Aspen Shortsfest going virtual again in 2021

Oscar-qualifying film festival to run April 6 to 11

Staff report

Aspen Shortsfest will be presented online for the second year in a row, Aspen Film announced Monday.

This year’s festival is scheduled for April 6 to 11. Like last year, when Shortsfest was the first major Aspen event to go virtual after the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Aspen Film is able to preserve the Oscar-qualifying festival while protecting the health and safety of audiences and filmmakers.

“Our incredible team quickly shifted gears and completely reworked the festival onto a virtual platform in a matter of days,” Aspen Film executive director Susan Wrubel said of the 2020 festival in the announcement. “By making it available online, we attracted audiences and film fans from all over the country with our first foray into the virtual world. Thankfully, this year we have more time to take the online festival to the next level.”

The nonprofit film society has regularly hosted online programs since then, including film screenings, filmmaker interviews and a virtual portion of the 2020 Aspen Filmfest.

Nearly 3,000 films were submitted for this year’s festival. Led by Shortfest program director Jason Anderson, the pre-screening and the programming teams have been reviewing submissions with plans to announce the full lineup of selections for this year’s program in early March.

The online festival experience will have limited screening windows for each Shortsfest program. Viewers will be able to choose from a variety of ticket and pass options, based on how many programs they wish to watch. Access will be limited to viewers in the U.S., and short films will only be screened within curated programs, rather than individually.

Ticket and pass pricing, along with an on-sale date, will be announced in the coming weeks. More online at

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