The STARBURST International Film Festival is a celebration of genre movies; offering the best of independent cult, horror, sci-fi, and fantasy film - both classic revivals and new releases.

About the Film Festival:
STARBURST MAGAZINE is the world’s longest-running magazine of cult entertainment and has built a reputation of championing independent filmmaking and arts, particularly with the monthly column INDEPENDENTS DAY in the print edition, which profiles emerging talent.

As part of the main programme, we are looking for new and exciting films from all over the world. This continues to support the magazine’s remit of embracing the strange, aiming to showcase amazing features and spectacular shorts.
We only have limited screening slots available, so will sadly be unable to accept every entry.
Unsuccessful entrants are more than welcome to attend and promote their work during the festival via networking and flyers.

Our 2020 festival was a great success, and welcomed actor Laurence R. Harvey and illustrator Graham Humphreys as well as hosting filmmaker panels and Q&As.

At our previous festivals, cult screenwriter and director Luigi Cozzi was in attendance as well as the legendary President of Troma Entertainment himself, Lloyd Kaufman! In receipt of our hall of fame award, Lloyd was also around for the whole festival, including a very insightful Q&A. We have also hosted such luminaries as famed James Bond director John Glen and extreme horror legend Jörg Buttgereit, actors Virginia Hey, Caroline Munro, and Martine Beswick. As well as established names, we also support up and coming independent film, hosting panels with independent filmmakers from all over the world.

Get your Films Short-listed:
The STARBURST Fantasy Awards are a great way for indie shorts and features to get maximum exposure. If you have a suitable genre related short, no longer than 30 minutes in length, then you can simply enter via FilmFreeway.

Feature films should be over 60 minutes in length and not yet have had a commercial release. Premieres are preferred, but not essential.

To be considered for the awards a film cannot be available via a public link or available via a streaming service.

The STARBURST International Film Festival will be taking place in spring 2021.

All movies accepted through FilmFreeway will be considered for entry into the festival competition.

Categories include:
Best Feature
Best Short
Best Director
Best Screenplay*
Best Performance
Best Art and Design
Best Cinematography
Distinction in Sound
Independents Day Award
The Charlie Allbright award**

*To be eligible for the best screenplay award please ensure the screenplay is available for digital download via FilmFreeway.

**THE CHARLIE ALLBRIGHT AWARD is dedicated to a beloved member of the STARBURST team. Charlie was an academic that loved to write for STARBURST and quickly became a part of our family. Charlie was kind and loving to everyone. A lecturer that was adored by his students, and a prominent member of the LGBTQ community. Charlie gave much to STARBURST Magazine, and his loss is heartfelt. The Charlie Allbright Award will go to a movie that we feel honours Charlie’s legacy, by furthering LGBTQ values.

A short is no longer than 30 minutes and a feature film must be over 60 minutes.

We will accept films completed after 1st February 2020. If your film has already been released it is not eligible for competition, but may be considered for screening if appropriate.

Any film that isn't an English language film must have English subtitles.

By submitting, the entrant confirms that they have the legal rights to all music, audio and visual aspects used in the film.

You will be notified of acceptance via email.

Press kits should be available for download via FilmFreeway.

Acceptable screening formats are: MP4 file /.mov

All selected films into the STARBURST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL automatically give the organisers the right to use any footage from the preview screener and/all submitted publicity photos and any other materials sent to us relating to this entry for promotional purposes, without limitations.

Unfortunately we are not able to provide travel or accommodation costs.

Whilst we will do our best to accommodate filmmakers attendance availability in scheduling their film, due to the high number of selected entries this is not always possible.

Overall Rating
  • Yuichi Kondo

    Thank you for screening our film "Ryoko's Qubit Summer". We are deeply honoured to receive THE CHARLIE ALLBRIGHT AWARD. That really means a lot to us.
    The festival team is awesome and the communication was great! I highly recommend all independent genre filmmakers to submit to the STARBURST International Film Festival!

    November 2020
  • Geoff Harmer

    Amazing Festival. Easily one of the highlights of the year.

    November 2020
  • Natalie Kavanagh

    Covid-19 was just about to hit UK - so the numbers were low, but it was great to get the chance to attend this charming and warm hearted festival.

    April 2020
  • Great festival! Thanks for selecting The Knowledge for STARBURST 2020.

    March 2020
  • Amazing festival on all fronts - really good communication and social presence prior to the event, real dedication to indie filmmakers with a passion for their work and just a really lovely team when you're in their company as well. Event itself went off without a hitch, really lovely venue with plenty of networking opportunities. So proud that our film was selected and even won an award! Hope to enter future projects to Starburst!

    March 2020