Smart Shorts Film Festival

SMART SHORTS is a film competition and festival hosted by the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, founded in 1948, and established to help support experimental fine arts and projects in the sciences. The Center has strived to stay true to its mission of presenting quality and diverse artistic, educational and cultural programs in Monterey County, California.

This first-time festival allows Monterey County residents to share an original short film – 1 to 5 minutes in length – shot exclusively on a smart phone or tablet. The program seeks to inspire local filmmakers from the ages of 12 and up to express their creativity and unique point of view on this easily accessible digital medium.

Submissions will be accepted April 15th РJune 30th, 2019. Winners will be notified after August 16th. Winning films will be screened during a two-day event on September 13th-14th, 2019.


Awards will be given in the following categories:

  • Best Short – Winner will receive $500 cash prize
  • 1st Place Winners each receive $250 cash prize (8 categories)
  • 2nd Place Winners each receive $125 cash prize (8 categories)
  • Executive Director’s Award for Artistic Merit (Certificate)
  • People’s Choice Award (Certificate)
  • T-shirts will be given to all finalists


  • The festival is open to all residents of Monterey County ages 12 and up.
  • One video film per filmmaker/organization to be submitted through, an online submission platform.
  • Video films must be shot on a mobile phone or tablet only.
  • Use of production equipment (lights, dollies, etc.) is allowed.
  • Submit video films in .mp4 or .mov files to in high quality 1080HD widescreen format.
  • Automatic editing apps are not permitted.
  • We cannot accept video film’s with third-party music, images, photos or graphics without party’s written permission for reuse.
  • Video film length to be 1-5 minutes including credits.
  • All non-English video films must have English sub-titles.
  • Video films may not exceed 10 Gigabytes (GB).
  • The Festival may use images and clips from accepted video films for publicity and promotional purposes.
  • Winning Filmmakers will be notified via email by August 15, 2019.
  • Video films are only eligible to win in one category.