The festival was initiated in December 1988 as the first international festival of short films in this entire subcontinent. Both eminent and young filmmakers attended the previous seven editions from Europe, Asia, and America. Among them were eminent Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi and Indian film directors Mrinal Sen, Buddheadev Dasgupta, Gautam Ghose and Aparna Sen. In the last festival, a total of 215 films from 30 countries participated. The festival is now an internationally recognized showcase for latest short and independent films made around the globe.
The festival has now become a major biennial cultural event of the country, and has been growing in size, stature, and media coverage. The upward trend is expected to continue during the forthcoming 13th festival in terms of audience turnout, coverage in both electronic and print media, and the number of entries and participating countries.