The San Jose International Short Film Festival returns for its eighth year of short film celebration with world-wide submissions covering all genres.

“There are other festivals but having a festival dedicated to the short film genre is unique and shows the talent of young filmmakers,” said Bill Hargreaves, co-founder of SJISFF. Unlike the 1950s and ’60s, Hargreaves said, when short films were often paired and preceded a feature film, there aren’t many outlets still showing short films. “These films are amazing with what they can do in 10-20 minutes, sometimes even more than full-length films.”

Films are packaged and shown in 90 minute blocks in specific categories, and SJSFF features more than 130 short films from various genres that include: comedy, drama, family-friendly, sci-fi and horror. Alongside screenings, festival participants can attend a number of events such as, Q&As with filmmakers, the opening night red carpet and after party, festival gala and the first-ever presentation of the visionary award to James Gunn, writer and director of Guardians of the Galaxy and many other films.

The visionary award is a new component of the festival, which will honor Gunn for his work’s integrity, whether they be independent or blockbuster films. As part of the award, Gunn will also review and select the winner of the inaugural James Gunn Independent Filmmaker Award, where the winner will receive at least $2,500 toward the making of their next project.

Hargreaves said there are a lot of quality films this year to keep an eye on. “Thanks for Dancing” is creating buzz and the comedy “Rated” is a funny take on how society and social media work to define people.

“There’s gems throughout the whole festival screening,” Hargreaves said. “I look forward to audience reaction to our selection of shorts. We spent a lot of time looking at submissions and seeing the final ones, meeting filmmakers and bringing the audience filmmakers together as well is great to see.”

SJSFF runs Oct. 20-23 at Santana Row. The festival’s location should make it easy to socialize with friends and grab dinner before heading to see the show.