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 he attended the previous year with his award-winning film, Cyberslut. Frustrated that many festivals were focused on money and sponsors and not films and filmmakers, he decided to start his own event, focusing on the form he loves — shorts.

In 2006, the DC Film Alliance, a non-profit 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:

  • DC Shorts Film Festival & Screenwriting Competitions (September)
  • Online resources for regional filmmakers
  • Online films for audience development
  • DC Shorts WINS: award-winning film (February)
  • Regional Film Festival Conference (March)
  • DC Shorts MENTORS: Weekend courses on all aspects of short filmmaking (March)
  • DC Shorts LAUGHS: comedy films and live stand-up comics (January)
  • Pasties & Popcorn: sexy films and live burlesque and sideshow acts (May)
  • Internship opportunities for college-age students
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