Webster U./Moore

Cinema St. Louis (CSL) and the Saint Louis Science Center are excited to announce the second edition of a science-fiction and fantasy short-film contest — an opportunity for regional filmmakers to let their imaginations shine.

This juried competition will award cash prizes to the top three entries: $500 for Best of Fest and $200 each for Best Sci-Fi and Best Fantasy selections. The winning shorts will then be featured at the Science Center's First Friday: Movie Magic program on Friday, May 3, 2019, 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 jury of film professionals (filmmakers, film scholars, film critics) and scientists 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 also consider the submissions for inclusion in the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase in July (held at Brown Hall Auditorium on Washington University’s campus) and the St. Louis International Film Festival in November.

The cash-prize winners and additional awards in the program will be announced on Friday, May 3, 2019, at the Science Center’s First Friday: Movie Magic.


Click HERE to go to the submission page and form on FilmFreeway.

Rules & Terms

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

  • Films must be easily categorized as science-fiction or fantasy.
  • Films must run a maximum of five minutes, including credits (no minimum running time).
  • Films must 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.
  • Films must 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 2014.

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 specified geographical location, which includes the states Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
  • All films must be submitted using FilmFreeway with a secure online screener link. No entry fee is required. Submission deadline is March 31, 2019.