Suffolk Shorts is a new international short film festival taking place in the UK over three days in Ipswich, in October 2021. The festival event was originally planned for October 2020 but has been delayed due to the Covid 19 pandemic. All our submission dates have been extended accordingly. Our five main categories all have award prizes of £1000 and there is an additional £500 prize for the best student film submitted into any category.
We are committed to ensuring greater access for as wide an audience as possible, in a region currently lacking opportunities for engagement with independent British and International film.
There will be cash prizes for all the primary award categories: best Animation, best Art and Performance Film, best Drama, best Documentary and a dedicated award category and showcase for local filmmakers: best East Anglian Film. There will also be a prize for the best student film entered into any category. We particularly encourage submissions to the East Anglian Film award from those living or working in the region.
The festival host is Ipswich Film Theatre, both in their building and online on IFT at Home. The event begins with an award screening and celebration on the evening of Friday October 8th October followed by screenings featuring the nominated films from the awards categories on Saturday and Sunday, with workshops and talks by respected industry specialists. The whole event will offer an environment in which to celebrate the very best short films from around the world and shine a spotlight on local filmmakers.
Judges in our first year include Ryan Gander, Sophie Fiennes, Henry Blake, David Morrissey, Gillies MacKinnon, Kate Muir, Vanessa Engle and local award winning directors Richard Prendergast and Christopher Andrews.
We believe that short films are the future, this means that we are looking for potential. We are looking for films that experiment, push boundaries, tell a story you haven't heard before and do so in a way that captivates the audience. We are not just looking for highly polished, big budget productions, we want to celebrate all filmmakers, regardless of their access to resources.
In our first year we are pleased to be able to award:
Best Animation - £1000
Best Art and Performance Film £1000
Best Drama - £1000
Best Documentary - £1000
Best East Anglian Film - £1000
There will be an additional £500 award for the best student film submitted into any category.
The Suffolk Short Film Festival CIC (Suffolk Shorts) will be held in Ipswich, Suffolk, United Kingdom from 8th October - 10th October 2021. This is the first year for paid submissions, following a year of free events, including specially curated screenings at First Light Festival in Lowestoft.
Suffolk Shorts is an international competition for short films with a running time of fewer than 25 minutes (including credits). We welcome Animation, Art & Performance, Drama, Documentary and East Anglian Films.
The aim of the festival is to bring exceptional international short films to Suffolk, encourage local filmmaking, and raise a fund to support production in the region. The festival will also host workshops and talks.
Awards and Juries
Suffolk Shorts’ juries consist of personalities from the world of film and culture, chosen for their relevance, for each category. The juries will award prizes to the best film in each of these categories:
• Best Animation
• Best Art & Performance Film
• Best Drama
• Best Documentary
• Best East Anglian Film (additional rules apply)
East Anglian Film rules: The films must be either made by an East Anglian writer, director or producer. Or based on an East Anglian subject or story. Or set in an East Anglian location. Definition of East Anglia for this category: Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire.
There will be an additional award for the Best Student Short submitted to any category (valid proof of student status is required).
All winners will receive a Certificate.
There will be no joint winners.
Rules and Terms
By submitting entries to Suffolk Shorts you agree to have read and accepted the following Rules and Terms for participation in the Suffolk Short Film Festival.
Eligibility and Submission Procedure
Films must have a running time of fewer than 25 minutes (including credits) to be eligible for consideration.
Only films that have been registered and submitted through FilmFreeway will be considered for selection, it is our only method of submission. No Postal entries will be accepted.
Only films completed from 31 January 2018 may be registered for entry to Suffolk Shorts 2021. This is an extension resulting from the delay due to the pandemic.
Foreign language films must be subtitled in English.
We do not have a premiere policy.
We are unable to accept subsequent cuts or more complete versions of submitted films.
No refunds will be offered if you do not adhere to the rules outlined here.
Submission Deadlines and Fees
Submissions will be accepted from 20th January 2020 with the following fees depending upon the date the film is submitted:
Early Bird Deadline
Jan 20 - Feb 28
March 1, 2020 - May 7, 2021
May 8, 2021 - June 25, 2021
June 26, 2021 - July 30, 2021
Proof of registered student status is required.
Entry fees are payable upon submission through the FilmFreeway platform. The same film may be entered into one or more categories, but each category requires an entry fee. All fees are non-refundable.
Intellectual Property and Copyright
Films that are submitted must be the entrant’s original work and must not infringe on any copyrights or any other rights of any third-parties. Contestants agree that they have obtained all required releases and copyright permissions regarding music, sound, images, and all other materials used in their film that are not wholly owned by the entrant. The signature of a parent or legal guardian is required if any person appearing in any film is under the age of 16.
We reserve the right to require appropriate proof of ownership of usage rights and to deny admission or withdraw a work from the competition if for any reason the work appears to Suffolk Shorts to expose it to actual or potential damage to our reputation, risk of legal proceedings or enforcement including, without limitation, the alleged breach of third-party intellectual property rights. Any enquiries regarding copyright will be referred to the entrant.
Press and Publicity
By submitting a work you consent to Suffolk Shorts using the whole or any part of the work for publicity purposes, marketing and education, on our website, posters, leaflets, social media and for press, signage and catalogue purposes;
If your film is selected we require digital images and other press/publicity materials so that your work and the Festival can be promoted. Digital press packs can be uploaded with submissions. We strongly recommend you do this. We recommend you include at least the following:
• Your film,
• A trailer,
• A poster (300dpi),
• A 100-word synopsis of your film,
• At least 5 stills from the film (at least 800px wide and 300dpi),
• A director’s statement (max 500 words),
• At least 3 photos of the director/crew/behind the scenes (at least 800px wide and 300dpi).
Please do not send hard copies as we are not able to store them.
Selection of Nominated Films
Selection will be carried out by the Suffolk Shorts team. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection process and the decision of the Festival Directors is final. We aim to inform successful applicants by the 3rd September. Due to the volume of entries, we are unable to offer individual feedback about your work. If your film is selected, you will be contacted by Suffolk Shorts with logistical and practical details of your screening during the Festival. No film may be withdrawn from the Festival programme after its participation has been publicised.
Successful submissions will be listed on the Suffolk Shorts website www.suffolkshorts.co.uk and social media platforms, and successful applicants will be notified by email or ‘phone. Please make sure the contact information you provide is accurate so that we can reach you during August/September so that we can confirm your film's inclusion in the Festival programme.
Please note that only successful applicants will be notified personally. If we are unable to contact you your film may be removed from the Festival line up.
By submitting your film through FilmFreeway you accept that, if selected, your work may be shown at Suffolk Shorts 2021.
Invitations to participate, and selection for Suffolk Shorts award categories, must remain confidential until the programme is announced by Suffolk Shorts. The scheduling and screening times and the announcement of these, are the sole responsibility of Suffolk Shorts. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in exclusion from the selection.
Screenings and Scheduling
Screenings will take place at the discretion of the Festival. We reserve the right to make changes to the advertised schedule at any time for any reason and will not accept liability for any costs incurred as a result of such changes.
No film may be withdrawn from the Suffolk Shorts programme by its submitter after its selection and participation have been confirmed. The Festival is not able to cover the costs of any format transfers or subtitling.
Suffolk Shorts reserves the right to make all decisions relating to the festival, including selection of films, award of prizes, screenings and scheduling.