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

Based in Portsmouth in the UK and now in its ninth year, the Making Waves Short Film Competition opened for entries on 1st August 2020 and encourages submissions from local, national and international filmmakers. As part of the festival, Making Waves hosts a screening event and awards ceremony each year at which the Official Selection for each category is exhibited to a live audience, who are also responsible for the selecting the Audience Award for Best Film from the films shown.

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 International Film Festival is an IMDb qualifying Festival:


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

Best Director (open to all directors within all submitted films)

Audience Award for Best Film


All Awards will be recognised with an MWIFF Trophy.

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



Trophies for National and International Films, together with the Awards for Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Young Filmmaker, were awarded at the MWIFF Gala Event held at the Wedgwood Rooms, Portsmouth, on Monday 25th November 2019. Laurels were awarded for Officially Selected films shown at that event.
The results for 2019 were:

Best International Film
Winner - Save 2.0 by Ivan Sainz-Pardo
Runner Up - Osuba by Federico Marsicano
Finalist - The Spark by Anastasia Lobkovski

Best National Film
Winner - Disco Dynamite by Tom Clover
Runner Up - Quiet Carriage by Ben S Hyland
Finalist - Quizmasters by William Kherbeck

Best Young Filmmaker
Winner - Charlie Cox for Stripped Bare
Runner Up - Lucie Eckersley for Nut Pops
Finalist - Sunyoung Du for Light in Deep

Best Director
Winner - Anastasia Lobkovski for The Spark
Runner Up - Sebastian Sgodzai for Mother
Finalists - Federico Marsicano for Obusa / Ben S Hyland for Quiet Carriage

Best Actor
Winner - Ian Pirie in Spit of a Common Man
Runner Up - Corinne Stricket in The Loft
Finalist - Paula Weigel in Mother

The Audience Award for Best Film, decided on the night received 91 votes (one per person present, although not all present voted)
Winner - Stripped Bare by Harvey Coombes (17 votes)
Runner Up - Guilt by Annabel Bryant and Shenali Karunatilake (14 votes)
Finalist - Delivery by Jon Small and Maxine Mason (9 votes)


Film length to be a maximum of 10 minutes, including Titles and Credits. Any non-English language films must have English subtitles or captions.

All films must be completed after 1st April 2019.

The final closing date for entries is 31st January 2021.

Shortlisted films will be announced on 12th March 2021.

Shortlisted filmmakers automatically agree to allow their film trailers to be screened online by Making Waves International Film Festival.

Only shortlisted filmmakers will be notified personally.

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).


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 promoting your film, promoting Making Waves International Film Festival, promoting partner organisations, public voting, selection and judging.
b. You agree to the use of all or parts of your film, to be shared online, across all platforms, internationally for the purpose of marketing, publicity and promotion of your film, promoting Making Waves International Film Festival, promoting partner organisations, public voting, selection and judging.
c. 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 International Film Festival, promoting partner organisations, public voting, selection and judging.
d. 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 International Film Festival and its partner organisations.
e. 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.

Overall Rating
  • 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
  • Iván Sáinz-Pardo

    Great Festival, very good comunication!!!

    December 2019
  • Ben Grace

    A really lovely, well run festival that's a joy to attend. I was lucky enough to have one of my films shortlisted and attend the screening and awards ceremony and was really impressed by the high standard of films and the effort put into the evening.

    I'd highly recommend submitting and attending!

    December 2018
  • Connor Webb

    This was my first proper festival experience and first time being nominated for an award. We came 2nd in our category and it was a really cool experience and was great to see the films made by talented locals as well as people from further afield and all over the world. Definitely intend to be back next year!

    November 2018
  • James Secker

    Been twice to the festival, once as a film fan, next as a filmmaker. Terrific event with great communication from the festival. Welcoming to my team and had a fantastic audience. The Summoner took home two awards on the night. Huge thanks from The Summoner team.

    December 2017