• All genres are accepted. Foreign language films must be subtitled in English.
  • Films must have been completed after January 1, 2019 with the exception of the Texas Student Shorts category, which must have been completed after January 1, 2018.
  • Maximum film duration: 25:00 minutes (including credits).
  • Submitters must be at least 18 years old to enter.
  • Films may not be publicly available online prior to submission, and winning films may not be made publicly available online until after the awards ceremony.
  • Selected films must be Houston premieres.


  • Students must submit a photocopy of current school ID to receive discounts.
  • Any submission received without payment indicated or received will not be considered.
  • Literally Short prize shipping/transfer fee is not included outside of the U.S.


The programming committee & jury panel will select and invite films at its discretion. Those selected will be contacted via email or telephone on approximately August 2021. If selected, you may need to submit additional materials. Detailed instructions will be given at that time. Please do not send additional materials until requested.
Top three prize winners are required to be physically present at the festival in order for prize to be given out. If winners are unable to attend, we will accept a representative of the winning film given he/she plays a major role in the film’s production. Funding of the top three prizes will only be available if the filmmaker acknowledges and responds to the prize package a week ahead of the first day of the festival. LITERALLY SHORT DOES NOT OFFER SCREENING FEES.


By submitting a film to the Literary Short Film Festival (LSFF), filmmaker grants permission to the LSFF to screen the film, in whole or in part, for any or all promotions, compilations, screenings and at any events sponsored or co-sponsored by Literal Magazine related to the festival. Accepted films may not screen online prior to the festival once they have been submitted. The filmmaker submitting the film hereby warrants that he/she/it is over the age of 18, and is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. Filmmaker agrees that all rights and permissions for any materials contained within said entry, including all music rights, photographs, film clips, voice recordings, have been granted, and Filmmaker will indemnify and hold LSFF harmless from any or all disputes and claims that may arise from these rights and permissions granted.