According to the Portuguese Academy of Cinema, this edition of Sophia the Student saw 83 short films from 20 schools across the country submitted, including those from the University of Beira Interior, the Lusophone University, Ar.Co - Centre for Art and Visual Communication and the Escola Superior Artística do Porto.

The 25 nominated productions are divided into the categories of Animation, Documentary, Fiction, Experimental and Poster. For the prize for best animated short, "During December", by Gonçalo de Oliveira, "From home", by João Pedro Silva, "Nós os lentos", by Jeanne Waltz, and "Santuário", by Diogo Samuel, Hugo Santos, Pedro Bilé and Tyffany Reis.

The winners of Sophia the Student 2021 award will be announced on 19 February, in an online session. On that day, the Portuguese Cinema Academy promotes two master classes on art direction, with the participation of Artur Pinheiro, who worked in films such as "Alice", by Marco Martins, and "As mil e uma noite", by Miguel Gomes , and Temple Clark, linked to films such as "Gravity", by Alfons Cuarón, and "Cold Mountain", by Anthony Minguella.