For 40 years, this event has celebrated short films.

The Aspen Shortsfest from Aspen Films is a world-recognized short film festival that has been held in Aspen, Colorado, since 1979. For 40 years, fans, filmmakers, artists, and special guests have come to Aspen to celebrate the smaller contenders in the movie industry: short films.

This year's Aspen Shortsfest will be held at two locations: the historic Wheeler Opera House, from March 31–April 1, and the Crystal Theatre in nearby Carbondale, from April 4–5.

Aspen Film Executive + Artistic Director Susan Wrubel gave this statement in a recent press release:

“Aspen Shortsfest has been considered the crown-jewel of Aspen Film’s trifecta of annual festivals. This festival gives us as an organization the opportunity to present the broadest range of high-caliber cinema being created around the world today, to showcase new voices and new material, and to bring an array of guests in to share their experiences and craft with viewers and students throughout the community.  It is an honor to be able to offer so much quality filmmaking and so many new viewpoints through this Oscar-qualifying festival.”

The event will include public screenings, workshops, panels, and other celebrations of the craft of short films, as well as 10 categories of awards handed out for winning short films. Winners will win cash and could even qualify for consideration for the coveted Academy Award. Prizes include $2,500 for Best Animation, Best Comedy, Best Drama. and Best Documentary; $2,000 for best Student Short; $1,000 for Best Short Short; and The Ellen Award, which will award the “most original film” $2,500 for Animation/Comedy and $1,000 for Drama/Documentary. There will also be a Special Jury recognition award.

Several films from last year’s Shortsfest have been nominated for 2020 Oscars, including Brotherhood (Best Drama), NEFTA Football Club (Best Comedy), Sister (Best Animated), and Life Overtakes Me (Official Selection).

Films in this event will all be 40 minutes or less, must have been completed on or before January 1, 2019, and cannot have been previously exhibited in a public screening in Colorado, broadcasted on American television, or had a theatrical distribution.

The Aspen Shortsfest is one of the premier film events in North America and is likely to bring quite the eclectic crowd to Aspen for this weeklong event. Aspen FIlms will host another big event in the fall, the FilmFest 2020 will be held September 21–26.

We want to hear from you. Are you a fan of short films? Have you attended the Aspen Shortsfest in previous years? Let us know what you think in the comments.