The London International STORY FIRST Film Festival is an international festival. We're looking for brilliant fiction short films (animation and live action) up to 20 mins (we will consider up to 25 mins as an exception but prefer them to be under 20) completed after 1st January 2017, from anywhere in the world, in the following categories:
- BEST GENRE FILM (Horror, Sci-Fi and Thriller)

As filmmakers ourselves, we believe that great storytelling lies at the heart of good films. We think a compelling, entertaining or provoking story with original characters and ideas is far more important than the camera used on the film, or the lighting budget, or much else for that matter (except sound; good sound is vital).

That's why we started the London International STORY FIRST Film Festival and Awards - to reward filmmakers for their storytelling abilities rather than their proximity to oodles of cash. We also believe film festivals needs to do more to address inequality in the industry - we have been to too many where only 10-20% of acceptances are women and there's very little ethnic diversity.

We keep our submission fees low to encourage submissions from productions that may not have the backing of big production companies or a wealthy relative. We strongly encourage applications from under-represented groups, such as women and BAME filmmakers, and will judge projects on their storytelling skills and filmmaking craft, regardless of budget.

Our inaugural festival took place in January 2018, at a fantastic independent cinema in London with top-quality projection facilities - and we are now accepting submissions for our 2019 festival.

We also provide reviews for films which are published on our website - - please select 'Film Review' on FilmFreeway if you would like us to review your film.

If you have a short film that fits the bill, please submit it to us! We can't wait to see your work.

Prizes for our 2019 festival are TBC. Official Selections will screen at our festival in early 2019.

​1. Short films submitted to London International Story First Film Festival should be under 25 minutes, There is no minimum length for submissions. All films must have been completed after 1st January 2017.

2. Titles produced in languages other than English must have legible English subtitles.
3. We only accept online screeners, digital copies, or a link to an online video (such as YouTube or Vimeo). Please include a valid password if required. We will not accept films with low sound quality, or the absence of subtitles/captions for non-English films).

4. Entry fees are payable through FilmFreeway payment systems and are non-refundable.
5. By submitting your film you acknowledge that you own or have full permission to use any necessary licenses, royalties, release forms, clearances, permits necessary to present the work. The London International Story First Film Festival are not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement related to the work. In the event of copyright disputes accepted films will be excluded from the competition.
6. Submitters agree that clips from films and other materials related to their project may be used and/or published in the website, digital and print event programs, and for any promotional purposes deemed appropriate by the festival. We will never publish your full film publicly without your permission.

7. Prizes will be published on FilmFreeway once they are confirmed but we offer no promise of financial reward. We keep our submission costs low to allow as many entries as possible from films with a range of budgets; so all entry fees go towards running the awards.

8. Filmmakers wishing to purchase a review of their film can make no suggestion of winner or nomination status when publishing our review in their marketing material, except in the event that their film is nominated or wins one of our awards. Whilst we will endeavour to provide constructive and positive reviews, we can make no guarantee that purchased reviews will be entirely favourable.

9. Any films containing pornography, actual harm of people or animals, or incitement to racial hatred, will be disqualified and no refunds given. 

10. By submitting your film you give the London International Story First Film Festival permission to screen your film at our live festival event in London, should your film be chosen as part of our Official Selection.

11. In the event that we select your film for our screening, you will need to provide a copy of the film a minimum of 3 weeks before the screening date in order to test the screening copy. In the event that a suitable screening copy is not received in sufficient time, London International STORY FIRST Film Festival reserves the right not to screen the film at our festival.

Overall Rating
  • Fantastic festival, with well-curated films and a really welcoming atmosphere. I hope it continues to grow year on year and become a bigger event.

    February 2018

    Sadly, due to illness, I was not able to attend the actual festival this year, but the experience of entering my short film 'Finding Hope' and the written review which I received afterwards, made it all worthwhile. I am looking forward to attending next year.

    February 2018
  • Shawn Cortel

    Terrific all around from beginning to end.

    January 2018
  • Really lovely intimate film festival, well organised and atmospheric environment!

    January 2018
  • Great festival, friendly and in a wonderful location. It was an honour to have our film screened. I would definitely submit again and recommend to other film makers.

    January 2018