London-based Shorts International, which claims the world’s largest short film catalog, has just launched its third U.S. cable channel with DIRECTV; it joins similar efforts on Dish Network and AT&T U-verse.
As the nation’s largest pay TV provider, DIRECTV arguably represents the biggest potential audience; the ShortsHD channel is available to 37 million viewers who subscribe to the premium network’s HD Extra Pack.
Perhaps even more importantly: Shorts International buys around 3,000 titles each year. So we went to CEO Carter Pilcher and asked: How can filmmakers get their work on the channel?
Do you accept direct submissions?
Absolutely. The best way is to contact us through our website, or you can mail us directly through the post (address below).
What are you looking for in submissions?
The films have be 40 minutes or under. We don’t just show short funny clips. We show stories. It comes down to the story and the cinematography. Shorts films have a different ability from features. They’re often about a thought. You don’t have to develop a story over an hour and a half.
Who’s doing the buying? Do you monitor film festivals?
We have a group – some in Europe, some in the U.S. – who travel the world to film festivals and make offers to filmmakers. We also go out individually and work with different film schools, including the University of Southern California to license their films. We also hold contests.
Is there a demand for short film in the U.S.?
Shorts used to be this artsy thing. But now there really is this explosion in filmmaking. With all this new technology, shorts films have a lot more interest among regular people, because so many people are making them and putting them on the web. Suddenly, we’re not explaining short films to people. Everybody’s seen one.
Send your film to:
ShortsHD and Shorts International
Short Film Submissions
1522-B Cloverfield Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404