The Purbeck Shorts Competition is part of the annual Purbeck Film Festival in Dorset, England - the longest running rural film festival in the UK.

The Purbeck Film Festival dates for 2021 we hope will be 22 October to 31 October (subject to the end of the Covid pandemic). We normally show approximately 80 films in up to 34 venues across the Purbeck region, Poole and Bournemouth during a two week period each year, and the Purbeck Shorts event is our exciting filmmakers' competition, with the finalists screening at a Dorset cinema during the festival (date to be confirmed).

The Purbeck Film Festival is run by the Purbeck Film Charitable Trust Ltd, a not for profit organisation that is a registered charity. The Trust also runs a small, independent, not for profit cinema - The Rex, in Wareham, Dorset. The Rex has always been the central venue for the Film Festival and also the venue for the Purbeck Shorts Competition screening event. This cinema has just undergone a stunning renovation to increase access and is a must-see for a warm, friendly welcome and amazing atmosphere - and you can take your drinks from the newly refurbished bar into the auditorium. If you haven't yet been, you must!

Films that are submitted are viewed by a preliminary judging panel and the finalists are then chosen for the screening event. The films are judged on that evening and winners are announced. Cash prizes are awarded to the winners in each category.

Entrants are invited to attend the Purbeck Shorts evening with two guests. Other guests are welcome however and we are happy to sell tickets to them for the event.

The Judges' Award for Best Animation- judged by media professionals/people from industry on our panel
The Judges' Award for Best Over All Film - judged by media professionals/people from industry on our panel
The Audience Award for Best Animation- voted for by the audience
The Audience Award for Best Short Feature - voted for by the audience
Best Student Film - selected by the Judges' Panel

Prizes are awarded to the winners on the evening and if not present, the prize will be forwarded to them. Prizes are to be announced on the evening.

Films can be of all genres are subject to approval by the preliminary judging panel, and
can be submitted via FilmFreeway .

We will contact you should the film be selected for the final, but all submissions will receive a response, either through FilmFreeway or via contact details supplied.

Duration: 10 mins maximum

Please leave 2 seconds without picture or audio before and after your film if possible.

Contact/profile information can be submitted via FilmFreeway with your entry as requested.

Full details on our website at

Overall Rating
  • Robert Brown

    Great Festival! I was delighted to hear that my animated short film "Fire and Water" had been Officially selected for screening here.

    November 2019
  • Marc Adamson

    Had the pleasure of screening my short at this year's short film program, there were some fantastic films in the selection! The caliber was higher than I expected considering it's a smaller festival, with a few films that had previously screened at some of the most prestigious festivals around the world. The screening takes place at the wonderful, vintage Rex theater that has a ton of charm,. The festival is very well run and there was a brilliant atmosphere at the packed out screening. I had great time and will definitely be back!

    November 2017
  • Theo Pavlou

    As a young filmmaker I felt grateful and honoured that my film was selected to be shown at this long established festival. Thank you for your encouragement and generosity.

    October 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your appreciative words Theo
    good luck in the States and in your future career i hope we hear from you again
    Andrea Etherington, Chair PFF

  • A D Cooper

    A treat of a festival set in a beautiful Art Deco cinema. I've had two films selected in different years and the welcome is always warm from the organisers and discerning local film lovers. Also the festival organisers do much to support the work of film students from nearby Bournemouth University.

    May 2016
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    Response from festival:

    What a lovely review, AD. Thank you so much. It was great to have you there last year with your mother, as I recall. Do please enter again, the boys on bikes film was great! Andrea, chair PFF

  • Tom Collinson

    A delightful festival. I had a film selected for the short film category and attended the screening. The content was of a high standard and internationally sourced. Good to see a festival like this thriving outside the metropolis.

    May 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Tom. What a great review.I hope we shall see more of your work and meet you again.
    Andrea, Chair Purbeck Film Festival