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Shakespeare Shorts 2020

Our global short film competition

Shakespeare Shorts is back for 2020! 

Shakespeare Shorts is a short film competition brought to you by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Submissions are welcomed from film-makers of all ages and abilities, anywhere in the world.  Submissions for our 2020 competition are open now via Film Freeway

There have been many direct adaptations when it comes to Shakespeare on film, such as Baz Lurman’s Romeo+Juliet (1996) which uses Shakespeare’s original language in a strikingly modern setting, but there have also been some more unexpected adaptations, such as The Lion King (1994), which is based on Hamlet and popular American teen classic She’s The Man (2006), based on Twelfth Night.  

We're looking forward to seeing your adaptations and interpretations of Shakespeare in this year's competition. You can also find out more about our entry guidelines and get some inspiration from our previous winners.


  • Best interpretation of a passage from Shakespeare (up to 10 mins)
  • Best film inspired by Shakespeare (up to 10 mins)
  • Best Shakespeare themed Animation (up to 5 mins)

Kenneth Branagh


The winners of each category receive feedback from our patron Kenneth Branagh. A selection of winners and highly commended entries also have the honour of being screened here in Stratford-upon-Avon (date TBC).


Submissions to the above categories will ONLY be accepted via Film Freeway by 23:59 BST on 1 September 2020.

The competition is free to enter and we encourage new and experienced filmmakers from around the world to take part. For simple tips to get young filmmakers started, take a look at these resources by Into Film.

By submitting a video you agree to abide by our full entry guidelines.

Bonus: Shakespeare in Lockdown

For 2020 we've added a bonus social media category that's just for fun.

  • Maximum duration 2 minutes
  • Made using a hand-held mobile/tablet device 
  • Made whilst following government advice
  • This category is just for fun, so films submitted via this method won't be eligible for the prizes above
Send us your entries on social media using #ShakespeareShorts2020

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