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BPM is accepting fiction or nonfiction short films between 3-15 minutes in length which will be considered for inclusion in the PBS Film Festival. The festival runs July 13-24, 2021.

In addition to quality and creativity, please keep the following in mind:

  1. Films should be no more than three years old.
  2. There’s no requirement for them to have not premiered elsewhere.
  3. Like in previous years, PBS requires rights to stream the films on all PBS platforms, including social platforms (i.e. Facebook, YouTube).



The 2021 PBS Short Film Festival aims to promote great independent short films coming from local stations and our public media partners. By leveraging all our digital and social platforms, PBS aims to win over new audiences while promoting short films that traditionally have not had a space on television. Like last year, this year’s People’s Choice winner will be measured by social media engagement.


As this is an online film festival with a strong social media element, we aim to attract younger audiences, while still appealing to our traditional demographic. In the long run, we hope the increased number of cord-cutting Americans will recognize the value of PBS and become PBS station members.


With films coming from our minority consortia and stations across the country, this festival offers unique and diverse perspectives and stories that one rarely sees on broadcast or cable television. We also aim to help all our filmmakers with national promotion.


Our films are irreverent, introspective, challenge the status quo, and highlight underrepresented people and issues facing our country.


  • When do films selected by PBS stream online? Films selected for the festival start streaming the day of the festival.
  • Are WIP submissions accepted? BPM will not accept "works in progress." Completed works should be submitted for consideration.
  • What sort of marketing/PR support is extended to selected filmmakers? In terms of marketing and PR support, PBS promotes all selected films across its social networks, and social media toolkits are provided to filmmakers for their own individual promotion.
  • Do all selected films receive marketing/PR support? All selected films receive the same promotion across social channels.
  • How long do selected films remain online if chosen for distribution? This is situational but the contracts are typically for two years.
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.