The Norwich Film Festival was chosen by The Metro as one of "the top UK film festivals you need to know about" in 2016. We are proud that the festival is continuing to attract some of the best short films in the world. Now it is your chance to submit to one of the top UK short film festivals.

We are also pleased to announce that we are a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) QUALIFYING SHORT FILM FESTIVAL.

2009 was the first Norwich Film Festival and was an unprecedented success. We had submissions from all over the world and some really quality films screened. Films such as Best Documentary winner 'Running To The Limits' (Alex Vero) have since gone on to be screened on Channel 4, while winner of Best Short and Best in Festival, 'Ana's Playground' (Eric D Howell) has gone on to be screened at international conferences around the world, including the Vancouver Winter Olympics, winning numerous other awards in the process.

After a short break, the festival returned in 2012 and is now preparing for it's seventh year (2017) and we can't wait to see this year's submissions.

The Norwich Film Festival also has an amazing array of celebrity patrons (including Stephen Fry, Tim McInnerny, Olivia Colman, Julian Jarrold, Brian Cox & John Collee) and judges (see below) who are all eager to watch the nominated films. Also, the wonderful people of Norwich are also committed to supporting artists of all media and have been wonderful throughout our previous years, turning up in their droves to see the best the festival has to offer.

Our 2017 Film judges (subject to work commitments) who will be watching the NOMINATED films only of 2017 are:

- Amanda Posey (Oscar Nominated and BAFTA winning Producer)
- Denise Parkinson (Director of Entertainment at the Telegraph)
- Joan Sobel (BAFTA nominated Editor)
- Gavin Humphries (BAFTA nominated and Cannes Winning Shorts Producer)
- Caroline Goodall (World famous Actress)
- William Osborne (Screenwriter, Producer, Novelist)
- Steven Hall (DOP, BAFTA Judge)
- Ferne Pearlstein (Director, Cinematographer, Producer)

Finally, not only do you have the chance to have your film screened, win an award, win some money, we are also lining up some fantastic prizes for this year, so please keep checking for updates soon when they will be announced.

Awards & Prizes

Best Short Film - £250
Best Animated Film - £250
Best Student Film - £250
Best Documentary - £250
The East Anglian Award - £250

The Best Short Film of 2017 will not only win money but the below prizes:

- A Copy Of Final Draft 9 (worth £162)
- A Freelancer Premium Membership for one year with Production Base (worth £174)
- A copy of Lightworks Pro (worth £249)

We will also be providing our Best Student, Best Documentary and Best East Anglian Film Winners a copy of Vegas Pro (worth £359)

Rules & Terms

Please read the following guidelines carefully. Due to the volume of entries we receive, it is essential that films be submitted in the format specified below.

Festival Dates

17-19 November 2017 (TBC)

Submission Deadlines

Submissions will be accepted from 9 Jan 2017. Best prices will be offered to those submitting before our earlybird submission deadline of 19 Feb 2017. The very latest we will accept submissions is 23:59 on 31 July 2017 - this does come with a higher submission fee.
• Earlybird (9 Jan – 19 Feb)
• Regular (20 Feb – 30 June)
• Late (1 July – 23 July)
• Extended (24 July – 31 July)


Awards will be given to the best film in each of these categories:
• Short Film
• Short Animation
• Short Student Film
• Short Documentary
(All of the above must be 25 minutes of less)
• One Minute Movie (exactly 60 seconds long, including titles and credits)

An additional award will be given to the best film which hails from the East of England (Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire). To qualify for this award, the film must have been made predominantly in the region, or by filmmakers either living or studying in the area at the time of production.
• The East Anglian Award

Submission Format

• Films will be accepted via our online portal Both websites use Secure Online Screeners, and this is our only method of submission.
• No postal submissions will be accepted.
• Refunds will not be offered if you fail to adhere to these rules.

Press and Publicity

Should your film be accepted we will require digital images and other press/publicity materials to help us promote your film and the festival at large. Please do not, however, send hard copies as we will be unable to store them at the Festival office due to the high volume of submissions we receive. Any hard copies sent prior to acceptance will be recycled.
Both online portals allow digital press packs to be uploaded with submission, and we strongly recommend you do this to avoid missing out later. We recommend you include at least the following:
• Your film,
• A trailer,
• A poster (300dpi),
• A 100 word synopsis of your film,
• At least 3 stills from the film (at least 800px wide and 300dpi),
• A director’s statement (max 500 words),
• At least 5 photos of the director/crew/behind the scenes (at least 800px wide and 300dpi).

The more (digital) information you include with your submission, the more we can promote your film once accepted into the festival.

Submission Eligibility

• Films preferably would not have been released in the UK in any format, including online, or shown on UK television prior to the Festival dates. This does not include other festival screenings.
• Films completed after January 2015 are eligible for submission.
• All foreign language films must be subtitled in English (the costs of which are to be covered by the applicant).
• All rights, permissions and clearances must be obtained prior to submission and applicants must ensure that they have the right to submit the work with regard to third parties connected to the production of the film in question. By entering your work, you agree to this and the responsibilities involved. The Norwich Film Festival assumes no responsibility for violation of copyright law.

Please note that submission fees will not be refunded if your film does not meet these conditions.

Submission Fees

The Norwich Film Festival runs on an extremely limited budget. We regret that, owing to the large number of submissions we receive, we must charge a small fee to cover our administrative costs, as well as the costs of running the festival each year:

• Early bird
For films received before end of 19 February 2017, the entry fee for early bird submissions is £15. Student entries will be charged at £10 (proof required).
• Regular
For films received after 19 February but before end of 30 June 2017, the entry fee for regular submissions is £25. Student entries will be charged at £20 (proof required).
• Late
For films received after 30 June but before end of 23 July 2017, the entry fee for late submissions is £35. Student entries will be charged at £30 (proof required).
• Extended Deadline
For films received after 23 July but before end of 31 July 2017, the entry fee is £45. Student entries will be charged at £40 (proof required).

We are pleased to say that these fees are slightly lower than the 2016 prices.

There is a discount for those films that were made in East Anglia (Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire). These films will cost only £10 during the Earlybird deadline, and £20 for the remainder of the submissions window.

Valid proof of status will be required for student submissions and East Anglian submissions in order to be moved from pending to in consideration.

We are unable to waive fees under any circumstances so please do not contact us to request that we make an exception, as we won’t be able to help you.

Methods of Payment

Entries must be made through FilmFreeway. If, for some reason, you are unable to pay through these sites, we will accept Paypal payments, made to

Please note, if you intend to pay online, Paypal charges 3.4% per transaction, so please add a £1.50 transaction fee to any submissions sent via this method.

Submissions will not be accepted until payment is received in full.


If requested, any publicity materials should be sent to:
Submissions Coordinator
Norwich Film Festival
4 Taylor Road

The entrant must pay all shipping and postage costs incurred in submitting work to us. The Festival will not accept Cash on Delivery shipments and will not absorb any fees incurred in customs. Submission packages from outside the UK must be labelled 'No commercial value - for cultural purposes only' on any customs label and for customs purposes must be given a value of no more than US$10, £10 Sterling or 10 euro.

Please remember to put the FilmFreeway tracking/submission number on the envelope.

Receipt of Submission

Once you have submitted your film online, please check your account to find out if the Festival has received your submission.


Selection will be carried out by the Norwich Film Festival team. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection process and the decision of the Festival Directors are final. We aim to inform successful applicants by the beginning of September at the latest. Unfortunately, due to the volume of entries, we will be unable to offer individual feedback or enter into any discussion about your work. We simply don’t have the time.

Successful submissions will be listed on our website ( and social media outlets, and successful applicants will be notified by email or over the phone. Please therefore make sure that we can reach you in the months of August and September so that we can confirm your film's inclusion in the Festival programme.

Please note that only successful applicants will be notified personally. If we are unable to contact you during this period your film may be removed from the Festival line up.

Festival Screenings and Scheduling

All screenings during the Festival period will take place at the discretion of the Festival. We reserve the right to make changes to the advertised schedule at any time for any reason and will not accept liability for any costs incurred as a result of such changes.

No film may be withdrawn from the Norwich Film Festival programme by its submitter after its selection / participation has been confirmed.

The Festival is not able to cover the costs of any format transfers or subtitling. Digital screening copies of selected titles (if requested) must be received by the Festival by 29 September 2017. Please use the following format only:
• ProRes 422 (or HQ), 1920 x 1080, 48 kHz 24-bit audio, .mov wrapper.
• Export using square pixels.
• If you’re on a Windows computer, the best alternative is the Avid DNxHD codec, which creates a .mov file. The codec is free and widely used.
• Dropbox is our preferred delivery method as it minimises failed downloads. Please send to

Copyrights and clearances

All entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity. If the film contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to the submission of the film, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit use and exploitation of the film by Norwich Film Festival in the manner set forth in the official rules without additional compensation, including, without limitation, location releases for footage shot at any location; name, voice and likeness releases for any person whose name, voice and/or likeness appears in the film (other than entrant); releases for the use of any props, set dressings and other materials used in the film; releases from any individuals participating in the production of the film and releases for any other audio and/or audio-visual materials not wholly owned by entrant, which, in each case, are used in the film (collectively the “Clearances”). If any person(s) appearing in any film is (are) under the age of majority in their place of residence, the signature of a parent of legal guardian is required with each release. All signatures must be original.

Our rights

Norwich Film Festival reserves the right, at any point during the competition, in its sole and unfettered discretion, to disqualify and remove any film that potentially or actually infringes any third party’s copyright(s).
At any time during the Competition, Norwich Film Festival reserves the right, in its sole and unfettered discretion, to disqualify and remove any film that it believes does not fall within the entry requirements in these official rules.
Norwich Film Festival reserves the right, in its sole and unfettered discretion, to verify at anytime during the Competition that all necessary Clearances relating to any film have been obtained. If we believe, in our sole and unfettered discretion, that an entrant has failed to obtain any of the necessary Clearances relating to the entrant’s film, the entrant’s film will be disqualified and removed.

By participating in this Competition, entrants agree that during the Competition Period, Norwich Film Festival and its sponsors and partners are authorized to display the films on the Norwich Film Festival website and on any and all other media in connection with the Competition. By participating in the Competition, entrants grant permission to Norwich Film Festival to use their names, likenesses, photographs, voices, sounds and/or biographical information and films in connection with the Competition and for any and all advertising, publicity and promotional purposes relating to the Competition without additional compensation, unless prohibited bylaw. This will extend to cover the period used to promote the next festival as well.

As a condition of entering the Festival, each entrant grants Norwich Film Festival: i) the right to display their film, in whole or in part, on the Norwich Film Festival website and/or on any websites owned or operated by or on behalf of Norwich Film Festival or any of its related or affiliated companies, and on any website owned or operated by or on behalf of Norwich Film Festival; ii) the right to use their film to create trailers, either for individual films or as a collection of films; and/or (iii) the right, if his/her film is selected, to display the film on any website owned or operated by or on behalf of Norwich Film Festival following completion of the Competition Period. Entrants will be fully credited where possible, and retain sole ownership of their work

Limitation of Liability

By entering into this Contest, entrants hereby release and discharge Norwich Film Festival and its respective affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents, representatives, independent contractors, officers, employees and directors from and against any and all claims, liabilities, costs, damages and expenses of any kind arising out of or relating to their participation in this Contest, their use or acceptance of any prize, the use by Norwich Film Festival of any films submitted by entrants and/or any actions or decisions of Norwich Film Festival in connection with the conduct and administration of this Contest. Entrants hereby waive any right to seek injunctive or other equitable relief in connection with any claim against Norwich Film Festival, any of the Co-Sponsors, or any of their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents, representatives, independent contractors, officers, employees and directors.

Please be aware that, due to the volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to enter into personal correspondence about individual submissions.

Thank you for your interest in submitting to the Norwich Film Festival.

We look forward to receiving your film!

12 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Damon Ragsdale

    I didn't attend the festival and was a screenplay finalist (top 5), everything pertaining to the competition was excellent. Communications also excellent. Matt E. is quite involved and great in communicating.
    Again, I did not attend the festival itself however I believe it is completely legit based on the screenplay competition.

    May 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the review Damon, we really appreciate it :-) Hopefully you can make it to the 2017 festival. Thanks again!

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    Tom Shrapnel

    An excellent festival. Well curated and brilliantly organised. Proof that Norwich as a has so much more to offer than just Alan Partridge.

    March 2017
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    Response from festival:

    AHA! Thanks Tom for your lovely words & for submitting your awesome film Strange Weather to our 2016 festival. I would love to see Alan Partridge judge some of our shorts :-)

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    Moin Hussain

    Great festival, was really happy to screen there as a local filmmaker. Programme was diverse and interesting and festival organisers friendly and great to talk to. Big thumbs up!

    March 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks Moin, for the great words! We thoroughly enjoyed screening Holy Thursday at the 2016 Festival. Look forward to seeing you in 2017 :-)

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    R.M. Moses

    Great film festival run by incredibly friendly people. I was very comfortable at the screening, the venue was beautiful and everyone welcomes you with big smiles. Great selection of films as well, the quality of the event overall was top notch.

    March 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the lovely review :-) It was a real pleasure to meet you, and screen your incredible short film Signs of Silence. Hope to see you in 2017 :-)

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    Sam Gill

    A super friendly, super professional team and a truly wonderful festival :)

    I look forward to submitting to them in the future!

    March 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks Sam :-) We aim to please. Cant wait to see what you submit in the future.