HBFF is back! We are back with a full live in person film festival from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March 2023. While our online festival was a great success we are eager to return to what made the festival so special - bringing people together for a shared experience in the same room. We are excited to bring another amazing programme of films, events, and special guests to the Calderdale valley in March 2023. We can't see into the future but we are optimistic we will be welcoming our wonderful filmmakers, supporters, sponsors, and audiences in person on March 24th, 2023.

This year, the Hebden Bridge Film Festival embraces a new theme of “Hope and Resistance”. With over 500 years of non-conformism in the Calder valley it is the perfect fit. We will be celebrating films by or about those who dare to be different, whether they exist in the margins, sit outside the mainstream or just plain don’t fit in.

We will be accepting submissions for 2023 for feature length and short films, both drama and documentary. We particularly encourage submissions from women directors.

HBFF partners with the beautifully restored, state-of-the-art Hebden Bridge Picture House cinema and with the Hebden Bridge Town Hall as our Film Festival Hub where Filmmakers and Film lovers can come together and experience the wonderful community spirit our historic town is famous for.

HBFF will show a programme of World cinema, UK and US Independent features and shorts, as well Q&As, masterclasses, and panel discussions with the film makers.

We cannot wait to welcome filmmakers again to the beautiful Calder Valley.

See what filmmakers who attended HBFF say about their experience.

BAFTA winner Nicole Taylor writer of last year’s smash hit Wild Rose said “The friendliest festival on earth! We were made so welcome by everyone involved in the Festival and indeed the whole town. The atmosphere on opening night was electric and ever since I’ve been looking for an excuse to return to Hebden Bridge!”

BIFA nominee Steve Sullivan, winner of HBFF Audience award for Being Frank said “HBFF is simply the friendliest festival I’ve ever been too. The festival and cinema staff went out of their way to make my screening a success, from getting a near capacity audience to attend through to even helping me run my merch stall. It’s a beautiful town, populated by passionate cineastes and I can’t wait to return.”

2021 Short Film Prize winner Hannah Currie with 'We Are All Here':

Screening at Hebden Bridge Film Festival was such a warm, welcoming and positive experience that was so appreciated after a difficult year. Despite the pandemic they made amazing efforts to get our films seen and to connect us with other filmmakers. I especially loved receiving my prize from the estate agents with all their For Sale boards on display - a stand-out experience that I won’t forget! Louise and Jay’s passion for film is so clear and I was inspired to be amongst so many other incredible films in the short film competition. The festival really reminded me of the importance of independent film and cinema and why we must fight to keep it alive.

And from Marziyeh Riahi the runner up Shorts prize winner for Driving Lessons:

"Thank you so much, jury members for this award. Thank you, festival team. I'm really proud of this award. Receiving this award during this most unusual time was very promising for me. I hope that all those who work in cinema under any title anywhere in the world will not lose hope. Stay safe and strong!"
-Marziyeh Riahi from Tehran

Note: we are proud that HBFF is an F – Rated Film Festival. F-Rating is given to any film written by a woman, directed by a woman or featuring women in significant on-screen roles. Any film that meets all three criteria is awarded a Triple F-Rating. There is no requirement for films screened at HBFF to be F-rated, however we aim for at least 50% of films to be so. We also follow the BFI diversity standards - focusing on underrepresentation on screen, behind the camera and in film audiences, in relation to age, disability, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ+, religion or belief, socioeconomic background and geographical location.

Best Feature: £1000 (jury prize)
Best Short (1st prize) : £300 (jury prize)
Best Short (2nd prize) : £200 (jury prize)
Audience Award for Best Feature
Audience Award for Best Short

1) All entries must have been completed between 1 January 2021 and 6 February 2023

2) Entries in languages other than English must come with English subtitles. NB. All Short Films must also provide a version with captions/subtitles in English regardless of the original language. i.e. even if in English.

3) Feature films must be longer than 60 (I.e.60 mins or more) and no more than 120 minutes.

4) Shorts must be between 1 minute and 20 minutes. To qualify for the Young Person’s short the director must be between 18 and 26.

5) The final deadline for entries is 31 January, 2023.

6) All cash prizes for feature films or shorts are awarded to the Director.

7) Entries in the Young Person's Film category are also eligible for the Best Short and Best Feature Prize; however if a Young Person's film wins the overall Best Short or Best Feature Prize, the Young Person's Film prize will go to the runner up in that category.
Note: The Runner up and Best Young Person's Film Prize Winner accepts their prize on condition that the Prize Sponsor Fox and Goose will be able to show the film at a later date in their venue.


8) Submitters must hold the rights to the film, and are responsible for obtaining any necessary licenses, royalties, release forms, clearances, permits necessary to present their work. HBFF is not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement related to the work. The films must be available for both physical and online screening (UK only) on a secure and geo-protected platform.

9) Film-makers must include a logline (maximum 28 words) with their submission.

10) Selected entries will be screened during the HBFF programme, and by submitting a film, the entrant agrees that it may be screened both online and live if selected. No screening fee will be paid. The selection and scheduling of all films screened at HBFF is entirely at the discretion of the HBFF Director including variations in length or completion date. While there may be exceptions, generally HBFF will not show films that have already been broadcast or are available online in the UK. Dependent on the Covid 19 situation, we may wish to make films available to ticket holders who cannot attend in person for a limited time window on a secure and geo-protected platform.

11) If a film is selected, HBFF may make use of text, stills, trailers, and other publicity and marketing materials to publicise the festival, including using selected materials for a general festival trailer.

12) Film submission does not guarantee acceptance and no refund will be provided if the film is not selected

13) Any films to be shown at Hebden Bridge Picture House must be supplied as DCP. Films to be shown at Hebden Bridge Town Hall must be supplied as high resolution video file (mp4). Each DCP for projection must be labeled with English Film Title, Filmmaker's Name, Contact info, Running time and aspect ratio (4*3 or 16*9)
File requirements for uploading

14) Films shown online: Video File Requirements: H.264 @ 1080p / 10Mbps / high resolution video file - mp4. Must be under 10GB (90 minute film is approximately 5GB). The file requirements for projecting in theaters is typically much higher than what is needed for streaming online.

Audio Channels: two-channel stereo with optional Matrix embedded surround (Pro Logic or similar). 5.1 audio is NOT accepted.

Subtitle/Captions: .srt or .vtt files

15) Digital marketing materials must be made available within 1 week of notification of acceptance:
• Film Synopsis (250 words maximum)
• Link to official trailer
• At least three high resolution image (1920 x 1080 or higher) for the use of HBFF promotional brochures or publicity
• Production Still Photos
• Photo of the Director
• Biography/Filmography

16) All shipping and postage costs for DCPs and additional materials sent to HBFF must be borne by the submitting party (if the film is selected for the Festival). HBFF will cover return postage.

17) Entrants must assume all responsibility for clearing films through U.K. and/or foreign customs officials

18) Every precaution will be taken to safeguard all materials sent to HBFF, but HBFF is not responsible for damage to submitted materials incurred by shipping to or from the Festival.

19) HBFF reserves the right to make any change in regulations or festival schedule.

20) HBFF is proud to be an F – Rated Film Festival. An F Rating is given to any film written by a woman, directed by a woman or featuring women in significant on-screen roles. Any film that meets all three criteria is awarded a Triple F-Rating. We also follow the BFi diversity standards - The Standards focus on underrepresentation on screen, behind the camera and in film audiences, in relation to age, disability, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ+, religion or belief, socioeconomic background and geographical location outside London and the South East.

NB. Please note: a film does not have to be F-Rated to be screened at HBFF.

Overall Rating
  • Hannah Honeywill

    A really friendly festival with sell-out audiences. Excellent diversity of films on show.

    May 2023
  • Emily Carlton

    This is a joy of a festival. Thanks so much for having us - and for amazing hospitality and networking opportunities. Also had never been to Hebden Bridge and it was just beautiful! We'll be back...! From Marnie & Emily, Hello, Muscles

    April 2023
  • Jill Worsley

    Lovely & welcoming festival in a beautiful part of the UK. Great communication. Still a very new festival but they did an amazing job of bouncing back after covid. I hope they go from strength to strength and I hope to return in future years. Thanks for having us!

    April 2023
  • Celia Willis

    A wonderful festival experience - lovely team and great communication

    March 2021
  • Nina Ross

    Hebden Bridge Festival was an absolute dream to screen at. I felt the staff were so positive and passionate, and the selection of films were incredibly good. I am so honoured that my film screened amongst them. I watched so many inspiring films throughout, and hope to visit in person next year. Thank you so much.

    March 2021