Making Waves Film Festival (MWFF) supports and exhibits pioneering work by talented international, national and local independent film-makers.

Based in Portsmouth in the UK and now in its tenth year, the Making Waves Short Film Competition opens for entries on 1st November 2021 and encourages submissions from local, national and international filmmakers. As part of the festival, Making Waves hosts in-person screening and networking events and a virtual awards ceremony.

Making Waves is Portsmouth’s annual film festival and short film competition celebrating innovative and bold filmmaking that inspires audiences whilst developing creative talent and new filmmakers.

Making Waves Film Festival is an IMDb qualifying Festival:


Jury Prize (open to all official selection films)

Best International Film (non-UK)

Best National Film (UK)

Best Local Film (Solent Region)

The Young Film Maker Award (Director and/or Producer aged 21 years and under)

Best Performance (open to all actors, irrespective of gender, within all submitted films)


All Awards will be recognised with an MWFF Trophy.

A cash prize of £500 will be awarded to the winner of the Jury Prize.

Official Selections will receive MWFF Festival Laurels, with Semi-Finalist Laurels for runners up.

All shortlisted films will be offered to No6 Cinema, Portsmouth for screening as part of their regular programme.


Trophies for Local, National and International Films, together with the Awards for Best Performance, Best Director, and Best Young Filmmaker, were awarded at the MWFF online Zoom Event on Monday 17th April 2021. Laurels were awarded for Officially Selected films shown at that event.

The results for 2021 were:

Best International Film
Winner - "Malakout" by Farnoosh Abedi
Runner Up - "Faces" by by Iván Sainz-Pardo
Finalist - "Talent" by Oleg Ageychev

Best National Film
Winner - "How Can I Forget" by Natalia Andreadis
Runner Up - "To My Younger Self" by Owain Astles
Finalist - "Choker" by Orson Cornick

Best Local Film
Winner - "Parrot" by Alexander Wilks
Runner Up - "The Moon Lamp" by Alsie Hua
Finalist - "Fragments" by Abbie Jones

Best Young Filmmaker
Winner - Alsie Hua for "The Moon Lamp"
Runner Up - Abbie Jones for "Fragments"
Finalist - Alexander Oliver for "I Dream for the Stars"

Best Director
Winner - Iván Sainz-Pardo for "Faces"
Runner Up - Farnoosh Abedi for "Malakout"
Finalists - Natalia Andreadis for "How Can I Forget"

Best Performance
Winner - the cast of "Talent"
Runner Up - the cast of "How Can I Forget"
Finalist - the cast of "Honor Among Thieves"


In order to qualify for the Making Waves short film competition, the submitted film must be a scripted live-action film, and a maximum length of 10 minutes, including titles and credits.

Any non-English language films must have burned English subtitles or captions, or an srt file file must be submitted with the entry. Films in English are encouraged to submit a subtitles file (srt) as well, although this is not mandatory.

We accept films regardless of their premiere status.

All films must be completed after 1st April 2020.

The final closing date for entries is 31st January 2022.

Shortlisted films will be announced on 21st March 2022.

Shortlisted filmmakers automatically agree to allow their film trailers and other marketing materials to be showcased online by Making Waves Film Festival.

Shortlisted filmmakers will be notified of the acceptance of their film via the FilmFreeway platform, and subsequently by the Making Waves team via email.

Student Fees are available to filmmakers of or under 21 years of age ONLY where a college or university email address or other evidence has been provided (a reference to the college or university in the film's credits is acceptable).

Films that have been part of our official selection in the past are not eligible to compete again. As such the submission of those films in future Making Waves competitions will be rejected.


The following additional rules apply to submissions for Local Film which must have been written, produced and/or directed by a filmmaker who lives in, and the majority of the film production took place within, the SOLENT region (comprising Portsmouth, IoW, Southampton - please refer to the Local Film Area (2019) map)


a. You agree to the public screening of the film at times and locations of our choosing for the purpose of being an eligible entrant on the Making Waves short film competition and promoting your film.

b. You agree that should your film be shortlisted Making Waves Film Festival is licensed to publically screen your film in partnership with No6 Cinema, Portsmouth, as part of their regular programme.

c. You agree to the use of any parts of your film to be shared online, across all platforms, and internationally, for the purpose of marketing, publicity and promotion of your film, promoting Making Waves Film Festival, promoting partner organisations, public voting, selection, and judging. Making Waves Film Festival won’t make the entirety of your film publicly available.

d. You agree to the use of marketing materials included with your submission to be used as we see fit for the purposes of promoting your film, promoting Making Waves Film Festival, promoting partner organisations, public voting, selection and judging.

e. You confirm that you hold all rights, permissions and copyright on the film, its content, its parts and elements and have the right to assign a license for use in accordance with the requirements above to Making Waves Film Festival and its partner organisations.

f. Entrants for the Local Film category may also enter, at additional cost, the National Film category and equally there is no requirement for a local filmmaker to enter the Local Film category.

g. Entry fees are non-refundable, unless the film submitted has a length above the specified or doesn’t fall under the category of live-action narrative film.

h. You agree that your film can be screened again at a later date at our partners’ venue as a pre-feature. The Making Waves team will notify you of the screening in advance.

i. If you are under the age of majority where you live, your parent or legal guardian must give you permission to submit your film. Your film will be disqualified from our program if submitted without the permission of your parent or legal guardian.

Overall Rating
  • Owen . C

    Really nice film festival!!! Well organized and high value.

    We are really happy our short film <The Moon Lamp> won the Best Young Filmmaker. Also It was a great honor that our journey of making this film been published in the local newspaper.

    Will participate again in the future!

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Owen for your review! We're excited to see your upcoming projects :)

  • Alexander Wilks

    I was lucky enough to be a category winner in the 2021 edition of the MWIFF and I was consistently surprised and flattered by the level of care and attention that was given me and the other filmmakers at the event.

    Despite less-than-ideal circumstances, the team made every effort to contact me and keep me informed of my film's status from selection through to becoming a category winner and I was very kindly offered the chance to meet and network with both their team and the other finalists via Zoom; a feature that other film festivals in which my film played did not offer despite it being one of the biggest draws for any filmmaker.

    To top it all off, my physical award was delivered to me personally (living locally does have its perks) and I was offered an in-depth interview as well with a talented local journalist. I know the difficulties, both financial and logistical organising events such as these but the MWIFF went above and beyond in every regard and placed the filmmaker at the forefront of their priorities. I'm truly honoured to have had my film screen at their event, they're a lovely bunch of people and I strongly recommend that any filmmaker who wants to experience an ambitious and considerate film festival do themselves the favour of supporting and submitting to "Making Waves". Great job, guys.

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Alex for the incredible review! It's such an honour to showcase films from filmmakers like yourself! Hope to see you again next year :)

  • Natalia Andreadis

    In a strange year for festivals everywhere, the team at Making Waves did a terrific job of communicating the new format, when events would take place and how, and posting on social media to promote each film and filmmaker individually. Such a thoughtful team that really champion filmmakers.

    April 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Natalia! We're humbled by your words!

  • Owain Astles

    Great festival, really strong communication and personal feel to it. They really care about the filmmakers

    April 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Owain for your kind words! We really appreciate it :)

  • Pros: the submission fees are reasonable, the feedback on the film is very comprehensive and constructive, and you get to see work from people across the world, even though it feels quite local when you attend.

    Cons: The screening of the festival wasn't great, the quality of the projection didn't seem to do justice to all the films. And unfortunately, only a few teams of filmmakers attended and there wasn't much of a crowd. It also felt quite disconnected how the Best Local Film wasn't awarded on the same evening, but instead as part of a different event.

    March 2020