Aspen Shortsfest is an Oscar®-qualifying film festival recognized as one of the premier short film festivals in North America. Each April enthusiastic audiences, filmmakers and special guests from around the globe gather to participate in public screenings, panels, workshops, and other festivities that spotlight the art and craft of short moviemaking. Aspen Shortsfest continued its tradition of Oscar® success with The Martha Mitchell Effect, directed by Anne Alvergue + Debra McClutchy, which screened at Shortsfest 2022 and was nominated for Best Documentary Short at the 2023 Academy Awards. Prior to that, Joanna Quinn and Les Mills’ Affairs of the Art – the jury prize winner for comedy at Shortsfest in 2021 – was nominated for Best Animated Short at the 2022 Academy Awards. Other recent Shortsfest selections that have garnered Oscar® nominations include Daughter by Daria Kashcheeva, Sister by Siqi Song, Brotherhood by Meryam Joobeur (also a jury member at Shortsfest in 2020), and Nefta Football Club by Yves Piat.
The festival is an industry-recognized destination for discovering breakthrough talent. Reinaldo Marcus Green (King Richard), Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Short Term 12), Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Babylon), Jason Reitman (Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Up in the Air), Sarah Polley (Women Talking) and the late Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) are among the notable alumni whose short films first screened at Shortsfest before they became household names.