Win £500 worth of cash prizes and receive feedback on every film officially submitted to Leeds Young Film Festival this year! The final deadline for submissions is 27 January 2017.

Leeds Young Film Festival takes place every Easter and welcomes young people and their families to the largest film event of its kind in the north of England.

Now in its 18th year, the festival features a programme of the best new and unseen cinema for young people from around the world, made both for and by young people, as well as classic screenings, moving-image related workshops and masterclasses. It takes place in three of the city’s most loved venues and is the highlight for film lovers, filmmakers and budding film stars from the age of five years upwards.

Leeds Young Film Festival works closely with a group of young consultants aged 14-19 called MediaFish, who help programme, design and deliver the festival, make films and shape the strategy of Leeds Young Film.

“Film needs children and young people to keep falling in love with it, and the LYFF is the perfect place for them – always smart and adventurous, never less than fun.” (Danny Leigh)

"The Young Film Festival at Leeds is celluloid heaven for mini-movie buffs." (Mail on Sunday)

Awards & Prizes

Leeds Young Film Festival is keen on supporting independent, emerging or established, national and international filmmakers and hosts competitions both for short films BY young people, and for short and feature films FOR young people. Every film submitted to the festival through FilmFreeway will receive feedback explaining our programming decision, regardless of whether we accept it or not. We believe honest feedback is the best way to support emerging filmmakers.


Young Leeds based filmmakers up to the age of 19 can submit their films to the Young Filmmakers Golden Owl Awards, an Oscars’ style celebration of young filmmaking. Submissions for the Golden Owls Award are open to Leeds based filmmakers only and can only be made through our website. Please visit our website for more information and to download an application form.


The festival aims to show young people a world of film beyond Hollywood cinema. As well as providing feedback, we offer cash prizes for the winners of our two short film competitions for films for young audiences.

Feature Films for Children and Young People are an important part of the festival's programme. They are eligible for our prestigious Jury Awards, that are awarded by a jury of young people. Films have to be family friendly and suitable for young people up to the age of twelve and their families. To qualify, films may be live action or animation, fiction or documentaries but they must be at least 60 minutes long.

Short Films for Children and Young People must be suitable for all ages. They may be live action or animation, fiction or documentaries but they must not be longer than 15 minutes. Please submit them either to the Animated Short Films category or the Live Action Short Film Category. Animated Short Films run for our Audience Short Film Award, while Live Action Short Films will be judged by our Young Jury. Both of these two short film competitions award a cash prize of 250 UKP to the winning films.

"The [Golden Owl] awards has been a huge motivator for Dylan he is filming his next film now and has written 20 new scripts for the next episodes. I think the work you all do is great to encourage young people to really go for their dreams." (Dylan’s mum)

Rules & Terms

* All Films must be submitted to the Film Festival by Friday 27 January 2017.
* Non-English language films must have English subtitles.
* If you have more than two films to submit, you may be entitled to fee discounts for multiple entries - please email for more details.
* Only films completed after 1st January 2016 will be considered for the competitive sections.
* Any genre will be considered but films must be suitable for children, young people and families and filmmakers must specify BBFC classification or suitable audience age range at submission. See for guidelines.
* Feature films must be at least 60 minutes in length. Short films for young people can be up to 15 minutes long.
* Films must not have appeared on British television.

By submitting your film, you agree that:
* The Film Festival can use the images from the film in Festival publications, press and media releases about the Festival and on the Festival website.
*The Film Festival does not return physical film copies that were sent for consideration.
* The Film Festival can keep the disc / file for its archive film libraries for viewing by other film festivals and organisations and for educational purposes.
* Permission has been granted and there are no outstanding copyright or licensing issues with any of the material or soundtrack in your film.

Premiere Policy:
* For feature-length films, though we do not insist on a premiere, we may not consider films that have some circulation in the UK already - for example, if they have toured other UK festivals. Please contact the Film Festival office if you would like clarification on your own film if it has already screened or is going to be screened in the UK.
* We do not require a premiere status for short films.