***Covid-19 update: We hope you're all well and keeping safe at this very difficult time. We are still planning for LIFF 2020 to go ahead in November and our programming teams are considering all submissions as usual. We have curated a series of themed selections of short films previously screened at LIFF that we hope you enjoy (may not be available in some countries): leedsfilm.com/film-at-home/liff-presents-short-films.

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.

Founded in 1987 and one of the UK's leading film events, Leeds International Film Festival is renowned as a dynamic event with a reputation for challenging and innovative programming.

A qualifying event for both the Academy Awards and BAFTAs, LIFF presents nine national and international competitions for short films with total cash prizes of over $5000.

See the highlights video from LIFF 2019:

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

'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 (full details of the LIFF 2019 film selection are on leedsfilm.com):

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 2019:

Louis Le Prince International Short Film ($1300)
Winner: Olla by Ariane Labed (France)
Special Mention: The Christmas Gift by Bogdan Muresanu (Romania)

World Animation Short Film ($1300)
Winner: And Then The Bear by Agnès Patron (France)

British Short Film ($1300)
Winner: Hydebank by Ross McClean (UK)
Special Mention: Pale Saint by Rhys Jones (UK)

Yorkshire Short Film ($660)
Winner: The Strangers Case by Peter Trifunovic (UK)
Special Mention: Seagulls by Ben G. Brown (UK) & Standing in the Rain: Slung Low and The Holbeck by Brett Chapman (UK)

Screendance Short Film ($660)
Winner: The Circle by Lanre Malaolu (UK)
Screendance Audience Choice: Sisters by Daphne Lucker (UK)

Leeds Queer Short Film Award ($660)
Winner: A Night with Noorjehan by Mariam Majid (UK)
Special Mention: The Promise by Paula Gustafsson (Sweden) & My Lady of the Camellia by Edouard Montoute (France)

International Music Video
Winner: Okami by Motomichi Nakamura (UK/USA)
Special Mention: GUO4 by Peter Strickland (Hungary)

Leeds Short Film Audience Award
Winner: Why Slugs Have No Legs by Aline Höchli (Switzerland)

Fanomenon is the UK’s leading celebration of fantastic film with an extensive international programme of new and archive horror, sci-fi, fantasy and action films, featuring many special guest appearances. Fanomenon has three short film programmes:

• International Fantasy Short Film
• Dead Shorts
• Sci-Fi Shorts

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 LIFF's Louis Le Prince International Short Film Competition and World Animation Competition are eligible for the Academy’s Short Film Awards. British shorts selected for LIFF may be considered for nomination for the BAFTA Short Film Awards.

LIFF awards for shorts and features:

• Louis Le Prince International Short Film Competition ($1300 winner prize)
• World Animation Competition ($1300 winner prize)
• British Short Film Competition ($1300 winner prize)
• Yorkshire Short Film Competition ($660 winner prize)
• Leeds International Screendance Competition ($660 winner prize)
• Leeds International Queer Short Film Competition ($660 winner prize)
• Leeds International Music Video Competition
• Leeds Short Film Audience Award
• Leeds Audience Award for Best Fiction Feature
• Leeds Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature

Please note 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.

• All Films must be submitted to the Film Festival by 31st August 2020, and all submissions are final no refunds are available.

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

• If you have more than one film to submit, you may be entitled to fee discounts for multiple entries - please email leeds.film@leeds.gov.uk for more details.

• Only films completed after 1st January 2019 will be considered for the competitive sections.

• 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

Premiere Policy:

• For feature-length films, though we do not insist on a premiere.
Please contact the Film Festival office if you would like clarification on your film if it has already screened or is going to be screened in the UK.

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

If you have any further questions regarding submissions please refer to our FAQ:

Overall Rating
  • Mariam Majid

    Winning first prize at Leeds was an absolutely amazing experience!!

    January 2020
    Response from festival:

    Hi Mariam, we loved screening A Night With Noorjehan at Leeds, we can't wait to see your next film. All the best from team LIFF!


    Wonderful film festival! Thank you for your selected.

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    Hi Nobutaka, thanks so much! We were so glad to be able to show your work '14' as part of our Screendance Short Film Programme, thanks for getting in touch!

    All the best,
    LIFF Team

  • Lou Sumray

    It was my first Film festival showing and although at first I felt daunted my queries were always answered promptly and I was made to feel very welcome.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Hi Lou,

    We are so glad you chose LIFF to submit your first short film to, and really pleased to hear we made it an enjoyable experience for you! Can't wait to see more of your work soon.

  • I wasn't able to attend the festival but I'm beyond thrilled that my horror short, "Plasmid" screens at LEEDS. Thank you to the team!!

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for getting in touch, Roshni! We loved being able to screen 'Plasmid' in two of our short film programmes this year.

  • It was a really pleasure to be part of this festival!!!

    Even though I wasn´t able to attend to the festival, I´m very happy to have been part of the festival with my short film HAY ALGO EN LA OSCURIDAD (SOMETHING IN THE DARKNESS).

    Thanks a lot to the director and crew of the festival for their great attention and kindness, thank you so much!

    For me as a spanish filmmaker ist´s a great opportunity to show my work outside my country, thanks!

    I hope to have the opportunity again to be in the festival in the future. See you soon LEEDS!

    All my best wishes and greetings from Spain!
    Fran Casanova

    May 2019
    Response from festival:

    Hi Fran!

    Thank you so much for your kind words, we were really happy to show 'Something In The Darkness' at LIFF2018.

    All the best!