Colchester Film Festival is an international film festival dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best feature and short films by film-making talent from all around the world.

Previous festivals have featured an entertaining programme of films selected from thousands of entries, including world, European and UK premieres. Previous festival films have gone on to receive Oscar and BAFTA nominations.

We also host a series of workshops and masterclasses to give audiences an insight into the creative process behind film production and to inspire the next generation of filmmakers. Previous guest speakers and judges have included including Academy Award and BAFTA winning producers, directors, writers and actors.

The Judging panel for this years festival will be:
Tom Williams (Screenwriter - Kajaki, Chalet Girl)
Nick Emerson (Editor - Good Vibrations, Starred Up, The Hallow).
Annemarie Lean-Vercoe (Cinematographer - Honeytrap, Wreckers)
Jane Gull (Director - My Feral Heart)

Early Submissions are $5 from the 1st Mar – 1st June (Midnight PST).
Late Submissions are $10 from the 2nd June – 1st July (Midnight PST).

(Shortlisted entries will form the principal screening strand of the festival)

Awards include:

Best Short Film
Best Director
Best Screenplay
Best Editing
Best Cinematography

(* The term film is used here in reference to both film and video.)

1. All submissions must have been completed after 1 January 2015.
2. Narrative and Documentary Short (all under 26 minutes, including credits)
3. Experimental film, music videos and film trailers are not eligible.
4. Filmmakers may submit more than one film
5. Submissions are open to filmmakers from all countries.
6. Films must either be English language or have English subtitles.
7. For pre-selection purposes, all entries should be submitted via online link.
8. We hope to inform all submitting parties, by email, if their film has been successful or not by the 1st October.
9. All entries will be eligible for competitive screening and prizes.
10. The Prizes will be awarded to the individual maker(s) responsible for making the winning film(s), whether they are working on their own behalf or as part of an organisation.
11. By submitting a film for consideration to Colchester Film Festival the filmmaker/production company grant Colchester Film Festival the right to screen the film throughout the duration of the festival in any capacity. The Colchester Film Festival will never upload a completed film to the Internet without the filmmakers consent.
12.Colchester Film Festival retains the right to hold a copy of films submitted for archival purposes and to show to non-commercial audiences for promote the festival.
13. The applicant declares that he/she has obtained all necessary rights and permissions to present the film at Colchester Film Festival. The filmmaker must own or have cleared copyright of all aspects of the submitted film. This includes all music and images used. Colchester Film Festival accepts no responsibility, financial or otherwise, in regards to clearing copyrighted material.
14. All decisions regarding festival acceptance are final.

1. Filmmakers or their agents submitting films must cover all costs related to the delivery of preview and screening copies to Colchester Film Festival.
2. Colchester Film Festival will not cover costs of returning the screening copies.
3. To satisfy UK customs, all postage packages must be marked as follows: "For Cultural Purposes Only. No Commercial Value". No further documentation for customs is required.
4. Colchester Film Festival will not be responsible for any customs charges, freight or demurrage charges or any other charges incurred by entrants who failed to follow the submissions procedure laid down herein.
5. Colchester Film Festival staff cannot be spared for collecting films from airports, agencies, etc., in any circumstances.
6. Colchester Film Festival will take every reasonable care to protect films submitted. However, Colchester Film Festival will not be responsible for any loss or damage to films however caused. Entrants are advised to insure their films against loss or damage.

1. There will be a panel of judges, proposed by Colchester Film Festival.
2. Pre-selection of a short-listed of films for screening will be undertaken in advance of the event by a sub-committee nominated by Colchester Film Festival.
3. In assessing the films, the judges will give greater weight to the content and visual merit than to the technical expertise or resources with which the films are made.
4. The decision of Colchester Film Festival Committee on any matter relating to the interpretation of these conditions shall be final.


1. How do I submit to the festival, can I just send you a link or post a DVD of my film?

Please submit online via FilmFreeway ( FilmFreeway allows you submit via a secure Vimeo or Youtube screener.

2. My film is over 26 minutes can I still submit?

Unfortunately these are out cut off points for submissions. Submissions are open till the 1st July if you wish to submit an edited version.

3. Is the Festival open to international filmmakers?

Yes, filmmakers from any country of all ages can submit their films.

4. Can I submit more than one film?

You may submit as many films as you wish.

5. Do you accept Music Videos?

Unfortunately not, we only accept narrative and documentary short and feature films which can be in any genre.

6. My film is still a work in progress, shall I submit?

You may submit work in progress but we can only judge the film on its merits at the point it has been submitted.

7. My film has already been screened at another festival, can I still submit?

Yes, your film can already be submitted or screened at other festivals, we do not require it to be a premiere.

8. My film is online, can I still submit?

Yes, your film can already be viewable online.

9. Do you require any further information or a DVD copy of the film?

No, all the details we require is included in your FilmFreeway submission. If your film is selected we’ll contact you for further information.

10. Do I need to pay to submit?

Early Submissions are $5 from the 1st Mar – 1st June (Midnight PST).
Late Submissions are $10 from the 2nd June – 1st July (Midnight PST).

11. I missed the deadline, can I still submit?

Unfortunately not. If you’ve missed the deadline we’ll be open for submissions for the following years festival on the 1st February.

12. When will we be informed if our film has been selected?

We hope to inform all filmmakers by the 1st October whether their film has been selected or not.

Overall Rating
  • We absolutely love when we get a client selected here - a strong, well-programmed, and exceptionally vivid festival with a growing kudos. Top work Colchester, carry on!

    December 2017
  • Alexei Slater

    Lovely festival..hope it continues next year!! Congrats to young festival director Jenna Menzies for doing a great job.

    November 2017
  • Digital 104

    One of the best UK festivals. Highly recommended. It has a very professional and friendly team.

    March 2017