The Keswick Film Festival is held annually in Keswick, Cumbria, England. The first festival was in 2000, initially as part of the Keswick Film Club spring season. Both organisations are still dedicated to bringing the best of world cinema to audiences in and around Keswick.

Short films have always played an important part of the Festival. In 2008 we started running a competition for local film makers which became the Cumbrian Short Film Awards in 2009 and since 2011 have been known as the Osprey Short Film Awards.

The awards are a way of celebrating and rewarding the amazing range of talent in the region. In the past we've been joined by John Hurt, Greta Scacchi, Rayna Campbel and a number of professional filmmakers who have all provided insightful advice to the new filmmakers.

“I feel it's very important for those of us who are established in films to make sure that we put ourselves out to encourage the next link in the chain. It's not difficult to put oneself out and it was greatly enjoyable watching their films and sharing their pleasure at the awards.” - John Hurt, 2012

A panel of judges shortlist the best films to screen at the festival where a number of prizes will be awarded.

At the screening the audience will also cast their vote for the Audience Award.

The exact details of prizes is still to be decided and may depend on the number and quality of entries.

In the past

- All shortlisted films received a "Official Selection" certificate
- Shortlisted films received one pass to the full festival (worth up to £55)
- Shortlisted films were screened at a public event at the Festival
- Cash prize(s) awarded by the judges
- Certificates for best film in each category (including the Audience Award)
- Winning films may be screened before closing films of the festival


This year we are accepting short films with a connection to Cumbria or Keswick Film Festival.

We only have one category of entry but there is a student entry fee which can be used for submissions where the majority of filmmakers were under 19 and the time of making the film.

All submissions must:

1) have a significant connection to Cumbria or the Keswick Film Festival
2) be no more than 10 minutes long
3) have been completed this year

A significant connection might be:

a) A key member of the production team or cast
-was born or currently resides in Cumbria.
- has previously attended Keswick Film Festival.

b)The film production company is based in Cumbria.
c) It was filmed on location in Cumbria
d) The subject matter of the film is relevant to Cumbria or Keswick Film Festival

It is at the discretion of the judging panel to decide whether the film has a significant enough connection to Cumbria or Keswick Film Festival to be considered a suitable short film for entry. If you are in any doubt please contact us before submitting your film as we may not be able to provide refunds for ineligible entries.

If your film is shortlisted we will contact you and may require you to provide

1) A screening copy of your film for exhibition
2) Promotional materials to use on the internet and at the event


Films must have been completed this year (2019)

Films should be no more than 10 minutes long.

The films should be suitable for an English language audience. Non-English language films should carry English subtitles.

The short film must have a significant connection to Cumbria or Keswick Film Festival.


The judging panel's decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the decisions made.

The judging panel can withhold any prize if, in their opinion, no entry is of sufficient quality or if they feel that there are not enough entries to create a short list for screening at the festival.

By entering a film the film makers agree for their work to be publicly screened at the festival one or more times without any financial remuneration.

Permission will be sought from the film maker for any subsequent desire of the Keswick Film Festival or Keswick Film Club to screen the short film in the future.

By entering their film the film-makers agree for any part of their film and any images or material submitted with the film to be used by Keswick Film Festival or Keswick Film Club for the purpose of publicising the Keswick Film Festival and/or Osprey Short Film Awards, either before or after the festival.

Keswick Film Festival will accept no responsibility for any damage, loss or theft of the film copy whilst it is in the possession of the Keswick Film Festival. It is the responsibility of the submitter to keep a copy of the film. It is also the responsibility of the submitter to provide adequate insurance for the submitted copy if necessary.

The delivery and return costs of the submission will be borne by the person submitting.

Submissions received which do not adhere to the guidelines for submission or eligibility criteria will not be considered.

From a legal standpoint, you must clear all trademarked and/or copyrighted materials included in your project before you can exhibit it publicly. However, we does not check to ensure that you have obtained clearance for these materials at any point during the application process, nor will we be held responsible for any inclusion of uncleared trademarked or copyrighted materials in your project. It is the sole responsibility of the entity submitting the project to secure permission from the trademark or copyright holders of the material in question, whether it is music, stock footage, or any other elements that could violate an existing trademark or copyright.

Please ensure that your film meets all of the eligibility criteria as it may not be possible to issue refunds. If you are in any doubt please contact us before making a submission.

Overall Rating
  • Adam Ibbotson

    I attended the Ospreys in 2020, when my short film ‘A Pink Christmas’ was shown. I got to experience a selection of wonderful short films from a selection of wonderful filmmakers. The hosts were very friendly, and the cinema, The Alhambra in Keswick, was beautifully done up. Very recommended.

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for taking the time to write a review. It was great to have you taking part and coming along to the screening -glad to hear you had a good time.

  • Ben Wangenye

    EPXCS and I had a really good time and really do appreciate the organisers and all that attended for the continued support even after the event.

    May 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Ben, it was great that you and EPXCS could make it up to the festival and had a good time.