Her Journey Prize
Selected by Amma Asante
Finalists will be selected and highlighted on TIFF’s Instagram channel from July 10–18, 2018, before a jury comprised of industry professionals and filmmakers selects a winner for the Jury's Choice Award. In addition, a Fan Favourite Award will be awarded to the entrant film with the highest likes-to-views ratio. The Share Her Journey Prize is awarded to a female-identifying filmmaker selected by the Jury's Share Her Journey ambassador, Amma Asante.
The 2018 TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival jury features award-winning UK writer, director, and Share Her Journey Ambassador Amma Asante (@iammasante); leading arts-marketing guru and #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign (@reignofapril); film reporter and host of The FilmStruck Podcast Alicia Malone (@aliciamalone); rapper, comedian, and Ocean’s 8 star Awkwafina (@awkwafina); and activist, artist, and actor Sarain Fox (@sarainfox).
Actors Isabelle Huppert, Lake Bell, and Ashton Sanders, music-video visionary Director X, director and producer Karan Johar, and Fast Retailing’s President and Head of Global Creative, John C. Jay.
Directors Ava DuVernay and Xavier Dolan, actor Priyanka Chopra, cinematographer Ben Richardson, illustrator and animation artist Rachel Ryle, music video director Nabil Elderkin, and actor-director James Franco.
The 2017 competition featured a diverse group of entries, including 40 percent from female filmmakers based in countries such as Colombia, Norway, Lebanon and the United States. The festival’s jury was comprised of actors Isabelle Huppert, Lake Bell and Ashton Sanders, music video visionary Director X, director and producer Karan Johar, and Fast Retailing’s President and Head of Global Creative John C. Jay.
The 2017 TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival Jury's Choice Award winner was Moscow’s Natalia Gurkina @madhatterzero for Confession. France’s Justin Wu @justinwu earned the Fan Favourite Award for Overtime, as voted by the public via Instagram likes throughout the festival.
The inaugural 2016 competition saw entrants from regions all over the world, including submissions from Asia, Africa and the Americas. During the festival’s run, finalists' videos were viewed over four million times in just 11 short days. The festival's jury comprised of directors Ava DuVernay and Xavier Dolan, actor-director James Franco, actress Priyanka Chopra, cinematographer Ben Richardson, illustrator and animation artist Rachel Ryle, and music video director Nabil Elderkin.
The 2016 TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival Fan Favourite Award winner, Tunisia’s Mohamed Abdallah (@mrtam13) for Hope, and Jury's Choice Award winner, the Dominican Republic’s Ivan Herrera (@ivanherrera) for La Pasión Original.
Since their wins, Herrera and Abdallah have had continued success, including Herrera’s work on the music video for John Legend’s “Love Me Now” alongside 2016 TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival jury member Nabil Elderkin. Abdallah’s Hope was a step in a series of events that led to its subject, breakdancer Zulu Rema, receiving new prosthetic legs earlier this year.
To enter the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival, submit a 60-second-or-less film on Instagram using the hashtag #TIFFxInstagram and complete the submission form.
SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED
Terms & Conditions
Submissions open on May 29. The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm EST on June 18.
TIFF and Instagram encourage all aspiring and established filmmakers from all over the world to enter the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival.
The ethos of the festival has always been to celebrate new voices and the multiplicity of identities in the storytelling community. But we recognize that many creators face barriers and have been systematically marginalized in the film community. So this year, in an effort to be the change we want to see, we are dedicated to meeting gender parity and hopefully, going beyond, within our final selection. This starts with your submissions, and we encourage filmmakers of all backgrounds and gender identities to apply, including, but not limited to, creators who identify as trans, transgender, transsexual, transfeminine, transmasculine, pansexual, gender fluid, gender-non binary, gender non-conforming, male, or female.
We accept both international and Canadian short films, 60 seconds or shorter.
To enter, submit a 60-second-or-less film on Instagram using the hashtag #TIFFxInstagram and complete the submission form (available on May 29). The short film must be publicly available on the entrant’s Instagram account until July 20.
Yes. Entries must be submitted from an open Instagram account, which must remain public until July 20.
To adjust this, start your Instagram app on your mobile device, go to your profile and tap “Edit Your Profile.” Toggle the “Posts Are Private” switch to the “Off” position.
Yes. There is no limit to how many films you can submit. Please upload each individual short film to Instagram as a separate post using the hashtag #TIFFxInstagram in your captions, and submit a separate submission form for each individual short film (form now offline).
That’s okay. Choose one of the director’s Instagram accounts on which to upload, and when you complete your submission form (now offline), include the names of all filmmakers. However, if a film wins one of our prizes, only one representative of the film team's co-directors can join for the Festival.
Yes. However, please subtitle your film in English if the spoken language is not English.
If your short film features music, it must either be an original composition, a song that you have licensed, or have the artist’s permission to use. By uploading your work to Instagram, we will assume your work, including any music, is completely yours, or that you have full permission to post it with all its elements.
We encourage all filmmakers to read point number 5 in our Terms and Conditions.
No. The short film that is submitted via Instagram by 11:59pm EST on June 18 must be the final cut of the film and cannot be altered after submission.
All submissions must follow Instagram’s Community Guidelines.
Don't worry — you can still submit your film! But if your film will premiere at TIFFxInstagram, make sure to let us know on your submission form.
Once you've completed your submission form and uploaded your film to Instagram using #TIFFxInstagram, you're all set!
A selection of finalists will be highlighted on TIFF’s Instagram channel from July 10–18, at which point our jury will select a winner for the Jury's Choice Award. A Fan Favourite Award will be awarded to the entrant film with the highest Likes-to-Views ratio on Instagram.
From July 10–18, TIFF will highlight each finalist on its Instagram channel. At the end of the festival, each short film’s Likes will be divided by the number of video views. The short film with the highest “Likes-to-views” ratio will be selected to receive the Fan Favourite Award.
The Jury's Choice Award and Fan Favourite Award winners receive a trip to Toronto (including round-trip flight and 3 nights' accommodations) to attend the Toronto International Film Festival this September. At TIFF, the award winners will network with the film community at our popular Industry Conference and see a selection of exciting film premieres with complimentary Industry passes. Winners will also have their short films showcased on TIFF and Instagram’s digital channels.
If your film has been selected for our official programme, you will hear from us by July 9. If you haven’t heard from us by then, your film unfortunately was not selected this year
The Jury's Choice Award and Fan Favourite Award winners will be announced July 19–20.