In Partnership with the Manchester Film Festival, the Sheffield International Film Festival 2020 will take place throughout the ‘Steel City’ from 27th – 29th November 2020. The U.K city of Sheffield, famous for hard working industry and honesty will showcase all genres of films from up and coming to established directors that reflect industrious filmmaking talent and storytelling.

The event will be housed within the landscape of the internationally renowned annual Sheffield Doc Fest, giving selected films and their filmmakers an opportunity to platform their work in a city that has experienced the buzz of industry professionals. Special guests and Alumni at Sheffield’s partner festivals include, Shia Labeouf, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Rosamund Pike, Olivia Cooke, Karen Allen and Timothy Spall, to name just a few.

With after-parties, networking events, world premieres and closing night awards SHEFIFF is set to join its sister festivals in becoming a warm, fun, friendly filmmaking community that will champion the very best in independent film from around the world.

Please note the Sheffield International Film Festival is not affiliated with the Sheffield Doc Fest, if you are looking to submit to the Doc Fest please go to

Our Mission:

The festival’s integral mission is to support and select purely from open submitted films, giving every filmmaker a fair chance to reach their audience with their work and help to highlight under-represented voices within the independent film industry. This prerogative is echoed across its sister festivals and using this blend of authentic programming with a mix of industry kudos will set a standard of excellence that will attract strong attention to the selected films.

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 Cinematography
Best Edit
Best Score
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Staff Choice
Film of the Festival


The 1st Sheffield International Film Festival will take place from to 27th to the 29th September 2020.

1. Submission Deadlines
Submissions will be accepted from May 20th 2019.
All deadlines are listed on FilmFreeway

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

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

4. Premiere Status
- Sheffield International Film Festival requires at least a Sheffield premiere for all films and they may not have been screened publicly online. All films may have screened at other festivals but just not have screened in Sheffield.
- There is no Premiere policy for Experimental Films and music videos, they may have screened at other Festivals and/or online.

5. Film Classification
All films screened during the Sheffield International Film Festival receive a blanket 18 age rating.

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

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

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

9. Notification
Sheffield International Film Festival endeavors to complete all selection procedures by 13th March 2019 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.

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

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

UPDATED 9th July 2020 - 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 Sheffield International Film Festival I confirm that I have read and accept the terms and regulations of SHEFIFF. I will provide the festival with any additional information required pursuant to these rules and regulations. I authorise the SHEFIFF to exhibit my film, and if selected, I confirm that an exhibition copy will be available in a required format for screening during the 2020 festival (November 27th - 29th 2020). I certify that I hold all necessary rights for the submission of this film/video to the SHEFIFF 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 SHEFIFF 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 SHEFIFF 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 2020 festival, and for other non-commercial uses related to the promotion of the 2020 festival. I hereby agree to indemnify SHEFIFF, in the event that such rights have not been properly transferred.