Our History

DC SHORTS CHAMPIONS SHORT FILMMAKING!

Through a series of regularly scheduled educational programs, screening opportunities, sharing resources via online tools, partnering with film, arts and business organizations, and our annual DC Shorts Film Festival, DC Shorts provides opportunities for filmmakers of every skill level to explore and learn their craft — while entertaining and expanding the horizons of audience members.

Founded in 2003, the DC Shorts Film Festival was created by DC-based filmmaker, Jon Gann, in response to the dozens of festivals where the focus wasn’t on the filmmakers and their craft. So…he decided to start his own event, focusing on the form he loves — shorts.

THE DC FILM ALLIANCE IS BORN….

In 2006, the DC Film Alliance, a nonprofit arts organization, was created to present the DC Shorts Film Festival, and offer other programs and resources for Washington, D.C.-based filmmakers. The Alliance helped to bridge the gap between other area film organizations, foster a community for regional film festival directors, and sponsored monthly salons to educate filmmakers of all levels.

In response to the needs of the industry, DC Shorts has recently rebranded many DC Film Alliance activities, re-tooled others, and now hosts year-round programming, which includes:

OUR PROGRAMS:

DC Wins: DC Shorts WINS! are special showcases of award-winning films from previous DC Shorts — and a few that we wished we had programmed. Some of the films have received Academy Award nominations. All of the films have won accolades worldwide.

Mentors: Through DC Shorts Mentors, we encourage independent filmmakers to develop the skills to create outstanding media projects. Taught by film professionals and peers, these interactive sessions are designed to build upon one another, developing the skills needed to better compete in the crowded field of filmmakers.

DC Laughs: DC Shorts presents their favorite comedy films from 2016 — and live performances by the area’s top stand-up comics! Each 90-minute show combines film and live performance for a spectacular and lighthearted evening.

DC Shorts Film Festival: The 2017 DC Shorts Film Festival will showcase one of the largest collection of short films in the USA. The 11 day festival will include 4 days of educational events, a family showcase at 8 DC public libraries, Several Specialty Showcases (GLBT, etc.), a Screenplay Competition, and 6 receptions for filmmakers to schmooze with other filmmakers and our audience.

Online Film Library: DC Shorts is happy to present over 375 films from the past ten years for your viewing pleasure. Sort through the genres or years they were programmed, and click to watch. All of the films may be watched full-screen — and many are in HD also! More films are added all the time, so come back often — and make sure you tell your friends. Enjoy!

Real2Reel: Real2Reel is a new type of film competition — a collaboration between filmmakers and storytellers. Filmmaking teams have only 5 days to write, shoot, edit—and screen a film based on stories from eight local storytellers. The kicker: none of the teams had heard the stories before they were presented. On November 3rd, filmmaking teams will discover which story they have been paired with — and have 5 days to create a short film (less than 8 minutes) based on a true tale. The films premiere the following weekend (November 10th).

FILM AND FILMMAKING EDUCATION:

Mentors: Through DC Shorts Mentors, we encourage independent filmmakers to develop the skills to create outstanding media projects. Taught by film professionals and peers, these interactive sessions are designed to build upon one another, developing the skills needed to better compete in the crowded field of filmmakers.

Professional Development: DC Shorts is proud to present seminars for the Film Community on various topics including, but not limited to Lighting on a Budget, Fundraising, Contracts, Film Reviewing, and More!

Collaborative Impact: DC Film Alliance works closely with other grassroots film arts organizations on mutual topics including Submissions, Promotion, Development, and more. Once a year, DC Film Alliance hosts a conference where invited film festivals can discuss these issues and how we can help each other.

FILMMAKER RESOURCES:

@dcshortstools feed – a daily collection of Jobs, Casting Notices, and events from over 20 DC area and national resources.

DC Shorts Toolkit – An open email exchange to request information from other filmmakers, post screening information or even sell old equipment.

DC Shorts Actors List – Post casting notices to over 2,000+ DC and East Coast Actors.

OUR INITIATIVES:

Local Initiatives: Local initiatives are programs, partnerships, film blocks, and panels that support the local film community.

* 2017 Program: We will be programming our free lunch time screenings with local partner organizations showcasing only local filmmakers.
* 2017 Program: Real2Reel is a local initiative where local story tellers are teamed up with local filmmakers in a competition to turn a great story into a great film.

Youth Initiatives: Youth initiatives are youth programs, partnerships, film blocks, and panels that expose and educate youth of all ages on film and filmmaking that not only educate, but inspire.

* 2017 Program: DC Shorts is partnering with the Office of Cable Television on producing two series of short videos on filmmaking and film careers.
* 2017 Program: Blogging on Student Filmmaker Magazine on filmmaking topics.

Community Initiatives: Community initiatives are programs, partnerships, film blocks, and panels that support underrepresented and marginalized communities.

* 2017 Program: Partnering with Reelabilities on showcasing films about differently-abled individuals as well as presenting the work of differently-abled filmmakers.

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