The Waterford Film Festival was established in 2007 by local filmmaker Stephen Byrne.

His objective was to bring something new to Waterford's arts and cultural scene, promoting local, national, and international filmmakers and 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.

Filmmakers from across Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Greece and as far as Canada and USA have attended the festival.

In 2018 the festival had a record breaking amount of submissions with filmmakers and writers sending in projects from 30 countries across the globe.

It is estimated that since the festival was established in 2007 that the local economy have benefited from the festival in excess of €600,000 in tourism.

To date the festival has awarded prizes worth in excess of €40,000 with our partners at FilmLab and sponsors.

The festival presents short films of a wide range of genres including drama, thrillers, horrors, comedy, Sci-Fi, True stories. Each year we produce a series of events that are creative, interesting , fun and entertaining.

In 2019 the festival will be celebrating its 13th Annual Event and Central Arts will be hosting the event from Friday 22nd Nov to Sunday 24th November.


Waterford Crystal Awards for the Film and Screenplay Competition and a cash prize. Finalists Certificates for the Screenplay Finalists and for the Runners up.

The Winner of the Screenplay Competition also gets access to a weeks worth of filming equipment and access to editing facilities.

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

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. ​

The Waterford Film Festival has teamed up with the World Film Fair. Winners, Runners up & selected student filmmakers of this years Waterford Film Festival will have their film screened next years World Film Fair.

For more information on the World Film Fair please go to

Other Information on the Waterford Film Festival prizes are listed in the rules section.

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 2017 onward will be considered.

We do not however consider web/new media for the competition -For example marketing presentations. Please contact , 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 by mid October 2019. 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.

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

By entering your film for consideration for the 2019 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 2019 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 ONLINE either here or at using paypal.

3. The screenplay must not have been previously produced but can be optioned. A production company must have permission/clearance from the writer to enter. A signed letter can be scanned and sent into us. You do not have to send it during selection stages. Awards will be awarded to the writer(s) only.

4. Screenplays must be written in English.

5. The screenplay must not be less than 5 pages and n­­­­­o more than 15 pages.

6. All genres will be considered.

7. Screenplays must be sent via online form

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

16. Writers retain all rights to their screenplay

Overall Rating
  • Ricardo Bravo

    This was an excellent experience. Great organisation, cool venue and a welcoming team. The film selections was fabulous, with an eclectic mix of genres and styles going from traditional to experimental. It was amazing being in the midst of so many talented individuals. I particularly liked the way they celebrated and awarded all screenwriters participating in the competition. Great fun.

    May 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much Ricardo for the kind words. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed the experience! Good Luck with all of your projects moving forward. Best wishes, The Waterford Film Festival Team.

  • Robert Simpson

    good communication. Interesting offers, I took on one of these offers. Overall, might try them again.

    January 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Robert!

  • Roisin Kearney

    My second year back at Waterford Film Festival and again a wonderful experience. A great mix of Irish and international films over three days. Excellent screenwriting competition also.

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    Hi Roisin, thank you for your review. We are delighted that you came and enjoyed the experience!
    From all of us at the festival we wish you all the best for the New Year and with all of your projects.

  • This is my second time to be a Finalist with a screenplay in this fantastic festival. The selection of films are electric and well chosen providing a weekend of entertainment along with the opportunity to network. The final night is the award ceremony followed by a social gathering in a local bar if you are able to make it. The communication, hospitality and overall festival is one that filmmakers and writers should submit their work to, but it is also a festival for people who just love movies. It is held in the heart of Waterford City in Ireland, a city filled with many tourist attractions, amazing restaurants and bars and plenty of shopping outlets so it is worth staying for the weekend and soak in the atmosphere. I will definitely submit work to next years festival and look forward to seeing what films are chosen for 2019. Congratulations to all the organisers, you did a great job!

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Dave for your very kind words. We are delighted that you were able to make it , that you enjoyed the experience and best of luck with your projects moving forward!