The Cambridge Film Festival was established in 1977 and ran until 1996, re-launching in 2001 after a five year break. Over the years it has developed into a high profile event with a reputation as one of the UK’s most prestigious and well-respected film festivals. The Guardian has described Cambridge as a match for the Edinburgh and London Film Festivals, whereas The Times claimed that Cambridge easily outclasses its metropolitan rivals.
The Festival was originally conceived with a two-fold purpose: as a means of screening the very best of current international cinema; and to rediscover important but neglected film-makers and their films, which were either out of distribution or unseen for many years.
The Festival’s strands include: new features; shorts; documentary; revivals and artists’ moving image work. Engagement with the fullest range of film culture is generated by visits from actors and directors, parties and receptions, forums and conferences, workshops and education events, and free outdoor screenings. Films premiering at Cambridge have included Lady Chatterley, Bowling For Columbine, Before Sunset, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, 9 Songs, Crash, The Last Mitterrand, Tideland, A Cock and Bull Story and Volver, and we’ve played host to star guests such as Luc Besson, Cate Blanchett, Julie Delpy, Bruno Dumont, Jeremy Irons, Richard Harris, Terry Gilliam and Kenneth Branagh.

Venice has gondolas, Cambridge has punts. An icon of the city's landscape, which our awards are named in honour of.
These include the Golden Punt Audience Award for best feature, the Silver Punt Audience Award for best documentary and the Crystal Punt Audience Award for best short film.
As well as the prestige which comes with winning any of these award, the recipient of the Crystal Punt award also receives a prize to encourage and aid their continuing film-making.

1) Submission Eligibility:
- Feature and Documentary films preferably must not have been released in the UK in any format, including online, or shown on UK television prior to their screening in the festival. Shorts should ideally be a UK premiere too. However, exceptions can be made for films that are of particularly high quality.
- Films completed within 18 months of the festival are eligible for submission.
- All foreign language films must be subtitled in English (the costs of which are to be covered by the applicant).
- Previously submitted work will not be considered unless it has been substantially altered.
- All rights, permissions and clearances must be obtained prior to submission and applicants must ensure that they have the right to submit the work with regard to third parties connected with the production of the film in question. By entering your work, you agree to this and the responsibilities involved. The Cambridge Film Trust, the registered charity that runs the Cambridge Film Festival, assumes no responsibility for violation of copyright law.

2) Fees:
- The Cambridge Film Trust remain committed to supporting local filmmakers and therefore submission fees will be waived for filmmakers who are based in the Eastern region (Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk). Please send proof of address (photocopy of a current utility bill) with your submission entry form.
- Fees will be not be waived under any other circumstances so please do not contact us to request that we make an exception, as we will not able to do so.
- Please note that submission fees will not be refunded

3) Selection:
- Selection will be carried out by the Cambridge Film Festival team. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection process and the decision of the Festival Director is final.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of entries, we will be unable to offer individual feedback or enter into any discussion about your work.
- All successful submissions will be notified by email or over the phone. Please therefore make sure that we can reach you in the months of June and July so that we can confirm your film's inclusion in the Festival programme. We will also request that you send us press kits and that you arrange print transport during that period.
- Please note that only successful applicants will be notified.

4) Festival Screenings and Scheduling:
- All screenings during the Festival period will take place at the discretion of the Festival. We reserve the right to make changes to the advertised schedule at any time for any reason and will not accept liability for any costs incurred as a result of such changes.
- You must not withdraw your film from the Cambridge Film Festival programme after its selection/participation has been confirmed and it must not be screened elsewhere before its presentation in the Festival without our prior agreement.
- The film must be available to screen in the following film and video formats (PAL and NTSC):

DCP with a Blu-Ray backup

- No formats other than those listed above will be accepted.
- The Festival is not able to cover the costs of any format transfers or subtitling. - Prints of selected films must be received by the Festival approx. 1 month before the start of the festival.
- The Cambridge Film Trust will accept responsibility for technical damage to prints of selected titles while they are in the possession of the Festival and will reimburse the value of the print stock (or part thereof) only. Please ensure that you have sufficient insurance to cover your work while in transit to and from the Festival.

Overall Rating
  • false
    Sasha Leigh Henry

    I had an absolute fantastic time at the Cambridge Film Festival. The hospitality team, programmers, press, everyone was so lovely and helpful. Communication leading up to the festival was great and clear. Cambridge is a sweet town. Not all screenings were jam packed but it made for awesome opportunities to connect with people after the films and not feel bum rushed to get out, it also made for some great, intimate Q&As. There was a slight issue with my dcp and the technical coordinator was helpful in figuring out and making sure it was good to go in time to screen.

    November 2017
  • false
    Nic Wassell

    Didn't manage to attend but fantastic communication from the team and very privileged to have been selected. Thanks!

    November 2017
  • false
    Riley Madincea

    The selection that my short screened in was a little sparse on audience numbers (mostly the filmmakers) and was in a lecture theatre on the sort of mid-range projection/sound equipment that made you question the need for a DCP. Most features were in the Picturehouse on Pro-Level kit...


    Lovely team running the event.
    Good Q&A, very switched-on audience.
    Good communication leading up to event.
    Print traffic speed and transport was excellent.

    November 2016
  • false
    Antonio De Palo

    A great festival and great pubblic.

    November 2016