Hertfordshire Film Festival 2022 is run by Watford Palace Theatre with the generous support of Warner Bros Studios Leavesden and working in partnership with Cathartic Arts and the University of Hertfordshire.

Building on the success of the Watford Young Filmmakers Festival, this countywide festival offers the next generation of filmmakers an opportunity for their work to be screened at Watford Palace Theatre. In addition to showcasing the young filmmakers’ innovative creations, the festival will include talks, networking events and masterclasses from leading film and TV industry figures.

The Festival is now open to short film submissions from anyone aged 11 - 25 living, studying or working in Hertfordshire. It is free to enter and a range of genres, themes and styles of film are welcome, the key is a strong story, simply told. 11 – 17s films can be up to 8 minutes and 18 – 25s films can be up to 15 minutes. For more information visit hertsfilmfest.co.uk

Hertfordshire Film Festival is keen to support the next generation of filmmaking talent in developing their passion for filmmaking and making connections with film courses and industry opportunities. We are delighted to offer the following prizes courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden:

The prize for the best film in the 11 – 17s category is an industry screening at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden (when it is safe to do so) and a family ticket (for 2 adults and 2 children) to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter.

The prize for the best film in the 18 – 25s category is an industry screening at the studios (when it is safe to do so), plus lunch with Dan Dark, Executive Vice President Warner Bros. Studio Operations on his next UK visit, recently named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list and awarded an OBE for his service and contributions to the UK film and TV industry.

- Hertfordshire Film Festival 2022 will take place at Watford Palace Theatre on February 16th and 17th 2022.

- The festival will feature screenings of selected films entered by young people aged 11-25.

- Submissions are open to anyone aged 11-25 living, working, or studying in Hertfordshire.

- Our initial date to notify all submissions on whether they have been shortlisted was 14th January 2022. We are delighted by the overwhelming amount of submissions and are working to notify all applicants by 21st January 2022.

- We welcome submissions from individuals or groups of friends, youth and community groups and schools, colleges, and universities.

- The following types of films will not be considered: training videos, music videos, behind the scenes 'making of’ films, trailers, extracts of longer films, or incomplete films, straightforward recordings of arts (or other) events, film clips made solely for the purpose of curriculum learning (such as record and playback), video diaries or vox pops.

- If you are submitting a youth/community or school project most of the people involved in the production must be aged 25 years or under. Although we understand these projects are often mentored by adults, the production must be predominantly led by young people and young people must have devised or written the script/story. Young People must also have been involved in the technical side e.g. using camera/sound equipment and been involved in the edit. Any support from anyone older than your age category must be declared on your submission.

- Film entries must be submitted to one of two age categories: 11-17s and 18-25s, and the majority of people working on the film must be within the age range for the category you are submitting to.

- Any support or help on the film by anyone older than the category age you are submitting to must be declared on your submission form, but all aspects of the filmmaking process should be led by young people in the relevant age bracket, including involvement in the edit.

- The short films must have been made after December 2020. Any entries made pre-December 2020 will not be accepted.

- Filmmakers are welcome to submit more than one film, provided they all meet the submission criteria.

- Previous submissions to the Watford Young Filmmakers Festivals will not be accepted.

- Films submitted must be no longer than 8 minutes duration for the 11-17s category and 15 minutes duration for the 18-25s category.

- All entries must be received digitally.

- Submitting your film to Hertfordshire Film Festival is FREE.

- The submission deadline is 20th December 2021

- Not all films entered will be shortlisted and screened.

- A panel of film professionals, educators, and young people will select films from those submitted for screening at the festival and their decision is final. Their decisions will be based using the following criteria:

The Idea - Is it original and has it been creatively executed?

The Story - Does it have an engaging narrative that captures an audience, without using shock factor or adult themes for effect?

The Sound - Are the music, sound effects, and dialogue clear, and do they add to the narrative?

The Visuals - Do the appropriate use of camera angles, framing, movement, lighting, costume, props, and locations all work to strengthen the narrative?

The Audience - How engaging is your film to an audience, and how suitable is it for the age category you are submitting the film for? (For example - if you are aged between 11-17, the film content must be suitable for screening to this age range.)

- Successful entries will be informed by 5pm on Friday 21st January 2022. If we have not been in contact with you by this date, then your film has not been selected for screening at the event.

- In the event that we are unable to proceed with the event due to Covid restrictions or government advice, Hertfordshire Film Festival reserves the right to either cancel and postpone the event, or to produce the event in accordance with advice, e.g. as a digital only event. In this eventuality, we would give as much notice as possible to filmmakers whose work has been selected and to audiences that have booked for the event.

- It is your responsibility to obtain all permission and releases from all persons (or the parent/guardian of any young persons) appearing in any associated photo/still images.

- We strongly recommend using royalty free image, music, and sound in your film. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the right to show the film to a public audience (i.e. you have secured all music and image rights). You must obtain composition rights for the use of copyrighted music and recording rights if you are using a copyrighted recording. If you do not have the permission to use the music/images in your film, then you cannot submit the film for the festival. You should also consider that there may be opportunities for your work to be screened beyond the festival and you may need to secure additional permissions for your film to be screened.

- Please make sure the spelling of all the names of cast/crew are correct on your submission.

- In submitting your film and by signing the entry form you agree to all the Hertfordshire Film Festival rules and regulations and confirm that all the information in the form is true and accurate.

Overall Rating
  • catherine Nice

    Well done to the organizers of Hertfordshire Film Festival for the opportunities it has given young film makers. The workshops for 11-17s were excellent and highly educational. The two festivals showed a wide range of interesting short films. Next year do more to promote as you could easily fill Watford Palace Theatre and get more people benefitting from the workshops. Watford Palace Theatre is an excellent venue and it was great to have support from so many sponsors including Warner Bros and Uni of Herts.

    February 2022
  • Martin Bowman

    Wonderful festival, very friendly staff and very helpful regarding film requirements and formats. It was great to have so many of the University of Hertfordshire's animations shown in one evening; we are looking forward to next year!

    February 2022