So you'd like to submit your film to our festival? Great idea!

For nine years we have been growing the British Documentary Film Festival and are proud of the dynamic, important and creative documentaries we have had the opportunity to screen in London’s prestigious Cineworld Cinema, Leicester Square.

We accept documentaries from all around the world, all lengths and all budgets. We’re looking for passionate stories, well told that need to be seen.

London has a thriving festival scene and we invite distributors, press, sales agents and financiers to each screening, so if you’re looking for ways to promote your film further, we’re here to help.

We have several awards up for grabs, to celebrate the very best of the submissions we receive, curated from our Official Selection. We look forward to supporting your work, so submit today!

The Environmental Award
- This award is given to a film for its contribution to raising awareness about an environmental issue, in a powerful and unique way.

The Wild Animal Award
- Given to the documentary that captures animals and wild life in a creative and enlightening way.

The Heritage Award
- Given to a documentary that remembers a time from history that has passed and captures its spirit and sense of period.

Best Documentary
- This award is for overall accomplishment for a documentary of any length.

Best International Short
- This award is for a documentary under 55 minutes and from anywhere outside Great Britain, that the jury deem to be unique, original, fresh and bold.

Best British Short
- This award is for a documentary under 55 minutes and from within Great Britain, which the jury deems to be of outstanding quality.

Best Student Film
- This award is presented to a student film of great achievement.

British Documentary Film Festival
Rules for Participation

1. Dates and Venue
The absolute final deadlines are as dictated on FilmFreeway. Category winners (see 8.) are announced after the festival. The venue for the festival is to be determined.

2. Competition
The festival reserves the right to place entries into alternative categories if they feel it is to the benefit of the title. Each submission must be entered separately. Entries will be assessed and successful submissions will be programmed for screening and enter the festival competition. Failure to submit a screener copy four weeks prior to the festival will rule out eligibility for an award. If your film is selected we reserve the right to show your film at a date and time of our choosing.

3. Subtitles
Any foreign language films must have english subtitles.

4. Formats
For the selection process a digital screener must be submitted via FilmFreeway. For our judges' protection, this screener must be hosted with either Vimeo or Youtube. We will not assess films submitted with other private video hosting formats such as Google Drive etc.

Successful submissions that are granted a screening must submit a DCP.
*Please note we do not accept films shot in 4:3 unless the filmmaker has reformatted it to 16:9.

5. Selection
Festivals are organized by the Film Festival Guild. The festival directors reserve the right to invite films for the competition and programme. Screening schedule will be announced after the final submission deadline. The final award winning entries will be selected by a festival jury and audience votes. Award winners will be notified within 14 days of the festival screenings.

6. Entry Returns
We do not return submission entries.

7. Screenings
It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure that films for screening are deposited with the festival organizers at least 7 days before any scheduled screening.

8. Publicity
We reserve the right to use extracts from submissions for festival publicity and marketing purposes. Press kits are not required, but are useful, so please feel free to send these with your submissions.

9. Categories

Feature Length Documentaries
Short Documentaries
Student Documentaries

10. Awards

The Environmental Award
The Wild Animal Award
The Heritage Award
Best Documentary​
Best International Short
Best British Short
Best Student Film

11. Submission, Selection for Screening, Awards and Voting
There are 3 distinct stages. Submission, screening and awards. The administrators' decision is final.

Overall Rating
  • Christine Schindler

    Really wonderful experience to be part of this festival.

    May 2021
  • Was such an amazing experience being able to have an official selection this festival, I was super impressed with the communication and quality of this festival snd their website. Here's to 2022!!

    May 2021
  • James Muir

    I find the range and calibre of films in your festival to be very good and it was an honour to be part of your festival line up. Great little festival with good communication. Definitely recommend.

    August 2020
  • Thrilled to have our Canadian film programmed in London! It was an honour to be included in this year's edition. Thank you very much, British Doc Film Fest!

    July 2019
  • Sema Basharan

    Lovely festival and great night of films. Proud to have been part of it!

    June 2019