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***The Winter Contest is CLOSED!!***

DEADLINE was Wednesday, March 11!!!

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 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, all worth major savings to your festival budget. 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 ***Wednesday, March 11*** to be considered for our current competition. The fee for entry is $30. The participating fests in our Fall ’19 contest include:  IFFBostonMaryland Film Festival,  Oak Cliff Film FestSt. Cloud Film Fest,  Julien Dubuque International Film Festival,  Oxford Film FestSun Valley Film Festival Cleveland International Film FestivalMontclair Film Festival. Montana International Film Festival, Indie Memphis, San Diego International Film Festival and just added back into the mix, the Austin Film Festival and the Denver Film Festival!


Winter ’20 Judges

  • Tony Oswald and Pisiie Hochheim who’s short film Handheld won our Fall 2019 contest
  • Roger Avary is an Oscar Winning screenwriter (you may have seen the film? Pulp Fiction) who also wrote and directed The Rules of Attraction as well as his latest film, Lucky Day which is available on all digital platforms now.
  • Gala Avary is the Executive Producer of Lucky Day and La voix humaine . She is the Director of Development for AVARY INTERNATIONAL PICTURES, managing IP and screenplay development on all AVARY motion picture, television and immersive media productions.


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

Have a question about the contest? Email us!


Fall, 2019 Winner: Handheld (directed by Tony Oswald and Pisie Hochheim) Runner-Up: Soul Man (Directed by Kyle Taubken) Judges: Robert Longstreet, Emilie McDonald and Bruce Smolanoff

Winter, 2019 Winner: Churros (directed by Emilie McDonald and Bruce Smolanoff) Runner-Up: Living with the Never Mind (directed by Konstantin Enste) Judges: Amy Nicholson, Nick Singer and Noah Segan

Fall, 2018 Winner:  Stella for Star (directed by Nick Singer) Runner-up: Mata Laya Pata (directed by Kevin Vu Judges: Mallory O’Meara, Paavo Hanninen and Paul Tremblay

Summer, 2018 Winner: The Tourist (directed by Paavo Hannien) Runner-up: Ready for Love (directed by Dylan Pasture) Judges: Kelly Williams, Liz Cardenas and David Call

Spring, 2018 Winner: Cole (directed by David Call) Runner-up: The Clinic (directed by Jennie Allen) Judges: Blake Robbins, Kamau Bilal, Ashley Spillers

Winter, 2018 Winner: Baby Brother (directed by Kamau Bilal) Runner-up: Splendona (directed by Kevin Vu) Judges: Tiffany Shepis, Tony Oswald, Harrison Atkins

Summer, 2017 Winner: Great Light (directed by Tony Oswald) Runner-up: Ode to Joy (directed by Michael Koshkin) Judges: Patrick Brice, Dylan Allen, Joslyn Jensen

Spring, 2017 Winner: The Privates (Directed by Dylan Allen) Runners-Up (tieTrue Blue (Directed by Chris Osborn) and Let Mama Rest (Directed by Craig Jackson) Judges: Laura Moss, Brea Grant, Sarah Adina Smith

Winter, 2017 Winner Fry Day (directed by Laura Moss); Runner-Up   (Directed by Nathan Truesdell) Judges: Clay Liford, Joseph Sackett, Chris Lyon

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

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