Film Festivals - UK

Image of Cinema audience

Each of the UK festivals listed here have a history of showing artists' moving image work. The listing is broken into separate sections:

For further listings of festivals and assistance with approaching them we recommend the following sites:

British Council - Films
British Council Films contains many features detailing British film production (shorts and features). Their Directory of International Film and Video Festivals is a searchable database of 600 festivals around the world. You can search by genre, deadline, month country to find full details.

The LUX website contains extensive information for individuals and organisations. It includes a comprehensive listing of festivals open to artists' film and video in the Resourcesection of their website as well as in their Distribution Guide.

Withoutabox operates an online festival submission service. This service streamlines the entire festival submission process. Once signed up to their website (a fee is required) film-makers submit their details on the site and then can send these out directly to the numerous festivals collaborating with Withoutabox.


Film Festivals

This page features a selection of UK festivals dedicated to international cinema which show a range of feature films, shorts and documentaries. All these festivals also have a history of showing artists’ moving image work.

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

Cooke Suite, The Maltings Theatre and Cinema, Eastern Lane, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 1AJ

Tel: +44 (0) 1289 303355


Taking place in historic venues across Englands most northerly town, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival includes  exhibitions, film screenings and live events, as wll as a young filmmakers award, school screenings and family activities. The Festival hosts the Berwick New Cinema competition, an annual prize for artists' moving image and new filmmaking. 

Fee: None

Chichester Film Festival
Chichester Cinema at New Park, New Park Road, Chichester PO19 7XY

Tel: 01243 786 650


Categories for international shorts (under 15 minutes), comedy, drama, experimental, documentary and young film-makers.  Entries should be on 16mm, 35mm, Beta SP, DVD.

Fee: None 

Edinburgh International Film Festival

Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9BZ

Tel: 0131 228 4051


Categories for features, shorts, documentary, animation, music promos, experimental and young person's films, submissions to be 70mm, 16mm, 35mm (occasional Beta, Digital Betacam, Super-16mm). Films submitted from outside the UK must have been produced during the two years before festival and British films during the year before festival. Awards include: McLaren award for new British animation and Michael Powell award for best new British feature.

Fee: None 

Leeds International Film Festival

Film Festivals Office, PO Box 596, Leeds LS2 8YQ

Tel: 0113 247 8398


The festival screens a wide range of features, documentary, animation, shorts and experimental work in various venues across the city. 

Fee: None

London Film Festival
National Film Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 8XT

Contact: Sarah Lutton (Programme Co-ordinator)

Tel: 020 7815 1322

The Times bfi London Film Festival screens on average 280 films from 60 countries, presenting new film from the full spectrum of world cinema. The festivals program is broken into various sections. The Experimenta is dedicated to experiments with the moving image, including feature films, documentaries, short films, lectures and performances by film-makers and artists.

Fee: None 

Open City Documentary Festival

UCL, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW

Tel: 02031086691 


Founded at UCL in 2010, Open City Docs is dedicated to developing and supporting non-fiction storytellers. The organisation nurtures the next generation of filmmakers, audio producers and VR filmmakers through training programmes, runs an annual film festival and other screening projects throughout the year. Since the festival's first edition, artists' moving image has been included in the programme, with dedicated curated programmes in recent editions, and is welcomed for both feature length and shorts categories.

Open City Documentary Festival creates an open space in London to nurture and champion the art of creative documentary and non-fiction filmmakers. The festival offers filmmakers from around the globe the opportunity to have their work seen by award-winning judges, fellow filmmakers and a broad public audience.

Fee: Contact the festival for details

Raindance Film Festival
Raindance Film Festival Ltd, 81 Berwick Street, London W1V 3PF

Tel: 020 7287 3833


The Raindance festival is open to all independent films including features, documentary and shorts. They have a range of awards across all sections of the festival. They also run the Raindance East Film Festival that takes place in April in East London.

Fee: Contact festival for details

Short Film Festivals

The following list contains  festivals dedicated to short film and video work. Short films are usually taken to be a work under 35mins in length, but check with each festival as they often have different definitions of what constitutes a short film.

Encounters - Bristol International Short Film Festival

Watershed Media Centre, 1 Canon's Road, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5TX

Tel: 0117 929 9188


Categories for live action, animation, drama, documentary, experimental, artists' film and video and mixed media, films should be under 30 minutes and must have been produced during the two years before festival. Entries must be on 35mm, 16mm, Beta SP (PAL), Digital Betacam or DVD.

Fee: None 

London Short Film Festival


Programmes incorporate an eclectic range of short works (encompassing animation, music videos, experimental films etc) as well as live performances from film-makers, VJs and various bands. Work can be submitted on all formats but must be under 20 minutes in length. The festival has various awards including ICA award for the best film, Time Out film critics’, Hey Ladies award and LUX award for best experimental film.

Fee: None 

Hull International Short Film Festival

Hull Film, Suite 12, Danish Buildings, 44–46 High Street, Hull HU1 1PS

Tel: 01482 381 512

Hull Film is dedicated to the exhibition and creation of short film as a crucial art form in its own right. Since 2001, Hull Film has organised the Hull International Short Film Festival, which acts as a showcase of short film with Hull Screen being the main venue.

Fee: None 


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