The Bristol Radical Film Festival began in 2012 to showcase contemporary and historical works of overtly political filmmaking. Our volunteer-run, zero-budget festival promotes and screens both classic and newly-released films that seek to disrupt, deconstruct, and divert from the mainstream.

At our events, films are a pretext for action and debate as much as they are important aesthetic and cultural objects in themselves. We always have a discussion or Q&A after our screenings, as we know that the films we screen are part of larger cultural movements that audiences engage with, rather than simply objects of consumption.

Our interpretation of the word ‘radical’ is an open one: while we believe that radical social, economic & political change is needed for a more equal, just & sustainable society, that fundamental belief can be articulated in a variety of ways. Film is a rich medium and we are very keen to exhibit works that interrogate political and aesthetic radicalism using new and challenging techniques.

We want to maintain the opportunity for full participation with minimal financial barriers. Submission has been free for a number of years but out of necessity, we have had to charge a low entry fee which reduces the number of sumbissions and provdes us with some very needed funds. Since we do not have the finances to hire staff to work through thousands of submissions, we ask that entrants read and take seriously our submission guidelines.

Please note: we will not consider films that do not fit our remit. *READ THE BELOW DESCRIPTION FOR ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES.* If your film is not relevant to our remit, it will not be acknowledged.

We look forward to another year of progression, disruption and celebration!

Every year we select the best submissions from around the world to our open call for shorts, to create the Radical Shorts Programme. We promote these after the festival on our social media channels, to continue the dialogue with filmmakers and audiences.

We define 'radical' film loosely as anything which progresses the form (i.e. aesthetics, mode, experience) of screen media from traditional feature film to YouTube serials, or films with a radical political objective, such as campaigns for/stories about social change and justice, investigative journalism or political satire (which should always 'punch up'.)

Entrants are free to interpret this definition, but *DO NOT* submit work which cannot justifiably be called radical under this definition. The team will not respond.

The call is for short films ONLY. We will no consider any film longer than 15 minutes. You are welcome to email us directly to discuss a film that does not meet the submission criteria.

Overall Rating
  • We haven't been able to atend the festival, but the contact was very friendly, fast and helpful and we are happy our film was running at this festival.

    November 2018
  • Great festival. Very engaged audience, interesting films for the shorts programme, good projection and sound. I appreciated being invited to give Q&A and really liked the venue.

    October 2018