First established in 1977, the Cambridge Film Festival has been committed to delivering high quality independent films to the widest possible audience. Bold and imaginative in its presentation of films, the Festival embraces the latest technology, while also showcasing its passion for the heritage of cinema. We champion new methods of filmmaking and emerging platforms of distribution. Through our open submissions process, we support filmmakers from all across the world as well as locally, providing a platform for new talents to showcase their work.

It’s a celebration of film – past present and future. So, it’s a chance to relive and enjoy past glories, but also to see what’s happening in film right now, and reveal new talents who will shape the future of cinema. A good example of that is a chap who had his student short selected for the programme here back in 1996, named Christopher Nolan. Apparently he’s done quite well since! What makes Cambridge different from other Festivals is that it attracts big names but is nonetheless intimate and approachable. There are no red carpets, no banks of flashbulbs going off, and the chances are the acclaimed director of the much anticipated new film you’re about to see is happily hanging out in the bar, just like you!

Venice has gondolas, Cambridge has punts. An icon of the city's landscape, which our awards are named in honour of. All films that screen at the Festival that are UK premieres are eligible.

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.

Cambridge Film Festival is BAFTA recognised.

1) Submission Eligibility:
- Feature and Documentary films 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 at the discretion of the Festival staff.
- Films completed within 18 months of Submissions opening 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 and submission fees will not be refunded.

2) Fees and waivers
- The Cambridge Film Festival is operated by the Cambridge Film Trust, registered charity no. 1120059 and owing to the large number of submissions we receive we charge a submission fee to cover administration costs.
- The Cambridge Film Trust in partnership with BFI are committed to supporting local filmmakers and therefore submission fees will be waived for filmmakers (directors and producers) who are based in the Cambridgeshire. Please email proof of address (such as a scan/pdf of a current utility bill) with the "FILM TITLE - WAIVER" as subject to
- Directors and producers who have previously screened films at the Festival are also entitled to a waiver. Please email with the "FILM TITLE (year screened) - WAIVER" as subject to
- 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) Submission
- All films must be submitted via a secure online screener.

4) 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 do not to offer individual feedback or enter into any discussion about your work.
- All successful submissions will be notified by email by 9th September 2019. Please therefore make sure that we can reach you in the months of August and September so that we can confirm your film's inclusion in the Festival programme.
- All successful submissions will be listed on our website when the full programme is announced.
- Please do not send any press materials with your submission. Should your film be accepted we will request that you send us digital images and other press/publicity materials including press kits.

5) 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 as a DCP. No other formats will be accepted.
- The Festival is not able to cover the costs of any format transfers or subtitling.
- DCPs of selected films must be received by the Festival at least 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
  • Our client's feature 'I Love My Mum' screened at Cambridge Film Festival and we couldn't be happier. A superbly organised festival with brilliant communication that was professional and always friendly. A must attendance for any filmmaker and/or producer.

    November 2018
  • 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
  • Nic Wassell

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

    November 2017
  • 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
  • A great festival and great pubblic.

    November 2016