The Discover Film Awards is one of the biggest short film festivals in the world with over 5,000 annual submissions from nearly 100 countries, global premiers in London's Leicester square with packed cinema audiences, filmmaker parties, red carpet events, script-pitching round tables with funding available for new projects and an annual cash prize fund of over USD 50,000, including the prestigious Craghoppers Film Prize.
Spread over 5 days in October 2019, The Discover Film Awards involve public cinema screenings at the Prince Charles cinema in London's Leicester Square. Quentin Tarantino describes it as his favourite cinema in London saying it is "everything an independent movie theatre should be”. As well as public screenings, the festival includes networking events, a filmmaker supper, and free parties at some of London's most prestigious venues including The Ivy, Somerset House and The Hospital Club that bring together film makers, investors, distributors, journalists, film producers and media professionals.
Discover.film are looking for the best short films: stories that share a glimpse of filmmakers lives; what bothers them or makes them laugh, of injustices, of unsung heroes, of the serious, the bizarre, the funny or just where filmmakers' imaginations take them.
A major supporting partner of the festival is Craghoppers, the global outdoor clothing brand, which awards The Craghoppers Film Prize as part of The Discover Film Awards. This celebrates the very best talent of student and established short filmmakers. It includes a student cash prize of £2,000 (USD 2,600). The ultimate Craghoppers Film Prize is up for grabs at the October Discover Film Awards and entries will be shortlisted from all winners from the April and October festivals, no matter what genre or who has entered. The first prize is £20,000 (USD 26,000) in cash with a second prize of £5,000 (USD 6,500) in cash and an additional award of £5,000 (USD 6,500) for the best social impact film.
Unlike a lot of festivals, The Discover Film Awards make no apologies for having a commercial edge. Their head of programming & chair of judges, Jaine Green has produced and directed over 50 commercially successful films and documentaries. Other members of the judging panel include Katie Bailiff, founder of Century Films and Neville Schulman, adviser to Ridley Scott on Blade Runner, Black Hawk Down and Gladiator.
Selected films get the option of various paid distribution channels including international TV, trains and airlines. Distribution is optional and entirely up to the filmmakers.
As well as cash prizes, winners can get help with future film projects in the form of discounted rates from partner firms (such as production houses) and mentoring from senior commercial film and business executives. The festival also introduces filmmakers to funding sources for future projects and offers publicity across a wide range of media (print and social).
Best overall short film in 2019 wins GBP 20,000 (USD 27,000) in cash.
Runner up overall in 2019 wins GBP 5,000 (USD 6,750) in cash.
Best Social Impact Film in 2019 wins GBP 5,000 (USD 6,750) in cash.
These three prizes are awarded at the October prize ceremony - all films entered in April and October are in competition for these prizes.
In addition, student prizes are awarded at the April and October events of GBP 2,000 in cash at each event (USD 2,700)
There are also pitching competition to investors with additional cash prizes to fund films and paid for distribution opportunities.
Best Low Budget
Best International (various awards)
Best Foreign Language (various awards)
Best Micro (under 5 minutes - various awards)
Best Music Video
Films must be 45 minutes or under to enter the competition. There is no lower limit on run time.
Films will be shown to our panel of judges, including genre experts.
All films will be screened via DCP files. If filmmakers selected for the festival do not have a DCP, we we will produce one for them free of charge (one of the filmmaker perks that we offer). We will also require .mov, mp4, or equivalent as a backup.
For cash prizes, unless we are informed otherwise, cash awards will be made to the Director of the film. The Director will be responsible for deciding how, if at all, the cash prize is distributed to stakeholders in the film. To receive a cash award, the filmmaker must have a means of receiving funds by electronic transfer. Filmmakers will be responsible for any taxation due on funds received.
Discover Film will not be responsible for any custom duties or charges on physical submission. Please be sure to include "temporary import/cultural exchange" and "no commercial value" on any paperwork.
The festival handles submitted physical screening files with the utmost of care and provides insurance of loss or damage to a maximum value of US$100.00 (or cost of replacement, whichever is less). The festival will return any physically submitted screening files at the festival's expense.
Permission for the festival to use images and excerpts of each submitted film, not to exceed 1 minute for promotional purposes is considered granted upon submission - including trailers/clips on the festival's media channels. If you would rather opt out from this please contact the festival organisers before the notification date. Once notified of acceptance into screening at the festival, it is taken that you give permission for us to use images and excerpts as listed in this paragraph.
Discover Film reserves the right to complete any information not supplied by the filmmaker from whatever source available and/or re-write material to fit our marketing requirement and will not be responsible if incorrect information is entered.
By submitting your film to the festival you agree that if your film is selected for inclusion in our screenings, we have permission to screen it in a cinema during the dates of the events listed. If you do not want your film included for any reason you must inform us within 5 working days of being selected. Films can only be withdrawn after this number of days with agreement from the festival organisers as we invest in print materials and trailers for the festival, which cannot be changed in the immediate run up to the event.
Submission of films and participation in The Discover Film Awards implies understanding and acceptance of the above regulations and requirements for this submission. If in doubt about any of the above, please contact emma @ discover.film and ask questions before submitting.