Short Film Contest


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. Until this year 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, plus the potential to screen their film in our Hammer to Nail screening series in Brooklyn, NY. Winners and runners-up will also receive submission waivers to several major U.S. film festivals, worth up to $200. 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 July 1st to be considered for our current competition. The fee for entry is $30. The participating fests in our Summer ’14 contest include: AFI FEST, Hamptons Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, Starz Denver Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, New Media Film Festival (and hopefully more to be added periodically!).

Summer ’14 Judges

Kat Candler‘s award winning short films have screened at Sundance, SXSW, Los Angeles Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, Houston Museum of Modern Art, Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and on PBS. Her feature film Hellion, starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis, premiered in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Hellion was a Sundance Creative Producing Lab participant and San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation Grant recipient and is set for a June 13th theatrical release through IFC and Sundance Selects. Candler is a film production Lecturer at the University of Texas.

Eugene Hernandez is the Deputy Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where he leads strategy and operations for the institution, and is also the Co-Publisher of the award-winning Film Comment magazine, the official publication of the organization. He previously served as the Director of Digital Strategy, where he oversaw all digital platforms and content. Prior to the Film Society, Hernandez co-founded Indiewire in 1996 and built the company over twelve years, as editor-in-chief, to become the leading online community and editorial publication for independent and international films and filmmakers. Additionally, he has worked extensively as a consultant for several non-profits, written for major print and online publications and annually participates in the international film festival circuit as a juror and panelist.

Reinaldo Marcus Green, born and raised in NYC, spent several years as an elementary school educator and director on Wall Street before deciding to pursue a partnership in film with his brother Rashaad Ernesto Green. Together they have collaborated on several short films that have traveled to festivals around the world including Sundance and Cannes and televised networks like BET and HBO. Rei’s pre-thesis film Stone Cars is currently on the festival circuit and was recently acquired by HBO. Rei is currently developing his thesis at NYU Tisch Graduate Film School and is working as an assistant to directors Kasi Lemmons and Todd Solondz. ***Stone Cars was the winner of the Winter ’14 HTN Short Film Contest***

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

Have a question about the contest? Email us!


Spring 2014Winner: Master Muscles (Efren Hernandez); 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