Saint Louis Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Film Festival


Friday, May. 4 at 6:00pm

Cinema St. Louis (CSL) and the Saint Louis Science Center are excited to announce the first edition of a science fiction and fantasy short film contest – an opportunity for regional filmmakers to let their imaginations shine. The event begins at 6 p.m. and lasts until 10 p.m.

This juried competition will award cash prizes to the top three entries: $500 for Best of Fest, $200 each for Best Sci-Fi and Best Fantasy selections. The winning shorts will then be featured at the Science Center's First Friday program on Friday, May 4, 2018, and will screen in the Science Center’s OMNIMAX® Theater. In addition to the three cash-prize winners, additional works will be chosen to screen throughout the First Friday program .

A four-person jury of film professionals (filmmakers, film scholars, film critics) and a scientist will select the finalists, including both the three cash-prize winners and the additional films. Jury members will be announced on CSL’s website.

Cinema St. Louis will then screen the winning film as part of the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase (SLFS). CSL will also hold the submissions for consideration in the SLFS, held annually each July at the Tivoli Theatre.

The cash-prize winners and additional works in the program will be announced on Friday, May 4, 2018, at the Science Center’s First Friday: Movie Magic.


Rules & Terms

Filmmakers interested in participating must submit shorts that meet the following criteria:

  • Films must be easily categorized as science-fiction or fantasy.
  • Run a maximum of five minutes, including credits (no minimum running time).
  • Contain no profane language or offensive imagery; if CSL and the Saint Louis Science Center deem a work inappropriate for viewing by audiences of all ages, it will be eliminated from consideration.
  • Include sound (e.g., dialogue, ambient sound, effects, and/or music).
  • All conceivable approaches – including experimental, narrative, and animated– are acceptable. The shorts can be shot in any film or video format, in either color or black-and-white.
  • Films must have a production date no earlier than 2011.

In addition, the following conditions apply:

Filmmakers must have secured rights to any music, words, or images used in the work.

  • Filmmakers will retain ownership rights to submitted works, but by submitting a short to the competition, a filmmaker grants the Saint Louis Science Center the right to screen the work in its exhibition spaces. Submission of a short does not guarantee its use.
  • Filmmakers must live within a 450 mile radius of St. Louis.
  • All films must be submitted using FilmFreeway with a secure online screener link. No entry fee is required. Submission deadline is March 30, 2018. 


Best of Fest
Course Correction

Best Sci-Fi
The Specialist

Best Fantasy
End of Daze

Best Animated Short

Audience Choice Awards

SLSC Staff Choice Awards
Space Town

Best Directing
Course Correction

Best Ensemble
Course Correction

Best Visual Effects
Iron Detective-Bitter Heart

Best Costumes
Iron Detective-Bitter Heart

Best Cinematography
The Specialist

Best Editing

Best Musical Score
Course Correction

Best Sound Design
The Next Contestant

Most Scientifically Plausible