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Film and Video Institute

The world of non-commercial film and A-V

 

   Competitions and Festivals

The first list of competitions are those which welcome entries by amateurs and are run by genuine enthusiasts. They all accept entries in English. See the list of special topics/age limits and  Notes below.
If you want  to investigate more festivals - see Amateur & Non-Commercial Festivals below.


Alphabetical


Closing dates


Play dates


Max length


Free Entry *

AMPS
ARSfilm
Australian - Widescreen
BIAFF
Bitola - Macedonia
Box Film Festival
Croatian Minute Movie
Danube - Rousse
DepicT !
Docutah
EAFA Mash-Up
Encounters
Eurofilm
FerFilm
Festival of Nations
FICA - creativity
FIFA - wildlife
Four River Youth
Frome 5 Minutes
Golden Knight
Grand OFF
Intl Ornithological
Namur Nature
Newcastle (Australia)
One Take
Pilgrim Trust
Planet in Focus
Psst Silent Film Festival
Rob Knox FF
Senftenberg
Tallinn
The One Minutes
To Love a Man
UNICA
West-East Neighbours...
Wildscreen
Youki
Zoom
January
BIAFF

February
Box Film Festival
Festival of Nations
Frome 5 Minutes
Pilgrim Trust
Rob Knox FF
Senftenberg

March
FICA - creativity
Planet in Focus
Wildscreen

April
Planet in Focus

May
Encounters
Planet in Focus

June
Four River Youth
One Take

July
Intl Ornithological

August
Namur Nature
Youki

September
Golden Knight
Newcastle (Australia) Tallinn

October

November

December
FIFA - wildlife

January

February
Zoom

March
FIFA - wildlife
Frome 5 Minutes
Pilgrim Trust
Senftenberg

April
BIAFF

May
Box Film Festival
Festival of Nations

June
FICA - creativity
Rob Knox FF

July

August

September
Docutah
Encounters
Four River Youth
UNICA

October
Intl Ornithological
Namur Nature
Newcastle (Australia)
One Take
Tallinn
Wildscreen

November
Youki

December

1 minute
Croatian Minute Movie
The One Minutes

1 minutes
DepicT !

5 minutes
EAFA Mash-Up
Frome 5 Minutes
Namur Nature
Rob Knox FF

12 minutes
FICA - creativity

15 minutes
Box Film Festival
Newcastle (Australia)

20 minutes
Eurofilm
FIFA - wildlife
Four River Youth
Pilgrim Trust
Senftenberg
Youki

25 minutes
Tallinn

30 minutes
Encounters
FerFilm
Festival of Nations
Four River Youth
Golden Knight
Rob Knox FF

45 minutes
Grand OFF

60 minutes

AMPS
Zoom

any length
BIAFF
Danube - Rousse
One Take
Psst Silent Film Festival (we think)
Rob Knox FF


Croatian Minute Movie
Danube - Rousse
DepicT !
EAFA Mash-Up
FerFilm
Festival of Nations
FICA - creativity
Four River Youth
Golden Knight
Grand OFF
Intl Ornithological
Namur Nature
The One Minutes
One Take
Psst Silent Film Festival
Senftenberg
Tallinn
Youki
Zoom

* It is not always easy to discover from their websites or published material which festivals have an entry fee. Please send corrections and additions to asstweb@theiac.org.uk - and note that if you want your film returned you may have to pay for that.

Special topics / types / ages ...

In addition to the specialist ones listed below, several festivals have special categories for young film makers.


Danube - Rousse - water, specifically river related but open genre.
Docutah - documentaries
EAFA Mash-Up - make a mash-up using archive film
FIFA - wildlife - wildlife subjects
Four River Youth - for film makers between 14 and 20
International Ornithological - wildlife (not just ornithology)
Namur Nature - wildlife
One Take - film must be one continuous take
Pilgrim Trust - Scotland
Planet In Focus - the environment
Psst Silent Film Festival - modern silent films & screenings of classic silents
To Love a Man - humanitarian
West-East Neighbours ... - chronicles of social change
Wildscreen- wildlife subjects
Youki - young film makers - 10 to 26 years

Amateur and Non-Commercial Festivals

There are several services which aim to make it easier for film makers to enter festivals. In turn that is good for festivals. Most of them allow you to fill in details of your film once and not have to repeat it all for every festival. They usually allow you to send the film either on DVD, memory stick or other solid media ... or to upload it to their site, where it can be seen only by the festivals in which it is entered,

The famous name is Without-a-Box www.withoutabox.com but it has not been liked by smaller non-commercial events because of the fees it charges to film makers and, especially, to festivals. There is now a Canadian challenger: Filmfreeway www.filmfreeway.com/. It costs the film maker nothing. If the festival has no entry fee it costs the festival nothing, otherwise it takes 8.5% of the entry fee.

There are various other similar systems operating on modest scales and usually with modest fee:
www.festhome.com/
www.reelport.com/
www.shortfilmcentral.com/
www.shortfilmdepot.com/
www.uptofest.com/en/quienes_somos
www.clickforfestivals.com/
www.filmfestivallife.com/
www.festivalfocus.org/

There may be more that I have not discovered. Of course for most of them their target is the indie film makers, people on the edge of the commercial world and hoping to make their careers there. But since most film makers say their real aim is to get their work seen ... these offer ways that are less hassle than researching festival, burning discs, packaging them up and sending off international money transfers.

Notes

Always check the rules carefully. Many competitions are free to enter, others require a fee. Look out for restrictions on length, year of production and subject matter. Some offer special deals to entrants who attend, such as free accommodation. When a European festival refers to "feature films" that has nothing to do with length - it means "fiction films". Many festivals have an English section on their website - look out for a Union Jack/Stars & Stripes/Maple Leaf flag icon to click.

Note: this list does not include all the local and regional festivals in the UK - see the Events Diary for details of those.

Most of these festivals run every year at about the same dates and with similar rules etc. It can take some months after the last festival before websites are updated and news of the following year's event is circulated.

From time to time on other pages of this website we also list competitions run by commercial organisations where they seem to welcome amateurs. These often offer major prizes. Others offer exposure on television. Many amateurs suspect such events are designed to exploit their work for free. Very few of them are. They are mostly advertising some associated activity of the companies behind them. Entering this sort of event may require more in the way of form-filling and record-keeping than most of us are used to.