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Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival (SFFSFF) is an annual film festival hosted by MoPOP and SIFF to celebrate new and innovative additions to the science fiction and fantasy cinematic arts. Now in its 17th year, SFFSFF screens animated and live-action science fiction and fantasy films from around the world, which are then judged by nationally recognized film critics.

This wildly popular festival has sold out for the last ten years in a row, packing the house with enthusiastic fans from the region’s sci-fi, fantasy, and film communities. Last year we hosted our first-ever digital showcase, inviting fans from all over the world to view the latest and greatest in genre film. Films from SFFSFF have also received international distribution and sparked the interest of a vast network of film fans — even receiving Academy Awards nominations, museum exhibition features, and more.

Films will be accepted from July 21–December 23. All films entering the festival must have been completed no earlier than January 2017 and should be no longer than 15 minutes in length.*

*Films that exceed 15 minutes may still be considered for the festival, but will not be eligible for awards.


Important Dates:

February 2022 - Notification of Acceptance

March 2022 - Film Print Due

April 2022 - Prize Winners Notified

May 21st and 22nd - SFFSFF


Applications are closed! Thank you to everyone who submitted a film!



About the Selection Process:

In recognition of our past failure to ensure a diverse and equitable selection process, and in an effort to create a more equitable selection process for this year’s festival, MoPOP will work with three selection committees to review the submitted films, including a MoPOP staff committee, a new MoPOP volunteer committee, and a new community committee. The community committee will be composed of individuals from a broad range of careers in the filmmaking, arts, and culture industries with a focus on BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ representation. We hope these changes provide a more diverse body of film reviewers to ensure an equally diverse lineup for the film festival, as well as strengthen connections in the local film community.

In addition, the opportunity to reflect on our selection process led to many important and informative discussions with diverse members of our community, many of whom have spent many years gathering and analyzing data from across the film industry and compiling insights about barriers to access for filmmakers from historically marginalized groups. In light of this, and because of MoPOP’s ever-deepening commitment to being an anti-racist organization we will be offering a ‘pay-what-you-can' submission fee for all BIPOC identifying, Veteran, and Disabled filmmakers through waiver codes. This submission policy is to challenge the lack of access to filmmaking and institutional film culture for people from marginalized and exploited backgrounds.

Awards:

Grand Prize
Second Place
Third Place
Douglas Trumbull Award for Best Special Effects

Completion Date:

Films must have been completed no earlier than January 2017.

Film Length and Genre:

Films must be no longer than 15 minutes.* Films are selected on the basis of quality and originality, and preference is given to original premieres.

*Films that exceed 15 minutes may still be considered for the festival, but will not be eligible for awards.

Can be animated or live-action

Science fiction or fantasy (examples: futuristic stories, space adventure, technological speculation, social experiments, utopia and dystopia, sword and sorcery, folklore, urban fantasy, magic, and mythic adventure)

Presentation:

Selected films must be made available for presentation as high-resolution digital files (2k or 1080p resolution [.mov file encoded using Apple ProRes 422 or equivalent pro codec] or hi-res mpeg-4 file). Accepted films must arrive as high-resolution digital files. Failure to provide the film in the specified format will result in the film being dropped from the festival. To ensure the wide variance of frame rates and resolutions conform properly to our system we convert the high quality files to DCP in house.

Language: Foreign language films must be made available with the original language soundtrack and English subtitles.

Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered. By signing your name below, you authorize that you have read and understood and hereby agree to the general festival rules.

2021 Winners

An important message from last year's SFFSFF screening:

A Message From SFFSFF and MoPOP’s Core Alliance for Racial Equity:

Before the program begins, we want to address a glaring error on our part. This slate of films does not feature Black or Native-American led or directed films. We sincerely apologize for the egregious oversight. This is an issue that SFFSFF will address from the bottom up, understanding that this error is systematic racism coming to full fruition. We thank the community member who brought this to our attention and for holding us accountable. We need to think about why there were no Black or Native-American led or directed films and why it took so long to address. To address this issue is not to just add a quota of Black, Indigenous and People of Color led or directed films in our selection process. A band-aid solution will only do a disservice to our community and would not address the root issue of systematic racism and white preference, both of which SFFSFF operates within. Along with Black and Native American folks, other marginalized groups/minorities were affected during the film selection process as well, and will continue to be if we do not do the work. It requires us to completely take apart every aspect of SFFSFF and rebuild with access and inclusion as the driving force of the program. Which is exactly what we will do.

SFFSFF is a community program at its heart, celebrating Sci-Fi and Fantasy films as well as those that love them. We completely missed that mark this year. And we apologize to all of those that love this festival and to our Black and Native American community who we have failed.

Additionally, we want to acknowledge that the contributions from Black, Indigenous and People of Color in Sci-Fi/Fantasy make it what it is today, Afrofuturism and Black Speculative fiction work in particular is a pillar of the genre and in excluding these narratives we cannot fully tell the story of Science Fiction or Fantasy. We take full responsibility for our actions, and we take full responsibility to do the work. To put in the resources, time, and money that is required of us to do better. Again we want to thank the community member that called us in, and for believing that SFFSFF can and will do better.

We hope that you will join us next year for a SFFSFF that is truly reflective of our community.

Thank You.

SFFSFF 2021 Program

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Grand Prize - uTransfer

d. Giorgio Miraflor

uTransfer is a new device that allows for certain United States Citizens to transfer their consciousness into a utopia called the New World. Though it is unknown to us as to why, Dean Flores is wildly determined to get to the other side.

Second Place - It's Okay

d. Justin Giddings & Ryan Welsh

In this Black Mirror-esque tale, a couple revisit key moments of their past, only for their memories to take an unexpected turn.

Third Place - Pipo and Blind Love

d. Hugo Le Gourrierec

In a dezhumanized world where emotions are rationed and measured by a gauge, Pipo, a factory worker falls in love with a woman sitting on a bench. He will try anything to attract her attention and seduce her with his own « language ».

Audience Award - Cabin For Two

d. Sam Hoiland

Harold, a hermit living in a remote cabin, uses a self-made dating tape to talk about his search for love. As he bears his soul to the camera, we see a montage of his daily activities and it becomes clear that all is not right in the world. A lurking threat is just out of sight, but not even the apocalypse can dampen Harold’s spirit.

Douglas Trumbull Award for Best Visual Effects + Youth Showcase Award - Sunshine Room

d. Nick Lopez

Cutting-edge technology allows a young woman to grow up alongside her beloved Abuela. But on the verge of leaving for college, her financial realities threaten to erase their relationship for good.

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