Making a film is an act of courage...

The Lion of Light Awards (LOLA) not only exists to recognise that courage but also to nurture a positive environment with likeminded filmmakers, so that your current film isn't your last. Positivity and encouragement is at the core of our ethos.

At LOLA, we love to see films that fit into traditional genres as well as more experimental and original takes, but further to that, we want to see films where filmmakers feel free to be themselves and show us the stories that are most important to them.

From the unlimited imagination of our worldwide filmmaking community, we want to see films that show the full spectrum of what cinema can be, from everyday reflections of contemporary reality to the pinnacle of illusion as we're transported into another person's life, into another way of living, in another time, in worlds we know, and worlds we've never been before.

We can't wait to see what magic you've been making!

The Lion of Light Awards has two main categories for submissions:

SUPER SHORT FILM (up to 3 minutes including credits)
SHORT FILM (from 3 minutes to 40 minutes including credits)

And in recognition of the best films in these categories, the LOLA judges will be giving out up to 30 Awards/Certificates in total:




For the film that most realistically and respectfully portrays a mental health issue while being an inspiration to others.

For the film that best reflects the beauty of nature and accurately depicts a wonderment and appreciation of our natural world.

For the best filmmaking family unit, cast and crew, who were fully committed to going above and beyond in order to make the best film possible. Your director's statement on FilmFreeway will factor into this and help the judges make their decision. Please tell us the story of your production, the challenges you overcame, and any other details you feel are relevant.

For the best filmmaker who created something amazing even though, due to a lack of budget and contacts, they can be regarded as a one-person crew. Again, your director's statement on FilmFreeway will factor into this and help the judges make their decision. Please tell us the story of your production, the challenges you overcame, and any other details you feel are relevant.

*For each of the above, there will be a winner's award, and certificates for up to two finalists.*

2023 is our debut year and our event will take place in the quaint riverside town of Bedford, UK, with the venue itself at the historical John Bunyan Museum. For more information about our event day, please visit

All films are eligible for submission to LOLA no matter what genre, how long ago they were filmed, or whether they have already been shown publicly, so long as they fit the duration lengths in the relevant category (Super Short Films up to 3 minutes including credits & Short Films from 3 minutes to 40 minutes including credits).

We accept film submissions in any language, however if your film is not in the English language, please include English subtitles where applicable.

We only accept film submissions as online screeners through the available methods via FilmFreeway. If your film is an official selection, we will contact you for a downloadable file to screen at the event itself.

Please include as much detail as possible about your project, including your film's Country of Origin, Film Budget, Posters, Production Stills, etc.

If you are submitting a Student entry, please also attach to your project an image of your Student ID which was valid at the time of production.

If you would like to submit multiple submissions, you are welcome to do so, however please note that the relevant category fee will be required for each individual submission.

Please only submit your film once it has been completed. If a work-in-progress is submitted, this is the version that will be considered by the judges.

In addition to the notifications via FilmFreeway, if your film is an official selection, LOLA will contact you directly via email. Please ensure your contact details are up to date in your FilmFreeway profile. In the event of your film not being selected, we are unable to provide feedback at this time, but rest assured each film is discussed at length between the judges during the selection process.

Any film submission to LOLA is made with the understanding that you are giving LOLA permission to screen your film at the awards event if your film is officially selected.

By submitting your film to LOLA, you are acknowledging ownership of the right to do so and have secured all necessary permissions regarding image use, music rights, etc.

Please note that all fees are non-refundable and no fee waivers are available at this time.

For clarity, winner's awards will be physical awards presented on the day of the event, and can be mailed to winners who are unable to attend. Finalist certificates will be sent via email in a print-quality file format.

LOLA reserves the right not to award any or all of the listed awards/certificates if in the event that, for example, we receive a lack of entries in any of the categories or a lack of entries that qualify for a specific award subject.

Overall Rating
  • Fantastic festival and thank-you for awarding 'The Day of the Sun Dog' Best British Short Film. Pete and his team were brilliant at communicating. Really recommend this festival!

    September 2023
  • A well organised, real in-person festival with a refreshing ethos and mission. Lovely people. A joy to attend.

    August 2023
  • Moritz Führmann

    What a love for films! So much focus on honouring the effort of filmmakers from all over the world, with many categories to match these efforts. A very warm welcome and interest in the talks afterwards. Thank You so much for this experience, see You in one of the following events, Yours Moritz

    August 2023
  • Jo Pearl

    The Lion of Light Festival’s first year was a triumph. It’s curation was great, presenting a really interesting mix of UK and international documentaries, shorts and animations. The organisers did a great job welcoming, encouraging dialogue and networking. Trophies, laurels and certificates all super professional. Top marks! Thanks for a great day - and so chuffed that my animation won Best British Super Short film. Thanks so much!

    August 2023
  • Norman Ng

    Lion of Light Awards is a hospitable, well-organized short film festival that welcomes diversity and recognizes the earnest effort of the participating filmmakers. Best wishes to all its future endeavours.

    August 2023