'DESIblitz Film Fusion' festival 2022 - Elevating Punjabi, Pakistani and Sports Films.

The inaugural 'DESIblitz Film Fusion' festival planted its seed in multicultural Birmingham by the multi-award-winning web publication DESIblitz.com. Established in 2008, the website has earned its publication status by growing tremendously with a large UK and international reach, especially in South Asia and North America.

Born in Birmingham, the festival offers an exciting and fantastic opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their creative film art and talents.

The first-ever 'DESIblitz Film Fusion' festival is a 10-day event with 10+ screenings, taking place across iconic venues ('ODEON Luxe Birmingham Broadway Plaza' and 'Mac Birmingham: Midlands Arts Centre' etc) in Birmingham, UK from Friday, June 3 to Sunday, June 12, 2022. The festival is supported by Film Hub Midlands, British Film Institute, BFI Film Audience Network, and The National Lottery.

A first of its kind, the festival focuses on promoting and elevating Punjabi, Pakistani, and Sports films with a South Asian context, as well as a UK and World scope to them.

The Indie festival targets underrepresented groups and communities, young and mature audiences. Providing a platform for alternative and language-based cinema, the festival aims to promote diversity and culture that is stimulating, educational, and inspirational, with a super film program mix, talent, discussions, and competition.

The festival categories include feature, documentary, and short films of substance, depth, entertainment, infotainment, and varied genres within our core festival strands, which include:

inspiring, creative, and strong story-based Punjabi films that are made in the Punjabi language, originating from India, Pakistan, UK, USA, Canada, or anywhere in the world.

Thought-provoking, educating, and entertaining films relating to Pakistan or a Pakistani theme, along with promoting the culture, lifestyle, and languages of Pakistan including Urdu. Films can originate from Pakistan, the UK, the USA, Canada, or anywhere globally.

Ethnic films unveiling sports (all sports including mountaineering, adventure sports) stories of challenges, success, and accomplishments that have a direct (preferable) or indirect South Asian/ Desi link. They can originate from South Asia, the UK, or anywhere internationally.

We will also consider 1-2 exceptional films made by Kashmiri filmmakers from around the world.

Film Fusion Competition
As part of the festival, we are running the 'Film Fusion Competition'. This calls for young UK-based filmmakers of any experience (16-30) to submit creative short films (max. 10 minutes) that are made using a smartphone with a Commonwealth Games 2022 theme. This includes animations and vlog-style submissions.

Features and documentaries selected for the 'DESIblitz Film Fusion' festival will be in consideration for the 'Best Film Audience Award'

Prize (s) will also be given for the Film Competition. The winning film will be shown during the festival.


The following criteria define the eligibility of film submissions to the first edition of the ‘DESIblitz Film Fusion’ festival, which will be held in Birmingham, United Kingdom, between Friday, June 3 and Sunday, June 12, 2022:

a) Films, Venues, and Awards
The entrant (filmmaker, producer, rightsholder, or distributor, etc) is agreeing for their Punjabi, Pakistani, or Sports film to be screened at any of the selected festival venues in Birmingham, following their film submission and upon receiving notification of selection and signing a festival agreement. All decisions relating to award and prize winners are considered final and incontestable.

Filmmakers are allowed to submit more than one film for the festival under the different categories, providing each film is submitted separately and meets the festival guidelines.

b) Strands, Categories and Genres
The festival will respectfully consider and accept feature films (75-150 minutes), documentary films (45-150 minutes), short films (15-35 minutes) from British and international filmmakers. We welcome submissions of different genres, within our three core festival strands (Punjabi, Pakistani, and Sports). These can include action, adventure, adult-themed, animation, biographical, comedy, crime, drama, fantasy, heritage, historical, horror, mountaineering, musical, mystery, rom-com, romance, sci-fi, social message, sports (inc. adventure sports), thriller and women-focused.

c) Film Fusion Competition
A key objective of the 'DESIblitz Film Fusion' festival is to encourage new filmmakers to make movies that will be recognised for their creativity, production value and storyline related to a specific theme.

To develop this aspect of the festival, a film competition has been devised to inspire aspiring UK-based filmmakers to submit films to highlight fresh talent in filmmaking.

We are looking for compelling stories made as short films related to the 2022 theme of the 'DESIblitz Film Fusion' competition.

Creative flair, attention to theme-based detail, impressive use of equipment, and post-production techniques will be factors that play an important role when judging entries.

1. Competition Themes and Rules (specific)

I) Theme
Competition entries must adhere to the theme of the Commonwealth Games 2022 to be held in the city of Birmingham between July 28 and August 8, 2022. Films need to depict South Asian-orientated storylines that are connected to this hallmark event and theme.

II) Rules
The following rules must be applied for producing competition entry films.

III) Format & Duration
Film entries must be a short film. The duration of the films must be between 5 and 10 minutes in length. Any entries not meeting this duration will be excluded immediately.

IV) Filming & Equipment
The film entry must be filmed using a smartphone. For example, an iPhone or similar phone. Audio equipment may be used to capture sound including dialogue and sound effects. Post-production can be used to edit and enhance the smartphone footage and audio.

All entrants must provide details of which smartphone and model they used to capture their short film. They must also provide visual and/or documentary evidence that the film was shot using a phone. Additional details and evidence can be sent to filmfusion@desiblitz.com.

V) Entry Types
The types of film entries can be fictitious, factual or biographical. Films can be produced in an animation format using a smartphone to film mocap facial and body movement sequences for a 3D or 2D story. Animation may be used partly for entries as well.

VI) Submission & Notification Date
Final Deadline –Monday, May 2, 2022. Fee – Free

Notification date of the winning entry – Monday, May 16, 2022.

VII) Submission Requirements
The film submission must be sent using the FilmFreeway portal. You are expected to send or upload UK photo ID with date of birth (proof of age 16-30) as part of the FilmFreeway submission.

You can also send the photo ID to filmfusion@desiblitz.com with the subject line: Film Competition + Film Name.

Film entries can be any of the following technical formats – MP4, MKV or MOV. The entrant is responsible for sending the entry files securely.

Your submission must include a Vimeo link to the film that is password protected.
The festival cannot be held responsible or liable for any film and materials that are damaged or lost.

VIII) Judging Panel
The judging panel to select the winning entry will comprise industry specialists and established filmmakers. Entries

d) Formats and Entry Fee
The film submission fee for each feature, documentary, short film, and film competition is non-refundable. All films should be sent via a Vimeo link for the selection process.

Final film selections will need to be supplied in DCP Format by Friday, April 22, 2022. In addition, we may require the film in the following formats - DVD, Bluray, Hi-Res Prores, MP4 for the same date, which falls six weeks before the festival opening date.

The entrant is responsible for the film freight to the location as confirmed by the festival organisers. The entrant or talent has the responsibility to take back the film if attending the festival. Alternatively, the festival team will post the film back to them (at the entrant's cost) within an adequate time frame after the festival finishes.

Please test your Vimeo links prior to submission, making sure the film works properly and is not damaged. Please notify us promptly if the screener links and passwords are changed/updated.

Similarly, the final formats should be kindly tested for quality and accuracy.

e) Selection
Notification will only be given to those films selected for the festival, if you do not hear back from us after the notification date, Saturday, March 19, 2022, then your film has not been selected.

Preference will be given to independent films, which are World, UK, Midlands, and Birmingham premiers, which are no older than 2019. However, heritage and classic/evergreen films, with renowned cast members will also be considered.

Films in a South Asian language, must have English subtitles. Films in English will also be considered.

Unfortunately, films available or going to be available (prior to festival dates) on streaming sites, YouTube, satellite/cable television, which are free or available via a monthly/annual subscription service in the UK will not be considered through FilmFreeway.

The festival reserves the right to omit a film from the festival if there is a clear breach of the final agreement by the entrant.

We will strongly factor in and welcome filmmakers and talent wishing to attend the festival, which falls just a few days after a major annual festival in France. Those in the UK and attending the festival are kindly expected to participate in post-screening Q&As.

The audience will appreciate guests for riveting Q&As.

Filmmakers and talent in attendance are responsible for their own visa, travel, and accommodation costs unless otherwise communicated via email. However, we can provide a supporting letter for visa purposes.

The films should have a South Asian link, which broadly means nations like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Afghanistan.

Films with an indirect/South Asian and Desi link (UK, North America, East Africa, Southern Africa, Australasia, Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, and the world) will also be considered.

The festival cannot be held responsible or liable for any film and materials that are damaged or lost.

f) The Progamme Schedule
The festival team will announce the schedule for the final programme, following the last submission deadline. We require permission to screen the film up to two times, once during the festival and secondly if there is a huge demand for a second screening. Please note we will not pay any licensing or screening fee to the entrant or anyone else. The festival will have an opening and closing night.

g) Clearance and Copyrights
All entries must obtain the appropriate copyright clearances (e.g. music, images, and so forth). Failure to do so will result in the entry being disqualified from the competition. In other words, the entrant (s) submitting the film must hold all legal rights for the submission, as well as all necessary clearances for public exhibition.

For any film submissions without a BBFC, classification, it is imperative that the entrant suggests the film classification (U, PG, 12, 12A, 15, 18). We will need this information to convey to the relevant licensing authority.

h) Data Protection and Confidentiality
All entries shall be in compliance with all applicable personal data protection regulations and laws. All personal contact information is to remain confidential and not to be shared with any third parties.

i) Marketing and Publicity
By submitting your film, the entrant is agreeing to allow us and the respective venues to use clips/artwork from and relating to the film for marketing and publicity pre, during, and post the 'DESIblitz Film Fusion' festival.

As part of your submission, please also submit a synopsis between 250-300 words) as preferred to appear in the final programme. Please note if required the festival team will make any necessary amendments to the copy submitted.

Additionally, we will kindly require press assets, including film artwork, posters, trailers (4k or HD), and a short director bio.

These assets will be useful for DESIblitz.com to produce stellar coverage on our website. Filmmakers and talent will have the benefit of gaining exposure worldwide, courtesy of DESIblitz.com (Winner of 2021 Best Publication and Website: Asian Media Awards), with access all over the world digitally.

Naturally, other media outlets and sites will also cover the festival.

We kindly expect filmmakers and stars from the films selected to work closely with the festival team to promote the festival (screenings/Q&As) with strategic shout-outs, along with tweets and posts on social media.

Entries selected will be provided with the festival logo and other materials, to be used by entrants for their own marketing and publicity with regards to the festival.

j). Governing Law and Jurisdiction
The above rules and terms shall be governed by the laws of United Kingdom nations, under specific jurisdiction of England courts.

Submissions are open for the 'DESIblitz Film Fusion' festival 2022! Please note: We are not interested in religion-focused or politically biased films but are open to cultural value and social message-based films.

Notification date is for films submitted via FilmFreeway.

For further information and questions, please also check out our 'DESIblitz Film Fusion' festival website - www.desiblitz.com/filmfusion

Alternatively, email Faisal Shafi, Festival Programme Director, 'DESIblitz Film Fusion' on filmfusion@desiblitz.com