Oxford International Film Festival is now taking submissions for the 2021 edition.

OXIFF is designed to be an intimate and eloquent filmmaker festival where film enthusiasts can get first hand insights from directors, writers, actors and producers from the premiering films, a style which blends well with the beautiful city of Oxford.

After the rescheduled hybrid 2020 event the festival is excited to present its new platform of an exciting snowy winter festival in 2021.

Our hope is that all films for the 2021 edition will be screened in a cinema with filmmakers being invited to attend and take part in post-screening Q&A’s, networking events and after parties. Of course, this may change given the current situation but changing our look for 2021 to an early December fest we give ourselves the very best chance to welcome the fest back with a festive bang!

OXIFF prides itself on being an honest, welcoming event that shines a light on true independent film. OXIFF is an opportunity for indie filmmakers to showcase their work in a real cinema and a chance to share their stories with the public. We look to provide a platform in which a filmmaker can get their work seen and their cinematic voices heard.

In its first five years all the films selected for OXIFF came through open submissions. This is a strict policy that the organisers will continue with for the sixth festival. For an idea of what to expect in 2021 please take a look at our photographs and videos both on FilmFreeway and our website of past editions where special guests have included Rosamund Pike, Timothy Spall, Kate Beckinsale, Woody Harrelson and Billy Bob Thornton to name a few.

OXIFF2020 marked the fifth edition of the festival and screened a selection of films from wide array of genres across feature and short films, documentary films, animations, experimental films and music videos.

The last edition opened at The Ultimate Picture Palace with a selection of thirteen UK Shorts, all made by some of the UK’s up and coming filmmaking talents. Highlights of the session included SORCERESS, starring Game of Thrones Nathalie Emmanuel, SHE, directed by Control screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh, ISABEL, starring Iain Glenn (Game of Thrones) and Claire Skinner (Outnumbered) and GAME OVER with Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners) and Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones, Killing Eve).

Films screened at the Odeon, George Street included British comedy LOVE TYPE D, about a woman who finds she has a ‘loser in love’ gene, INTERNATIONAL FALLS, about a small town Mum who dreams of becoming a comedienne that stars Rachael Harris (The Hangover) and Rob Huebel (Transparent) , revenge thriller #LIKE starring Marc Menchaca (Ozark) and Sarah Rich (Orange is the New Black) and the Susan Sarandon featuring documentary AMERICAN MIRROR: INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY.

Online screenings included a session of short films, music documentaries A SOUL JOURNEY and DARRYL JONES: IN THE BLOOD and a narrative feature NINA OF THE WOODS.

"Thank you to the entire OXIFF crew. I feel extremely honored to receive this recognition for New York city Sketchbook." Willy Hartland, Director of Film of the Festival New York City Sketchbook

"Brilliantly organised and curated with great films, lovely people, and an amazing buzz around the place. And the Picturehouse cinema really made us feel at home. It was a great platform for our film as there had been a lot of hard work put into getting audiences in and press coverage before and during the festival, which so many festivals don't seem to do after the initial scheduling etc. They really made it feel like you were part of a bigger thing, not just a screening and a chat and all the filmmakers mingled and have stayed in touch after the festival. Definitely worth the money!" Matt Butler Director of Two Down

"A joy of a festival: good programming (the shorts in particular were top-notch), very present and engaged organizers, qualified industry judges, friendly atmosphere, good q+as, and ample opportunity to meet and hang out with fellow filmmakers, it's shocking that this festival was only in its first year. In time, as the festival returns to Oxford in subsequent years, its presence in the city will become more established in the city and turnout will expand. As it stands, this fest is 100% worth the entry fee. Try to get there in person, you won't regret it." Nicholas Gray Director of The Paper Store

"Great festival especially for its first year. The quality of the films was high and it was great that so many of the filmmakers were there. The organisers were very friendly and present at the festival. Overall - lots of wonderful people and films!" Miranda Howard Williams Director of Albert

The exclusive spire awards will be chosen by a jury made up of respected industry professionals. The Spire award categories are:

Best international Feature
Best UK Film
Best international short film
Best UK short film
Best documentary Feature
Best documentary Short
Best Experimental
Best Student Film
Best Animation
Best Music Video
Best production
Best Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Edit
Best Score
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Staff Choice
Film of the Festival- ‘Spire of Dreams award’

OXIFF 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 Oxford International Film Festival will take place from the 2nd to the 5th Dec 2021.

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

2. Submission Eligibility
- All submissions must have been completed after 1 January 2018.
- Oxford International Film Festival requires at least an Oxfordshire 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.

3. Premiere Status
- Oxford International Film Festival requires at least a Oxfordshire premiere for all films. All films may have screened at other festivals but just not have screened in Oxfordshire.
- There is no Premiere policy for Experimental Films and music videos.

4. Film Classification
All films screened during the Oxford International Film Festival receive a blanket 18 rating unless they already hold a BBFC certification.

5. Submission Fee
All FilmFreeway submissions for Oxford International Film Festival are to be paid by credit card. The submission fee is non-refundable.

6. 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 Oxford International Film Festival must be borne by the submitting party. Oxford International Film Festival will not accept Cash On Delivery shipments. Oxford International Film Festival will not absorb any fees incurred in British customs. All charges must be pre-paid

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

8. Notification
Oxford International Film Festival endeavors to complete all selection procedures by 15th April 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.

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

10. Scheduling
Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of Oxford International Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Oxford International Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Oxford 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 Oxford International Film Festival I confirm that I have read and accept the terms and regulations of OXIFF. I will provide the festival with any additional information required pursuant to these rules and regulations. I authorise the OXIFF 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 (June 3rd - 6th 2021). I certify that I hold all necessary rights for the submission of this film/video to the OXIFF 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 OXIFF 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 OXIFF 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 OXIFF, in the event that such rights have not been properly transferred.

Overall Rating
  • We were so very honoured to be part of this incredible festival. The organizers are fantastic, they're very thoughtful and thorough, and we had a truly wonderful experience. Definitely recommend!

    January 2021
  • tibo travers

    We were thrilled to have our film Starboy selected to OXISFF and win some good awards. A fantastic event to be part of. One of the best film festival experiences to have. We were really looking forward to attending their fantastic venue but Covid hit. So they swiftly moved their festival online, had countless great zoom events, a wonderful selection of films from around the world, and they made sure all filmmakers were included and connected. Probably because the fabulous people who run it (Bravo Andy) are talented filmmakers as well. They know films, they understand the process of making them, they appreciate storytelling, they're smart and lovely and make you feel at home.

    Thanks again.

    From Joëlle, Tibo and the Starboy team.

    December 2020
  • John Burdeaux

    I had the honor of twice being a finalist in the uncommissioned screenplay competition. I was not able to attend, but followed closely on Facebook and via friends who did attend. Communication was great, and it seemed like a very welcoming film festival.

    November 2020
  • Adrian Burt

    Truly fantastic festival in an amazing City!! Loved it.

    November 2020
  • OXIFF was excellent in their communication and allowed my short experimental dance film some excellent exposure! They also allowed some great opportunities to get involved in the next year's film festival and offer awesome support to their alumni!

    November 2020