FirstCut is an annual international student film festival organized by FLAME University, Pune. Our aim is to provide a platform to young filmmakers from around the world and encourage them to explore the medium of film as an agent of change.
In its 2019 edition, the festival received entries from 40+ countries. Judging panels in the past have included the likes of Ms. Rasika Dugal, Mr. Nitin Baid, Ms. Reema Senagupta, Mr. Jay Oza, Mr. Anjum Rajabali, and Mr. Sriram Raghavan. FirstCut continues to strive towards not only a larger reach, but also a greater quality of filmmaking.
In its 2019 edition, the festival received entries from 40+ countries, and had 622 submissions overall.
This year, the festival is set to be a three-day affair. We believe not only in simply viewing films but in holistically experiencing them. Talks, open-air screenings, and food stalls complement the spirit of coming together and enjoying cinema.

- The judges will select the winning film from each of the 4 categories (during the days of the event).
- Each awardee will get an individual trophy, certificate, and
cash prize. Transaction charges will be deducted from the
cash prizes to International winning films.
- The Cash prize for the Best Film in every category is Rs.
25,000 (which is $357 - USD)
- This year we also have Film of the Year for which the cash prize of Rs.35,000 (which is $468 - USD)


- all individuals involved in film creation (directors, cinematographers, editors, scriptwriters, sound designers) who are pursuing their undergraduate or masters degree, currently enrolled, or graduated in the past year are eligible to submit their films to the festival. Actors and other crew members involved in the film may be non - students.
- There is no restriction on the number of students participating from an institution.
Submitting a copy of student identity cards is mandatory and a necessary requirement at the time of submission.
- The film can be in any language but needs to have English subtitles, even if the film is in English itself.
- We encourage creativity and new ideas, thus, there is complete freedom to pick a theme for your film.
- Students may use any camera/technology available to them.
Projection-worthy picture/sound quality is preferred.


- The filmmaker is responsible for ensuring that they have full copyright over their submitter film.
- While students have complete freedom in selecting a film’s theme, story, approach, and style, all laws of the land need to be respected (including those relating to obscenity, defamation, copyright, and inciting communal disharmony). The final call regarding the content shall be taken by the jury members.
- However, FLAME University reserves the right to use the material with due credit in any way it deems fit for promoting its activities including FirstCut.
- FirstCut reserves the right to change its rules and regulations at its sole discretion and to disqualify any film with unauthorized use of copyrighted material.


- There are four film categories that you can submit your film to: Nano, Animation, Fiction, and Non - Fiction.
- Timings for the categories are as follows;
Nano: 30s - 5:00 min
Animation: 5:01 min - 15:00 min
Fiction: 5:01 min - 20:00 min
NonFiction: 5:01 min - 20:00 min
This time limit is inclusive of the time for titles and credits.

- A student is allowed to submit only one film in one category and/or one film each in each category.
- The same film cannot be submitted to two different categories. If a film was submitted in the previous years and not selected it shall not be eligible.
- For Animation films, all films completed on or after 30th January 2019 (two-year acceptance window) may be submitted.
- For categories Nano, Fiction, and Non - fiction, all films completed on or after 30th January 2020 shall be considered for submission.


There is no entry fee for submitting a film to FirstCut.


- The last day for registration in all categories is 31 December 2020.
- The films must be submitted through Vimeo and Youtube links only. Any other method of submission will not be accepted.

Film Selection Process:

Stage one
A student panel constituted by the FirstCut Festival Committee will shortlist the best films in each category.

Stage two
A jury of filmmakers, critics, and writers will recommend the best films from each category. For FirstCut 2020 the organizations for jury selection were Living Bridge, Arbhaat Films, and Climb Media.

Stage three
These top ten films from each category are screened during the days of the fest and will be judged by the invited panel of judges. The decisions of the jury and judges are final.

Overall Rating
  • Radheya Jegatheva

    Thanks so much for a great fest......a lot of 5 stars provided for the fest. communication was great before the fest but havent heard yet after the prizes were anniunced. I had tried to write a few times. can i please be contacted about the prize? thanks

    April 2020
  • Azalia Muchransyah

    I am very honored that two of my films were shortlisted in two different categories at the Flame Firstcut 2020 film festival. The festival is run by students who are passionate about films. They update their social media with details about the event. Very professional and communicative. Bravo!

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    We loved watching your films Azalia. It was an honor to have them. Thank you for sharing your work! And thank you for the amazing review. We will keep looking forward to you in our next editions.

  • One of the best student festivals out there in filmfreeway!!excellent in all the dimensions ❤❤❤✌🐸

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Divakar! Means a lot to us. See you in our next edition!

  • Alessio Marzilli

    My film was selected for the 2019 edition. It was a pleasure to be part of this student festival! I was not able to attend it, but thanks to their instagram/facebook page I followed the whole event!

    March 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Alessio! We are really glad you had a good experience

  • Helena Dalemans

    Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the festival in person, but the communication was really good, and I could follow the festival on their Instagram page which was really nice. I'm glad I could be a part of this festival!

    March 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Helena!