The Norwich Film Festival is a BAFTA Qualifying Short Film Festival (Section B)* as well as a BIFA (British Independent Film Awards) Qualifying Short Film Festival* and was chosen by The Metro as one of "the top UK film festivals you need to know about".
All submissions must be 25 minutes or less to be in consideration.
We have been running since 2009 and have screened over 900 films to the public.
The festival has an amazing array of celebrity patrons including Stephen Fry, Tim McInnerny, Olivia Colman, Julian Jarrold, Brian Cox & John Collee.
We also work hard to recruit industry judges (see below) who are all eager to watch our nominated films. Please note all judges are subject to work commitments and more judges will be added throughout the year.
- Dexter Fletcher (BAFTA nominated Director/Actor)
- Arianne Sutner (Golden Globe Winning and Oscar Nominated Producer)
- Lisa Cortes (Oscar Nominated Producer / Director)
- James Marsh (Oscar winning director)
- Jill Culton (Director, Writer, Producer)
- Will Becher (BAFTA nominated Director)
- Todd Banhazl (Independent Spirit Award Nominated Cinematographer)
- Julie Lockhart (BAFTA Nominated Producer)
- Antonio Aakeel (Actor)
- Stuart Dryburgh (Oscar Nominated Cinematographer)
- Kate Phillips (Actress)
- Tim Downie (Actor)
- Stephen Woolley (BAFTA Winning Producer)
Previous final-round industry judges have included Stephen Fry, Neve Campbell, Alfred Molina, Emma Freud, Bernard Hill, Alistair Petrie, and Roger Michell. The full list of NFF2020 judges will be updated on our website and social media platforms throughout the year.
As well as screening selected films to the public, winning films will also receive an award, a certificate, a cash prize, and a selection of other industry related prizes. Furthermore, our social media gained well over 2.7 million impressions on Twitter alone last year, and we will promote your film to a global audience.
*Only British short films and animations will be eligible for BAFTA/BIFA status as per their guidelines. See the BAFTA and BIFA websites for further details.
We are pleased to be able to offer £6000 worth of cash prizes to our selected winning filmmakers. This will consist of:
Best British Short Film - £1000
Best International Short Film - £1000
Best Animated Film - £1000
Best Student Film - £1000
Best Documentary Film - £1000
Best East Anglian Film - £1000
We also have a great selection of filmmaking software and industry perks which will be awarded to our winners (festival staff will allocate prizes to which categories they deem fit). Prizes include:
- Copies of Final Draft (worth £190 courtesy of our partners at Final Draft ),
- Freelancer Premium Memberships for one year with Production Base (worth £174.99 courtesy of our partners at Production Base),
- Copy of Lightworks Pro Outright Licence (worth £249.99 courtesy of our partners at Lightworks)
- One year’s subscription to MUBI (worth £78 courtesy of our partners at MUBI),
- One year’s subscription to iPitch.TV (worth £220 courtesy of our partners at iPitch.TV).
Any additional prizes will be updated throughout the year on our website and social media platforms.
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.
ALL FILMS MUST BE 25 MINUTES OR LESS.
6-15 November 2020 (TBC)
Submissions will be accepted from 13 Jan 2020. Best prices will be offered to those submitting before our early-bird submission deadline of 09 Feb 2020. The very latest we will accept submissions is 23:59 on 12 July 2020 - this does come with a higher submission fee.
• Earlybird (13 Jan – 09 Feb)
• Regular (10 Feb – 31 May)
• Late (01 June – 21 June)
• Extended (22 June – 12 July)
Awards will be given to the best film in each of these categories:
• British Short Film
• International Short Film
• Animated Film
• Student Film
• Documentary Film
• East Anglian Film
To be eligible for the Best East Anglian Film Award, the film must have been made predominantly in the region, by filmmakers either living or studying in the area at the time of production. The region is defined as Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, and Essex.
• Films will only be accepted via our online portal at www.FilmFreeway.com. 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.
FilmFreeway allows 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 (portrait, 300dpi),
• A 100 word synopsis of your film,
• At least 5 stills from the film (at least 800px wide and 300dpi),
• A director’s statement (max 500 words),
• At least 3 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.
• 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 2017 are eligible for submission.
• All foreign language films must be embedded with subtitles in English.
• 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.
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. These fees are in dollars as per the FilmFreeway submissions platform.
• Early bird
For films received as per the dates above, the entry fee for early bird submissions is $25. Student entries will be charged at $15 (proof required).
For films received as per the dates above, the entry fee for regular submissions is $40. Student entries will be charged at $30 (proof required).
For films received as per the dates above, the entry fee for late submissions is $60. Student entries will be charged at $45 (proof required).
• Extended Deadline
For films received as per the dates above, the entry fee is $75. Student entries will be charged at $60 (proof required).
We are pleased to say that these fees have not been raised for the last 3 years.
There is a discount for those films that are eligible for the Best East Anglian Film (those films made in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, or Essex). These films will cost only $15 during the Early-bird deadline, and $25 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 a GOLD FESTIVAL on FilmFreeway, which allows for certain members to obtain further discounts. Please see https://filmfreeway.com/gold for more information.
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
All entries must be made through Filmfreeway, which accepts online payment. If, for some reason, you are unable to pay through this website, we will accept Paypal payments, made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
NFF Submissions Team
c/o Larking Gowen
King Street House
15 Upper King Street
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 FF 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 Executive Committee are final. We aim to inform successful applicants by the end of August 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 (www.norwichfilmfestival.co.uk) 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 30 September 2020. Please use the following format only:
• H264, 1920 x 1080, 48 kHz 24-bit audio, .mov wrapper.
• Export using square pixels.
• Files should not exceed 4GB.
• Dropbox is our preferred delivery method as it minimises failed downloads. Please send to email@example.com.
• You may also send files via wetransfer, to the above email address.
• FilmFreeway allows films to be uploaded to the submission platform, and we highly recommend this as a back up.
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.
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.
Should the festival organisers decide to cancel the festival without reason prior to the Official Selection, every effort will be made to reimburse those who have paid to submit their film. Should the festival get cancelled without reason after the announcement of the Official Selection, priority reimbursement will be given to those filmmakers who have been selected to be a part of the festival. Those filmmakers who were not due to be a part of the festival because their film was not selected will not be reimbursed. In the event of circumstances being beyond the control of the festival organisers (such as natural disaster, viral/bacterial pandemic, etc) then every effort will be made to pause, postpone, or amend the festival so that it still goes ahead in some form. We will never look to cancel the festival if we can look to rearrange. In such circumstances, no refunds will be issued as submission fees will be used to continue the planning of the festival at a different place or time.
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!