Join the Lift-Off Global Network from our home at the world famous Pinewood Studios in the UK for a filmmaking showcase that puts you in the centre of everything!

The film industry seems like a closed door for many. Festival rejections and lack of work opportunities with a very high career-fence to climb - appears to be the norm for all filmmakers starting out - and we want to change that. With this in mind, we have decided that the doors need to open and filmmakers starting out should be given valued insights into how they can use their skills and develop them so that they may become the future of the business.

The Lift-Off Global Network exists with the aim of launching filmmakers careers. Our First-Time Filmmakers Showcase is an event held at Pinewood Studios. It incorporates screenings, discussion, feedback and presentations by organisations eager to support grassroots filmmakers. It is a great insight into how festivals programme and how filmmakers can take their creative journeys to the next level. As film festivals grow in stature many of their programming habits lean toward the experienced and sometimes more-resourced filmmaker. This leaves the filmmakers who are starting out behind and at times disillusioned with the film festival model and the film industry on the whole.

This initiative has been created to give filmmakers on their initial journey the showcase, the tools, the platform and advice to build their careers from the right starting point, helping first-time filmmakers to realise their professional lives within film.

We have come to the realisation that we need to isolate, celebrate, nurture and award these talents. Screenings take place in the luxurious John Barry Theatre, home of Lift-Off’s Annual Season Awards, followed by a timetable of events that include 1-2-1 surgeries with the Lift-Off Founders, presentations highlighting some insider secrets by industry based organisations, equipment suppliers and producers.

We are looking to build long lasting relationships with talented and passionate first-time filmmakers and support them from the very beginning of their career all the way through to global success. We know that no one person can make an entire film and we would love to have the key members of the production team behind each film attend the event. The day will be filled with opportunities to network with other like-minded, first time, filmmakers who will no doubt have insightful views about your work and be able to provide you with inspiration for new projects and possibly even collaborate with you in the future.

There will be opportunities throughout the day to have your questions answered and this will enable filmmakers who attend the event to forge long lasting relationships which will be essential in the future! For each production team, there will also be a group peer review session in the beautiful Pinewood Studios boardroom. In this session, there will be a full discussion about the various films which have been screened during the day based on feedback from the attendees. Filmmakers will also have the opportunity to have a one-on-one meet and greet with the Lift-Off Co-founders James Bradley and Ben Pohlman.

Awards & Prizes

Awards & Prizes.

Our goal is to offer as much as possible to all who submit, our officially selected filmmakers, our nominees and winners. At the submission level we offer value for your submission fee with exclusive content and a 24-page e-book, highlighting...

♠ Submitting to the large festivals
♠ Discussing classic mistakes on the festival circuit
♠ Highlighting the right festival submission strategy
♠ Some golden rules for success
♠ Tips on how to start building a realistic filmmaking career

Emailed to every submitter up to 24hrs from the time of submission. Everyone in attendance at the event will receive fee waivers to a Lift-Off Film Festival of their choice and membership to the Lift-Off Family!

There will be prizes for:

An Overall Winner - selected by the Lift-Off Co-Founders.
The winning film will receive an official Lift-Off selection, screening at the next Lift-Off event!

Special Mentions - handed out to films of particular note, the prize being a guaranteed official selection at a carefully chosen Lift-Off Film Festival.

We will provide filmmakers with opportunities towards a viable career path as an independent filmmaker, from attendance as a first-time filmmaker to the possibility of screening with us worldwide.

On top of this, is the huge potential of being invited to be part of one of the many upcoming Lift-Off productions planned for 2017 and beyond.

Rules & Terms

Rules :

Work must be a first undertaking when submitting to festivals. Student Film, Amateur film - all considered.

All Shorts must have a runtime of 20 minutes or less.

Digital online submission screeners via Filmfreeway only.

Invitations will only be offered to filmmakers (and their production teams) who have been selected by the in-house judges during the submissions process.

Proudly, we have no other restrictions for your work. This includes your works premier status, it's age and/or whether your work has been made available online.

18 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Chris Overton

    The First-Time Filmmakers Showcase is like no other festival, I had such an amazing experience. The lift off team are very special, so supportive and genuinely awesome people.
    I would highly recommend this festival to any first time filmmaker!!

    July 2017
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    Rafael Lopez

    Amazing opportunity to showcase your work and get honest feedbacks either from fellow filmmakers or from the founders and the lift-off team! Team that is so welcoming, they will make you feel home. Thank you so much for the great opportunity!

    June 2017
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    Simon Hewitt

    I'd never been to Pinewood before (Britain's answer to Hollywood apparently) so it was a real treat to not only be there but also to be showing and discussing our own films. The day was well orchestrated and the team were great, helping make all the filmmakers feel at home so they could talk openly about their work. Highly recommended. Thank you!

    May 2017
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    Geneviève Delouche

    Great film festival for first-time filmmakers, a good opportunity to network and get honest feedback on your work. The program is rich, and organizers are welcoming and friendly. Cherry on the top, it takes place in the famous Pinewood Studios. Worth the entry.

    May 2017
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    Annika Nielsen

    Great festival, very interesting meeting the Lift-off team who are very nice and welcoming. It is a great opportunity to share your film with other filmmakers and see their films. The feedback session was very helpful providing constructive feedback and honest opinions. Definitely recommend for any first time filmmakers.

    May 2017