Small Axe is back, offline and in the field! After a one-year pandemic hiatus we are back for the 8th annual celebration of short, radical films from around the world.

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Small Axe is a film competition for films with something to say.

• No film can be too political
• We accept everything - from direct polemic, to experimental film, from original fiction to observational documentary.
• We want opinion, analysis, personal stories, ideology, vision and fresh perspectives.
• Challenge, explore, celebrate, discuss…

In short, any film that you feel is radical is welcome. As long as it is short (under 30 minutes).

The Small Axe awards are given at the Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival.

The festival takes place alongside the Tolpuddle Martyr's festival in the village of Tolpuddle in Dorset, U.K. This commemorates the foundation of the union movement, and is a major national event for left-wing groups in the U.K. Films are screened to a select audience in the only remaining 1960's ministry of technology Mobile Cinema truck.

The festival runs over three days (from Friday to Sunday) showing a selection of feature films and competition shorts. On Sunday morning there is a full programme of shorts, followed by the announcement of the Small Axe awards and another screening of the winning films.

There is a charge to attend the full weekend, but there is free entry on the Sunday.

Our Patrons and supporters include Paul Watson and Ken Loach. In previous years the Smallaxe Jury has included Leila Sansour, Jeremy Hardy and Fran Higson. Award winners are invited to participate in the Jury for future years.

Films made by established activists and film-makers:

Best Factual Film
Best Fiction Film

Films made by Students and first time filmmakers:

Best Fiction Film
Best Factual Film

Best film by a filmmaker under 18 years old

Overall Rating
  • Excellent communication and well-organized! This festival is a great concept, supporting human rights and worker rights - I was very honored to be included!

    July 2022
  • Betsy Stern

    The Small Axe Short Film Awards is a wonderful festival with excellent communication!

    July 2022
  • Grant Gillespie

    We feel really honoured to be selected by the festival, especially considering their admirable remit. They're making a difference through promoting political (small p) awareness while celebrating art.

    July 2022
  • Tanja Holm

    Great festival! Thank you so much for including my film about Yemen. I especially appreciated the festival’s encouragement and dedication, with interviews and reviews. It was a fantastic experience!

    July 2022
  • I very much appreciate the festival giving my short drama ‘A Viable Candidate’ a platform. It was a great opportunity to screen the film to an audience who empathized with some of the more politically challenging themes.

    September 2020
    Small axe 200
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Orson, we very much appreciate you submitting the film - and more to the point we appreciate you making it.