Kerry International Film Festival (KIFF) is an internationally recognised short film festival and Kerry's largest film festival which takes place in Killarney, Co. Kerry in 2019

The 2019 festival is the 20th edition of the Kerry International Film Festival from 17th -20th October.

Over the past 19 years KIFF has become a vital element of Kerry’s cultural landscape offering a unique film experience to the local community as well as creating a ‘must attend’ cultural tourism event for visitors to the county.

KIFF is renowned for celebrating the work of emerging filmmaking talent through a well established short film competition that has been supported and endorsed by luminaries from the world of film such as Cillian Murphy, director Paul Greengrass, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, and Gabriel Byrne.

The introduction of the Short Film - T.A.L.K sessions cemented the festival as an important event on the film festival schedule. Partnerships with Screen Training Ireland, IFTA and Film Network Ireland encourage film makers to network with industry partners and support the short film art form.

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Kerry International Film Festival, which takes place in October 2019, is now inviting entries for competition in the following categories:



KIFF has previously featured successful shorts such as the Oscar® short-listed “Head over Heels” in 2012 and the 2014 Oscar® winner “Mr Hublot” and 2016 Oscar® winner "STUTTERER". 'The Silent Child' which screened at KFF17 won the short narrative film category at the 2018 Oscar® ceremony. In 2019, two of the five films nominated at the Academy Awards screened at KFF2018, MOTHER and DETAINMENT.

Emerging filmmakers are at the core of the Kerry International Film Festival programme, with the short film competition geared towards showcasing their work and bringing it to a wider audience both at home and throughout a growing network of partner festivals across the globe.

Filmmakers will have the chance for their work to be seen by a prestigious panel of adjudicators which has in recent years included Academy Award Nominated Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly, Academy Award winner Benjamin Cleary, Sundance Grand Jury prize winner, Jim Cummings, Directors Lenny Abrahamson and Paul Greengrass and Producer Finola Dwyer.

It is important to note that programme slots for feature films are extremely limited.


Regular deadline is July 12th 2019 while a FINAL extended deadline for submissions is 1st August 2019 for all categories.

Each submission must be accompanied by a HIGH RES STILL IMAGE (not a poster image) and a 15 WORD SYNOPSIS. Please include a cover note if possible. We are keen to know more about you and your film. (When you build your film profile on FilmFreeway, you can add your images at that point)

Please submit to ONE category ONLY per film. If you wish us to note an additional category for your film, please use the cover note section to tell us!

For the Best of Kerry programme we would like to know about the Kerry link to your film. What is your link to the Kingdom? Was your film made in Kerry. Submit to the Kerry Connection category.

Please let us know if your film has an original score. Add a note in the cover letter. We have an award for Best Original Score!

Students, please submit to the student category for all genres of film.

KIFF only accepts short films of NO LONGER than 20 minutes. (Including titles & credits)
Feature Films must be 60 minutes or over.

Films, not in the English language must have subtitles.

Only films completed after July 2018 will be accepted for KIFF 2019.

The selection and scheduling of all films screened at KIFF 2019 is entirely at the discretion of the Festival Director and the Judging Panel.

Due to the large amount of submissions received KIFF cannot enter into any discussion regarding films that are not selected for the 2019 edition of the festival. In 2019, the festival is unable to send personal emails regarding films that are not selected and notification regarding the status of selection will be made via FilmFreeway notification.

Selected films will be announced on the KIFF website and in the media.

Short Film Screening Files: (Once Selected)

If selected the festival will request a ProRes 422 or ProRes LT Quicktime file with the following specifications only:

Frame size - 1920 x 1080
Frame rate - 24fps or 25fps

Audio 48khz 24bit stereo or 5.1


A H.264 file with the following specifications:
Frame size - 1920 x 1080
Frame rate - 24fps or 25fps
Bit rate - 12000kbps to 35000kbps.

Audio 48khz 24bit stereo

If selected, any web links used to transfer accepted formats should remain active until we have confirmed that we have downloaded and tested the film. Alternative versions will be required where it is evident that the technical requirements are not being met.

Please watch the file of your film IN FULL before sending to us. Our DCP technician will not be able to check your file for errors. Failure to adhere to the technical requirements may result in films not being screened.

Screening format for FEATURE FILMS will be DCP only and must be provided by the APPLICANT if selected.

KIFF will liaise with the filmmaker regarding screening formats after final decisions have been taken. Please check the email you submit your film with regularly. This is the method we will use to contact you. If there is no response to our emails, KIFF reserve the right to withdraw selection for KIFF19.

Images and press packs will be requested upon selection. These will be used for promotional purposes not limited to press, online media, television, radio and any other media platform.

Television and Internet broadcasting: Taking part in KIFF implies allowing broadcasting on Irish and foreign televisions and on the Internet (extracts limited to and not exceeding 1 min) for the purpose of promoting the festival.


KIFF does not pay screening fees.

We request that applicants submit to Kerry International Film Festival only through the FilmFreeway portal. We do not accept DVD's, online links by email etc. The festival has a small seasonal staff and we are not in a position to accept submissions in any other way. This allows our judging panel to view and select films in a fair manner.

All the films are watched by the panel and the judges make the final decision. There is no audience award at Kerry International Film Festival.

Entering your film to KIFF you must have the authority and licence for any music soundtrack on/in your film. You and/or the artists who own the music and/or their representatives waive rights to claim royalties from KIFF for screening selected films.

On submitting to the festival the applicant understands that he/she has legal right to submit the film including ensuring all clearances have been obtained. By submitting to the festival the applicant agrees to the rules and terms.


Submission Rules:

All scripts to be submitted in English or Irish, maximum 15 pages via FilmFreeway only.

Must be original work of the author(s) and on date of submission must be wholly owned and controlled by author(s).

If the script has been sold, currently under option, is being produced, or is in any other way encumbered by a third party on the date of submission, the script is not eligible.  If a script is optioned, sold or produced after it has been entered, it is eligible

Only original screenplays are eligible.  Novels, short stories, stage plays, treatments and spec scripts for other media are not accepted.

Adaptations of books, plays or any other source materials written by another author are not eligible under any circumstances.  A script adapted from your own book, play or other source material is eligible if you have retained all rights to the property.

Once a script has been entered into the completion, under no circumstances will substitutions of new draft or corrected pages be accepted.  Revised drafts must be entered as a new submission.

Author(s) to be 18 years or older on date of submission.

Decisions of the Judges are final and may not be disputed.

Entry Fee per Script €15. ($17)
Last Entries: 1st August 2019

Only the selected finalists will be individually notified and a list will be on the website and social media platforms  We regret we are unable to provide individual feedback on your submission.


-Short Film - ScreenWriting - Winner Trophy
-Access All Areas Pass to the 2019 Kerry International Film Festival Screening
-Mentoring Opportunities with Industry Professionals
-A rehearsed reading of the script.

Overall Rating
  • I couldn't make it down this year but had friends about who said it went great! Thank you for screening my short and hopefully I get to join in the next time

    February 2019
  • Sarah Ingersoll

    I was only able to attend for half a day unfortunately but got an incredible welcome from the box office staff and festival organisers. The quality of the other docs our short screened with was great and it was a really enjoyable program. Communication was excellent from the get go with very swift responses and meticulous organisation. I was so sorry to have missed the rest of the festival but hope to be able to submit again soon!

    January 2019
  • Colleen Forward

    Very special festival with exceptional films! Maeve and her team worked hard to make the filmmakers feel especially welcome, the communication was great but even better was the organised social events that were absolutely amazing! Networking was especially pleasurable and the industry events were set in a beautiful national park! I felt privileged to premiere my film 'What Betty Sees' there and I wouldn't hesitate to return to this festival in the outstandingly beautiful Killarney!

    January 2019
  • Gavin Hopkins

    Really well-organised festival! A pleasure to be a part of it.

    January 2019
  • Uli Meyer

    Great communication all the way through and wonderful people to deal with. Even though I couldn't be there in person for the screening of my film 'From Life', I felt very much included.

    November 2018