Awards & Jurors


General Award

This category accepts shorts from all genres, which are not already eligible to compete for the Student or Dutch award. Between 5 and 10 films, pre-selected by the Leiden Shorts programming team, will be judged by a professional international jury. The winner will receive a cash prize of € 1000.

Flesh, by Camela Kater

Student Award

This category accepts submissions from registered (film) students. With the Student Award, Leiden Shorts’ aims to stimulate the next generation of film directors and to offer them a helping hand to kick start their career. Between 5 and 10 films by young directors are pre-selected by our programming team and will be judged by a professional jury. The winner will receive a cash prize of € 500.

Dutch Award

Films submitted in this category compete for the Dutch Award. To qualify for this category the film must be: (1) produced in/funded by the Netherlands or (2) the director and/or the main producer must be based in the Netherlands. This new competition, started in 2020, aims to support Dutch film and to make it more accessible to the (inter)national public. Between 5 and 10 films of this category are pre-selected by our programming team and will be judged by a professional jury. The winner will receive a cash prize of € 500.

Audience Award

All films screened during the festival compete for the audience award and have the chance to win a cash price of € 500.


The Jury

General Award Jury

Mónica Santos

Mónica Santos is a versatile artist in the field of visual arts: directing, art direction and illustration. Recently, she has combined animation with moving images through the techniques of pixilation and stop-motion. In 2015 and 2016, the film “Amélia & Duarte” co-directed with Alice Guimarães, was the national short film with more prizes in and out of Portugal.
Her most recent film, “Between the shadows”, has won 43 awards across the globe. It was also nominated for the Caesars in France. Both these films won the Sophia awards in Portugal and were selected for the World Cinema Academies “Les Nuits en Or ” tour representing Portuguese cinema. She is now directing two films “The Pink Jacket” and “Palm”.

Maarten Stoltz

Maarten Stoltz is the programme coordinator of the Movies that Matter Foundation and holds an MA in History and a BA in Media & Culture.
Together with the artistic director, Maarten is responsible for the film programme of the Movies that Matter Festival and other film related events throughout the year. He is also the programmer of the Movies that Matter Festival VR film selection.
Besides his work at Movies that Matter, Maarten has worked as a History teacher and is known as a motivational speaker, host and moderator.

Angélique Mbundu

Angélique Mbundu is one of the driving forces behind the iAfrica Film Festival. She is the artistic director and co-founder of the iAfrica Film Festival. Besides her professional excitement for international law, she is very passionate about African cinema. The philosophy of her film festival is Through African Eyes: everything we do is through an African lens. Endless to say, true and authentic stories are best told by Africans.
Finally, she is also one of the founders of the African Young Professional Network, one of the first network organization for African young professionals in the Netherlands.

Student Award Jury

Rina Grishina

Rina Grishina film and theatre actress, director of the International Short Film Festival “Moscow Shorts”. Rina made her film debut at the age of 13 in the BBC mini-series “Crime and Punishment” directed by Julian Jarrold. At the same age she began to work in theatre alongside professional actors from where she started to learn the profession.
Rina’s big break came after she starred in the “Kitchen” and “Hotel Eleon” TV series. Shortly it followed the leading role in “Policemen” (feature film and TV series). In 2018 Rina founded the first monthly short film festival in Moscow, called Moscow Shorts.

Pepita Hesselberth

Pepita Hesselberth is assistant professor of Film and Digital Media at the Centre for the Arts in Society, Leiden University. Her book Compact Cinematics: The Moving Image in the Age of Bit-Sized Media, edited together with Maria Poulaki (Bloomsbury Academic 2017) addresses the short film in its myriad forms.

Abraham Geil

Abraham Geil is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, where he directs the MA program in Film Studies, and a research fellow at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (ASCA). His research and teaching lie at the intersection of critical theory, aesthetics and film studies. His recent writing can be found in journals such as Paragraph, Polygraph, World Picture, and Screen, as well as in edited collections on the work of Sergei Eisenstein and Jacques Rancière.

Dutch Award Jury

Peter Verstraten

Peter Verstraten is chair of Film and Literary Studies in Leiden. He published among others Film Narratology (2009) and Humour and Irony in Dutch Post-war Fiction Film (2016). A sequel to this latter study, Dutch Post-war Fiction Film through a Lens of Psychoanalysis is forthcoming at Amsterdam University Press.

Julian Ross

Julian Ross is a researcher, curator and writer based in Amsterdam. He is Programmer at International Film Festival Rotterdam, member of selection committee at Locarno Film Festival, Assistant Professor at Leiden University and mentor at Netherlands Film Academy.

Emilia Mazik

Emilia Mazik is the Festival Director at Short Waves Festival, Poland. Since 2014 she is a project coordinator at Ad Arte Foundation of Cultural Education in Poznan, Poland. She has worked on multiple interdisciplinary projects including educational activities, film programming and film distribution. In 2019 she became a Festival Director of Short Waves Festival, international short film festival, which the 13th edition will take place in 2021. In 2020 she joined the editorial team of Talking Shorts, an online film magazine dedicated to short films. For more information please visit her website & blog at