Bike Shorts Film Festival

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This is not a film festival about trail rides or scenic bike tours in exotic locales.  This is a film festival about stories that just happen to include bicycles - thrilling heists with narrow escapes by bike, small sci-fi tales of riding bikes in a gas-less apocalypse, and family stories of siblings coming together over a bike ride.  Just as bicycles are practical tools to help us get from place to place each day, the Bike Shorts Film Festival focus on stories where bicycles are used in the service of storytelling.

Submission deadline is September 16th, 2019.

Thank you for submitting an entry for the 2019 Bike Shorts film festival, premiereng September 27th at Roanoke's Grandin Theare. Before submitting your film, please be sure to read all the rules and technical information included on this form. E-mail questions to or use the Contact Us form on this site.

The Bike Shorts Film Festival offers awards in several categories: our Juried, Best Local Film, Best Teen Film, and Best Original Music prizes are all selected by a panel of judges drawn each year from the local arts, cultural, and civic community. We offer five Audience Choice awards, one for each of our four regional screenings in Roanoke, Blacksburg, Clifton Forge, and Lynchburg. Finally, we offer a YouTube award for the film that has the highest view count – per YouTube’s verified views measure – by the end of October 2019.

To be eligible for screening and award consideration, all submissions must meet the eligibility guidelines below.

Submitting Your Film

Submitting your film electronically is preferred. We accept films via Dropbox or any cloud service, and can provide FTP access to upload a film to You may make arrangements for digital delivery of your film by contacting us at

You may also submit your film by mail on CD, DVD or flash drive. Mailed submissions will not be returned and must include a completed entry form. Address all submissions to: Bike Shorts Film Festival, c/o RIDE Solutions, P.O. Box 2569, Roanoke, VA 24010


To be eligible to have your film considered for screening or awards at the Bike Shorts Film Festival it must:

  • Feature a bicycle or bicycling as a substantive feature of its plot, lyrics (in the case of original music video) or photography.
  • Be received (not postmarked) by midnight, September 27th, 2019.
  • Films of any length will be considered, though submissions with a running time of 15 minutes or less have the best chance of being accepted.
  • Films of any style will be considered, though we prefer narrative films or films with a complete, identifiable story arc.

For examples of past submissions, please visit our YouTube channel.

Directors may submit more than one film, though each film must be submitted as a separate, unique file and include its own registration form

Late Submissions

Filmmakers who contact the organizers within 24 hours of the deadline may request a deadline extension of up to, but no more than, 48 hours. Entries received after the 48 hour extension will not be considered for screening, and requests for extensions after the deadline has passed will not be considered.

Award Eligibility

Certain of our prizes have special eligibility as follows:

  • Best Local Film: To be eligible for the Best Local Film category, the filmmaker must reside in the RIDE Solutions service area which includes the counties of Giles, Floyd, Montgomery, Pulaski, Roanoke, Alleghany, Botetourt, Franklin, Bedford, Appomattox, Campbell, Craig, and Amherst, and all cities and towns within those county boundaries.
  • Best Original Music: This prize will be awarded to the film that makes the best use of an original musical composition. This may take the form of an original score for a traditional narrative or documentary film, or an original piece of music as used in a music video.  Music from public-domain or similar sources are not eligible for Best Original Music awards.
  • Best Teen Film: To be eligible for the Best Teen Film category, the filmmaker(s) must all be between the ages of 13 and 18, as certified by the completion of this form.  Filmmakers submitting in this category will also be required to receive parental permission to participate in the Festival.

Indicate in the registration form below if your film will qualify for either of these two special awards in addition to the Juried Prize and Audience Choice awards.

File Specifications

Be advised that films submitted at or near deadline which encounter technical problems may not be selected to be screened. Participants are encouraged to submit films early enough to work out technical issues that may arise with RIDE Solutions staff.

  • The following file format containers are acceptable: .AVI .MOV, .WMV (Windows Media); .MP4
  • An aspect ratio of 16:9 is preferred, but 4:3 is acceptable. Please do not letterbox or pillar box your submission.
  • Please e-mail technical questions to

E-mail questions before you submit and RIDE Solutions will do its best to help submissions meet these criteria.


We regret that we can’t promise all submitted films will be screened. Based on the total number of films submitted and total runtime some entries may not make the final festival. Films that are not screened will still be hosted on the Bike Shorts YouTube channel and will be eligible for the YouTube award.

Film Details

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We offer cash prizes in 6 categories:

  • Juried Prize, $300:  Best overall film, selected by a panel of judges drawn from the regional arts and film community.
  • Best Local Film, $300:  Best film submitted by a team from within the RIDE Solutions service area, selected by a panel of judges drawn from the regional arts and film community.
  • Best Original Music, $300:  Must feature an original song or piece of music, featured either as a stand-alone music video or as an original score.  This category will also be selected by our panel of judges.
  • Best Teen Film, $100:  The best film by a filmmaker or film-making team between the ages of 13 and 18, as chosen by our panel of judges.
  • People's Choice, $100:  The audience favorite, selected at the end of each Bike Shorts Film Festival screening. (4 total)
  • YouTube Prize. $100:  All submissions will be posted to our Bike Shorts Roanoke YouTube channel.  At the end of May, the film with the most views will be awarded this prize.Note:  We use YouTube's video counts to score this award.  YouTube's algorithm for what counts as a "view" is not made public, but an explanation for what does and does not tend to count can be found here.  In brief, YouTube does its best to count legitimate views by unique users, so tactics like constantly refreshing a video, multiple views a day by the same person, views after clearing your cache, and related actions are unlikely to increase your views significantly.

Follow us here on or keep up with our Facebook page for more info on prizes and prize categories.

Submission Deadline is September 16th, 2019

Visit our YouTube channel for all past selections and winners.  Maybe you'll be inspired!