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 dark & esoteric themes as well as films that are made in Hastings.

HASTINGS ROCKS 2022 screened 66 films (including 6 feature films) to 450 attendees. Celebrity actor Madeline Smith and acclaimed director David Caffrey presented awards. The next edition of the festival will take place 14-15 April 2023 at the PRINTWORKS, a unique arts space in the old Hastings Observer Newspaper building in the cyberpunkeque Gotham Alley, often used in film productions.

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
COMEDY-HORROR
DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)
DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
DRAMA
EXPERIMENTAL FILM
FANTASY
HORROR
FEATURE FILM (FICTION)
LGBTQ+ FILM
MICRO-BUDGET FILM
MICRO MOVIE
MUSIC VIDEO
SCIENCE-FICTION
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
  • Thomas Harman

    Another fantastic festival by James and The Rocks Team. St Mary in the Castle and The Electric Palace Cinema are very special venues to have your films screened and the festival was a spectacle with the Mayor of Hastings in attendance with a big band. Actress and Bond girl Madeline Smith was presenting the awards and I was over the moon to win the Spirit of Hastings Award. Festival has a very special feel to it with fellow winners and actors Linda Marlowe and Bill Fellows in attendance. Here's too many more Hastings Rocks International Film Festivals to come!

    June 2022
  • Jenny Pill

    I loved Hastings Rocks! James and the team made everyone feel so welcome. Both venues were excellent and the locations perfect. I made a lot of new contacts and friends, and watched some incredible inspiring films. I thoroughly recommend the festival to other filmmakers: it was my favourite festival so far!

    June 2022
  • Demian Fuica

    What a fantastic Festival James and his crew are simply amazing and fun to be with. They are very well organized and always there for you, to guide you, and especially if you're coming from the outside of the country, love the team, love the festival, love the place. I will definitely submit again and recommend it to others

    May 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
  • Glyn Carter

    Fantastic selection of films shown in two super venues - one a cosy voluntary arts cinema, the other a huge and magnificent circular ex-church. All organised by a friendly and hard-working team.

    May 2022