Widescreen Weekend

Widescreen Weekend is a unique film festival that takes place each October in the exceptional cinema spaces of the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, UK.

Since its inception in 1993, Widescreen Weekend celebrates large- screen formats and milestones in cinema technology. A long weekend of big, bold cinema experiences, the festival features glorious 70mm screenings, cult classic movies, new Cinerama restorations and great guests reminding our audiences why going to the movies is so magical. Priding ourselves on fantastic projection facilities, our Pictureville cinema is one of only three places in the world that can show 3-strip Cinerama.

The Widescreen Short Film of the Year Competition

The Widescreen Short Film of the Year Competition is one of the premiere international events for showcasing short form widescreen filmmaking. Until 2019 the competition ran as the ‘Student Widescreen Film of the Year’. However, to reflect previous finalists outstanding quality, this year’s edition will no longer regard the distinction between ‘student’ and ‘professional’ film. The competition is therefore open to all and will subsequently be judged equally.

This is a unique competition which strives to celebrate widescreen film and technologies within all genres, and our previous entrants include the 2017 BAFTA winner in the British Short Animation category, ‘A Love Story.’

What makes a film widescreen?

A film is generally considered widescreen if it exceeds the traditional 35mm film aspect ratio of 1.37:1, known as the ‘Academy ratio’. However, Widescreen Weekend seeks to celebrate and promote the more aesthetic ambitions of the really wide formats developed during the 1950s and 1960s.

The higher that first number on the aspect ratio, the more we are going to love it! And you usually won’t see a film in this year’s festival narrower than 2.2:1.

The 24th Widescreen Weekend will take place from 8 - 11 October 2020 at the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, UK. Widescreen Short Film of the Year Competition will screen on Thursday 8 October.

There are two categories for ‘Widescreen Short Film of the Year Competition' - British and International. The winner from each category will be bestowed with the title "Widescreen Short Film of the Year" and will be presented with a certificate on stage by academic and broadcaster Sir Christopher Frayling.

Each winner will also receive a cash prize of £250.

Each shortlisted filmmaker will be allocated four free seats for the competition screening. Further tickets will be available to purchase in September 2020 when tickets for individual festival events and screenings go on public sale. Full festival passes will be on sale from June 2020.

Entries must be in a widescreen format – minimum aspect ratio width of 2.2:1. Films shot in 16:9 should NOT be entered and will be disqualified.

Work produced as part of TV, Animation, Digital Media, Video Games and Experimental Film courses is eligible, alongside work from film courses, as long as it constitutes a piece of moving image production work / a moving image sequence / film or programme in a widescreen aspect ratio.

Judging Criteria

Successful Communication of Theme & Subject Matter; Effective Use of Widescreen Cinematography in Communication of Theme /Subject; Creativity and Technical Quality of Visual Image; Creativity and Technical Quality in Sound & Use of Sound (incl. Music); Quality of Production Design and Effective use of Editing.

Terms & Conditions

** Your entry fee supports this competition and enables us to offer prize money but if you are unable to pay due to the impact of Covid-19 we are able to offer fee waivers on a case by case basis **

• All entries must be in a widescreen format – minimum aspect ratio width of 2.2:1
• Open to all institutions and filmmakers working at degree / HND/C / Higher / Post-graduate Education levels across the UK and Overseas.
• Films, sequences, programmes or presentations can be in any genre, documentary, drama, advertisement, music video, experimental, etc, and can include animations, computer generated sequences, game sequences, etc.
• Students can enter their film with a discounted fee but will NOT be judged separately. ‘Students’ include any individual filmmaker who is a recent graduate (those graduating in 2020) or undergraduate of a degree level course in moving image production can enter their work. Similarly, any Higher Education Institution across the UK and Overseas including at post-graduate level (post-graduates who are completing in 2020) running a similar course can enter their students’ work.
• Entries can only be films of no longer than 25 minutes running time - a shorter sequence from a longer film may have to be selected to be shown at the event.
• All entries must have been produced and completed within the period 1 May 2019 to 7 August 2020.
• Closing date for online entries is 7 August.