The Nottingham International Film Festival is excited to accept submissions for the 2021 edition of the festival.

2021 will be the sixth edition of the festival and we are looking forward to getting back to normal and screening films in the cinema space in our partner venue the Nottingham Contemporary and at least one other cinema. Due to the COVID-19 crisis this was not possible in 2020 and the festival had to move to a fully virtual event as all other options were unviable. Of course, this may again be the only option given where we find ourselves with COVID-19.

As the festival looks to expand NOTTIFF2021 will programme its biggest selection of films to date, with the aim to select at least double the amount of films screened in previous years.

If the festival is able to be held as a physical event NOTTIFF2021 will take place at both Nottingham Contemporary and one other of Nottingham's many cinemas. Previous years have seen the festival screen films at the Savoy Cinema, Showcase and Cineworld.

In 2021 we plan on once again welcoming filmmakers from all over the world to showcase their work to the cinema fans of the historic city of Nottingham with networking events, after parties and post screening Q&A’s. The festival will deliver an event where film professionals can come together and make connections that can help drive their future projects forward.

NOTTIFF takes great pride in putting on event that is designed to bring audiences and filmmakers together in an environment where keen discussion, collaboration and a good time can flourish. Although the festival was unable to be held physically in 2020 the festival was still able to engage with filmmakers through Zoom interviews and online networking events. The festival will look to use these digital tools once again to help filmmakers who cannot attend in person to connect with fellow filmmakers and audiences.

The festival will present coveted Robin Hood trophies to the award-winning films, with winners being chosen by a mixture of festival alumni, industry professionals and NOTTIFF’s own programming team.

For an idea of what to expect from NOTTIFF2021 please take a look at our photos and videos from the previous five editions.

The official selection in past editions has featured exciting world and U.K premieres of feature length and short films from world cinema that portrayed everything from gripping indie thrillers to intriguing documentaries. Line ups and guests have included multiple award-winning BEATING HEART, documentary THE BALLAD OF A RIGHTEOUS MERCHANT, about the renowned Director Werner Herzog, Gabriel Byrne and Harvey Keitel starring LIES WE TELL, award winning documentary ONE NOTE AT A TIME and the BAFTA winning OPERATOR.

Submit now to be part of what is set to be an incredible weekend.

The bespoke Robin Hood awards will be chosen by a jury select made up of knowledgeable film industry professionals and experts. The Robin Hood categories are as follows:

Best International Short
Best UK Short Film
Best Documentary
Best Documentary Short
Best Student Film
Best Experimental Film
Best Music Video
Best Animation
Best Uncommissioned Screenplay
Best Director
Best Actress
Best Actor
Best Feature
The Best Film of the Festival

NOTTIFF is looking for independent feature-length and short films from around the world from any genre.

Our Standard Festival Participation Agreement (Terms and Conditions), which all submitted films are also expected to follow is as follows:


The 6th Nottingham International Film Festival will take place from 24th to 26th September 2021.

1. Submission Deadlines
Submissions will be accepted from 16th November 2020.

All submission deadlines are found within the FilmFreeway listing.

2. Submission Format
Films must be submitted via online screener.

3. Submission Eligibility
- All submissions must have been completed after 1 January 2018.
- Nottingham International Film Festival requires at least a Nottingham premiere for all films.
- Works-in-progress and films with distribution are accepted.
- Films must not have received more than 50% of their funding from a studio or broadcaster.
- All films not in the English language are required to have subtitles.

4. Premiere Status
- Nottingham International Film Festival requires at least a Nottingham premiere for all films and they may not have been screened publicly online. All films may have screened at other festivals but just not have screened in the Nottingham Region.
- There is no Premiere policy for Experimental Films and music videos, they may have screened at other Festivals and/or online.

5. Film Classification
All films screened during the Nottingham International Film Festival receive an age rating that is decided by the Nottingham City Council.

6. Submission Fee
All FilmFreeway submissions for Nottingham International Film Festival are to be paid using any payment method accepted by FilmFreeway. The submission fee is non-refundable.

7. Shipping
All shipping and postage costs, if the film is selected for the Festival, for all DCPs and additional materials sent to and returned from Nottingham International Film Festival must be borne by the submitting party. Nottingham International Film Festival will not accept Cash On Delivery shipments. Nottingham International Film Festival will not absorb any fees incurred in British customs. All charges must be pre-paid.

8. Selection of Films
Submissions are reviewed and selected under the following criteria:
- Quality of narrative and production values
- Independent nature of the production

9. Notification
Nottingham International Film Festival endeavours to complete all selection procedures by 1st of October 2021 and inform all submitting parties, in writing, if their film has been successful or not after that time. Successful submissions will receive a Filmmaker Festival Pack that will include important information on shipping the DCP to the Festival, press and publicity, guest accreditation, contact information and how to make the most of participating in the Festival.

10. Festival Screenings
Selected films MUST provide a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) or video file (.mov or .mp4).in order to be screened at the Nottingham International Film Festival. The film title MUST be clearly labelled on the hard drive.
A selected DCP or video file must be received at Nottingham International Film Festival no later than TWENTY days prior to its scheduled screening date.

11. Scheduling
Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of Nottingham International Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Nottingham International Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Nottingham International Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling.

No film may be withdrawn from the festival programme after its selection.

COVID-19 - Due to the unprecedented and ongoing problems presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. We reserve the right to change the festival to a geo-blocked virtual online festival if it is not possible to host the event in a physical venue.


By submitting to the Nottingham International Film Festival I confirm that I have read and accept the terms and regulations of NOTTIFF. I will provide the festival with any additional information required pursuant to these rules and regulations. I authorize the NOTTIFF to exhibit my film, and if selected, I confirm that an exhibition copy will be available in a required format for screening during the 2021 festival (24th to 26th September 2021). I certify that I hold all necessary rights for the submission of this film/video to the NOTTIFF and that all rights and clearances have been made. This film is not subject to any litigation nor is threatened by any litigation. I hold NOTTIFF harmless from damage to, or loss of any or all materials en route to, from or otherwise at the festival. I assume all legal responsibilities therein. By Agreeing to these terms, I transfer to NOTTIFF the right to use excerpts of the submitted film, its stills, and trailers, for the purposes of publicity and marketing of the film at the 2021 festival, and for other non-commercial uses related to the promotion of the 2021 festival. I hereby agree to indemnify NOTTIFF, in the event that such rights have not been properly transferred.

Overall Rating
  • Laurent Caujat

    Un des plus beau trophée de ma bibliothèque, un Robin des bois pour un film rebelle, j'adore! Merci au Jury!
    Une jeune équipe motivé qui fait faire grandir ce festival!

    December 2020
  • Very happy to have our short GANEF a part of NOTTIFF2020's vibrant programme and delighted to come away with Best UK Short. Great to get screened (albeit online) in a festival in a major UK city like Nottingham and, whilst it was a big shame not to get to join everyone in a real cinema, the organisers worked really hard to connect the filmmakers and replicate a red carpet moment before our block went live. Thanks so much!

    November 2020
  • Carly Bryant

    Positively the best of all the festivals we've been involved in. The personal care and attention that our film "MY BLOOD IS RED" was afforded by Neil and the team was second to none. And to be awarded Film Of The Festival was a great recognition of the many courageous indigenous creatives who made our film possible. Very grateful. Highly recommended!

    November 2020
  • Tal Amiran

    Brilliant festival. Due to Covid, the festival was virtual this year but communication was excellent and my short doc Dafa Metti won Best Documentary Short which was lovely. Highly recommended.
    Thank you Neil and the rest of the team!

    November 2020
  • Étienne Galloy

    Couldn't attend much of the gathering, but the communication was really good and I'm glad Rose-Marie Perreault won Best Actress at this year festival for my feature!

    November 2020