The Short Cinema is an annual short film festival held at Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre, Leicester showcasing established and emerging talent from across the world with a strong focus on Midlands makers.

Offering an exciting mix of films irrespective of genre, style or budget, The Short Cinema provides writers, producers and directors with the opportunity to exhibit their work on the big screen to a discerning audience of film-lovers.

The festival provides filmmakers with an opportunity to meet and discuss their work with their peers, strengthening bonds with the Midlands film-making community alongside screenings curated by partners such as ICA, FlatPack and Random Acts.

Over the last twelve years, The Short Cinema has grown from a small grassroots pop-up screening to a much bigger (still grass roots) festival. Its aim is to continue this growth, exploring and providing new opportunities for anyone involved in film to develop and exhibit their work, both in the Midlands region and around the world and celebrate short film as an art form in its own right.

The 2018 festival takes place at Phoneix Cinema and Art Centre, Leicester, UK, between 20th– 25th August.

Best in Festival 2018

Please make sure you submit your film into the correct category in relation to duration and origin of the film.

The closing date for entries is 1 June 2018.

You may submit short films of all production techniques and genre including drama, documentary, comedy, music, animation and experimental films. However, exploitation and pornography genres are not eligible.

The main contact completing the application form must be authorised to submit the film for consideration including permission from a distributor or sales agent representing the film and must have obtained necessary permission for the inclusion of copyrighted music and/or images within the films.

The Short Cinema does not require any premiere status but please note that this may come into consideration during the selection process.

If the original language of any dialogue or text featured in the film is not English, the preview and screening copy must be subtitled in English or be accompanied by an English transcription.

All films are viewed by more than one person to be given a non-subjective decision but after that all programming selections are final.

If your entry is chosen for the programme, you will be asked to supply a DCP or MPEG-2 (H.262) file for screening at the festival.

Participants are not entitled to claim for rights or other fees for the screenings of their films at the festival.

At the point of payment on your submission, you will be asked if you have read and agree with the Terms and Conditions laid out on this page. By agreeing to proceed with your submission, you are agreeing to these Terms and Conditions and your application can then be processed. Entry of a film is binding and implies acceptance of these regulations.

In the event of disagreement concerning the interpretation of the regulations, the interpretation of the festival will take precedence and failure to comply with these Terms and Conditions may result in the submission being disqualified.

These regulations are subject to change without prior notice.

Overall Rating
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  • We are massive fans of championing regional festivals, and The Short Cinema folks are no different. A strong programme and love and attention giving to running the festival - that's what you want and need as a filmmaker.

    September 2018
  • Samuel Harvey

    It was a joy having my first doc short 'Valerie' included at the Short Cinema festival in Leicester. The standard of work was very high, the venue fantastic and have had some really pleasant and helpful interactions with the event organisers. I look forward to attending (and hopefully submitting) again in the future. Thank you!

    September 2018
  • Christopher Bevan

    The Short Cinema is one of my favourite festivals. The atmosphere, attention to detail and the way the filmmakers are represented is so supportive and inspiring. A lovely venue and great printed programme, plus the red carpet being rolled out all make for a memorable event. Will definitely be submitting again!

    September 2018
  • Eleanor Dolan

    Thank you The Short Cinema for including READY OR NOT in your festival. It was so great to see such a diverse selection of films showing at The Phoenix Cinema! There was excellent communication from festival organisers and it was lovely to meet everyone at the screening.

    September 2018
  • I highly recommend The Short Cinema Film Festival, We had the premiere of our film in the best of the British section and were pleased by the quality of the other films that were in our block. The festival team are friendly, professional and love film. The Phoenix cinema is a great location and the projection of the films was quality. submit to this festival it is worth the entry fee!

    August 2018