LGBT History Month runs each year in February in the UK.

Across the UK libraries often put on film screenings during this month. However they are limited to the titles available and also cannot promote the film that they are showing. This isn't ideal as it limits attendance, and also the libraries are likely to start showing the same films.

We decided to do something about it and curate a shorts compilation that will be provided free to libraries, community groups, organisations and film clubs up and down the country to screen throughout February. Our second year went completely online due to the pandemic, but was even more successful than the first.

We are looking for short films with a lesbian or bisexual women focused storyline or character for consideration for this curation.

We are particularly looking for content that features or explores the key theme and shows women loving women on screen - however we are open to all submissions that feature lesbian, bisexual and trans women. Please include a brief explanation as to how your content fits into this topic.

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THE HISTORY OF OUR SAPPHIC FILM FESTIVAL
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2020: The theme for the 2020 LGBT History Month was Poetry, Prose and Plays. We ended up creating two programmes which were screened at various venues across the UK.
2021: The 2021 theme was Body, Mind and Spirit.
2022: The 2022 theme was Art and Politics – ‘the arc is long’, and will also be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march in Britain.
2023: on hiatus
2024: ran virtually

Our LGBT History Month screenings first ran in 2020 through Lesflicks. Due to capacity we're not running this festival in 2023. We will be bringing the festival back from 2024. Following some restructuring, the festival is run by Sapphic Services, curated by Safflicks and supported virtually by Lesflicks.

Find out more about Safflicks here: https://safflicks.com
Find out more about Sapphic Services here: https://sapphicservices.com
Find out more about Lesflicks here: https://www.lesflicks.com

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All selections will receive:
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- official selection laurel
- inclusion in the curated compilation of shorts that will be provided to libraries, community groups, organisations and film clubs across the UK to screen for free during February. Safflicks will also run one online screening during February. There will also be one physical screening in South East London in a cinema.
- 1 hour consultancy with Naomi Bennett to discuss distribution opportunites and ongoing support beyond the festival
- 1 month free membership to the Sapphic Creators Network (creators.sapphicservices.com)

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2023 FESTIVAL AWARDS:
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- Audience favourite

1. Submission Deadlines
Submissions will be accepted from 20 March 2024 until 11 October 2024.
The early deadline is 31 July.
The regular deadline is 20 September.
The late deadline is 11 October.
Early entry is encouraged but in no way guarantees acceptance.

2. Submission Format
Selected films must be submitted via wetransfer or similar transfer website with digital copies. The screeners must be clearly labeled with:
-the film title
-directors name
-running time.
We require the film, a trailer (if available), portrait poster, landscape poster, 3-5 stills, press kit

3. Submission Eligibility
There is no premiere policy. We accept any film up to 3 years old.
Filmmakers are required upon acceptance to have a complete press kit assembled with stills and poster images, trailer, synopsis, log line and social media handles.
All of your press materials must be uploaded to the film’s corresponding FilmFreeway profile. This includes EPK/press kits (as PDF should include synopsis of the film, a film poster image or photo to represent the film (for our marketing/promotions), and a photo of the lesbian filmmaker(s) and filmmaker BIO (which may be used in our marketing/promotions). Images must be 300dpi or higher. High quality stills and trailers make a significant difference in press coverage for accepted films.
The acceptable format for exhibition in our festival is a Digital File (H.264). We strive to make our festival as inclusive and accessible as possible, and as such all screening copies must have English subtitles (.SRT file or embedded subtitles are accepted).
- See Sapphicservices.com for subtitle creation support

5. Film Classification
Please label your submissions clearly with the appropriate film classification.

6. Submission Fee
All FilmFreeway submissions for SaFFlicks Film Festival are to be paid by credit card. The submission fee is non-refundable. Once a film is submitted for entry, it may not be withdrawn and film submission fees will not be refunded.

7. Shipping
All shipping and postage costs for the submission package and, if the film is selected for the Festival, for all additional materials sent to and returned from SaFFlicks must be borne by the submitting party. SaFFlicks will not accept Cash On Delivery shipments. SaFFlicks will not absorb any fees incurred in British customs. All charges must be pre-paid. SaFFlicks will not accept submissions if customs and delivery fees have not been paid by the submitting party.
Submission packages from outside the UK must be labeled 'Trade Sample' on any customs label and, for customs purposes, must be given a value of no more than US$10.

8. Selection of Films
Submissions are reviewed and selected under the following criteria:
-Quality of narrative and production values
-Relevance to the target audience and festival.

9. Notification
SaFFlicks endeavours to complete all selection procedures by 15 November 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 guest accreditation, contact information and how to make the most of participating in the Festival.
All FilmFreeway submissions will be marked "In Consideration" once payment, entry forms, and an online link of the film have all been received. Entrants will be notified of festival selections by 27 December via FilmFreeway.

10. Festival Screenings
Selected films MUST provide a digital screener, preferably a high quality mp4 or mov in order to be screened at the Film Festival. The film title and director's name MUST be clearly labeled in the file name. DVD is accepted.

SaFFlicks is an outdoor film festival, hence facilities do NOT support DCP, Blue-Ray, tape, 35mm, Super 16mm, 8mm or double-head formats.
All screener copies of films selected to screen at the festival must be received at the submissions address no later than 20 December.

11. Scheduling
Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of Lesflicks and SaFFlicks. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Lesflicks and SaFFlicks reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Lesflicks and SaFFlicks 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.

12. ROUGH CUTS & WORKS-IN-PROGRESS
Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible for submission only if completed by 30 June.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless SaFFlicks Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

SaFFlicks Film Festival is run by the founder of Lesflicks, but inclusion in this festival does not equate to distribution of your film, and does not take away any of your ownership of your film. We may offer you the opportunity to place your film with Lesflicks in the future but this is just an introduction, and is by no means guaranteed or required. We are pro-good practices and keep our film festival and our streaming platform businesses separate. We are also available to help break down distribution queries and answer any concerns or questions. We know that distribution can be complicated.

You can find out more about Sapphic Services here: https://sapphicservices.com
You can find out more about Lesflicks here: https://www.lesflicks.com

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Everything has been online so there aren't the usual things to mention as far as in-person film festivals.

    I did want to mention that I received a couple of really nice personal emails from people who had seen my film through this fest and that meant a lot to me.

    March 2021
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the kind words; we really hope to go back to physical screenings on the big screen soon; but are still happy to be promoting and support these important films!