Sandgrounder International Short Film Festival is a film festival for films of 20 minutes or less with a live screening event for all winning films and all Best of the North West Finalists. The even will take place at the Southport Bijou Cinema in Southport UK, close to Liverpool, Preston, Wigan, Bolton, Manchester, Blackpool etc.

We want to promote the interesting & entertaining work of as many short filmmakers as possible. To do this we have structured our competition to have several simple entry categories that will allow national and international, experimental, local (North west of England) and low budget filmmakers compete for awards.

All selected films will have their poster featured on our website indefinitely

Best Drama/Thriller
Best Comedy
Best Sci-fi/Fantasy
Best Horror
Weird and Wonderful Award
Best of the North West
Best Low Budget Film

Enter into one category only and if selected, your film will also be judged for the following awards:

Best of the Fest
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Director
Best Editing
Best Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Score
Best Sound Design

If your film doesn't exactly fit into a box, is experimental, extreme or just plain crazy, then the Weird and Wonderful award category is for you.

This award is for local filmmakers. To be eligible for this award the entrant should reside within the following counties: Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria. Best of the North West finalists can claim 2 free tickets to the live event.

This award is for films made for under £1500.

Winners for the following categories will be announced prior to the live event. All winners will be screened at the event:

Best Drama/Thriller, Best Comedy, Best Sci-fi/Fantasy, Best Horror, Weird and Wonderful Award, Best Low Budget

All Finalists for the Best of the North West categories will be screened at the live event and the winner will be announced at the event

There will be a maximum of 10 films selected for each category. The film's poster and entrant will be posted in the selected films area on our website indefinitely. Official Selections will NOT be screened live.

We will choose up to 5 finalists for each of the entry categories but just winners from the additional categories. The film's poster will be posted in the finalist area on our website indefinitely. Finalists (apart from Best of the North West) will NOT be screened.

If a film wins an award for one of the selected categories or Best of the Fest, the film's poster will be posted on the winners area on our website. By default if the film wins in one of the other categories the poster will be posted in the winners area, however this can be replaced on request if the winner would like a head shot or alternative image in its place.

All of the winning films from the entry categories and the Best of the Fest finalists will be screened live at the Bijou Cinema Southport and the submitters will receive 2 tickets to the festival.

Submission can be made exclusively through

The films accepted into the Festival are required to provide for screening a .mov or MP4 digital file.

All fees are non-refundable

All films must be English or have subtitles in English.

Short films should be 20 minutes or under.

All films must have been completed after January 1, 2018

We are not responsible for your content if you do not have permission to use it. Please make sure all content is yours, all music is original, or you have permission from the artist to use it.

Sandgrounder International Short Film Festival can use trailers/teasers/film posters for promotional purposes.

If Sandgrounder International Short Film Festival decides your film fits better in a category other than the one you entered, we reserve the right to move your film into this category where it will still be considered for an award.

The applicant agrees to have read and accepted the rules & regulations for participation in the Sandgrounder International Short Film Festival. The applicant confirms that they have the authority or has obtained the requisite authority from the producer/rights holder to enter this film in the Sandgrounder International Short Film Festival and make available the digital media for screening.

Overall Rating
  • A fantastic Experience! I' m happy with the result obtained from my short film "RUBATTINO"

    March 2023
  • Very bad festival. Our movies was selected only for collection titles.

    March 2023
  • Honored my film MusArt SELECTED in Southport! Thank you!

    March 2023
  • A festival with specific planning and goals with a professional team

    March 2023
  • Simone Bianchi

    Grazie a tutto lo staff del Sandgrounder festival per aver premiato il nostro cortometraggio "Come Te" come miglior film del festival. Sicuramente presenteremo i nostri futuri lavori al vostro bellissimo Festival. Buon proseguimento e grazie ancora.

    Simone Bianchi

    January 2022