Are you a filmmaker aged 16 to 25? Would you like one of your short films to be considered for inclusion in the 16th BFI Future Film Festival, in February 2023?

We’re inviting filmmakers to submit their work to the BFI Future Film Festival, the UK's largest film festival for young people. This year we have a number of cash prizes up for grabs to support your next film and your career.

The format of the 2023 festival is yet to be decided, but we're committed to making it as accessible as possible to all filmmakers based in the UK and internationally. If your film is selected, you will be invited to attend the festival at the BFI Southbank in London, UK, or online. If the festival is held in-venue, you’ll be allocated a limited number of tickets for screenings of your film for contributors, family and friends. If you're selected, we'll keep you updated on the festival's format so you can best plan your festival attendance.

Your short must be 10 minutes or under in length, have been produced in the last two years and be an interesting and original concept, with good production values and an entertaining subject matter. You must have been aged 16-25 when you made the film.

Before you apply, please read the rules and terms below. For more information about the festival, head to the BFI website (bfi.org.uk/future-film-festival).

BFI Future Film Festival is a qualifying festival for the BIFA Best British Shorts category.

Good luck!

The BFI Future Film Festival recognises films in the below categories with a number of cash and in-kind prizes:

• Best Animation
• Best Documentary
• Best Experimental Film
• Best Micro Short (under 3 mins in duration)
• Best International Film
• Best International Special Mention
• Best Writer
• Best Director
• Best Film
• Best New Talent

Before you send us your film, please make sure you have read the following:

- The director(s), producer(s) and screenwriter(s) must have been aged 25 or under when the film was completed. This does not include the actors, who can be of any age.

- Films must not have been completed earlier than 5 August 2020

- Films can be any style or genre, but must be no more than 10 minutes in length.

- All the images and soundtracks used in your film must be your own or you must have permission of the copyright holder to use their music/images in your film.

- Films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English, unless dialogue or commentary is unnecessary for comprehension and appreciation.

- To be eligible for the Best International Short Film Award the filmmaker/submitter must be based outside of the UK or a non-UK passport holder whose normal domicile is outside the UK. (‘Normal domicile outside the UK’ meaning that the person has lived in the UK for less than 2 years and does not intend to stay permanently). International students currently studying in the UK and those within the country temporarily are eligible to apply.

- By submitting your film to the Future Film Festival you give us permission to screen your film at screening(s) during the Festival and at special preview screenings or at spin off screenings such as BFI Film Academy events. You are also giving us permission to acquire the rights to put your film into the BFI National Film and Television Archive, to screen through an online platform during the festival, and for an agreed period after the festival. This may include other BFI Future Film Festival and Film Academy channels or BFI partner platforms for an agreed time period. By submitting you understand that the festival does not pay screening fees for films in the programme whether or not they are in competition. Full details will be confirmed in your festival selection email if shortlisted for the programme.

- Please submit two still images from your film, a headshot, any poster artwork and press materials that can be used for promotional purposes (Hi resolution JPEG – no more than 3MB in size).

- We do not guarantee films will be selected for the Future Film Festival, but we will notify all submitters, whether selected or not, by Dec 16 2022.

- If selected, we will require you to send 5s and 15s clean clips of your films to use for promotional material relating to the festival.

- The festival does not agree to pay license or screening fees for selected films in the programme. If you need more information please get in touch at filmacademy@bfi.org.uk

Overall Rating
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  • Thanks very much to Sarah and the rest of the awesome team at the BFI Future Film Festival for making Pengugee’s UK debut ultra special- won’t soon forget the amazing time I had here and all the fine folks I met :)

    March 2022
  • Rebecca Penner

    BFI Future Film Festival is so wonderful, and an excellent opportunity for emerging filmmakers! I am extremely honored to have had my film included!

    March 2022
  • Lucy Werrett

    It is such a wonderful and inclusive festival. Well organised and the events programmed were so inspiring, varied, unique and so worth going to! Can't wait for the next one :)

    March 2022
  • incredible festival! invaluable for young filmmakers!

    March 2022
  • A really excellent festival, full of interesting filmmakers and brilliant, well-produced short films.

    Networking drinks every night and exclusive events for selected filmmakers were a wonderful way of chatting about the short films and interacting with industry professionals. It was a very inspiring experience to be a part of.

    February 2022