Focusing on short films, the festival promotes a film category which is mostly disregarded by cinemas and television. Since its beginning in 1989, Filmfest Dresden has developed into one of the major short film festivals in Germany. The festival´s programme reflects the manyfold aspects of this genre and includes short animated and fiction films as well as documentary and experimental films.
The main sections of the festival are the International and the National Competitions. In addition, the Online Competition was introduced in 2001. These are being accompanied by various other thematic events. Visitors, the press and film producers also use the festival as a meeting place and to exchange opinions and discuss new ideas.