is changing the way that people think of short films. We are looking for the very best short films that are entertaining and tell a story. The sort of short films that people want to watch. That make them laugh. Or cry. That shock and surprise. Our festival involves public cinema screenings at the Phoenix Cinema, London, the oldest working cinema in the UK (built in 1912) whose patrons include Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Michael Palin and Mark Kermode.

As well as screenings, the festival includes exclusive networking events, discussions at Universities around the UK, a networking event at the Hospital Club in Soho, London, a filmmaker supper (for all selected films), breakfast events and a closing party and awards event held at Stephen's House and Gardens that brings together investors, distributors, film producers and media professionals.

Whilst we are one of the fastest growing short film festivals in the world (400 entries in our first edition , 750+ in our second, just over 1,000 in our third), we pride ourselves on being friendly and welcoming to all filmmakers who attend from the 40+ countries who enter the festival.

Partner firms involved in the event (who contribute towards prizes) include Apple, Crow TV (post production) and First News Media.

Selected films get the option of UK cinema distribution.

Awards & Prizes

Audience Award
Judges Award
Best Actor
Best Animation
Best Comedy
Best Cross-over
Best Cinematography
Best Director
Best Short Short (under 5 mins)
Best Documentary
Best Drama
Best Experimental
Best Micro Budget
Best Music Video with a story
Best Narrative
Best Horror
Best Sci Fi
Best in Festival

Rules & Terms

Films must be 40 minutes or under to enter the competition.

Films will be shown to our community of film professionals (this is a limited community so not made publicly available) and our panel of judges.

All films will be screened via DCP files. If filmmakers do not have DCPs we can assist in the making of them. We will also require .mov, mp4, or equivalent as a backup.

23 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Phil Stubbs

    A great film festival that promotes the art of short films very well.

    August 2017
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    Philip Staal

    It was a pleasure to have my film screen at the Discover Film Festival. Everyone involved were a pleasure to talk to, and quick to reply to any questions. The event itself played out smoothly, and a great way to discover some excellent shorts.

    May 2017
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    James Oldham

    Great little festival! We loved being there, thanks for all the hard work you put in.

    April 2017
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    Peeter Urbla

    Great festival, good selection of films. Proud of our "Mausoleum" winning the Best Narrative Award!

    April 2017
  • false bates

    Wonderful and supportive festival, great environment. I take my hat off to James and his crew definitely worth entering. Wonderfull to see such a great selection of films and such brilliant programing. One of the best festivals I've ever been part of.

    Diverse Film Australia: Jury Prize winner 2017

    April 2017