Short Film Contest, Winter 2017

***The Winter Contest is CLOSED!!***


Since 2008, we at Hammer to Nail have committed ourselves to spreading love for all the great and often underseen films made on a dime and fueled by a love for cinema. Previously we have focused on films on the festival circuit, in theaters, and available on home video and VOD. Now we are taking the next step with our Short Film Contest, which aims to seek out the best short work — of all genres and styles, made by filmmakers from all over the world — and help to get that work seen and discussed by our dedicated audience of online cinephiles.

Winners will receive a full review by one of our critics on and the opportunity to share their film with our readers online. Winners and runners-up will also receive submission waivers to several major U.S. film festivals, as well as subscriptions to Fandor, all worth over $400. Your submission to these festivals will come stamped with a Hammer to Nail seal of approval (*please note, you will still be responsible for submitting your film through the proper channels according to the terms of each festival*).

We will also continue to support and promote your film throughout its life on the festival circuit. Perhaps most importantly, all finalists will have their film judged by a rotating panel of industry insiders like Ted Hope (Double Hope Films), Jeff Deutchman (Paramount), Chris Horton (Sundance Institute) and Richard Lorber (Kino Lorber Inc.); filmmakers like David Gordon Green, Lena Dunham, Craig Zobel, Alex Ross Perry and the Safdie brothers; and film critics from our experienced group of contributing writers as well as previous contest winners.

If you have a completed short film (19-minutes-and-59-seconds or less!) that you want the world to see, submit it by midnight on ***Friday, February 17*** to be considered for our current competition. The fee for entry is $30. The participating fests in our Summer ’16 contest include: IFFBostonMaryland Film FestivalNashville Film FestivalMontclair Film FestivalOak Cliff Film FestSt. Cloud Film Fest, Sun Valley Film Fest Julien Dubuque International Film Festival,  Oxford Film Fest, Indie Memphis, Sarasota Film FestivalDenver Film FestivalSan Diego International Film Festival and Cleveland International Film Festival!

The Winner of the Spring Shorts Contest will also get a ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTION TO FANDOR!!! Runners up will each receive a 6 month subscription!

Fandor makes it easy for you to find the right film to watch. With the biggest handpicked collection of the most-talked-about independent films from around the world, there’s always something great to watch, whatever your mood, on almost any device. But they’re more than just a destination for exceptional films. They’re’re also building a community of film lovers and makers and developing industry-leading initiatives, including FIX and Fandor edu.


Winter ’17 Judges

Clay Liford is a writer/director out of Austin, Tx. His latest film Slash premiered at the 2016 SXSW Film festival and is available now on iTunes and VOD. His other films include WussEarthling and the cult favorite short film My Mom Smokes Weed.

Joseph Sackett is filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY where he is an MFA candidate in the  NYU Graduate program. His short film Pregnant won our fall 2016 short film contest.

Chris Lyon is the Associate Director of the Louisiana Film Prize which is a truly fantastic opportunity for short filmmakers to create a film and win $50,000 plus many more perks. Their call for submissions is open now and well worth your time.

So what are you waiting for? Submit your short film now!

Have a question about the contest? Email us!


Fall, 2016 Winner Pregnant (directed by Joseph Sackett); Runner-Up The Family (Directed by Jayden Stevens) Judges: Frank Mosley, Jennifer Lafluer, Zach Clark

Summer, 2016 Winner Casa De Mi Madre (Directed by Frank Mosley); Runner-up Get the Life (Directed by Ozzy Villazon) Judges: Anna Rose Holmer, Lance Edmands, Ben Hicks

Spring, 2016 Winner Strays (Lance Edmands); Runner-up Chopping Onions (Adinah DancygerJudges: Megan Griffiths, Myrsini Aristidou, John Magary

Winter, 2015 Winner Semele (Myrsini Aristidou); Runners-up Cosmetics (Eli Daughdril), Actresses (Jeremy Hersh) Judges: Kent Osborne, Matt Grady, Tati Barrantes

Fall, 2015 Winner Vincent (Tati Barrantes); Runner-up Judy Judy Judy (C. Mason Wells) Judges: Bridey Lee Elliott, Destin Daniel Cretton, Jay Giampietro

Summer, 2015 Winner Hernia (Jay Giampietro); Runners-up RPG (Sadie Rogers) and The Little Deputy (Trevor Anderson); Judges: Kris Swanberg, Houston King and Michael Tyburski.

Spring 201WinnerActor Seeks Role (Michael Tyburski); Runners-upMaking Eyes (Sean Dunn) and Collinsville Trade Day, 1988 (Charles & Jason LaRay Keener). Judges: Tim League, Yen Tan and Ahmed Khawaja.

Fall 2014Winner: Best Friends (Ahmed Khawaja); Runner-up: Stop (Reinaldo Marcus Green); Judges: Alex Ross Perry, Amanda Trokan, Efrén Hernández Jr.

Summer 2014Winner: One Year Lease (Brian Bolster); Runners-up: Hotel Y (Geraldine Baron-Visher), Hypebeasts (Jessica dela Merced); Judges: Kat Candler, Eugene Hernandez, Reinaldo Marcus Green

Spring 2014Winner: Master Muscles (Efrén Hernández Jr.); Runners-up: Uncle Floyd (Charles Poekel), Catherine (Dean Fleischer-Camp); Judges: Jeremy Saulnier, Arianna Bocco, Johnny Ma

Winter 2014Winner: Stone Cars (Reinaldo Marcus Green); Runner-up: Requiem For A Robot (Christoph Rainer); Judges: David and Nathan Zellner, Amy Dotson, Lauren Wolkstein

Fall 2013Winner: Grand Canal (Johnny Ma); Runner-up: The Greggs (Bruce Bundy, Nigel DeFriez, Jessie Levandov, Robert Malone, Alex Mechanik, Kira Pearson and Joe Rosenblit); Judges: Matt Porterfield, Nellie Killian, Grainger David

Summer 2013Winner: Social Butterfly (Lauren Wolkstein); Runner-up: FLO (Riley Hooper); Judges: James Ponsoldt, Kate Brokaw, Zach Wigon, Mauro Mueller

Spring 2013Winner: The Chair (Grainger David); Runner-up: Gold Party (Nellie Kluz); Judges: David Lowery, Dustin Smith, Adam Keleman

December 2012Winners: Someone Else’s Heart (Zachary Wigon) and A World For Raúl(Mauro Mueller); Judges: Ira Sachs, Matt Grady, Penny Lane

August 2012Winner: Long Days (Adam Keleman); Runner-up: Green Plastic Sandals (Stephani Wu & Andres Rosende); Judges: Ry Russo-Young, Brent Hoff, Gus Péwé

July 2012 — Winner: The Voyagers (Penny Lane); Runner-up: Arkadya (Alexander Kaluzhsky); Judges: Benh Zeitlin, Mike Plante, Levi Abrino

June 2012 — Winner: This Vacuum is Too Loud (Gus Péwé); Runner-up: Doris & the Intern (Laura Terruso). Judges: Josh and Benny Safdie, Richard Lorber, Jonas Carpignano

May 2012 — Winner: Little Horses (Levi Abrino); Runner-up: Priceless Things (Sarah-Violet Bliss). Judges: Alex Ross Perry, Chris Horton, Christina Choe

April 2012 — Winner: A Chjàna (Jonas Carpignano); Runners-up: Brute Force (Ben Steinbauer), Terrebonne (Jeremy Craig). Judges: Lena Dunham, Jeff Deutchman, Kelly Sears

March 2012 — Winner: I Am John Wayne (Christina Choe); Runner-up: Figure Father (Andrew Ellis). Judges: Craig Zobel, Alison Willmore, Mike S. Ryan

February 2012 — Winner: Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise (Kelly Sears); Runner-up: Cork’s Cattlebaron (Eric Steele). Judges: David Gordon Green, Aaron Hillis, Michael Tully