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253 Short Film Competition


then, watch the films at the 253 short Film Party 

Team registration is limited and spaces are available first come, first served. Registration spaces sold out in advance last year, so we suggest signing up in theater without delay if you would like to participate. Join our email list and customize your preferences if you would like to hear about the next competition.    

Formerly known as the 72 Hour Film Competition, the 253 Short Film Competition allows aspiring, amateur, and established area filmmakers the opportunity to create short films that will be celebrated with hundreds of people at a viewing party in early May 2019. 

How it works: 

  • Register your team (or sign up as a solo filmmaker competitor) at The Grand's box office before spaces run out (only 31 teams can participate). 
  • All teams meet at The Grand to receive this year's four required criteria and the green light to begin filming in late April 2018.
    • Teams have 72 hours to write, shoot, and edit a short film.
    • Films must be no more than two-hundred and fifty-three seconds long (a nod to our area code).
    • Films must incorporate all four required elements announced on a Thursday in late April. All registered teams will be invited to the Thursday kick-off.
  • Finalized projects are due at The Grand Cinema box office on the following Sunday night.
  • Judges review all films to determine multiple awards.
  • All submitted films are screened at the 253 Short Film Party in May 2019.
  • Prizes are awarded for Jury and Audience favorites.


Team registration fee: $50 

What you get: 

  • Four tickets to the screening party 
  • Recognition at the screening party
  • Visibility for your creation before an audience of several hundred people
  • The opportunity to compete for the following additional recognition and prizes: 
    • Jury Award & $500 cash prize
    • Audience Choice Award & $500 cash prize
    • "Best Use" of one of the (4) required elements & $100 gift card to a local restaurant 
  • The opportunity for your challenge team to enter one film for free submission to the 2019 Tacoma Film Festival
  • Opportunities to win additional prizes when you share snippets of your filming progress on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #253Seconds  
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