Get your short seen by an Oscar-winning film editor! Our judging panel for the finals will be headed by editor Chris Dickens (Slumdog Millionaire, Mary, Queen of Scots, Macbeth, Spaced, Hot Fuzz), producer and composer Simon Woodgate (Gangs of London, The Hallow, and documentary Catching My Rapist,) who will be joined by other industry professionals.

Sussex International Film Festival is an annual film festival which takes place at Hailsham Pavilion Cinema, a historically significant Grade II listed building in the Art Deco style of architecture, in Hailsham, East Sussex. The venue was ranked fifth in a ‘Time Out’ article about independent cinemas in the UK in 2023.

In 2023, the festival will comprise the following:

Day 1 - November 3rd 2023. Curated screenings of feature and short films made in Sussex.

Day 2 - November 4th 2023. Curated screenings of feature and short films made by Sussex Filmmakers.

Day 3 - November 5th 2023. Judged Short Film Competition Final and Award Ceremony. The panel will be chaired by Oscar winning Film Editor, Chris Dickens.

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The winner of the main prize of £500, and 'of status' awards in different categories, will be decided by a small panel of professional film makers, chaired by Academy Award Winning Film Editor, Chris Dickens. A statuette and certificate will also be awarded to the winner of the Best Student Film. Awards will be announced and presented at the award ceremony at the end of the festival.

1. Submission is initially free, but is limited to one submission per applicant. The applicant must be the producer or director. Fees are implemented from Sunday 23rd July.

2. Films must be submitted by midnight on Friday September 29th 2023. These should be sent via FilmFreeway or Vimeo, YT links or wetransfer.

3. They must be no longer than 40 minutes, including all titles.

4. They must be in English or subtitled in English (if there is any dialogue at all) but can originate from anywhere in the world.

5. They must be suitable for screening to a PG audience.

6. Our very broad definition is that the film must involve moving images. So, for example, music videos would be considered, as would animation. The film can have any subject matter or genre, providing it would be suitable for screening to a PG audience.
Since there are no genre categories in our premier year, all films will be judged together.

7. The student category is for under 18s - if any of the film makers are over 18, then submission should be in the main category of Best Short Film.

7. Our organising team will select films from all submitted films to create a final shortlist. Films that are shortlisted but do not make the finals may be screened on the other days as part of the festival, but filmmakers will be contacted to arrange this.

8. All films from the longlist have the option to be screened through our Youtube or Vimeo channels. Unless otherwise informed, the organisers will assume permission is given to display these online and at other events in the Hailsham Pavilion. Filmmakers should specify in an email to the festival if they do not wish their film to be placed on our online channels.

9. The finalists will be screened on Nov 5th at the Pavilion.

10. The winner of the main prize of £500, and 'of status' awards in different categories, will be decided by a small panel of professional film makers, chaired by Academy Award winning film editor, Chris Dickens. Awards will be announced and presented on that day.
For cash prizes, unless we are informed otherwise, cash awards will be made to the Director of the film. The Director will be responsible for deciding how, if at all, the cash prize is distributed to stakeholders in the film. To receive a cash award, the filmmaker must have a means of receiving funds by electronic transfer. Filmmakers will be responsible for any taxation due on funds received.

11. Please make sure that you include contact details and any notes that you may like us to be aware of. We will be interested in how these films originated and were made, and by whom.

12. SIFF will not be responsible for any custom duties or charges on physical submission. Please be sure to include "temporary import/cultural exchange" and "no commercial value" on any paperwork.

13. Materials will not be returned but will be deleted on request after the event, with the exceptions of the winning entries. All rights will remain with the filmmaker.

14. The festival handles submitted physical screening files with the utmost of care but cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage. The festival will only return any physically submitted screening files if postage and packaging is covered by the entrant. Permission for the festival to use images and excerpts of each submitted film, not to exceed 1 minute for promotional purposes is considered granted upon acceptance into the physical screenings at the festival - including trailers/clips on the festival's media channels. If you would rather opt out from this, please contact the festival organisers within 5 working days of your notification of acceptance into the festival. For selected films. SIFF reserves the right to complete any information not supplied by the filmmaker from whatever source available and/or re-write material to fit our marketing requirement. By submitting your film to the festival you agree that if your film is selected for inclusion in our screenings, we have permission to screen it in a cinema during the dates of the events listed. If you do not want your film included for any reason you must inform us within 5 working days of the final submission deadline. Films can only be withdrawn after this number of days with agreement from the festival organisers as we invest in print materials and trailers for the festival, which cannot be changed in the immediate run up to the event. Submission of films and participation in The SIFF implies understanding and acceptance of the above regulations and requirements for this submission.

15. The organisers reserve the right to change any of the above at any point, but competitors will be notified in advance. If in doubt about any of the above, please contact Gareth at before submitting your material.

Dates & Deadlines

Opening Date - June 20, 2023
Regular Deadline - September 29, 2023
Notification Date - October 20, 2023
Event Date - November 3 – 5, 2023

Categories & Fees

Best Short Film
Best Student Short Film

Free to enter until July 21st, then fees apply,