Short film and animation festival
PÖFF SHORTS 2018 / 20 – 25 November / Tallinn, Estonia

Dear filmmaker!

PÖFF Shorts is taking submissions on

  • Shortfilmdepot for live action and documentary films: SUBMIT HERE
  • Eventival for animated short films: SUBMIT HERE

The final deadline for submissions is August 25, 2018.
For any questions, please write us at

Rules & Terms


– Be short or half-length films (up to 45 minutes): fiction, documentary, experimental or VR; live-action or animation.
– Premiered after the 1st of January 2017 (regarding competitive programmes).
– Be presented in a HD video screening format (minimum 1920x1080px, Prores, DNxHD), DCP.
– Have English subtitles if they are not in English.
– Films submitted to the student film competitions must be directed by a film, animation or media student.

Films produced in Estonia or are Estonian-co-productions, which have premiered previously in Estonia are also eligible.
The festival reserves the right to evaluate eligible films for the competition and assign the programme section for the film on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants for competitive and non-competitive programmes are requested to submit the film and required supplementary materials only via the indicated online submissions page.
Entries submitted by post, e-mail or any other form except the online submission form are not considered eligible for selection.
The festival reserves the right to refuse late submissions.

Submission fees are to be paid by secure online payment with a credit or debit card. Submission fees are non-refundable.

For a successful submission via the submission platform the applicant is required to:

1) Fill in and submit the entry form.
2) Provide a non-expiring screening link – with English subtitles and a password if necessary.
3) Upload high quality stills from the film (jpg).
4) Provide the film trailer as a non-expiring link or HD-resolution file.
5) Upload a photo of the Director (jpg).
6) Upload a poster of the film (jpg) (if it exists).

Upon confirmation of the film, the Festival will inform the applicant no later than the
15th of October 2018.

Upon confirmation of the film to the Festival’s Competitive or Non Competitive Sections the applicant agrees to:
● Confirm participation of the film in the Festival.
● Provide all necessary information and materials (see 1. Film submission).
● Provide all missing information and materials from the original submission in the way indicated by the festival team.
● Provide the required screening copy (see 3. Technical requirements for screening copies) in the way indicated by the Festival team.
● Grant permission to include the screener in the festival’s video library, reserved for jury and accredited industry members only (restricted access).
● Authorize to screen the film and/or promotional materials (stills, trailer) at the Festival and at any presentation of the Festival programmes, side and promotional events in any location if organised by/or participated in and authorized by the Festival organisation.

Confirmed titles may not be withdrawn from the festival programme after its participation has been officially confirmed and the producer or producer’s authorised representative has verified confirmation of the film to the programme.

If, for exceptional reasons, the film has to be withdrawn three weeks or less before the opening of the festival, the applicant agrees to reimburse all costs to the festival related to confirmation and programming of the film including screening fee (when applicable), print delivery and handling costs as well as associated travel costs for the film delegation.

The invoices for the film rights or print loans should be issued and delivered for payment no later than two months from the end of the festival. The festival does not accept or reimburse invoices issued after that date.

To ensure the highest quality and presentation of confirmed films, all screening copies must be in high quality High Definition video (minimum 1920x1080px) in a low compressed format (Prores, DNxHD etc.), DCP and with English subtitles.
Damaged or dubbed copies, non-compatible DCP’s and files on broken hard drives are refused.

Requirements for files:
● File formats: Prores, DNxHD, h264
● File container: mov
● Resolution: FullHD 1920x1080px
● Framerate: 24 or 25fps;
● Field order: None/Progressive;
● Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square
● Sound: Stereo
● Samplerate: 48kHz
● Bitrate: 16 or 24bit
● Subtitles: Hardcoded (if needed). If hardcoded subtitles are present, they must be on the
active picture area! That means on the picture area, not on the letter box area (if present).

Requirements for DCP’s:
DCP’s have to be provided either as Interop or SMPTE with subtitle tracks of a clearly stated DCP format, aspect ratio, subtitle and soundtrack information marked on the casing and drive (or accompanying tech sheet). If physical copies are being sent, DCP’s have to be provided and shipped on industry standard and protected hard drives.
Files on broken, consumer grade hard drives, memory sticks, or download formats are not permitted and the festival has the right to demand new copies (as well as KDM’s) free of charge for damaged and non working DCP packages

Please note that:
● The Festival supports 2K and 4K content in all screens. However, not all screens have a 4K projector. The Festival cannot guarantee that a 4K film will be screened in a 4K resolution.
● All screens support both Flat and Scope content.
● The Festival requires all DCP’s to be in XYZ colorspace encoded in JPEG2000.
● Countdown / start leaders must not be included.
● Surround content should be submitted in 6 discrete channels in the DCP.
● Hard drives must be formatted in EXT2, EXT3!

The filmmaker or film representative has to provide appropriate KDM’s for the original language soundtrack and English subtitle tracks at least 72 hours prior to screenings. If the festival is provided with broken or wrongly assigned KDM’s, appropriate new KDM’s must be provided free of charge by the film submitter or representative to meet the minimum Festival requirements.

The festival reserves the right to demand screening copies of competition films free of charge including alternative keys to DCP copies or new DCP packages if quality standards are not being met. These include missing subtitles or wrong soundtracks. Thus, the festival has the right to refuse and withdraw the screening of a film in the competitions if the above-mentioned guidelines are not being followed.

All other formats must be confirmed by the festival technical team.

Costs related to the shipping of the physical screening copies to the festival are paid by the festival, unless otherwise agreed upon. Return shipping costs are the responsibility of the submitter, film representative or party appointed by them.

The copies should be sent to:
Black Nights Film Festival
Attn: PÖFF Shorts
Telliskivi 60a, 3rd floor
Tallinn, Estonia
Phone: +372 56 208 308

All packages must be clearly marked with the title of the film, the sender’s / submitter‘s name, return address and telephone number.
The festival will return or forward the screening copies within 14 days from the end of the festival unless instructed otherwise by the submitter or film representative.
The festival covers all expenses connected to the storage and insurance of the screening copies during the duration of the festival.

The Festival may invite members of the crew of any film in any section providing either travel, accommodation and/or festival accreditation.

The awards and juries will be announced by the Festival Director no later than during the opening press conference of the Festival. No jury member can be involved in the production or promotion of any film in the competition.