Road to the Big Screen

2018 OSCAR® Nominated Short Films


For over a decade, we at ShortsTV have had the good fortune to bring The OSCAR® Nominated Short Films to the big screen.

  • Each nominee is released in one of three distinct feature-length compilations: Live Action, Animation or Documentary.
  • Independent theaters have worked with us to host the films in theaters across the USA and around the world year after year and deserve a huge “shout out” for their constant support!
  • The films go into theaters shortly after nominations are announced, and are not released anywhere else except in theaters until a few days before The OSCARS®.
  • However, the additional distribution outlets (video on-demand, iTunes®, Amazon Instant Video®, and potential USA cable TV distribution a few months after the release) are critical components to ensure the greatest number of viewers see all the Nominees and can join in cheering for you now and throughout your career.
  • The Nominees are the absolute leading edge of what is the world’s very best in short film and the true future of moviemaking, especially if you believe that the future of filmmaking is….short! And we do.
  • If you’re a filmmaker and have submitted your short film for OSCAR® consideration this coming year, or are thinking of submitting your film for future years’ consideration, then you’ve come to the right place!
  • The Team here at ShortsTV want you to get the best sense possible, as you head into what can only be described as a MONUMENTAL EXPERIENCE, as to what’s on tap and what to expect.

Contact Info

US Contact

Shorts Entertainment Networks
2716 Ocean Park Blvd. Suite #1091
Santa Monica CA 90405

Tel: 1.310.452.1400

World Contact

Shorts International Ltd
6-8 Luke Street
London EC2A 4XY
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 207 613 5400

Rules & Eligibility

Rules & Eligibility

Read the OSCAR® guidelines for award entries

Know More

Key Components

The 3 key components of the release itself include:

Theatrical Release

Theatrical Release

In 2017, the release went into more than 500 theaters across the US and over 100 theaters across Europe.


2017 Limited Release Rank: 16 (YTD)  All Release Rank: 109 (YTD)

2016 Limited Release Rank: 26 (YTD) All Release Rank: 160 (YTD)

2015 Limited Release Rank: 26 All Release Rank: 177

2014 Limited Release Rank: 38 All Release Rank: 185

2013 Limited Release Rank: 35 All Release Rank: 183

2012 Limited Release Rank: 43 All Release Rank: 189

The Theatrical Release is the SINGLE most important part of bringing your OSCAR® Nominated Short Film to the world, but posting on the Internet before the release can seriously damage moviegoer interest in your film…and indeed, in the other 5 nominees in your category…

Video On Demand

Starting just a few days before the OSCAR® telecast, the nominated films in the Live Action and Animated categories sweep the country as they become available across cable and satellite pay-per-view services in the USA.

Online Download


Your life - over the next six months!



The "Shorts Awards" in Los Angeles

Each year ShortsTV hosts the annual SHORTS AWARDS honoring the Nominated Filmmakers as well as noted industry talent who have made significant contributions to short filmmaking.

Held on the Saturday night before the OSCAR® Ceremony in Los Angeles, it is the world’s biggest event honouring the best in short film.

Notable hosts, entertainment celebrities, leading reporters from key entertainment news sources, Academy® members and Governors, and key industry talent all attend.

Previous visionary award recipients
  • Visionary Actor – Navid Negahban
  • Visionary Actor – Jon Huertas
  • Visionary Actor – Eduardo Roman
  • Visionary Leader in Education – Marilyn Beker
International Awards
  • Presented to acclaimed actor Rutger Hauer by Netherlands Film Fund.
  • Presented to Marieke Oudejans by EYE International.
  • Presented to Lukas Kernell by UPC Netherlands.
Honored Nominees
  • Live Action
  • Animation
  • Documentary

Posting your film on the Internet can reduce the chance of screening your film in theaters.


The internet allows filmmakers a chance to showcase their films and provides great exposure and awareness, but once a film has been shortlisted it is very important for the success of the release that the films be taken down for the duration of the OSCAR® season.

Placing films on the Internet for free during that time (short list announcements through to The OSCARS®) will have a significant impact on the release. Audiences simply aren’t interested in paying to see films in theaters that they can find for free while sitting at their desk or riding home on their commute….thus leading to potential cancellation of the entire release.

This small internet hiatus window allows the films (and audiences) to enjoy these incredible films in theaters prior to the The OSCARS®, in that magical theatrical environment every movie wants to call “home”.

Financial Model

Our goal is to produce the most engaging release for our audiences with the best setting possible for each Oscar© nominated film, cost-effectively: 
We want audiences to be amazed by your film as much as we are, and
We want to be sure that you make money while doing so.

Creating the ONS release

  • Since the ONS come to us as 15 different and unconnected short films, they must be programmed into 3 different theatrical presentations – one for the live action nominees, one for the animated short nominees and a final one (or two, depending on length) for the documentary short films.
    • For each theatrical presentation, our team creates a programming plan, an intro & outro, title cards for film, interstitials, subtitles and any other elements needed.
    • For the animation portion of the release, in which the animated films usually take up less than the necessary 75-85 minutes of runtime, our team selects additional “Highly Commended” films that are felt to be of high enough quality and audience enjoyment to strongly support the release.
    • To keep the costs low, we keep the work of design, interstitial creation and any filming needed in-house or with key contractors who are familiar with the release.
  • We get feature films into theaters across the US and Canada on a shorter timeline than other theatrical distributors ever believed possible.
    • From the time that we know which films will be in the theatrical release (Nomination Announcement, 23 Jan) until the time they’re actually in movie theaters (7 Feb) is 2 weeks.

Production of the ONS Release

  • In September and October, 4 months before the shortlisters are announced by the Academy, our production team starts work on the poster, on the graphics, on the music and on the interstitials for the coming year’s release.
  • Once the shortlisters are announced in late November/early December, we get in touch with each shortlisted film to pre-position as many of them as possible at the post-production house in New York City where the final release will be produced once the nominations are announced.
  • Getting contracts signed for the release is critical – the final master can’t leave the post-production without all contracts in place. Any contracts not signed at that point may cause a film to be dropped from the release.

Distribution of the ONS Release

  • We work closely with a US contractor to book theaters across the USA and Canada
    • “Coming Soon” trailers go into theaters in the US at Christmas, and theater bookings are often well-underway by then
  • The theatrical run lasts until a few weeks after the actual Oscar© Ceremony (this year, on 4 March).
  • Internationally, we work closely with theaters, in-country theatrical distributors and film festivals in more than 10 countries to ensure screenings of the release.
    • Primary interest outside the US/Canada are the Live Action & Animated portions of the release
    • The Oscar© Nominated Shorts (Live Action & Animation) have been theatrically released in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, Chile, China, Great Britain, and individual screenings or festival screenings in many other countries.


  • We have worked closely with movie theaters who screen the films to create a window for online release at the very tail-end of the release, but in return, we have promised to ensure the films are not available in other media (digital, TV, etc) for the first 3-4 weeks of the release.
  • On the Tuesday before the Oscar© Telecast, we release the digital compilation of the Oscar© Nominated Shorts across as many platforms as possible.
    • The release is carried as a pay-per-view/VOD asset by all major cable and satellite carriers in the US and some in Europe (Netherlands, Belgium)
    • The release is carried for sale in the EST stores on iTunes, Amazon, Verizon, Vimeo and others

Financial Return

  • Theatrical audiences love the Oscar© Nominated Shorts
    • Live Action & Animated releases have been in theaters since 2006 and have grown to more than 600 theaters in the US & Canada.
    • Documentary release began in 2011 and has grown to about 190 theaters in the US & Canada.
    • Total Box Office for 2017 for all 3 programs was $2.84 million
      • Box Office portion for Doc Shorts is small but growing, rising to $350,000 in 2017.
  • What do theaters pay?
    • In aggregate, theaters keep 60-65% of box office receipts (35-40% of box office to Shorts International)
    • Some smaller screenings are licensed at a flat fee for universities, community centers, etc.
  • Maximizing the nominated filmmakers’ financial returns
    • We don’t use “fee first” traditional distribution approach
      • In this model, distributor takes first 30-35% of all receipts
      • Then recoups expenses
        • Filmmaker flat fees would still be paid in advance
      • Remainder is split among filmmakers
        • In this model less risk to distributor, much more risk to filmmaker
  • We do use “costs off the top” model
    • Recoup expenses first (No distribution fee before recouping expenses)
      • Filmmaker’s “fees” are guaranteed up-front and recouped as expenses
    • 50/50 split between distributor/filmmakers on remainder
      • Incentive to keep expenses as low as possible
  • Last 2 years have seen record returns to filmmakers for all categories
    • 2016 - $300,000+ in total returned to filmmakers across all nomination categories
  • When do theaters pay?
    • Most payments from theaters are received by late Summer/early Autumn, from which we recoup expenses
    • Filmmakers’ 1st complete statement for the theatrical portion of the release comes out in February of the year following the release
      • Digital sales report much more quickly and begin showing in the July statements (2-3 months after the close of the release)
  • How we provide independent verification of your film statements
    • Since 2015, Pricewaterhouse Coopers has provided a complete “process” audit annually reviewing all our internal procedures to ensure correct reporting for that year’s ONS Theatrical Release
      • These statements are available upon request to all nominated filmmakers for the release containing their film
  • For the 2017 release onwards, the Pricewaterhouse Coopers audit will be expanded to provide a complete process audit as well as an audit of the statements released to filmmakers from the ONS release of the previous year.
  • In addition, Grant Thornton (the accountancy firm) conducts our annual statutory financial audit.

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