Of course, not every film student is young, but the majority are. A list of other film festivals aimed at young filmmakers has been drawn up below which many film students should find useful, at least to know about. Focusing on young people narrows down the competition, hopefully giving submitters a better chance of getting noticed by the industry.
by Jay Townshend-Sherriff
UK Film Festivals
BFI Future Film Festival
The London-based British Film Institute holds a large festival for emerging filmmakers aged between 16 and 25. It’s held over four days in February with free virtual events and screenings. Submissions for the 2022 festival will be open this summer.
Based in Belfast, this organisation offers people aged 25 or under living in the UK or Ireland the chance to showcase a film of any genre in their separate young filmmaker festival. Competition deadline is 6th August 2021. Films can be no longer than ten minutes.
Another UK film festival focused on young film talent. Entrants must be at least 16 years old and films must be 23 minutes or less. The organisation usually hosts an in-person festival in Cambridge, though the pandemic has disrupted plans. Check official website for the latest news.
Rob Knox Film Festival
Held annually in Bexley, London, the festival in named in memory of the actor who played Marcus Belby in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It has three categories of films for submission: under five minutes, all others up to thirty minutes, and films over thirty minutes. Submission fees ascend in that order and also depend on which deadline you submit by.filmfreeway.com/RobKnoxFilmFestival
Glasgow Youth Film Festival
Scheduled to return 17–19 September 2021, this Scottish festival is co-organised by Glasgow Film and GYFF Young Programmers who are aged between 15 and 19 and mentored through a summer school. Sign up for a free 15-25 Card and get discounted tickets with this organisation.
Barnes Film Festival
The sixth annual Barnes Film Festival is due to take place online from 17–23rd June 2021, though submissions for this year are now closed. Films can be no longer than 5 minutes for the youth filmmaking showcase.
Wimbledon International Shorts Film Festival
A festival that is part of the Wimbledon Film Club and for UK and international short films ranging from 10 seconds to 14 minutes 59 seconds. There’s an award for Best Young Filmmaker for directors aged 25 or under.
Non-UK Film Festivals
Nordic Young Short Film Festival
Based in the principal city of Arctic Norway, this organisation holds an annual international youth film competition for films no longer than 20 minutes, produced in the last two years, and by filmmakers between 13 and 26 years old. Applications open this summer.
Auburn International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults
This Australian festival includes an award for Best Short Film by Young Adults 15-22 Years Old. All international works must be Australian premieres. Any genre or duration. Submission online.