Are you tired of wondering if film festivals even watch your submission? So are we!


Our festival jury is a group of working award-winning indie filmmakers who are tired of the status quo of the festival circuit. Rather than just bitch, we decided to do something about it! We started our own festival to help honour great indie shorts and help fund indie talent's future projects.


• We build into the winning filmmaker's future by funding their next project with our £1,000 FILM FUND.

• Each and every filmmaker that submits to our festival gets FREE FEEDBACK regardless if they win or not.

• Our categories are based on BUDGET VS. GENRE, so micro-shorts don't have to compete with fully funded films.

After the success of our first annual two day sold out festival held in March 2020, we're excited to reopen submissions for our 2021 event.


Each month leading up to the festival we review all films submitted within that month and announce a list of 9 MONTHLY FINALISTS.

Those 9 MONTHLY FINALISTS are comprised of the TOP 3 films in each of our 3 budget based categories: Micro-budget (£0 - £999), Low Budget (£1000 - £4999), Sponsored (£5000+).

Each month we choose 3 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS (1 per category) to screen at our annual gala event!

Only Official Selections are eligible for nominations and awards, and to compete for the £1,000 film fund.

Finalists from previous months are still eligible to become an Official Selection any month leading up to the annual gala.


Kino Short Film has been running since 2009. It is a unique platform that supports all levels of filmmaking, from absolute beginners to career professionals. There are over 1400 filmmakers in our collective, and we pride ourselves on being approachable in an all too often intimidating industry. We are infamous for our unique Short Film Open Mic which gives filmmakers an outlet to screen for free without having to go through a curation process. Additionally we offer a Short of the Week series, workshops & classes, networking opportunities, short film production support and sponsor The People’s Film Festival - run by filmmakers for filmmakers.

More info on

MONTHLY FINALISTS (notified with the label "Semi-Finalist") in each of our 3 categories will receive appropriate laurels. Note that Semi-Finalists are not automatically screened. Screenings are reserved for Official Selections. However, anyone can apply to screen at one of our infamous non-competitive Short Film Open-Mic Night's:

All OFFICIAL SELECTIONS are eligible for AWARD NOMINATIONS. Nominations are broken down into two categories: 1. Film Fund Qualifying 2. Honorary


Best Micro Budget Short
Best Low Budget Short
Best Sponsored Short

NINE NOMINEES (three per category) will screen as the finale of the festival and all filmmakers will have the opportunity to pitch their next project.

THREE WINNERS (one per category) will be named by the audience and receive prizes from our sponsors which include Raindance, Filmzie, BorisFX, Zacuto, and more.

Then ONE WINNER will receive £1,000 FILM FUND selected by the audience based on the combined factors of the film they just screened and the vision for their future project.

The festival jury will act as Executive Producers on the selected project to help stretch the fund for a micro budget. The filmmaker themselves will retain all rights to their work.


Additional Nominees based on jury selection (not eligible to win the film fund) will be named in the following categories:

Best Drama Short
Best Comedy Short
Best Horror/SciFi Short (Award Sponsored by Fun Size Horror)
Best Documentary Short
Best Animated Short
Best LGBTQ Short
Best Foreign Language Short
Best Student Short

Best Performance in a Drama (Sub-genres can qualify based on the tone of the performance)
Best Performance in a Comedy (Sub-genres can qualify based on the tone of the performance)
Best Supporting Performance in a Drama (Sub-genres can qualify based on the tone of the performance)
Best Supporting Performance in a Comedy (Sub-genres can qualify based on the tone of the performance)
Best Ensemble Cast (Drama)
Best Ensemble Cast (Comedy)

Best Director
Best Cinematography
Best Original Screenplay
Best Editing
Best Original Score
Best First Time Filmmaker

PRIZES: All Award Winners will receive Laurel & Statuette, plus additional special prizes for certain categories.


• Submissions are open to anyone.
• All film must be 18 minutes or under.
• All genres accepted.
• No premiere status is required.
• All submissions must include production budget.
• Films depicting real-life illegal or exploitive acts will be rejected.
• All films, not in the English language, are required to have subtitles.
• Films must have completed post-production after January 2017.
• The payment of an entrance fee is required.
• Entry fees are non-refundable.
• By submitting your film to The People’s Film Festival you confirm you own the rights to distribute and showcase the film.
• The People’s Film Festival will not be held responsible for any copyright issues or infringements.
• By submitting your film you acknowledge that The People’s Film Festival reserves the right to promote your film on our website and social media.
• The internal jury of The People’s Film Festival will select the official selections at their sole discretion.
• The films are judged on the quality of the project as compared to their production budget.
• Entry does not guarantee acceptance into the festival.
• Official Selections will be automatically eligible for special awards.
• All winners will receive Festival Laurels and winners who attend the festival in person will also receive award statuette. Award statuette available for winning filmmakers not in attendance only if filmmaker agrees to cover the price of shipping.
• The People’s Film Festival does not make your film available online to the public without your consent.
• By Submitting to The People’s Film Festival you agree to be put on our mailing list.
• The People’s Film Festival director has the right to make decisions about matters not provided by these rules.
• Rules and terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of The People’s Film Festival.
• By submitting you declare that you have understood, and agreed to the rules and terms of The People’s Film Festival.


• Kino London will provide a £1000 film fund each year, following the annual ‘The People’s Film Festival’ event.
• The recipient will be decided by "The People", the audience present at the annual gala awards show.
• The fund will be provided to the named filmmaker from the winning project.
• Funding may contribute towards, or cover, the full budget of the film project. Any remaining funds not utilised for the film, will kept by Kino London.
• Funding will be provided in a number of formats, including but not exclusive to, direct total payments, installments, cover for production costs, equivalent value of crew and cast hire, subsidising of production by Kino members.
• Funding must contribute towards pre-production and production costs. Funds will not be provided solely for post-production or distribution purposes.
• The filmmaker must present a project plan to the Kino London jury within three months of being selected, to include project proposal, story outline, proposed budget, timeline, and distribution plan.
• Filmmakers will be expected to complete the film within twelve months of receiving funding.
• All films must acknowledge Kino London in the credits as a funding partner.
• TPFF Festival Director and Jury Members must be named as Executive Producers on the final project.
• The filmmaker will retain all the legal rights to their own work, but they will grant Kino London the right to screen the final film and the right use all production stills, promotional materials, and the filmmakers likeness for their own marketing.
• Filmmakers will be expected to present the film at a Kino London event within six months of completing the film.

Overall Rating
  • Meredith Dobbs

    This is a great festival for filmmakers because it's run by filmmakers who know all the frustrating parts of submitting to and attending festivals. They are very transparent in their whole process (and will answer any questions by email if needed!), and they offer feedback to any filmmaker that asks -- that's a huge plus. The festival works by choosing monthly finalists and then winners from that list. All the monthly winners are invited to a live screening at the end of the year (which is great!), and "some of the finalists" are invited to screen as well. Personally, that felt like waiting months and months for a "maybe". I would prefer if only the monthly finalists went on to screen at the end of the year. Otherwise, I definitely recommend this festival, where the quality of films is fantastic, the organizers are great to work with, and it really feels like filmmakers are respected and valued.

    August 2020
    Response from festival:

    Hi Meredith, Thanks for your review! We loved both your entries last season - BATH and MOLLY & NOEL - and it's a shame we couldn't fit them into our program. They came very close. At the end of the season we review how much space we have left in our program and we do upgrade additional "Finalists" to "Official Selections" vs just screening our monthly "Finalists" because it's our goal to screen as many films as possible.

  • I really appreciate the feedback given on my film from this event. Its extremely valuable!

    June 2020
  • Gemma Norton

    We had our film in what is the festival's first year, and it proved to be one of the best experiences. Dustin and everyone involved have created a really wonderful thing. I really cannot fault it. The feedback they provided (very promptly, considering we are in a pandemic too) was so insightful, considered and absolutely constructive. It's a festival created by filmmakers, for filmmakers. I don't know how they have managed to foster such an engaged and kind community, but they have and I hope it stays!

    April 2020
  • I love what this festival stands for. We need more like Kino in the world.

    April 2020
  • Harvey Puttock

    A brilliant festival, Dustin and the team are really supportive of the films both at their festival and beyond. Would recommend to all up-and-coming filmmakers!

    March 2020