Top 10 Virtual Film Festivals in July

This summer, as the pandemic’s end grows closer and closer in reach, it’s hard not to look back on the past year and a half and wonder what could’ve happened. Conversely, we can look back and see how people have overcome and adapted to obstacles, giving us new opportunities to grow, learn, and experience. For example, many film festivals have incorporated a way to experience everything you would experience in person, but online! Panels, discussions, theatres, gift shops; the list goes on. And now as vaccines roll out, the film festivals around the world are also beginning to open up again…while still incorporating its online features! This allows for people from all over the world to experience a film festival from the comfort of their homes! We are so excited to help guide you back into the realm of indie films and short films both internationally and locally. Here are the top 10 film festivals screening throughout July 2021. 

1. SCREAM It Off Screen

Led by their mascot, Screamy, SCREAM It Off Screen holds their short film competition with a unique feature which allows the audience to vote in real-time through YouTube—the other option would be to watch in person at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis. After every short film is dropped into a lottery, 15 of them are chosen at random to play on YouTube or in person. The way the real time voting works depends on the length of each short film: if it’s over 4 minutes, a red light will appear at the 3 minute mark, if a film is less than 4 minutes, the red light appears at its halfway mark. These red lights will allow the audience to either vote to “LET it PLAY” or “GONG it.” Whatever is the majority determines whether the film will PLAY or not. Screamy explains it as the “wild Wild West of short film competitions.” SIOS creates an open, free environment to allow its audience members to communicate and participate in every moment! “Yee-ha cowboys and girls!” 

Dates: July 9th 2021 

Link to watch: (free) 

2. Frame Rush 2021

3 Days straight of award worthy, ground-breaking short films! Not only does this capture the beauty of art through film, but also through the art of dance and movements of the body. The beauty of Frame Rush is that it continuously searches for revolutionary perspectives on what dance is. Their goal is “making movement the medium, not the subject,” quoted from their website. 

“Frame Rush is a fantastic forum for sampling some of the latest dance films from around the world. There is so much imaginative potential in the space between dance and the moving image. I’m really excited to see what this dynamic group of students have cooked up as curators and producers. Be prepared to be surprised, challenged and moved – and above all, to come away with some new perspectives on what screendance can be!” – Award-winning independent filmmaker Miranda Pennell

Dates July 2-4th, 2021

Link for tickets: 


3. Omeleto

Imagine a place where the wildest, most creative ideas were embodied in beautifully shot short films. This is it. The quality of these films can be expected to be none other than masterful, as the submissions are first required to be from Oscar-qualifying, BAFTA-qualifying or other top tier festivals. So when watching these short films, sit back, grab your popcorn, turn off the lights, turn on surround sound, and imagine you’re in a normal movie theater… because these films might as well be. Not only does Omeleto excel in selecting the most creative, professional films, they also exceed expectations in terms of accessibility. Every film is accessible through YouTube (as well as past submissions) cost-free and in great quality.


Dates July 3-10th, 2021 


4. TaSHORTfest 2021

Good comedies are hard to come by these days, however, taSHORTfest should bring tears to your eyes from laughing so hard. People say comedy is subjective, meaning everyone has different tastes for it, but, logically speaking, if every short film in this festival is humorous, then you’re bound to strike gold on at least one of the many short films screened here. Why not have a free laugh? We could definitely use it after everything that’s happened in the past 2 years! 


Dates: July 2-3rd, 2021

Link: (free) 


5. Proxy Act Festival

Going into the seventh season of their international events in 2021, PA aims to spread awareness and inspire all generations of the community to accept nature and protect it. PA specialises in bringing people from different countries together by screening select films in venues around the world to increase the sense of unity between everyone. Their ethnic and cultural diversity allows for perspectives ranging from people in China, to people in Brazil, to people in London, or Berlin. In a time of such intense division across the globe, PA is making a great and important step towards the right direction—and every month! 


Dates: July 5-18th, 2021

Link (free, but suggested donation of $4.15 [converted from pounds])


6. 42 CineFestival San Antonio

The annual CineFestival of San Antonio marches onto its forty second year of festivals; not even a global pandemic can stop it from its screenings! The great thing about CineFestival is that not only does it screen short films, but it holds Q and A sessions, panels, workshops, receptions, and even after parties, fully embracing the unifying traits of the big screen. If you’re in the area, this festival is certainly worth securing your tickets for as they have a limited number of seats. Located in San Antonio, Texas, the screenings and other events will be held at a beautiful venue of the Historic Guadalupe Theater. 


Dates: July 7-11th, 2021

Link: ($40)


7. T.O. Webfest 2021

In person festivals may be hard to catch if you don’t live in the area, which is why T.O. Webfest offers its services to everyone in the world. More than offering accessibility to the world, T.O. Webfest’s priorities are to offer equal opportunity, which is why—as of this year—WebSeries Canada introduces an Equity and Inclusion Fund which removes the burden of cost for those who identify as Black, indigenous, or persons of colour, as well as those with disabilities, women, or the LGBTQ+ community. Moreover, this festival includes engaging workshops, panels, special events, and more! TOWF’s goal is to offer a chance for anyone of any background to be able to submit, view, and enjoy the beauty of film.


Dates: July 15-17th, 2021

Link: (Screening pass – $10, All access pass – $25)

8. Kinesthesia Fest

What’s better than one film festival focused on the movements of the body? Two festivals focused on the movements of the body. Kinesthesia, partnered with Middlesex University, aims to focus on the “whole range of sensory experiences, including visceral, proprioceptive and haptic awareness.” In addition to this breathtaking concept, they offer short workshops, installations, and talks from the author of Kinesthetic Empathy: Conditions for Viewing, Karen Wood. “Kinesthesia is an experimental film festival that invites you to experience film and moving image work from an embodied perspective: not just watching film but tuning into the moving image.”


Dates: July 16-18th, 2021

Link: (Festival pass for low income/Middlesex staff and students – £40, Festival Pass for online – £20, Festival pass standard – £60)


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