The Edinburgh Conservation Film Festival is now in its third year, having been founded by Edinburgh Conservation Science (ECoS), a consortium made up of Scotland-based organisations promoting the inclusion of science into biodiversity conservation management and policy, including National Museums Scotland, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, NatureScot and The University of Edinburgh.

Now in its third year, the Edinburgh Conservation Film Festival is a 90-minute programme of short films (< 5 minutes) all made with the intention of inspiring and engaging a broad audience with stories of positive biodiversity conservation success. For the last two years, the Edinburgh Conservation Film Festival has been fully booked out, so this year we hope to increase the number of screenings of the final programme across multiple venues to allow more people to see the films.

This year's festival has no theme, however, entries should aim to show people the importance of biodiversity conservation for all of us, with the aim of giving agency to individuals to make positive impacts on global biodiversity. Each film should convey a positive message of what we can achieve for the benefit of biodiversity conservation and how our shared society. We are looking for short films that inspire and engage a wide audience. We are particularly interested in stories representing people and their links with the natural world. Please remember, we are after conservation stories, not natural history documentaries focusing on animals or communities that don’t hold a conservation message.
We welcome entries from filmmakers at any stage in their career; students, emerging talent, or established filmmakers. Animations are also accepted.

We would welcome short films (up to five minutes) featuring biodiversity conservation stories from around the globe. We will accept films submitted from anywhere in the world. We will accept films in any language but do require English subtitles.

If you are not sure if your film fits the scope of the festival, please do get in touch (

Remember, we will prioritise films with messages of hope.

We are especially interested in collaborative short films between conservation practitioners or students and film-makers.

Please ensure your film's end credits are not longer than around 30 seconds

Judging panel:
The judging panel includes conservation film professionals, conservation scientists and conservation film-makers.

There is a starting pot of £1500 of prize money up for grabs for the best films. This may increase before the date of the festival!

We strongly encourage you to review the following carefully. By submitting your short film, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to all the following rules and terms. All short films that have been submitted by our final deadline and that adhere to the following terms will be considered for inclusion in the Edinburgh Conservation Film Festival.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at

All short films must be uploaded directly to FilmFreeway. We won’t accept DVD or Blu-Ray screeners. In addition, we cannot accept screener links via email, they must be attached to your submission. To be eligible, the short films must be under five minutes and fit within one of our categories (unless otherwise agreed).

All films must be submitted with English subtitles to ensure broad accessibility. For those submissions missing subtitles, we will email the submitter for an update. Failure to provide working subtitles by the final submission deadline will result in disqualification.

Please review all submission categories carefully before submitting your project. If you believe you have submitted your film to the wrong category, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.
Submission of one film into multiple categories is not allowed but we allow the submissions of up to two films from the same filmmaker but these must be in different categories.

All projects must have been completed on or after 2019 to be considered for the 2024 Edinburgh Conservation Film Festival.

Please keep track of the deadline closely and note that all short films must be submitted by 11:59pm GMT on 1st March 2024.

All works selected must be available by 15th March 2024 for inclusion in the festival.
Should your short film be accepted in the Edinburgh Conservation Film Festival, you grant the organisers the right to utilise a 30 second excerpt from any short film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.
All shortlisted films will screen during the festival and if selected, all films must be available to watch online as part of a virtual film festival. All scheduling is purely at the discretion of the Edinburgh Conservation Film Festival.

The Edinburgh Conservation Film Festival does not pay screening fees for submitted short films. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that ECoS will not pay to present your work. The shortlisted participants will have to pay for their travel to reach Edinburgh but will not have to pay any registration fee to attend the film festival. A limited number of travel bursaries me be available to shortlisted participants.

By entering your film for consideration to the 2024 Edinburgh Conservation Film Festival, you authorise that your work is cleared for festival exhibition and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. The submitter and all filmmakers associated with the project shall indemnify and hold harmless the organisers and any representative or affiliates from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

The organisers reserve the right to disqualify any submission, even after a film has been invited or final programming has been announced, at the sole discretion of the Edinburgh Conservation Film Festival organisers.

Overall Rating
  • Mat Larkin

    An excellent family-friendly festival, very well organised and just the right length to hold everyone's attention throughout.

    April 2022