The world's first moving images were filmed in Leeds in 1888 by Louis le Prince. Today Leeds is a major European centre for film production and exhibition, the home of Screen Yorkshire, and the new home for the UK's leading independent TV company Channel 4. In 2023, Leeds will celebrate the city's culture in a major year-long festival.

Founded in 1987 and now one of the UK's leading film events, the Academy Award and BAFTA-qualifying Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) primarily supports the work of new filmmakers from the UK and around the world. LIFF presents seven national and international competitions for short films with total cash prizes of £6000.

We are now accepting submissions for LIFF 2022. See the in-person highlights video from LIFF 2019 (LIFF 2021 video coming soon):

Quotes about LIFF from film industry and press:

'Leeds International Film Festival has been key in the support and promotion of international filmmakers, including myself, throughout its history. The quality of films and commitment to film makers has been paramount to the success of the festival' - Francis Lee, Director of Ammonite and God's Own Country

'I had a great time in the jury at LIFF. The general standard of the films selected was exceptional and the screenings where well curated. The festival team was very organised and friendly and took great care of the guests at the festival. I would go back any day.' - Niclas Gillberg, Festival Director, Uppsala International Short Film Festival

'Every city should have a film festival like Leeds.' – Ken Loach, leading UK filmmaker

'The programme continues to prove Leeds has one of the most diverse selections on offer at any British film festival.' – Huffington Post

'I loved being on the jury for the International Short Film Competition, the quality of the films was sky high, we had such a blast discussing them!' – Caroline Hollick, Head of Drama Channel 4

'Finding an obscure film at a festival is always enjoyable, yet the particular high standard of selection at Leeds Film Festival made the entire festival played out like a habitual uncovering of hidden gems.' – Little White Lies

'Leeds International Film Festival is a glorious celebration of world cinema, which brings a stellar blend of old and new movies to an increasingly global city. It’s expertly run, brilliantly staffed and, above all, perfectly programmed. A fantastic fortnight.' – Subtitled Online

LIFF programme sections:

Official Selection is the backbone of the Film Festival and the focal point for new fiction features from around the world. Premieres of exciting new talents emerging in world cinema are presented alongside an extensive panorama of new work from established directors.

LIFF provides a major platform for new and established short filmmakers to showcase their work. These are the LIFF short film competition winners from 2021:

Leeds International Short Film Competition
Winner: Lata by Alisha Tejpal (India)
Special Mentions: Lili Alone by Zou Jing (China) and Neon Phantom by Leonardo Martinelli (Brazil)

World Animation Competition
Winner: Love is Just a Death Away: dir. Bára Anna Stejskalová (Czech Republic)
Special Mentions: The Fourth Wall by Mahboobeh Kalaee (Iran) and Amayi by Subarna D (India)

British Short Film Competition
Winner: Play It Safe by Mitch Kalisa (UK)
Special Mentions: Finding Dad by Alana Hutton-Shaw (UK) and Stuffed by Theo Rhys (UK)

Yorkshire Short Film Competition
Winner: The Branches Are Hope; The Roots Are Memory by Sema Basharan (UK)

Leeds Screendance Competition
Winner: Fibonacci by Tomáš Hubáček (Czech Republic)
Special Mention: Bellydance Vogue by Hadi Moussally (Spain)

Leeds Queer Short Film Competition
Winner: Neither Here, Nor There by Ley Comas (USA)
Special Mentions: Octavia’s Visions by Zara Zandieh (Germany) and My Neighbor, Miguel by Danny Navarro (USA)

Leeds Music Video Competition
Winner: Kuba Kawalec - I Died by Zuzanna Plisz (Poland)
Special Mention: Tova Gertner - Good And Better by Gil Alkabetz (Germany)

Fanomenon is the UK’s leading celebration of genre filmmaking with an extensive programme of new and archive features and shorts covering horror, sci-fi, fantasy, action, anime, and much more. Fanomenon includes many special events like film marathons and guest Q&As.

Cinema Versa is the home of documentary filmmaking in LIFF with two leading themes: 'Music on Film' and 'Underground Voices'. Screenings take place both in cinemas and unconventional venues across the city, often featuring live performances, guest interviews and debates.

LIFF has long been dedicated to celebrating film history, unearthing rarely screened classics from the archive and importing rare film prints from around the world.

LIFF is a qualifying film festival for the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs. The winning shorts in the Leeds International Short Film Competition and World Animation Competition are eligible for the Academy’s Short Film Awards. British shorts selected for LIFF are considered for nomination for the BAFTA Short Film Awards and the British Independent Film Awards.

LIFF 2022 prizes for short films:

• Leeds International Short Film Competition (£2000 cash winner prize)
• World Animation Competition (£1000 cash winner prize)
• British Short Film Competition (£1000 cash winner prize)
• Yorkshire Short Film Competition (£500 cash winner prize)
• Leeds Screendance Competition (£500 cash winner prize)
• Leeds Queer Short Film Competition (£500 cash winner prize)
• Leeds Music Video Competition (£500 cash winner prize)

1) Please note, due to the volume of entries received, we regret we cannot give individual feedback on submissions.

2) All submissions are fairly considered by a broad team of programmers and the date of entry bears no relation to the selection decision.


3) All Films must be submitted to the Film Festival by midnight on 3 August 2022, and all submissions are final, no refunds are available.

4) Only films completed after 1st January 2021 will be considered for the competitive categories.

5) You only need to submit into one category: if your film is eligible for other categories then our programmers will consider it for those also.

6) Your film may be selected to a different category than the one you submit to, however we will contact you about this for permission before the final selection is made.

7) If you have more than one film to submit, you may be entitled to fee discounts for multiple entries - please email for more details.

8) We don't have a student short film competition but if your film school would like to submit multiple films they may be eligible for a discounted submission rate. Please email

9) Any genre and any length of film will be considered – anything under 45 minutes is classified as a short, anything over 45 minutes is classified as a feature. Maximum film length for the Screendance and Queer Short Film Competitions is 20 minutes.

10) LIFF is only able to select music videos made with the permission of the music artist whose music is featured.

11) For all submissions not in the English language, we ideally require embedded English closed captions or otherwise subtitles.

12) Work in Progress: We can accept a submission where the final sound mix is not yet complete, for example, but we would need to see a fully completed version of the film by the final deadline date of 3 August 2022.

13) Family Films: We welcome films for all ages. However, if you would like to submit a film more catered towards families and children, please visit the Leeds Young Film Festival submission page instead:

14) We do not offer discounts for local filmmakers.

Premiere Policy:

15) For feature-length films, we prefer a UK premiere. Please contact us via if you would like clarification if your film has already screened or is going to be screened in the UK before LIFF 2022.

16) For short films, we do not have a premiere policy.

Selected Films:

17) Should your film be selected, you will be required to provide a DCP of your film. LIFF can help in the creation of a DCP which will be supplied to the filmmaker for a charge to cover the cost of making it.

18) All films will be required to provide a subtitle track or ideally captions for hard of hearing to ensure our ongoing commitment to accessibility, though the LIFF team will be able to assist and provide facilities to help on this.

19) LIFF does not pay screening fees for submitted and accepted films, both in and out of competition.

20) Submission to LIFF is with the understanding that selection may be for any and all exhibition formats that constitute LIFF 2022, including in-cinema screenings, digital exhibition or both – subject to permission from the submitting filmmakers.

21) Films selected for LIFF without a BBFC certificate are certified for over 18s only even if the content does not require it: this is because it is not possible to secure an individual certificate for every film we select from the local licensing authority. We do apply for exceptions for certain films.

22) If the fee is paid and you have completed the submission, you can relax! Follow us on social media @leedsfilmfest and @leedsshortfilm for updates. You will receive notification if your film is selected or not on 2 September 2022.

See our website for more FAQ's

Overall Rating
  • Maythem Ridha

    What a great festival and a wonderful programme of films. I am very honoured that my film ALI AND HIS MIRACLE SHEEP was selected for such a prestigious festival. The team was very communicative and the organisation was excellent. A massive thank you to Alice Duggan and Nick from Cinebox and the rest of the LIFF team for their wonderful help and support.

    January 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Maythem, we were delighted to screen the film at LIFF2022

  • Krissy Mahan

    What a thrill to be included in this prestigious festival. The communication was timely and professional. Additionally, I needed some tech support to send the very best version for screening, and the team really came though. It is so important and appreciated that Leeds International Film Festival includes non-mainstream artists, and gives us the support we need to be included. That's the kind of work that separates excellent festivals committed to the creative community from 'just a place to show films."

    January 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for the kind words

  • P. Patrick Hogan

    I wasn't able to attend (sad face) but everything I was able to observe from afar really impressed me. I hope to attend Leeds Film Festival at some point in the future with another film!

    December 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Patrick. We hope to welcome you to the festival in the future.

  • It was a wonderful film festival. I am very honored that my film was selected for this festival. I want to participate in this festival again, so I will continue to do my best to make my film.

    December 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the kind words, we're so pleased we could show Visitors

  • Doctor.E Production House

    Thanks LIFF staff for such expansive 2021 venue. It was so exciting to have our film, Do.Solo.Pin, be a part of the lineup among all the high quality works presented. We are looking forward to our future participation.

    December 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Ehsan, we can't wait to see your future projects.