***Our 2019 film festival is now over - please keep checking back for future announcements for 2020.***

Building on the success of our 2015 - 2018 seasons, the Winter Gardens Film Festival is pleased to announce we will again be running our short film competition as part of our annual film festival held in Blackpool's historic Winter Gardens.

All shortlisted entries will be screened as part of a special event at the Blackpool Winter Gardens Opera House, a unique venue, built in 1939 as a cine-variety theatre, combining a super cinema with a world class stage for theatrical performance. The venue, with a capacity of just under 3000 is the second largest in the UK and the only venue of this type and size to hold permanent HD/Surround Sound cinema capability.

As if that weren’t enough, the Opera House is the last word in Art Deco luxury with a number of spectacularly designed rooms and spaces straight out of the Hollywood Glamour era.

We’ll be announcing our programme as we secure the licenses for films and agree our programme of events but we can reveal that the 2019 season begins on the Friday 15 March with a dazzling cocktail party launch and a night of Hollywood Glamour!

The 2019 event sees the return of the Black and White Short Film Competition with all entries competing to win a cash award of £500.

There will be two additional 'Golden Seagull' awards: Runner Up and the People’s Choice Award, each having a value of £100.


All films must contain a minimum of 30 seconds of Black and White content, although films can be entirely Black and White.
Entries must run no longer than 20 minutes.
Entries can be a narrative, documentary or music video on any theme or subject.
Deadline for submissions to the competition is Friday 30 November 2018 at 5pm.
Entry fee is £10 per film or £8 for entries from an FY1-8 postcode.
There is also an early bird discount deadline of £7.


All films wills will be viewed by a selection panel made up of industry experts and film festival organisers. All shortlisted entries selected to be screened during the festival will be notified by Mon 4th February, 2019.

The competition winner and runner up will be notified in advance of the festival but The People’s Choice winner will be notified once all competition entries have been screened at the festival.


Please upload your film via the FilmFreeway website.
Any shortlisted entries may be asked for a full DCP package or for the film to be made available on a different format if necessary.

Any one-sheets or other marketing materials to promote your film to our festival audience during the festival are to be posted to us at least three weeks before the festival starts. Details will be sent out to successful shortlisted entrants.

Digital versions of marketing materials should be made available to be used for our marketing purposes by Friday 8 February 2019.


I have read and accept the Rules and Terms of the Winter Gardens Film Festival.

I will provide the festival with any additional information required pursuant to these Rules and Terms.

I authorise the WGFF to exhibit my film, and if selected, I confirm that an exhibition copy will be available in a required format for screening during the 2019 festival.

I certify that I hold all necessary rights for the submission of this film/video to the WGFF and that all rights and clearances have been made. This film is not subject to any litigation nor is threatened by any litigation.*

I indemnify the Winter Gardens Film Festival against all damage to, or loss of any or all materials en- route to, from or otherwise at the festival, and I assume all legal responsibilities therein.

By Agreeing to these Rules and Terms, I transfer to the Winter Gardens Film Festival the right to use excerpts of the submitted film, its stills, and trailers, for the purposes of publicity and marketing of the film at the 2019 festival, and for other non-commercial uses related to the promotion of the 2019 festival.

All of the copyright holders for the film agree to allow for the film to use a maximum of 20% of the material in advertising and publicity without compromising or giving away the story of plot*

All submissions certify that they have full rights to use all music or other copyrighted materials in their films.

I hereby agree to indemnify WGFF, in the event that such rights have not been properly transferred.

*Where there is more than one copyright holder, a declaration must be filled out for each and the forms sent in under the same cover.

Overall Rating
  • Bishara Shoukry

    I have had the most pleasant experience, participating in Winter Gardens Film Festival. Few days after submitting my film, I recieved a kind mail from Clancy and Catherine encourging me to attend the festival. On my request, they send me a formal invitation. I could not make to the festival, however, my film was a runner up. Right now I'm expecting the wonderful prize the festival offered and sent to my address in Cairo. Thank you Clancy and Catherine you have been most helpful and considrate.

    March 2019
    Response from festival:

    It was lovely to have your film be part of our festival, the only downside was not having you there in person! Hope you enjoy your prize when it arrives,


    Clancy and Catherine

  • Moira Rowan

    Wonderful people, communication brilliant from start to finish, thank you so much for including our short film 'Get Riel" in your festival

    March 2019
    Response from festival:

    Hi Moira

    It was a pleasure to have you be part of our festival and lovely to meet you in person,

    Clancy and Catherine

  • Hamish Downie

    A top notch festival with great communication every step of the way.

    February 2017
  • Impossible to have been treated better. Great venue and communication. Particular thanks to Catherine and Clancy for their patience and professionalism. Thank You!!!!

    February 2017