The 10th edition of the 8-year-old Lift-Off Global Network event is still one of the top 100 Listings on Filmfreeway -- READ OUR REVIEWS!

Join the Lift-Off Global Network from our home at the world famous Pinewood Studios in the UK for a filmmaking showcase that puts you in the centre of everything.

The film industry seems like a closed door for many. Festival rejections and lack of work opportunities with a very high career-fence to climb - appears to be the norm for all filmmakers starting out - and we want to change that. With this in mind, we have decided that the doors need to open and filmmakers starting out should be given valued insights into how they can use their skills and develop them so that they may become the future of the business.

The Lift-Off Global Network exists with the aim of launching filmmakers careers. Our First-Time Filmmakers Showcase is an event held at Pinewood Studios. It incorporates screenings, discussion, feedback and presentations by organisations eager to support grassroots filmmakers. It is a great insight into how festivals programme and how filmmakers can take their creative journeys to the next level. As film festivals grow in stature many of their programming habits lean toward the experienced and sometimes more-resourced filmmaker. This leaves the filmmakers who are starting out behind and at times disillusioned with the film festival model and the film industry on the whole.

This initiative has been created to give filmmakers on their initial journey the showcase, the tools, the platform and advice to build their careers from the right starting point, helping first-time filmmakers to realise their professional lives within film.

We have come to the realisation that we need to isolate, celebrate, nurture and award these talents. Screenings take place at the home of Lift-Off’s Annual Season Awards, followed by a timetable of events that include 1-2-1 surgeries with the Lift-Off Founders, presentations highlighting some insider secrets by industry based organisations, equipment suppliers and producers.

We are looking to build long lasting relationships with talented and passionate first-time filmmakers and support them from the very beginning of their career all the way through to global success. We know that no one person can make an entire film and we would love to have the key members of the production team behind each film attend the event. The day will be filled with opportunities to network with other like-minded, first time, filmmakers who will no doubt have insightful views about your work and be able to provide you with inspiration for new projects and possibly even collaborate with you in the future.

There will be opportunities throughout the day to have your questions answered and this will enable filmmakers who attend the event to forge long lasting relationships which will be essential in the future! For each production team, there will also be a group peer review session in the beautiful Pinewood Studios boardroom. In this session, there will be a full discussion about the various films which have been screened during the day based on feedback from the attendees. Filmmakers will also have the opportunity to have a one-on-one meet and greet with the Lift-Off Co-founders James Bradley and Ben Pohlman.

Awards & Prizes.

Our goal is to offer as much as possible to all who submit, our officially selected filmmakers, our nominees and winners. At the submission level we offer value for your submission fee with exclusive content and a 24-page e-book, highlighting...

♠ Submitting to the large festivals
♠ Discussing classic mistakes on the festival circuit
♠ Highlighting the right festival submission strategy
♠ Some golden rules for success
♠ Tips on how to start building a realistic filmmaking career

Emailed to every submitter up to 24hrs from the time of submission. Everyone in attendance at the event will receive fee waivers to a Lift-Off Film Festival of their choice and membership to the Lift-Off Family!

There will be prizes for:

An Overall Winner - selected by the Lift-Off Co-Founders.
The winning film will receive an official Lift-Off selection, screening at the next Lift-Off event!

Special Mentions - handed out to films of particular note, the prize being a guaranteed official selection at a carefully chosen Lift-Off Film Festival.

We will provide filmmakers with opportunities towards a viable career path as an independent filmmaker, from attendance as a first-time filmmaker to the possibility of screening with us worldwide.

On top of this, is the huge potential of being invited to be part of one of the many upcoming Lift-Off productions planned for 2017 and beyond.

Rules :

Work must be a first undertaking when submitting to festivals. Student Film, Amateur film - all considered.

All Shorts must have a runtime of 45 minutes or less.

Digital online submission screeners via Filmfreeway only.

Invitations will only be offered to filmmakers (and their production teams) who have been selected by the in-house judges during the submissions process.

Proudly, we have no other restrictions for your work. This includes your works premier status, it's age and/or whether your work has been made available online.

Overall Rating
  • Roxana Bazgoneh

    Thank you so much Lift-off team! This day was an amazing opportunity, and it was wonderful to be in Pinewood Studios. Lovely people, very constructive feedback and got the chance to meet great fellow applicants and their work. The team is really passionate about what they do and you can feel it. Highly recommend!!

    June 2018
  • Jassa Ahluwalia

    A fantastic full day of masterclasses and feedback. A little heavy on technical insight as opposed to its advertised focus on story, and I found the review system to be slightly reductive for such a subjective medium, but a wonderful experience nonetheless. Clear communication throughout the whole process and a definite passion for supporting, connecting and inspiring filmmakers from all backgrounds. All taking place within the historic grounds of Pinewood Studios. Would highly recommend. Thanks Lift-Off!

    May 2018
  • Annette Westwood

    The First-Time Filmmakers Showcase is a truly amazing, unique & inspiring festival. The Lift-Off team are so incredibly supportive & genuine lovely people. It offers such fantastic insight, knowledge & opportunities to first-time filmmakers- Highly recommend!!

    April 2018
  • It is really important to have festivals like this that offer support to first-time filmmakers. It was a great day where I met other filmmakers at the start of their careers. And the encouragement I received from the Lift-Off Team has really helped me.

    February 2018
  • An amazing day with lots of great insight and encouragement. Highly recommend!

    February 2018