Why the Cannes Short Film Corner is not important

You submitted your film to the Cannes Short Film Corner, paid the €85 entry fee, and bam, within a day they recognized your artistic brilliance and accepted your film!

You knew it! All these years you were right! You’re a modern auteur, whose career is about to blossom. A genius of the highest order. Your film is a Cannes Official Selection!

Only – it’s not. And no festival makes programming decisions in a day.

You have misunderstood what the Cannes Short Film Corner is and its importance.

If you live far away, then before you waste thousands on getting there or ask someone to pay for you, you should understand what the Short Film Corner is about so you can make informed decisions.

What is the Cannes Short Film Corner?

It’s easier to start with what it is not.

The Short Film Corner is not a film festival and is not the same as being accepted into competition at the Festival de Cannes (the Cannes Film Festival). As the Short Film Corner’s website itself will tell you, “Registration of your film with the Short Film Corner is different from a submission to the Festival de Cannes Official Short Film Competition” (ref) and that is where it starts to go wrong for many first time filmmakers, and those generous souls who want to support them by paying for transport, accommodation, suits, media coverage, and anything else you can think of.

The Cannes Short Film Corner is a film market, originally conceived as a way to help aspiring filmmakers to get access to the festival proper.

It is not a film festival.

Acceptance is not based on artistic merit.

What does it mean if my film is accepted into the Cannes Short Film Corner?

It means:

  1. You paid your €85 entry fee
  2. You uploaded a video file that is a genuine short film
  3. You submitted before the unpublished capacity was exceeded

And that is all.

It does Not mean:

  1. Your film has artistic merit
  2. You have an amazing opportunity
  3. Your star is about to rise

The Cannes Short Film Corner (Cannes SFC) website states, “Registration at the Short Film Corner is reserved to short films with cinema artistic values,” but this does not mean your film was selected above its peers for its cinema artistic value. Instead, your film is checked to see it is in fact a film. Cannes is an industry-only event the public are not permitted entry to. Some clever people realised the Cannes SFC could be misused to get a double ticket into the main Cannes Film Festival to mingle and see films – they’d submit any old junk and would be automatically accepted. This loophole became widely abused, so starting around 2008, the Short Film Corner checks you have a real film and not a video of Aunt Dorothy’s 70th birthday party. They reserve the right to say, “Hey c’mon pal, you’re taking liberties with this generous offer” by rejecting your film on artistic values, without further discussion.

But as long as you paid the fee, have a half workable film, and submit early, you will be accepted along with more than 2000 other films. I challenge you to show me otherwise.

Update April 2017:
Some good films do get rejected, but from my research these films were submitted late. Presumably, the Short Film Corner keep an eye on capacity. They want to give the opportunity to as many short films as possible, while staying safe and within venue capacity limits. So here’s a Pro-Tip: submit early if you want to access Cannes.

But it’s Cannes!

It may be in the same physical location, but it’s not “Cannes”. When the public and professionals alike think of “Cannes,” they’re thinking of films that are the best of the best for the year. Amazing films which are without peer. For short films, this would be the Cannes Court Métrage Competition (perhaps up to 10 films worldwide) and the Cinéfondation for film school entrants (perhaps up to 20 films). Or perhaps International Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique) and Director’s Fortnight (La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs), both of which are significant but are run outside of the Cannes establishment.

Official Selection films are screened in a proper cinema and have a gazetted screening time, at no cost to the filmmaker. Anyone in competition at Cannes can win a Palme d’Or – the most prized film award of all.

If you are Not in competition, you:

  1. Will not have a cinema, or screening time
  2. Cannot win an award (eg, the Palme d’Or)
  3. Have not been chosen on merit
  4. Cannot ethically say you screened at Cannes

Anyone in the SFC can pay several hundred euros to book a small screening room, but this is not the same as being given free of charge a screening in a full cinema with the In Competition films. Sure, you might also get someone to play your film on a PC to an audience of one down at the Short Film Corner, but this isn’t a screening in the known film business sense of the word. If you misuse that to say “you screened at Cannes,” then you don’t need me to tell you that you are being dishonest.

Finally, the Cannes Film Festival itself is very careful to ensure the Short Film Corner label they give you is called a label, not a laurel. They also ensure it does not actually look like the Cannes laurel, and does not have “Official Selection” on it:

identite_2_16 vs identite_2_07

What’s the value of submitting to the Cannes Short Film Corner? I got accepted into the Cannes Short Film Corner, should I go?

The answer to this depends on how much it will cost you to get there.

In my opinion, if your only focus is being able to say “I screened at Cannes,” then there is little value to your career or your film in submitting or attending.

If you’re more serious and want to network, then I would say it is borderline if there is going to be a large cost in transport and accommodation to you. You really need to organize your opportunities beforehand. But there are opportunities to network and learn, depending on how hard you are willing to work.

Benefit one – networking with distributors

Each SFC attendee has limited PC time for finding and viewing short films in the basement of a building on the outskirts of the Cannes Film Festival. If you leave things to naturally evolve, probably less than five bored short filmmakers will view your film during the entire festival. Any real distributor is likely not going to bother, so you must find another way.

You should make your own opportunity to network with distributors – if you can find them – and send them an online link to your film. So if you want to make use of the opportunity, you will need to organize meetings with distributors in advance and work hard to be noticed. My experience has been that most distributors will ignore your advances as they get flooded, and the few that don’t will request you contact them outside of the Short Film Corner anyway.

Also, remember that Cannes is not a short film kind of place. No one is really interested, except other short filmmakers and the people taking your money to promote your film.

So what is the point of submitting, or even going, if it is going to cost you a fortune? Personally, I think your limited funds are better spent submitting to more film festivals and winning more awards. Make sure you submit to the Cannes Court Métrage Short Film Competition. It’s free and it’s the real deal, Palme d’Or and all. If you’re accepted, by all means, ask everyone to help get you there! I’ll even send a fifty your way!

Truthfully, you will save money and probably do more to get your film distributed by staying at home and contacting distributors than by spending a week at the Short Film Corner. But if you do go, make contacts, learn new things. Network, network, network. Make your own luck by working hard.

Benefit two – two accredited passes to the Cannes Film Festival

You will also get two accredited passes (two people) to enter the Cannes Film Festival itself (Festival de Cannes) for the duration of the Short Film Corner. If you see value in this, then go for it – that is what the Cannes Short Film Corner was created for in the first place.

But there’s an entire industry built around the Short Film Corner!

Yes, an entire industry has cropped up, supporting starry-eyed filmmakers promoting their shorts to other short filmmakers at the Short Film Corner. This is the free market in action – where there are people, and there is a perceived demand, there will be vendors selling services to satisfy the demand.

Just because you paid to enter a film market, and then paid a promotions company, and then paid a magazine to include your short film on their list of “ones to watch at the Short Film Corner”, and then paid for an empty screening room for ten minutes, does not mean your film has any artistic merit at all in the eye of the Festival de Cannes or anyone who matters.

Someone is asking me to help them get to Cannes! I want to help. What do I do?

This is the real reason I have taken the time to write this blog. I got tired of seeing generous, well-meaning people waste good money sending family, friends and strangers to Cannes, for absolutely no benefit whatsoever, all because the helping party (and perhaps the filmmaker too) genuinely think they’ve been accepted into Cannes. It’s so irrelevant to their career, you may as well be sending them to a free holiday in the Caribbean instead. (Hey, if you’ve got spare cash, I could do with a holiday too!)

If a filmmaker is asking for your time and money for their Cannes campaign, then you have every right to verify their claim. There are some basic questions you can ask your filmmaker. You should at least get a positive answer to a couple of these:

Which program accepted you?

Most Short Film Corner attendees will happily tell you they were accepted to the Short Film Corner. They are not trying to mislead you – they just don’t understand its lack of importance. They may directly tell you all you need to know. Save your money if it’s the Short Film Corner – odds are their film is probably not deserving of your investment.

  • In Competition? Yes! Support them.
  • Cinéfondation? Yes! Support them.
  • International Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique)? Yes! Support them. (But not strictly part of the Cannes Festival.)
  • Director’s Fortnight (La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs)? Yes! Support them. (But not strictly part of the Cannes Festival.)
  • Cannes Short Film Corner? No! Save your money, unless you’re a kind benefactor.

Can you show me your film in the online festival program?

If their film is genuinely screening at Cannes, they will be written up in the official program.

If they show you their entry on the Short Film Corner website, keep your money in your pockets and run for the hills!

Can you show me your acceptance email?

The official acceptance email will make clear to which program they are part of.

If the acceptance says Short Film Corner, they have only proven they had €85 and filled out a form. You also have €85 and can fill out a form – send yourself instead! You deserve it!

The last time I was registered to attend the Short Film Corner, the email said, “After viewing your film, we are glad to inform you that your film registration has been validated for the Short Film Corner”.  It’s pretty clear – your registration to attend has been validated, not “your film has been selected”.

What day and time will your film be screening? Which cinema? How many seats?

This is not reliable, as it can come down to wordplay.

A genuinely accepted filmmaker will be told which cinema and what time their film will be screening, and it will normally be with other short films. If the filmmaker does not know, or they vaguely answer that the film is “on demand,” they are probably not actually playing at Cannes.

It is plausible scheduling issues may mean a genuine In Competition filmmaker doesn’t know their screening time yet, so be careful. Conversely, Short Film Corner attendees are notified of how they can make own commercial arrangements to book their own micro theaterettes at great cost – but that is not an official screening and is not based on merit.

Why does this confusion happen?

I believe most people who (mis)represent their Short Film Corner acceptance as something important are doing so through genuine ignorance. They are probably new to filmmaking, believe in themselves (don’t we all wish our wildest dreams to come true?), and like any member of the public, don’t really understand the fine details of this strange industry. Chances are, they realize their mistake once they get there – especially if they’ve played at festivals before.

It is also plausible they are a crook and a thief, out to scam a free holiday. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

Why did I write this?

One day, a filmmaker near you will be accepted In Competition to Cannes Court Métrage. That filmmaker will likely be young and resource starved. They will need the help of their generous family, friends, and local businesses to get them there, because Cannes is a very expensive place to stay, and some parts of the world are far, far away.

But that talented, resource starved filmmaker will miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Why? Because everyone will be tired of hearing about the 30 plus local filmmakers that get into Cannes each and every year. Just how much talent does this town have?!

Acceptance to the Cannes Short Film Corner is meaningless and requests to help attend it are wearing out the generosity of strangers.

I consider this piece an investment in the future of a genuinely talented filmmaker – whoever they are.


If you are accepted into the Cannes Short Film Corner, it does not mean your film is special. This is not a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The Cannes Short Film Corner is a commercial film market, not a film festival. Acceptance is not based on artistic merit.

If you have a short film, and you paid the entry fee, you will be accepted. You, and everyone else.

Newbies and the uninitiated are confusing the Cannes Short Film Corner with either the Cannes Court Métrage Short Film Competition, or the Cannes Cinéfondation – either of which are worthwhile pursuits and represent the best short films of the year.

The rule of thumb is:

  • Accepted to the Cannes Court Métrage Competition, the Cannes Cinéfondation, International Critics’s Week, or Director’s Fortnight? Do everything can you to get there. Support any filmmaker who has this rare opportunity. They are gifted and their time has arrived.
  • Accepted to the Cannes Short Film Corner? Don’t misrepresent your film as an Official Selection, or In Competition. If it is expensive to get there, reconsider going  unless you just want to “be there” to experience the fun, or work really hard to network (set up your meetings weeks in advance). Anyone with a short film and the entry fee can get into the Short Film Corner.

Bonus: Hall of Shame

It’s not just first time filmmakers that get caught out. Here are some of my favorite personally verified encounters. All of these short films were not In Competition, but were only in the Short Film Corner:

The Trade Magazine

In 2016, I saw a film trade magazine (who should know better!) promote a filmmaker’s acceptance into the Cannes Short Film Corner with a full spread. A stunning feat, considering that particular filmmaker’s country had no films accepted In Competition that year!

The Government Film Commission

Also in 2016, a Government funded film commission posted a puff piece to social media about a local director they were funding to get to Cannes for the Short Film Corner, using public money. Now, a film commission should definitely know better! Fortunately, sanity won – the film commission must have been tipped off, the post was removed and presumably the “lucky” filmmaker didn’t get their free trip. What is your tax money being wasted on?

The Radio Con Man

In 2013, a local student filmmaker conducted a very successful PR campaign to get himself over to Cannes after entering the Short Film Corner. A radio station fell for the routine and were determined to not let this local student’s amazing opportunity pass by (very sweet of them, actually). They organised a local old-school tailor to make him a bespoke suit, and transport to Cannes was provided by a local travel agent out of their own pocket.

At this point, the filmmaker was publicly called-out by experienced filmmakers, and informed of their “mistake”. Rather than admit his “mistake”, the student filmmaker played the victim, claiming he was bullied by less skilled, envious filmmakers, and went to Cannes anyway.

The radio station called the student for a live phone interview in Cannes, and asked, “Did you win any awards? When did you screen?”  The student’s cunning answer, “They’ve got my film screening around the clock down here at the Short Film Corner”. That was true – anyone who wanted to look up his film on a PC could sit down there and watch it around the clock.

The first of their kind

In 2008, a filmmaker – perhaps one of the first to misunderstand the Cannes Short Film Corner and take it all the way to the top – approached another government film commission for assistance to attend the Cannes Short Film Corner. Familiar with Cannes, and genuinely happy to help, they paid for the filmmaker’s transport to attend.

The businessman

The casual lie that “I screened at Cannes” runs deeper than just inside the filmmaking community. People are trading off it to get work.

I was recently cold-pitching an internet campaign to a businessman I know. He has a new brand and is trying to get traction.

“That sounds interesting,” he says, “but I’ll probably do something with my friend Bob. His film was screened at Cannes.”

I would have known Bob’s film if it actually screened at Cannes. But I did not know it. By coincidence, I knew Bob as he was a local bartender, but didn’t know he was a filmmaker either.

I sought out his film. It was terrible, the kind of thing you’d expect from someone who had no background in filmmaking. It was an unmanned home handycam job, with on-camera sound and no lights. Bob presented to camera himself.

What do you say, without looking like a sore loser? “That’s no achievement, every film I ever made also went to Cannes”. Or how about, “No, his film didn’t actually screen at Cannes. Everyone gets into Cannes”. Or even, “Bob’s film sucked. Badly. I’m offended you’d even put me in the same category”. No, you can’t say any of that without coming off like a jealous jerk. My new-found competitor had effectively bottled me up before I event pitched.

About the author – I’ve been filmmaking for over 30 years, starting as a Cinematographer and moving to Directing and Producing. I have made several films, achieved distribution multiple times, received over 20 meaningful awards, and been screened at hundreds of film festivals in every continent except Antarctica. I have never made a film worthy of the Cannes Court Métrage Competition. All of my short films since 2005 were accepted into the Cannes Short Film Corner, and I never bothered to tell anyone, because it’s just not worth talking about – I would look like a clueless fool to my peers. I stopped bothering with the SFC in 2012 but I would certainly use it if I wanted to be in Cannes!


74 thoughts on “Why the Cannes Short Film Corner is not important

  1. Thank you for this important post. Being the old cultural hub of India, my city Calcutta, India has film makers in every nooks and corners. Most of them do not have the money to send their films to the Short Film Corner. A new bred of film makers coming from other respectable professions want to be famous in short time are promoting their entry in the Short Film Corner in an exploitative fashion. They travel to Cannes spending from their own pocket and post photos in Facebook after coming out watching an Indian film. The biggest local newspapers had them on headlines even the British Council Kolkata screened their films. Thanks to the promotion, at least one of them has got finances in place from the local sources for a feature length fiction film within a year’s time. I want to add something more interesting here. In India even the commercial feature film makers get some kind of dubious appearance in Cannes and proudly mentions “Highly appreciated at the Cannes Film Festival” inside two laurel branches on their promotional merchandising. In 2016 over 30 Indian films got selected in the Short Film Corner. Expect this number to increase in the coming years.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for this article, I’m glad someone finally wrote it…
    One small addition: besides the main competition and the Cinéfondation, there is also Critics Week (Semaine de la Critique) and Directors’ Fortnight (La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs), both being important and valid sections. And they are really useful as the main competition only accepts movies which are less than 15min, and Cinéfondation is limited for film school students.


  3. If the Cannes Short Film Corner is so meaningless, why have you continued to enter it sense 2005?
    Your words;
    “All of my short films since 2005 were accepted into the Cannes Short Film Corner, and I never bothered to tell anyone, because it’s just not worth talking about – I would look like a clueless fool to my peers.”


    1. Hi Lou! This article is about misrepresenting attending the SFC as being In Competition at Cannes, and how meaningless it is to publicize that acceptance. The article states benefits to being there, if you can afford it.


  4. Our film scored a European distribution deal by being accepted and attending the Cannes Shorts Corner. Suppose we’re just clueless fools though right?


    1. Congrats on the deal! Hard work pays off. 🙂 There’s a big difference between going to the SFC to work hard and meet with distributors (see “Benefit One” in the article), VS telling everyone you were in competition at Cannes when you were only accepted to the SFC. This article is about the latter: misrepresenting SFC acceptance as In Competition. I’m sure you’re not a clueless fool, because you didn’t misrepresent your film as In Competition.


  5. I am proud to say that my short film The Lord Of Catan was rejected by the Short Film Corner and my entry fee refunded, which is probably as close to being booed at Cannes as most of us will ever get.


    1. 🙂 That would look good on the One Sheet. I’m trying to collect data on the rejections: I have a theory that they have an upper number they cut off at for building capacity reasons. How early/late to the deadline did you submit?


  6. This is awesome. Thank god for this article. Really, thank you sir. At least where I live, in Seattle, there are a handful of film makers every year who post on social media that there film has been accepted to Cannes, but really it’s the SFC. This year more than last and based on the reactions NO ONE knows the difference between SFC and Cannes! One local filmmaker, who’s not a terrible filmmaker, said he was accepted to Cannes and made NO attempt to clarify that it wasnt actually the Festival de Cannes and received hundreds of “likes” on congratulations. This douche bag was even featured in a local paper for getting his short film into “Cannes”.

    So so lame. Thank you for calling this nonsense out.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great piece I’ll share on my newsletter (had someone asking for $20k on Indiegogo to fly her and her crew to Cannes for the Short Film Corner). Would have liked the piece even more if you had a name though.


    1. Hi Nathalie. Glad you like the piece and thanks for taking the time to comment. I completely understand and agree this would be much better and much more meaningful if I attached my name. However, it’s too easy to be blacklisted in our industry. I wanted to write this years ago, but didn’t because of that very reason. I am at peace with my decision – I would never have written this without anonymity, so I feel it’s better that I tried and was not taken seriously, than didn’t try at all.


      1. I wish I could pretend you’re not right about that, but I can’t. I think we all have black lists of anecdotes and facts we just can’t talk about because of the silent censorship running around in our industry. So yes, I take back what I said, and I thank you for your choice 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Good article. But of course it’s not just short films that misrepresent themselves, features do too. I wrote a blog about this a couple of years ago for Hemlock Books: http://www.hemlockbooks.co.uk/News/Blog/news/31 (NB. Although it says at the top it was written by Sarah Appleton, that’s caused by Hemlock changing the page header on all my old blogs. Also, I had to write 2,000 words each month so there’s a fair bit of waffle first).

    All the above notwithstanding, it’s worth pointing out that the whole ‘Cannes’ misrepresentation thing is often not the fault of film-makers but of bozo local newspaper journalists who have absolutely no idea that there is such a thing as the Cannes Film Market and don’t bother doing any research when they se the word ‘Cannes’ on a press release.


  9. Hm. While you are right about the misrepresentation that is going on by some filmmakers, i feel like your article is overly negative and somewhat misleading in general. The fact that you apparently keep on submitting your films to the SFC speaks to that. Another example – the SFC is not at the “outskirts” of the festival as you write. It is IN the palace du festival, albeit the basement, but it is right there in the middle of it, next to the general film market. You take the escalator up and you’re right at the screening rooms where some of the most glamorous screenings you will ever get to happen. Yes, SFC is not a competition, yes it is relatively easy to get in and yes nobody in Cannes will treat you as anybody special for having your film at the SFC. However – from my own experience, as a longtime filmmaker and somebody who used to frown upon the SFC – I think, if you have the means to go, it is well worth it. Going in 2015 changed my mind. Why? as you write – #1 you get access to the festival, including access to the ticket/screening lottery. For the submission fee this is a great deal. The Cannes film festival is not only probably THE biggest and most important film festival in the world it is also the hardest to physically get in. As in – on the grounds, to hobnob and network. You can’t even get into the hotels at the croisette for meetings if you don’t have a badge, let alone the international village behind the palace, which is were a lot of the daytime business is being conducted. But with your badge from the SFC you can, you are legit. I got my film in and I just went to network. I never boasted about my film, but it is a perfectly fine conversation starter to say that you have a short in the SFC. And so you can be right in the middle of this crazy festival, rub shoulders with some bigwigs and experience how the french celebrate cinema at one of the most beautiful stretches of land in the world. I found that incredibly inspiring. Meeting with a lot of other filmmakers and people who had films in the SFC, the general market and the festival can also be very inspiring as you learn about how they got their films made and how they turned out – for good or for worse. I also met a lot of short filmmakers who got some kind of distribution out of the SFC, especially with European TV stations. I personally think making a short is not about getting distribution. Getting some festival laurels and putting your film up on the web for maximum exposure is the way to go, but I digress. I think if you go with the right expectations to SFC it can be a great experience. If you get a rich uncle to pay for it – more power to you. If you misrepresent what it means to have your film in the SFC and scam somebody out of their hard earned money for you to go – well then you’re just another one of the ubiquitous filmmaker-hustler and maybe one day Karma will catch up with you. So thank you for calling out those hustlers, but I think it’s important to say that the SFC can be a great experience if you go with the right expectations.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi elevate, thanks for taking the time to make a considered comment. As we know, the point of the article is to shine a light on the practice of misrepresenting SFC acceptance. I didn’t want the article to sound critical of the SFC itself, because it does have uses. There’s another side of the coin here: One of the things I think I could have called out better in the article was the issue of first time filmmakers who are trying to make a hard finance decision to go, or stay home: if they believe they are in competition, they may make their decision based in incorrect information. If they put themselves into debt to get there, then I ask the question: Would they have saved their money if they knew they weren’t screening, and everyone gets in? This piece is not just to shine a light on the scammers, it’s to help the honest ones paying their own way who need to understand what the SFC is.

      As for myself submitting past films to the SFC – you make it sound like it’s mutually exclusive: everyone who submits to the SFC must also mislead those around them. Not the case. Plenty of people go to the SFC who, like myself, do not misrepresent what it means to be accepted.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi.. I been tired explaining this to me mates.. I submitted my short for the 2016 for the competition and it was refused.. is it possible to submit the movie for competition and also at other categories such as critics week and directors fortnight at the same time? What’s the process And how does it works??


  11. Hi.. I been tired trying to explaining this to me mates. I submitted my short for the competition 2016 and it was refused.. however I have few doubts.. is it possible to submit the movie for competition section and as well as critics week and directors fortnight at the same time??? How does it works and what’s the process??

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Strange article indeed, with wrong information, passing of for a film maker with 30 years experience in film making, without giving one’s identity, having been part of the SFC, trying to give pseudo info on the SFC which is WRONG…you couldn’t possibly be a cinema Professional who’s been to loads of festivals. Please do not give info if you’ve never been to the festival (there are basic facts you do not know). This blog’s going to confuse film makers further and journalists who haven’t grasped the basics of Cannes sections (I’m not saying it’s all a piece of cake), so please do not give wrong info about Cannes or its sections.


    1. Hi. I’m happy to make retractions where wrong or I receive better information on the more opaque aspects such as the selection process. Anything in particular you’d like to call out as wrong? You spent 112 words calling into question the article and my own legitimacy as a filmmaker, but you didn’t provide a single example of what was so wrong with the article? Odd. See Ad Hominem.

      The point of this article is help stop people overinflating the importance of SFC acceptance. Do you think SFC filmmakers should put “Official Selection Cannes Film Festival” on their posters? Do you think they should be able to say they screened at Cannes when they did not? Are they right to say they were officially selected? And on the back of that, should they receive donations to make it to Cannes? Do you think they should be watering down the Cannes brand by misrepresenting it so?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The tone of the article in itself is so negative, that of a person who is dejected, sad, frustrated and angry for the some reasons personally known to himself/herself. It is indeed very demotivating… Though I would still like to attend the festival for whatever worth it is for… to learn, to explore, to network and to grow… Life & cinema doesn’t stop at one film festival… Cheers to CINEMA!!!


  13. Hey! I just got accepted into the Cannes Short Film Festival, is that an accomplishment? It’s a competitive festival with awards. Just wondering. It’s their third year running.


    1. Hi Matteo – I’m yet to see anyone claim “Coup de coeur” on their materials. It’s a very recent addition to the SFC. Perhaps something worthwhile might come out of this? 🙂 I’d like to see comments from someone who has experienced it.


  14. An in depth article that has been thoroughly constructed. I’m dissappointed that you don’t put your name on it for fear of industry retribution. I implore you to have the strength of character to back up your convictions by attaching your name, fear serves you no favours. I’m a filmmaker and my name is
    Alan King from Malvern East Australia.


    1. I get it Alan, I really do. But it really is the difference between me publishing, and not publishing the article. Although I may be doing many small-time filmmakers a favour by helping them understand what their money will be buying them, it’s not going to get me anything from the big end of town, and resentment from those I am calling out. In short, the article does me no favours by writing it, but it potentially will block my career.


    1. Hey Yo! Remember, it has its uses if you’re prepared to work hard ahead of time organising meetings with distributors. Just don’t think it’s some special screening. If you crowdfund your next trip, then arent you doing the exact thing I’m warning about?


  15. Sorry but this article is extremely critical, even though you claim that is not your intention. Through the application process, one is made aware of what it is and what it isn’t. It is made clear before you click “submit” that your film will NOT be in the short film competition and The Short Film Corner is a networking opportunity for filmmakers, period. They even have a promo video showing you what it’s all about, no glitz or glamor about it. It’s also made clear that you will be in a CATALOG with some 1900 other shorts. I would assume that if you can make a movie you can read, so the idea that some people just don’t understand seems far fetched and presumptuous. That being said, if a filmmaker uses their acceptance to promote their film, that is totally their prerogative, it’s called marketing. As long as they are not being fraudulent by claiming to be in competition or using labels that are prohibited or inappropriate in their promotion. However, as insignificant as you claim the SFC to be, participants are still given their own label. But even if they did blur the ethics line, I don’t see how that has any effect on me or any other filmmaker. Honestly, this article is kind of a blow to the Festival de Cannes organization itself, as if they’re trying to rip people off. All I know, I will be at the Cannes Short Film Corner this year for my short Crimson Love and I’m THRILLED!


    1. Hope you enjoy it! And good luck on your film’s journey. I guess you agree then that it is wrong to misrepresent the acceptance? As you say, the SFC make it quite clear. There should be no reason to be confused these days, right?


  16. Hello, I agree with you that it is wrong to advertise your selection at the Short Film Corner as if it was official selection, especially if you use this strategy in order to raise other people money. I disagree on the fact that there is no selection and that you basically pay to be selected for the corner. It is true that I’ve seen ugly shorts being accepted; but it is also true that I’ve seen a lovely short, already selected at important national festivals, being rejected. I seem to recall one year in which a friend ‘ s short was admitted at the Corner, that they choose 200 shorts out of around 1000 (I really hope I remember the numbers correctly though, as it was seven years ago). I agree with you on many points, only I find it a bit too much to state that being at the Short Film Corner is basically useless shit and that whoever is there, it only is because he/she paid for it. But then again, I think we have a very different point of view on it based on the distance. I assume you are from the US from what you wrote (but then again maybe I’m wrong!) which perfectly explains why you see so many people crowdfunding to go to Cannes and why it pisses you off when releted to the Corner. In my European experience, every collegue goes to Cannes at least a couple of days every year because ultimately you just grab a car and go networking and watching great movie. This is the reason why I always find it is a good idea to go even if you ‘ re at the Corner or your cousin is or whatever. But I think I understand your frustration. I would definitely not pay for somebody to fly to Cannes from far away for the Short Film Corner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for adding to the discussion Paola. Excellent points. You’re absolutely right that my discussions around crowdfunding etc are due to the tyranny of distance, and that “locals” would be mad not to take up the opportunity. I will consider how I can strengthen this point (it is in there, but probably could be stronger).

      On the topic of bad films being selected vs good films being rejected, I think you will find this comes down to how late the submission is made. Once they hit their capacity, films get rejected as far as I can see. It would seem the capacity is around 2000. So if you want to go, submit early! 🙂 I will try and re-work this into the article.

      Thanks for your input!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. All good, but Cannes isn’t in the Caribbean – it’s on the Mediterranean, and would incur different costs.


      1. Hah, I guessed (hoped?) that was the case – just highlighting that the costs would be different…


  18. sorry for the confusion but I’m trying to understand…SFC is not what everyone thinks it is. I get that, but why is Cannes Court Métrage Competition important if it is on the same “label” with SFC?


    1. Hi John. The Cannes Court Métrage is probably one of the top festivals for short films in the world. Sure, everyone is at Cannes for the features and no one cares about the shorts, but it is a jury selected screening and the winner will receive the Palme d’Or, the pinnacle of film awards. But just being selected by a Cannes jury is enough: getting into the Cannes Court Métrage is a big deal.


      1. if your film was actually selected to Court Metrage, you would have this on your film poster right?

        but if youre in the SFC, you would have this?


  19. how sad can you be as an artist to write all these for SFC ? why did you keep submitting since you think its meaningless , YOU are a liar cause i know friends of mine that DID NOT get accepted in 2014 and 2015.
    Get a life and change career cause obviously you are a sad person and a wannabe .


  20. thanks for this article, my short film was invited to short film corner by another festival that my film was in, i didn´t pay a fee, and when i was notified of the participation couldn´t find any info about SFC, but i was skeptical, never heard from it. today i wasn´t sure if i should mention it in my resume for a summit, and your article save me from an embarrassment. 🙂


    1. Hi Holi. Congrats on your film. Your situation confuses me. The SFC does not invite participants (that I know of). I know there are groups that collect a number of films under a theme (eg, US students of a certain school, New Zealand filmmakers, etc) for bulk SFC submission and representation – they might invite you to participate with them, probably for a fee. But this is not the SFC directly inviting you. Either way, I would not bother to mention being “invited” to the SFC in a resume. Also remember, there are short film festivals that use the Cannes name – some are legitimate (Festival de Cannes), while others are opportunist trading off the town’s name and playing at other times of the year. Could it have been one of those?


  21. I submitted to the SFC just for the hell of it and was notified today that it was accepted. After reading this, I’m wondering if I should try to withdraw my submission–my biggest concern being that this will affect the premiere status of my film. I just started submitting and most of the festivals I submitted to are after Cannes–and they might not want it unless I can guarantee it will be the world premiere. Do you think that’s something I should be worried about?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi John. Great question. In my opinion, your premiere status will still be intact. There will be no public screening of your film at the SFC. Other registered professionals at Cannes CAN view your film in private on a PC if they wish at their command, but this is not a public screening and thus should not impact your premiere. I would leave it as-is if it were me, but please understand a festival’s decision to exclude your film is their prerogative and they may see it differently. I just don’t see any legitimate reason why they would. It’s not like there’s been a public screening at the SFC!

      Something else to consider: in all my time submitting for short films, I have almost never seen premiere statuses be enforced. It’s just too competitive. It happens with features, but rarely with shorts.

      This is also an important indicator to the commentators here who keep crying “its not true, the Short Film Corner IS a screening of my film and acceptance IS important”. Sorry my friends, but just saying its so does not make it so. Without an actual screening at your beloved SFC, you’re well behind the 8-ball on that one.


  22. (I apologize in advance for any grammatical or spelling errors, English is not my first language)

    Hi!, great article, thanks for taking the time to write it, but I strongly disagree with your title. Not the article itself, just the title, the heather and your first few paragraphs. First of all, you DO sound a little bit bitter or angry at the beginning, it sound that you have a grudge against Cannes, and second, the title itself is wrong.

    My first point, I would strongly advice you to change the tone of the heather and the first few of paragraphs. The information you present here is very important for new film makers who find themselves in the same position of being “accepted” (the correct word Cannes uses in the mail they send you) to the SFC and THINK they are in official competition. I bet that many readers of this post don´t read past the first paragraphs because of how you come of. And probably miss all the information you give.

    The way I see it, The Short Film Corner IS misrepresented, NOT by Cannes Film Festival (their official description for SFC is ¨A MEETING PLACE FOR PROFESSIONALS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD”), but by the film makers that are often misinformed or they don´t read what SFC is actually about. In their minds their film IS going to be “screened” (this being the key word) at Cannes Film Festival. Which it WON´T (yes if you rent from your own pocket a movie theater). The reality is that their film will be ACCESSIBLE (in a PC, in a basement) for potential buyers or distributors or investors to watch. This does NOT mean they WILL watch it, this means they CAN watch it (if you do your due diligence, contact them and arrange a meeting prior to the festival itself)

    Second: I disagree with your title because The Cannes Short Film Corner IS important.

    If you play your cards right, you can meet the correct people and make the correct deals that will jump start your career. It happens every time, distributors meet producers and producers meet directors. The SFC is one of the best places you can go to sell your talent and meat potential buyers or investors. THAT IS THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF THE SFC!!!! Which in my opinion, is really important.

    See, the thing is you are still part of the festival, just not like Leo DiCaprio, in front of the cameras, with all the flashes, the champagne, the tuxedo, the models and the awards. Your are (as the name literally suggest) in the CORNER, meeting the people that one day might help you get in front of the cameras!

    I read a great article of a Spanish director that went with his short film to the SFC thinking he was in competition and learned the reality of SFC when he arrived. He puts it in great words (I hope I translate it correctly):

    “You don´t go to the Short Film Corner to harvest… you go to plant the seed”

    So, to sum up. I strongly advice you to change the title and the tone of the first few paragraphs so more film makers can understand what it´s all about.

    I strongly advice you to change the title to something less angry like ¿What is Cannes Short Film Corner?

    Stick to the facts and limit your personal opinions (like “your film is not special”.. sound a bit like Tyler Durden”). This way you will help more people to understand what the SFC is all about, and who knows, maybe you won´t be afraid to sign the article with your name.


    1. Hi Sal, thanks for taking the time to contribute meaningfully to the discussion. The article title is in the context of filmmakers thinking they are an official selection at Cannes and this is an opportunity of unparalleled importance and they must attend – this is set in the opening two paragraphs and I do not believe it is misleading. Yes, the headline is deliberately attention-grabbing but it also invites the reader (I hope) to find out why, to clarify what IS and IS NOT the issue here. Cannes is such an ingrained institution in the filmmaker’s psyche, I don’t think there is much chance of the reader suddenly believing “Cannes” is not worth it and stopping reading early. Quite the opposite – many comments above show people are emotionally attached to SFC selection being a career defining moment.

      This isn’t meant to be a wikipedia piece or a how-to guide. But I have presented the information as factually as I can and backed everything up with as much reasoning as I can.

      You say I sound angry – I am! I’m angry at seeing cash-strapped filmmakers mistakenly put themselves into debt for an opportunity they have simply misunderstood. I’m angry at the fringe businesses that crop up and take even more money from those filmmakers. I’m angry at the people who wilfully misrepresent it as a Cannes official selection to get free flights, accommodation, clothes and publicity. I think the SFC could do a lot more to make the situation clear and so I am angry at them too. And as a filmmaker struggling to attract funding myself, I feel simultaneously embarrassed for and angry at the filmmakers who get written up in trade mags that should know better. There’s a lot of things wrong with the way the SFC has evolved, in my opinion.

      You mention the great opportunity of the film market itself, to attract distribution. Remember, not everyone lives in Europe and the costs to get there increase many times the further away you are. In my experience, most short film deals are established before leaving for Cannes, or after, possibly because there’s a lot of junky short films cluttering the catalogue at the SFC and some distributors go for the party, not to work. That’s not to say magic doesn’t happen if you work hard and have a good film (one commenter above worked hard for a deal at the SFC), but you don’t actually need to be there to play if the cost is financially crippling to you. If attending is going to cost you half a year’s wages, I’m going to tell you its absolutely not worth it. My last two distributors were picked up by working from home and not bothering with the SFC at all.

      In my opinion, attending the SFC is most beneficial for filmmakers wanting to understand what the big girls and boys do by SEEING it themselves. It’s a great opportunity to see things working, but it all depends on how much it costs you to get there.

      But, this is an opinion piece. Neither of us has to agree with the other. I just hope I did my job by explaining my reasoning in the article so you can form a decision on my stated position.


  23. Thank you so much for this article. You saved me a lot of money. After reading your article, I decided to submit my short film to the Cannes official competition. There is a 0.2% chance it will be selected but if it does, I will know it will mean something very special.


  24. I know of a few folks who I think submitted their films to the Short Film Corner, but they made it sound like their movies were officially accepted in the competition (they even placed the Cannes Laurel on their posters but no mention underneath if it was in the official competition). I tried to look up their films on the official Cannes page but can’t find a trace of their movies. Any suggestions?


    1. If they were official selections, they would be famous. It would be easy to google the film’s name, director, and see them mentioned as Cannes Court Métrage Official Selections in numerous articles, especially official Cannes ones. Wikipedia usually carries are article about each edition of Cannes, with results for the short film official selections too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Cannes_Film_Festival#Short_films
      This is the problem with the SFC. This is why I wrote the article.


  25. Hey – just to clarify – the accreditation you get from the short film corner means you can only attend the festival during those 6 days – not the whole 11 days of the festival – is that right?


      1. Hi Vinney, thanks for posting. I love it when readers can add value like you have. I had to go back to my last accreditation email (several years ago) and there was no mention of limited time frames. So I broadened the search to previous years and one clearly mentioned a 10 day timeframe. It has been “a few years” since I last submitted to the Short Film Corner, so they may have applied limits in recent times. I do not know. I will review the article to see if I need to be more cautious of wording in light of this revelation. Any hard facts you can post here would be appreciated!


      2. So this is what my accreditation email says for this year: “We are pleased to confirm your Short Film Corner accreditation for the upcoming edition of the Festival de Cannes. This accreditation is valid from 14 to 19 May 2018.” Since the whole festival is May 8 – 19, seems like we’re locked out of access until the 14th – based on my read. I’ve emailed Cannes for confirmation.


  26. My film made the top films at Filmapalooza, the 48 Hour Film Project global competition, and is one of the 12 films (out of 5,000 submitted) accepted to screen at Cannes, but as part of the short film corner. So I am paying no fees and have a set screening time at Cannes, all done for me. Does this mean something more than the regular meaningless Short Film Corner and justify me using some type of laurels? Or is it simply a third party buying short film corner space without anything to do with Cannes?


    1. Hi Kyle, congrats on the success of your film. The answer will come down to the material being sent to you from Cannes: What is the name of the program that accepted you? If its Short Film Corner, then it’s not worth the promotion, and see the article for my deeper thoughts. But if its one of the in-competition programs, then you may have a hit on your hands. Re: Laurels, a festival will always provide you the laurel to use. You should not make one, as you may misinterpret it (as many have done with the Short Film Corner). Let me know the name of the program and I will try to help.


  27. Dude you sound like a complete ass. Can’t you just be happy for some people? It sounds like you must of had a film rejected and you are very resentful. Get a life!


  28. Really nice article, congrats! Just one little thing: Semaine de la critique, as Quinzaine, is not either part of the Cannes Film Festival. They are 3 different organizations, with different boards, different venues (all of them in Cannes) and different selection committees and artistic director. BUT the truth is that the accreditation for the Cannes Film Festival also allows to enter to the other sections, and at the end, somehow, they are part of “Cannes”. Short film corner, as you explained carefully, is not even a festival, and there´s even no artistic criteria on the selection.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I have a friend who entered the national Campus Movie Fest competition. He won a Jury Award and was then chosen to go to Cannes… according to the Campus Movie Fest website, “If your film was selected as a Jury Award Winner during the 2018 calendar year, you can apply to join 50 other CMF participants and their films in the Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner, where you’ll be able to share your film with the global film community, and see it screened in the Marché du Film.”

    So now that you’ve clarified what the Short Film Corner is, what is the Marche du Film? I’m so confused!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi AJS, thanks for the detailed question.

      I am not familiar with the CMF, but I have seen where groups will pay to present their films at the Short Film Corner under a common theme. Think of it as a bulk submission: films sponsored by the New Zealand Film Commission, films from American universities, etc. I presume the CMF are presenting their award winning films as a group for consideration of buyers at the Short Film Corner market. It is a way of winning interest from potential buyers, because the bulk submissions are curated in some way. Now, if only there were buyers …

      The Marché du Film is also a film market, but it’s for the big players – features films, etc. The two do not cross.


  30. Hello! Thank you for your article, I really enjoyed it and love your honesty. Having applied to many film festivals with our short film, I have soon come to realise there are more than a few that are serious money spinners – costing indie filmmakers (like us!) a lot! We did get into SFC corner but had already been given the heads up from people with your same opinion, so although not negative, we refrained from cracking open the champers!

    I did wonder though if you know much about The American Pavilion Showcase which also takes place at the same time / vicinity as Cannes.

    Thanks again!


  31. Wow, you are very bitter. If you are a new filmmaker and can afford to go it is the best thing you can do. I met dististributors, producers, actors and investors because of it. You are destroying beginning filmmakers’ hope and dreams. You better leave this career as it has made you a very angry and jealous person.


    1. You qualify your comments with “[if you] can afford to go” … So, bizarrely, you agree with the article then?

      If you didn’t read the article, the premise is: People who can’t afford to go think they’ve been selected to screen at Cannes (they have not) and waste money they don’t have to get there for a screening/selection that isn’t going to take place.


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