Solihull Council and Culture Solihull are proud to present the very first Short is Beautiful Film Festival. This exciting new short film festival will award filmmakers from the West Midlands, giving both established and new artists the chance to try out new ideas, concepts, and ways of working. Short is Beautiful is an exciting opportunity to support and develop filmmakers from across the Midlands and is part of an ongoing artist and creatives development support programme.

The festival will take place across 16th and 17th October at The Core Theatre Solihull, with a programme of industry panels, workshops, and screenings. There will be an accompanying gallery exhibition held in The Courtyard Gallery at The Core from 4-18 October, profiling festival entries.

Please note only the work on filmmakers living in or from the West Midlands will be screened as part of the festival.

Our panel of judges will judge all submitted films and be shortlisted ahead of the Film Festival. Shortlisted films will be screened at the festival event on Tuesday 17 October at The Core Theatre Solihull. All shortlisted finalists will receive two complimentary tickets to the festival screening on 17th October, a selection laurel and a certificate.

Winners of each category will be announced at the Festival, as well as an additional award for the ‘Best Overall Film’. Each category winner will receive a winner’s laurel, certificate, and £50 Amazon gift card.

Categories are as listed below:

- Trailers and films under 5 minutes
- Between 5 and 10 minutes
- Between 10 and 15 minutes
- Between 15 and 20 minutes
- Best Young Filmmaker (Under 18s ONLY)

Short is Beautiful is open to receiving entries from any genre, whether animation, documentary, drama or experimental, we are interested in how you explore stories, ideas or concepts in short-form content.


The judging panel is made up of three judges, Daniel Alexander, Jez Alsop and Hayley Pepler.

Daniel Alexander
Daniel Alexander is an award-winning director and BAFTA Connect filmmaker based in Birmingham. He currently produces and directs work for platforms and agencies including the BBC, BFI, WARNER BROS, and the official film for the COMMONWEALTH GAMES HANDOVER CEREMONY. Daniel is the creative producer and curator of the region’s leading Black film development programme, BACK IN.

Jez Alsop
Jez Alsop is a Midlands-based film director, known for directing the feature film Fixed (2021) which won Best Feature Film at The Northampton Film Festival 2023, as well as Best Actor in a Leading Role at Midlands Movies Awards 2022, where it was also nominated for Best Feature Film and Best Cinematography. The film was also nominated in the National Film Awards for Best Thriller. Alsop has also directed numerous short films including Close at Hand (2007) and Love in a Lecture Theatre (2004). Jez lectures on the Creative Film, TV & Digital Media Production courses at The University of Northampton.

Hayley Pepler
Hayley Pepler is a Screen Director and Producer. She was Head of Content & Digital Broadcast for the UK City of Culture programme in which time she produced and directed over 500 films for TV, film and online platforms. Hayley has produced numerous live streams for the Royal Shakespeare Company for TV and cinema releases. Hayley is an Associate Director with Directors UK, a ScreenSkills Associate and an Associate with The Space.

By submitting your film to the Short is Beautiful Film Festival, you agree to abide by the following rules and conditions:

Only films submitted by filmmakers from the West Midlands will be considered for shortlisting.

All submitted films will be judged by our panel and shortlisted ahead of the Festival. Only shortlisted films will be screened at the festival event. If your film is not screened, your submission fee is non-refundable.

All films submitted under the category of ‘Best Young Filmmaker’ must be from filmmakers aged 18 or under. Submissions from filmmakers over the age restriction will not be considered for the festival.

Films must be no longer than 20 minutes (excluding credits).

You may submit multiple films for consideration.

You may submit multiple films for consideration within the same category.

You cannot submit the same film for consideration in more than one category.

In order to be considered for the festival, please enable 'festival downloads' in your film’s privacy settings.

There is no premiere status requirement.

All films submitted must be free of charge for audiences to view.

We require all films submitted to have all necessary rights and releases secured before submission, including all music used. We, the festival promoters, are not liable for any copyright infringements or unauthorized usage and any conflict should be settled by the parties involved thereof. You, the filmmaker, are responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, and publicity.

We cannot issue any fee waivers.

We operate a non-refund policy, and we are unable to refund submission fees once your film has been submitted. Please ensure that your film is ready to submit before doing so.

If your film is shortlisted, we will require a poster, production stills and a brief synopsis to include in the festival marketing and accompanying exhibition. Please provide this before 31 September 2023.

All decisions made by the judges are final, and cannot be contested.

The closing date for entries is 17th September 2023

All applicants will be notified by 2 October 2023