HASTINGS ROCKS is home to independent films that push boundaries across all genres, fiction or non-fictional. In keeping with the UK seaside town’s culture and history, we especially welcome works that explore esoteric themes (though by no means exclusively) as well as films that are made in Hastings.

HASTINGS ROCKS 2022 screened 66 films (including 6 feature films) to 450 attendees. British actress Madeline Smith and director David Caffrey presented awards. The next edition of the festival will take place 14-16 April 2023 in the stunning St Mary in the Castle auditorium, built directly beneath Hastings Castle circa 1828. Screenings will also take place at the gorgeous Electric Palace Cinema in Hastings Old Town.

ROCKS FILM FESTIVALS showcase emerging and established filmmaking talent from around the world and aim to create a platform for original voices from all walks of life. If your film embodies our ideals and aspirations, we will help it get the recognition it deserves.

FYI, HASTINGS is fast becoming one of the premier sites in the UK for film and television production. It is a coven of creatives, filmmakers and musicians from all walks of life. Many have come over from Brighton and down from London, but the town’s unique identity has been forged over the course of more than a thousand years of history. As every schoolchild knows, the Battle of Hastings in 1066 saw the demise of King Harold, the Norman invasion and the birth of modern England. Gangs of smugglers have inhabited a maze of ancient cliffside caves since the Middle Ages. The town was made into a bustling resort by the Victorians, who built splendid – now decaying – Gothic buildings, while sadly allowing poverty and disease to run riot. The occultist Aleister Crowley spent his final year here, allegedly casting a spell on the town prohibiting those born in Hastings from leaving. Today, Hastings is famed for its vibrant May Day festivities, Jack in the Green, Fat Tuesday and Bonfire Night. We're sure that you'll find Hastings to be the perfect backdrop to share your film with fellow artists.

• OFFICIAL SELECTIONS are given a FESTIVAL SCREENING at ST MARY IN THE CASTLE or the ELECTRIC PALACE CINEMA on 14-16 April 2023.
• There will be FINALISTS & WINNERS in each of the following categories:
ANIMATION
COMEDY
DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)
DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
DRAMA
EXPERIMENTAL FILM
FANTASY
HORROR
FEATURE FILM (FICTION)
LGBTQ+ FILM
MICRO-BUDGET FILM
MICRO MOVIE
MUSIC VIDEO
STUDENT FILM
• Additional Awards for:
CINEMATOGRAPHY
DIRECTOR
EDITING
MISE-EN-SCENE
ORIGINAL SCORE
PERFORMANCE (4 awards)
SCREENPLAY
SOUND DESIGN
VISUAL EFFECTS
SPIRIT OF HASTINGS

SELECTIONS will be announced on/before 15 March and WINNERS on 14-16 April 2023 at the festival.

HASTINGS ROCKS accepts narrative, documentary and experimental films, music videos, micro, short and feature films.
Entry fees are non-refundable.
All films must be in English or have English subtitles.
Production must have been completed after 1 January 2019.
There is no limit on the number of submissions.
All films must have an online screener.
Filmmakers retain the rights to their films.
Filmmakers are responsible for acquiring copyrights, licenses and releases for media used in their films.
By submitting their film, filmmakers gives Hastings Rocks the right to post their posters, trailers, website and social media links on our website.
Brighton Rocks reserves the right to move films into categories different from the one(s) submitted to.

RULES REGARDING CATEGORY SUBMISSIONS

"Made in Hastings" - at least 2 scenes must be set/filmed in Hastings. All genres eligible.
"Micro Budget Film" requires a production budget of less than £1000.
"Micro Movies" must have a runtime of less than 4 minutes, including credits.
"Student Films" must have at least 2 crew members in full-time education.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Hastings Rocks is my kind of festival; an eclectic, carefully curated program with an underground/mystical bent, staged in an atmospheric venue in a fantastic place! Impeccable communication and organization by James and co., a band of cinephile visionaries who really know how to run a festival. Hastings Rocks comes straight from the heart. It has my highest recommendation and deepest thanks.

    May 2022
  • Jonah Steeman

    Great festival that truly celebrates film as an artform. Amazing venue that could not be more appropriate for the spiritual/occult theme. Production and communication were perfect, reflecting the experience and professionality of the Rocks team. It's was allready amazing in it's first edition, I can see this growing exponentially in the future. I look forward to next editions; it was definitely worth the travel.

    May 2022
  • Rebekah Louisa Smith

    A wonderful festival - perfect location, setting and vibes. My clients had an amazing time here and loved everything about it

    May 2022
  • Was delighted to have my film The Devil's Harvest included at the inaugural Hastings Rocks Film Festival. As well as having it shown at an amazing venue with other high quality international films it was one of the best experiences in terms of organisational support. Dr James Rowlins and his team were highly professional and on hand from acceptance through to award (I was lucky to win Best Horror and have it presented by Hammer Horror legend and Bond girl Medline Smith). Can't wait for next year.

    April 2022
  • Mark Hewitt

    Hastings Rocks combines a strong connection with the locality and local filmmakers with an ambitious international programme that particularly celebrates key genres , such as horror, and the quirky in general. It was a great honour to have my little film, BOOBS, recognised as winner in the Micro Movie category, and to receive the award from lovely Hammer Horror star, Madeline Smith. May Hastings Rocks go from strength to strength.

    May 2022