Southampton Film Week, now in its 11th year, is a festival at the heart of the developing film hub on the South Coast of England. The festival is focused on providing opportunities for filmmakers to showcase their work and to develop their knowledge and skill through a range of events from workshops to masterclasses. Alongside its showcase screenings Southampton Film Week screens a wide selection of films, classic and new, to broaden opportunities for film fans and filmmakers to experience the best of UK and International cinema, focusing particularly on films and film-works which are generally less accessible to audiences. The Festival hosts a strand of Music and Film events, Artists’ Moving Image work and a Youth Film Festival.

SFW: Shorts our short film competition was launched in 2012 and attracts films from across the globe. The competition is open to all and offers freedom in theme and genre. The only limitations set are the length of 10 minutes (including titles and credits), that the film must have been made no earlier than January 2017 and in the organiser’s opinion is appropriate for a public audience.

Since 2017, filmmakers can now submit their short films to any of the following categories, Best Fiction, Best Documentary and Best Artists’ Moving Image. All shortlisted films will be eligible for the Michael Fuller Award for Best Film, selected by our panel of judges and the Audience Award voted for at the screening and awards ceremony during the festival. Filmmakers from Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey, West Sussex and Isle of Wight will also be in contention for the Regional Filmmaker Prize which was launched at SFW in 2015. Past winners have included artist and filmmaker Anna Cady for her film ‘30% (Women and Politics in Sierra Leone)’ which includes the glorious painted animations of Em Cooper (Kiss the Water). 30% was subsequently selected in the Short Documentary Film category for Sundance and has been watched by over 50,000 viewers on Vimeo.

Southampton Film Week is led by City Eye, a film charity which supports the development of filmmakers and film culture through its programme of education and training events and its screening programme, which includes Southampton Film Week. Now in its 33rd year, City Eye will soon embark on a new chapter in its development when it relocates to new purpose-built filmmaking and screening facilities within Studio 144, Southampton’s new arts centre.

Please read through the Rules & Terms below before submitting your film.

Best Artists’ Moving Image – for experimental and artist films, can be narrative or non-narrative. Any style accepted including animation, live action, music.

Best Documentary – for non-fictional short films, any theme or style accepted including animation, live action, talking heads,

Best Fiction – for narrative based fictional short films, any theme, style or genre accepted including animation, drama, horror, comedy, etc

Michael Fuller Award for Best Film – eligible for all shortlisted films, awarded by a panel of Judges.

Regional Filmmaker Prize – eligible for all shortlisted films made by Filmmakers from Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey, West Sussex and Isle of Wight and awarded by a panel of Judges.

Audience Award - eligible for all shortlisted films, voted for by the audience during the festival.

SFW: Shorts film competition is run and organised by City Eye. The competition screening and awards ceremony will take place in Southampton Film Week (SFW) between 9th - 18th November 2018. The final selection of all films presented at the competition screening is the responsibility of City Eye.

1.SFW: Shorts is open to short films of all production techniques, including animation, documentary, drama, experimental and artist film. Films should not be focused on the promotion of commercial products or services.

2.Films cannot exceed 10 minutes duration (including credits). There is no minimum length. Films made before January 2017 will not be accepted.

3.The person submitting the film must be authorised to do so and is responsible for ensuring that formal permission is held in relation to all those who have ownership or rights in connection with it. This includes cast and crew (or parents/Guardians if under 16).

4.Third party elements such as music, sound, graphics or still images used within the production should be original, copyright free or where copyrighted filmmakers must have obtained necessary permission for the inclusion of this content.

5.The content of the film cannot, in the opinion of City Eye, be deemed offensive or defamatory.

6.If the original language of any dialogue or text featured in the film is not English, the film must be subtitled in English.

7.By sharing any film with City Eye you agree to grant to City Eye, free of charge, a non-exclusive, perpetual and worldwide licence to re-publish any material you submit, post, upload, email or otherwise transmit to City Eye or Southampton Film Week and permission to use the material in any way it wants (including modifying and adapting it) for the purposes of promoting City Eye or Southampton Film Week.

8.You may submit more than one film to SFW: Shorts.

9.The deadline for early bird submissions is Friday 13th July 2018. The Regular deadline is Friday 31st August 2018.

10.The final deadline for receipt of entries for this competition is Friday 21st September 2018. Film submissions will not be accepted for competition after this date.

11.All filmmakers whose films are shortlisted will be notified by email or phone by Friday 12th October 2018.

12.All shortlisted filmmakers will be invited to attend the screening and awards ceremony during Southampton Film Week. City Eye and SFW regret that it is not possible to fund entrants to attend this event (eg travel, accommodation etc).

13.Shortlisted films will be judged by an independent panel and winners will be announced at the Screening and Awards Ceremony during SFW18. The decision of the judges is final. All shortlisted films will be eligible for the Michael Fuller Award for Best Film and the Audience Award. Filmmakers from Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey, West Sussex and Isle of Wight will also be in contention for the Regional Filmmaker Prize.

14.City Eye and SFW are not able to provide individual feedback in relation to any submission either before entry or following short-listing or judging.

15.If your film was submitted online and is shortlisted you will be requested to provide a high quality screening copy of the original film as a data file on DVD, memory stick or online transfer and as .mov, .avi or .mpeg2 format in either standard definition or as HDV1080i/p. If City Eye/SFW does not receive your film within the timescale supplied, your film will no longer eligible to be judged. It is recommended that filmmakers allow sufficient time for films to arrive and that a guaranteed delivery service is used.

16.Southampton Film Week and City Eye will ensure that all personal information provided within the submission form will never be used for anything other than direct contact from the competition, SFW or City Eye and will not be shared with any other organisation or festival without your permission.

FINAL DEADLINE: Friday 21st September 2018

Good Luck!

Overall Rating
  • Samuel Cocum

    Great festival with a strong and varied selection of films. Screened in an excellent venue with really helpful and supportive staff. I look forward to submitting a film next year!

    December 2017
  • javad daraei

    I am very happy and welcome every year to participate in your festival and thank you for this fine festival.

    November 2017
  • Ben Grace

    A fantastic festival, I've had the pleasure of attending for the past four years. SFW always offers a plethora of screenings, industry days and training opportunities.

    August 2017
  • Sadly I was not able to attend the festival as I was sick the weekend of, but they festival was great with pre festival hype and information. I then attended a follow up festival at City Eye and they were absolutely fabulous!

    December 2016