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Submit your film

Narrative Short Films

Fiction short films that fall under a narrative structure. Films must be between 5—45 minutes (including credits). Please indicate in your submission whether your film is a Comedy or a Drama.

Documentary Shorts

Short films that are non-fiction, but contain some form of narrative structure. Films must be 45 minutes or under (including credits). Note: It is more likely that a film much shorter than 45 minutes will be selected, as we do not have the program space for majority projects at 45 minutes.


Experimental Shorts

Any short films 45 minutes or under. They do not have to adhere to any set category and can be fiction or non-fiction.

Super Shorts

Narrative films five minutes or under.


Any short film that utilizes any form of animation, 45 minutes or under. Animated films will not be given their own screening category, but will instead be screened within one of the other respective groups (i.e. Narrative, experimental, super short, etc.)


Work that is in the form of rough cuts (cuts of sequences from the film on which you would like to have feedback). We ask that you submit the piece of your film that you would like to be critiqued. Selections should be between 10-15 minutes in length and should contain some elements of continuous sequences. If accepted, you must be able to attend the film lab/discussion.






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Yale Student Film Festival accepts entries via FilmFreeway.com.


FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, unlimited video storage, digital press kits, and more. Click to submit with FilmFreeway.​


  • NOVEMBER 1, 2017: Submissions Open

  • JANUARY 1, 2018: Submissions for competition close 

  • MARCH 10, 2018: Work-in-progress Submission Deadline

  • MARCH 12 2018: Notification Date

  • APRIL 12-14, 2018: Festival



President, Yale Film Alliance

Sophia Haid

Sophia is a junior Film & Media Studies major from Dallas, Texas. Lifelong obsessions include dogs and house plants, and current obsessions include OutKast and socks. Her life goals at the moment are learning to cook, reading more books and fewer articles (from scholarly to clickbait), and taking life a little less seriously. Some of her favorite films are "The Virgin Suicides", "Midnight Cowboy", "Broken Embraces", and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly".  


Festival Director

Joshua van Biema

Josh is a sophomore prospective Film & Media Studies major from Brooklyn, New York. He loves exploring cinemas from all countries and eras, and he is excited to be coordinating this year's Yale Student Film Festival! His favorite movie is probably Kurosawa Kiyoshi's Cure. Outside of film, he is passionate about Afro-Cuban jazz, poetry, and good apple juice. His goal for this year: to read everything Anne Carson has ever written.


Associate Director

Lily Weisberg

Lily is a bite size person in Morse College. You can find Lily struggling to use basic technology, trying to convince people to go running with her, and talking about DS. She thinks David Hurtado's mustache is cool and hopes he doesn't shave it. 


Director of Programming

Filip Sestan

Fil is a sophmore prospective literature major from Madison, CT. He loves diving into epic films (like Bela Tarr's Satantango) and generally exploring international literature and film in his free time, running the Yale Film Society. He thinks Andrei Tarkovsky and his films are the greatest things to grace this planet. Fil's favorite activities involve writing letters, watching soccer, and eating anything. 


Outreach and Publicity

David Hurtado

David Hurtado (Dave) is a Studio Art and Architecture double major from Salt Lake City, Utah. He always has at least two dining hall fruits on him and looks GOOD in a black cardigan. David enjoys a firm couch, a gin and tonic, and has high aspirations of making a full sized metal chair this year. As a self-proclaimed man of leisure, David is a strong believer in the importance of patio space. He is also a part of Control Group, Yale’s experimental theater group.


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Event Coordinator

Jane Zhang

Jane is a first-year prospective political science major from Beijing, China. Besides coordinating events for YSFF, she enjoys catching up with old friends, reading, painting, getting lost on campus, writing, meditating and being slightly late to everything. She is not excited about the winter but looks forward to wearing fluffy boots! 


Event Coordinator

Minahil Nawaz

Minahil is a first-year in Timothy Dwight College here at Yale, and a prospective EP&E or Film Studies major. When she isn't coordinating events for YSFF, she is doing so for YIRA, SAS and the Refugee Project. And while she spends most of her free time walking to places from TD, she also loves to travel, drink orange juice and procrastinate!



Ayeza Bajwa

Ayeza is a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College studying Cognitive Science. She is also involved in YCC Events and synchronized swimming.



Lauren Gatta

Lauren is a first-year in Grace Hopper College, and she is hoping to major in art or psychology. Besides website managing for YSFF and YMUN, she is also a creative editor of Accent Magazine and an illustrator for the Yale Daily News (can you tell she loves art??) She is looking forward to watching a lot of cool movies during the festival!


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The Yale Student Film Festival (YSFF) is an emerging student-run short film festival, providing the opportunity for university-level filmmakers, both foreign and domestic, to exhibit their work.


Now in its fourth year, YSFF takes place annually at Yale University in New Haven, CT. The three-day-long event will include feature film screenings, workshops, and panels led by Yale alumni in the entertainment industry, culminating in a competitive student block and awards ceremony.


Founded in 2015, the festival began as a collaboration between the Yale Film Alliance, Yale Film Study Center, Yale Film Studies Program, Films at the Whitney, and the Yale College Dean’s Office to highlight the small, but growing community of filmmakers on Yale’s Campus, who create work outside of a traditional film school environment.


Continuing this theme, this year’s festival will celebrate emerging student work from those taking the first steps towards a professional career, and aims to provide a platform to encourage conversation and camaraderie across schools and experiences. In the liberal arts tradition, we aim to bridge film with relevant social and intellectual issues.


The festival features three separate student competitions: the narrative film competition, the documentary film competition, and the experimental film competition. It will also feature a works-in-progress category, designed to showcase work in various post-production phases, and will be an opportunity to receive feedback from peers and professionals. The Yale Filmmakers Block and the Yale Thesis Films Block bookend the student screening and showcase work by our very own students.



Celebrating Student Film