UPDATE: In light of Corona-virus, we want to assure our filmmakers that we are fully committed to run our events and honor all filmmakers who have submitted to us from around the world.

Welcome to Edinburgh’s only annual Documentary Film Festival! Close:Up Edinburgh Docufest creates an open space for creative documentary and non-fiction storytelling, a platform for filmmakers from all around the world to showcase their engaging works, and a venue for creators and audiences to connect. We're looking for the most exciting and innovative non-fiction storytelling in different categories, films that challenge and inspire audiences. Our festival is more than just a screening space - it is an opportunity to meet like-minded people and to bridge the gap between audiences and film creators.

The capital city of Scotland is no stranger to the arts. Home to the world's longest continually-running film festival, as well as to the largest arts festival in the world (don’t miss out on the Fringe every August!), Edinburgh continues to host cultural events and radical art throughout the year, while, at the same time, acting as the perfect gateway to the rest of Scotland.

Our panel of international judges will select the best of the best and try to squeeze in as many high-quality docs in one evening as they can. Featuring Q&A's with creators, filmmaker roundtables with local industry professionals, networking sessions, and a welcoming atmosphere. Submissions are now open for the first edition of what promises to be a memorable evening dedicated entirely to the non-fiction genre! So submit now for a chance to have your work screened in the land of whiskey, Harry Potter, and Outlander.

The unique Cameo (formerly known as the King's Cinema!) is one of the oldest cinemas in Scotland and a most welcoming home for arthouse cinema. We are proud to celebrate non-fiction storytelling in such a historic venue.

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Close:Up Film Festivals are organized by HF Productions, an international production company that runs several film festivals around the world. We are a collective of filmmakers, producers and marketing professionals with a common goal: to forge productive and lasting relationships between independent filmmakers and audiences. Our core values are Independence, Ambition, Inspiration, Creativity, Integrity, Community

The festival programmers will carefully select the films to be nominated for the following awards and will create a selection of nominated films to be screened in front of a live audience at the Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh. The winners will be announced at the event, on our website, and on social media.

Our judging panel includes:

✴ Noe Mendelle (Director, Producer, Scottish Documentary Institute)
Judge for the Best Feature-Length Documentary & Best Foreign Documentary sections

✴ Scott Donaldson (Head of Film Education, Creative Scotland)
Judge for the Best Environmental Doc section

✴ Louise Acheson (Screen Officer, Creative Scotland)
Judge for the Best Scottish Production section

To submit your work, choose at least one of the Main Categories. For increased value, we encourage filmmakers to add one of the Add-on Categories (Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Critique).

Awards will include Certificates, Treats, and exclusive online Distribution deals, and will be given in the following categories:

Best Feature-Length Documentary (> 40 min)
Best Short Documentary (< 40 min)
Best Debuts (first time filmmakers, any length)
Best Experimental Doc (non-fiction storytelling that challenges form and re-defines the genre)
Best Social Impact Doc (documentary work that celebrates Human Rights)
Best Environmental Doc (can documentaries change the world?)
Best Foreign Documentary (in a language other than English)
Best Student Documentary
Best Scottish Production (½ price)

Best Directing
Best Cinematography
Best Editing

In addition to the above-listed categories, we also offer the option of a Film Critique (as an add-on). Criticism may not always be agreeable but it is always necessary. Filmmakers require constructive feedback at every stage of their development, whether they're just starting out or they've been making films for decades. We offer you the opportunity to get your film project critiqued by one of the qualified film critics we collaborate with on our festivals. Regardless of whether your film is selected for screening, through this add-on, you receive an in-depth review (1-3 pages). The critique can be more or less general, or focus on particular elements - you choose.

✴ All films must be submitted in English or with English subtitles.

✴ All films must be made in or after 2018.

✴ Filmmakers are responsible for sorting out the copyright on their own materials.

✴ By submitting to us, you give us the right to screen your film in front of a live audience at The Cameo, Edinburgh, UK.

✴ Nominations: All films nominated for every category.
Official Selection: Films selected for screening will be notified via email. If you received a Nomination email, but no Official Selection email, it means your film will not be screened but is still a contender for an award in its category.
Award Winners: Chosen from both the Nominations and the Official Selection.

✴ We may promote your film on social media, based on the press kits you provide us with.

✴ We retain the right to change the date and venue of the festival under special circumstances. All filmmakers will be informed about any changes through our online platforms.

✴ We place no restrictions on your work in terms of premiere status or whether your work has been made available online.

✴ Any technical issues with the submitted films are 100% the responsibility of the filmmakers. If at the time of judging, your video file doesn’t work, is not complete (only a trailer, etc), or doesn’t have English subtitles (if in a language other than English), it will be automatically rejected, without a refund. Please contact the festival team ASAP if there are any issues with the submission process, and a solution will be found.

✴ We cannot offer refunds.

✴ By submitting to us you agree to our terms and conditions and to receiving marketing newsletters and discounts about film festivals in the form of emails. We will never sell your information to third parties.

Overall Rating
  • Simon Ray

    Really clear and friendly communication and a brilliant selection of films. Good crowd and enthusiastic audience. - looking forward to next year!

    October 2019
  • Machiel van den Heuvel

    I attended their event in Edinburgh. I saw some great films and the people of the organization were amazing! Thanks for the good time!

    October 2019