Waterford Filmmaker Stephen Byrne founded the festival in 2007. The festivals objective is to add to Waterford's arts and cultural scene, promoting local, national, and international filmmakers & writers but in particular independent film.

Since the foundation of the festival, we have screened 600+ films from filmmakers around the world, as well promoting writers with the short screenplay competition. The WFF is the first film festival in the Republic of Ireland to hold a short screenplay competition. We are a big supporter of independent films and student/1st time filmmakers.

The festival presents short films of a wide range of genres including drama, thrillers, horrors, comedy, Sci-Fi and films that engages with social, political and cultural issues. Each year we produce a series of events that are creative, intriguing, fun and entertaining. The festival also encourages networking social meet ups and for the audience to meet the filmmakers.

Filmmakers from across Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Greece and as far as Canada and USA have attended the festival. It is estimated that since the festival was established in 2007 that the local economy have benefited from the festival in excess of €650,000 in tourism.

In 2020 the festival will be celebrating its 14th Annual Event and Central Arts will be hosting the event from Friday 20th November to Sunday 22nd November.

FESTIVAL REVIEWS : www.waterfordfilmfestival.net/reviews

Waterford Crystal designed Award for Best Short Film
Waterford Crystal Award for Runners Up for Best Short Film
Waterford Crystal designed Award For Best Short Screenplay.
Printed Certificates will be presented to all screenplay finalists and for winners/runners ups.
Printed Certificates for Winners and Runners up for Best Short Film
A Cash Prize for Best Short Film & Best Short Screenplay.
Official Selection Laurels will be provided to all finalists

The Waterford Film Festival has teamed up with InkTip and they are offering the below prize for our winners. Other prizes are listed below:

Prize for winners of the script and film competition from InkTip is a script listing . Winners will be able to promote their scripts and themselves to InkTip's large network of producers and reps.

Every InkTip producer has been vetted via resume and references and demonstrated the ability to get movies made. Companies who are InkTip members include: ABC, Anonymous Content, APA, CBS Films, HBO Films, ICM, Paradigm, Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Channel, FX, Universal, WME, Echo Lake, Zero Gravity, Bad Robot, and 20th Century Fox. ​

2020 Film and Script Rules

Each Film or Script must be accompanied by an entry form and the entry Fee. Pay the fee by clicking on the link above then proceed to fill out the Online Form below.

Short Film Competition

Best Short Film Waterford City & County Council Award.

Best Short Film Waterford City & County Council Award.
Finalists will have their films screened during the festival in Central Arts Cinema .

On the last day an overall winner will be announced and a cash prize will we awarded as well as a certificate and a Waterford Crystal Award. 2nd place certificates will also be awarded as well as a crystal award.

​The Waterford Film Festival will accept entries of all genres of films less than 20 minutes. Filmmakers worldwide can submit their work. Non- English language films must be dubbed in English or have English subtitles.

Films produced from January 2018 onward will be considered.

We do not however consider web/new media -For example marketing presentations.

Please contact director@waterfordfilmfestival.net If you wish to have a paid video ad screened during the festival.


All entries will be viewed by the selection committee. The Festival will make no cuts or changes. Festival selections will be announced on or before 19th of October. All entrants will be notified by email.

Selected films will also be posted on our website. The festival does not pay rental fees for submitted work.

COPYRIGHT: Filmmakers are responsible for securing all copyright clearances and music rights.

PLEASE NOTE: While we make every effort to follow screening times as printed in the festival program guide, WFF cannot be held accountable for changes to the schedule after festival line-up is announced.

Filmmakers are encouraged to attend the festival but it is not compulsory.

Due to amount of entries and time restraint we can not provide feedback.

​Do not send any press kits until they are requested by festival staff.

Once a film is submitted for consideration it cannot be retracted.

By entering your film for consideration for the 2020 Waterford Film Festival, you authorize that your work is cleared for festival exhibition and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. Entry into the festival constitutes permission to exhibit your work at the 2020 Waterford Film Festival. The Waterford Film Festival is also hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.
The application shall indemnify and hold harmless The Waterford Film Festival and Central Arts and employees of said entities from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Short Screenplay Competition Rules

1. By signing the online entry form you agree to the following rules.

2. The Waterford Film Festival short screenplay competition is open to people from any nationality and from any country. Submission fees must be paid, entries that do not include a fee will not be considered.

Fees Can Be Paid on this site by using the PayPal button above or entering on filmfreeway.com

3. The screenplay must not have been previously produced but can be optioned. However the project must not be completed before the festival . A production company must have permission/clearance from the writer to enter. A signed letter can be scanned and sent into us or a direct email from the writer.

Awards will be awarded to the writer(s) only.

4. Screenplays must be written in English.

5. The screenplay must not be less than 3 pages and not exceed 15 pages. Cover not included.

6. All genres will be considered.

7. Screenplays must be sent via online form or on filmfreeway.com

8. All entries must include the signed form agreeing to these rules via online form.

9. If your screenplay is selected to be a finalist, you give the festival permission to use your name and image in festival promotions, press etc. (Do not send any photos at this stage)

10. All submissions will be judged by WFF Committees appointed by the Festival Director. Their reports and decisions are final and confidential.

11. Writers can submit as many screenplays as they wish but they must fill in a separate entry form and pay separate fees for each screenplay.

12. The WFF reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.

13. All writers will be notified by mid October if they have been selected as a finalist.

​14. Finalists are encouraged to attend the final day of the festival but it is not compulsory

15. Writers retain all rights to their screenplay

Overall Rating
  • Stephen Coltrane

    We were delighted to have our short film, Give Me a Name, screened as part of this year's festival (2020). Although circumstances forced it online, Stephen's communication was excellent throughout what must have been a difficult time. A small technical issue was dealt with very quickly. The selection of other work showed a good balance of genres and styles, and brought a lot of great films into the light which would otherwise risk being neglected.

    This really did set the standard which all festivals should achieve.

    November 2020
  • Dean Marriott

    It was a pleasure to attend the Waterford Film Festival. Next of Kin was the first short screenplay that I had ever submitted to a film festival and the Waterford Film festival was the first festival that I submitted it to. What a privilege to be awarded the Best Short Screenplay award! Many thanks to Stephen and his team, as well as the many talented filmmakers and writers that made me feel welcome during my short visit.

    June 2020
    Response from festival:

    Hi Dean.
    Thank you for your lovely message. It was great to meet you and we wish all the best for the future with your projects!

  • My first time being shortlisted at a film festival and what an honour for it to be at Waterford Film Festival. Waterford is a thriving community for any creative and in Central Arts the venue for the festival, that is clearly shown. The standard of films was exceptional. The fact they support writers is so important and again the standard was very competitive. A great Irish film festival for any filmmaker and/or screenwriter.

    February 2020
    Response from festival:

    Hi Alice, Thank you very much for your kind words and we wish you all the best with your project moving forward!

  • Adam O' Byrne

    Great festival, really good communication and delighted to be nominated as a finalist in their script-writing category. Highly recommend.

    February 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Adam for your kind words and we wish you all the best with your projects!

  • Teresa Lavina

    Great Festival! Thanks guys for selecting Bad Fruit! I had a lovely time and one of the best festivals for networking, great atmos and great effort put into this festival... Hopefully I'm part of it agon in the future

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    Hi Teresa, thank you so much for your kind words and for sending us your project. We are delighted you came and enjoyed the festival. Best of luck for the future, we hope to see you here again and Happy Christmas!