Curating the Festival

Of course, the really tricky question is: “What is an UK independent film?” Our criteria are applied with a degree of flexibility as we are driven as much by creating a diverse programme for our audience as by the qualities of individual films. Our curation therefore follows these guidelines:

  • Films between c.80 - c.100 minutes in length (short films have their own event within the Festival – please see more info here)
  • Have a UK director and a predominantly UK creative/production team
  • 50%+ of the funding must come from UK investors
  • No production funding from major US and/or other foreign studios
  • The film must not have been commissioned by an established studio, including the BBC and Film4
  • An inclination towards films made for less than £5m – often a very, very great deal less. We have, though, nothing against seven-figure budgets at the top of our range any more than we do shoestrings and maxed-out credit cards
  • As the Festival aims to bring filmmakers and filmlovers together, preference will be given to films that meet our criteria AND can be introduced by a member(s) of its cast or production team
The Festival is, above all, a celebration and all genres are welcomed – from art house to popular entertainment and all the good stuff in-between, just as long as the film succeeds on its own terms. What those terms should be we leave, of course, to the filmmaker. Currently, we are a non-competitive festival with no prizes beyond the participatory laurels selection brings. We are happy to consider films that:

  • Have secured distribution deals. After all, the whole point of making a film is for people to see it
  • Have an international cast and/or that have been shot wholly or partly outside the UK
  • Have been part-funded, but NOT commissioned, by the BBC or Film4

While there is no time limit on when a film was made, preference is generally shown to films made in the last three years.

Contact Us

If you have a film that meets our broad criteria and would like to offer it for selection, please contact us at with links to trailers or other information. We will get in touch within seven days.

Equally, if you have seen a film that you think deserves to be screened at the Festival, email us at the same address and we’ll take a look.