Relaxing and stimulating, engaging and ordinary, reflective and speculative - the Tea Break Film Festival offers film-makers and audiences alike a refreshing ceremony of short films.

20 mins and under, for this is the official tea-break of the UK's Department of Trade & Industry, the films are shown each year in pop-up cinemas and cafes. With tea and cake to enjoy, the winning film is voted on by the audiences.

This year we will be screening in our own space! The Tea Break Picture House is opening over this summer. An official BFI Neighbourhood cinema the former church is 10mins walk from the city centre.

We have previously screened in a local café-bar, an art college and the world's smallest portable cinema - a two-seater Mogo caravan - which went onto host screenings from Ken Loach's anti-slavery festival.

From the spiritual focus of the Japanese tea ceremony to the friendly banter of the factory workbreak, the Tea Break Film Festival looks for a wide range of fiction, documentary, art and interesting commercial promotions to celebrate people resting and reflecting with curiosity, wonder and fun.

La Grande Théière - the big teapot - is awarded each year. Last year this was presented by Sundance Festival & BAFTA winner Sean McAllister.

Films must be no longer than 20 minutes.
A panel will select the finalists for screening each year and the winner is voted by the audiences over the 2 day festival.
Films must be available for screening throughout the following year online for computer and phone access by discerning tea-break viewers around the world.

Overall Rating
  • Unfortunately I could not attend the festival but I'm sure that it was a joy for all who did attend. Communication was just okay, I had to email about the result of my submission, because the notification date had passed without any change in judging status. BUT the festival did reply quite quickly and I was aware of my result straight away. To my knowledge, my film was just selected, and I am unaware of whether it made it far in the festival or not. Also, thank you for selecting my film 'Can't Sleep' to be a part of your festival, and I will likely be submitting my future films, with hope of being able to attend!

    September 2017
  • No contact made whatsoever. Didn't receive an invite to the festival or a laurel to put on the film poster. Most likely a con. Avoid.

    August 2016
    Response from festival:

    Hi there - apologies for last year's shenanigans. Will send laurel soon. We were inundated with entries which put a strain on us all.

  • Heather Nicole

    Such an interesting concept. Wonderfully, talented, entries. Great communication.

    August 2016
    Response from festival:

    Many thanks Heather! This year we have our own cinema! Onwards and upwards.

  • sherwin allen

    I'm actually in the same situation as Paul Vernon, not sure what went on with this Festival, would have loved to went, but there was no communication, I know these committees get busy but would have love to get an email letting me know what was going on.

    August 2016
    Response from festival:

    Yep. This year we have new people involved who know a bit more of how to cope. Last year we were snowed under and lost track a bit. This year - let us know?

  • Paul Vernon

    I'm sure the festival was good, however I tried to contact them on their Facebook and via e-mail without any reply after being notified of selection. I potentially wanted to visit as one of the filmmakers, assuming my work was indeed screened... but I'm nor sure. There was also conflicting dates of when the festival was in July or August. I'm sure it went ok as I saw on the page they were in BBC Hull but info for a filmmaker would have been nice as most festivals are good at communicating... I don't even know if I should announce I was in the festival or not?

    August 2016
    Response from festival:

    Sorry Paul. We must do better. Will be in touch.