The 2021 film competition opened on September 1st 2020 and will close on May 1st 2021.
The annual competition is open to amateur and experienced film makers, all we ask is that films are less than 10 minutes in length and based on any science fact or fiction theme. For inspiration, give this blog post a read or watch the 2019 shortlist or the 2020 Earth and Environment or Technology and Us shortlists.
The closing date for the 2021 competition is May 1st 2021. Shortlisted films will be screened at virtual screenings on July 16th-17th 2021 and on the Big Screen in Millennium Square, Bristol, at a later date. The winners will be announced at the virtual screenings.
Winning science fact and fiction films (amateur and professional) will be awarded a £150 cash prize. There will also be a £50 runner-up prize for each category. In addition to these prizes, we are pleased to be able to award themed prizes on behalf of University of Bristol research institutes. These prizes are the following:
- Elizabeth Blackwell Institute health film prize (Science Fact)
- Jean Golding Institute data science and AI film prize (Science Fact/Fiction)
- Cabot Institute for the Environment film prize (Science Fact/Fiction)
Each research institute will be awarding £150 for the winner and £50 for the runner-up in their theme. Follow the links above for more details.
How to enter
Bristol Science Film Festival proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.
Terms and conditions
Bristol Science Film Festival is a non-profit, volunteer-run unincorporated association.
- The official selection of the short films presented at the Festival is the responsibility of the Festival Directors. The official selection is at the discretion of the Directors and their decision is final.
- Submitted films must be 10 minutes or fewer and be either a non-fiction, science-based film, or have a science fiction theme.
- To be considered for the science fiction category, the film must have clear science inspiration.
- Submitters may be either amateur or professional. Classification as either is determined by whether the film was paid for (professional), whether the film was made with professional standard equipment (most likely professional, unless the equipment was borrowed). Amateur filmmakers include those with student status and hobbyists. Bristol Science Film Festival reserves the right to dispute this classification at any stage of the selection process. This will not cause you to be disqualified, but simply moved categories.
- Submitted films must be in English or have English subtitles embedded in the film. Any foreign language films without English subtitles will be disqualified.
- If your film is shortlisted it will need to meet the specifications of Big Screen Bristol. If your film does not currently meet these specifications, please be prepared to reformat it if your film is shortlisted.
- The film submitter must have permission to submit the film from a distributor or sales agent representing the film and must have obtained necessary permissions for the inclusion of copyrighted music and/or images within the films. By submitting through Film Freeway, the submitter confirms that they possess all rights necessary for the screening of the submitted film at this film festival.
- Films must be submitted via the Film Freeway platform only. We do not accept submissions through our website or email address.
- Films must not contain any material that may be considered offensive. This includes material of a racist, sexist, ableist or homophobic nature. Films containing any such material will be disqualified.
- Multiple Submissions are welcomed.
- Entries must be entered by the entry deadline of May 1st 2021. Judging will begin after this date. Please ensure your film is still available to view after this date if you have submitted earlier.
- We may use excerpts of your film for promotional purposes but we will not edit or modify your film beyond that. If you do not wish your film to be used for this purpose then please let us know via email.
- If shortlisted, the film will be screened during our Film Festival via any combination of: a virtual online screening, a theatre-based screening and a public screening on Big Screen Bristol. Event dates will be announced closer to the competition closing date.
- We may use your film in events in future film festivals such as the film trail. If you do not wish your film to be used for this purpose please let us know.
- Bristol Science Film Festival will not share your data with anyone without your permission.
- Bristol Science Film Festival cannot accept responsibility for anything submitted that infringes copyright or intellectual property rights.
- Entry fees are used for Festival administration and to fund the Festival’s prizes.
- Entry fees are set at £5 per submission for the 2021 short film competition.
- Entry fees are non-refundable.
- Each submission will be viewed by a minimum of two volunteers, who will flag films to be watched by the Film Festival Directors. The Directors will make the final decisions on the official selection.
- Shortlisting decisions can only be communicated to the film submitter. Please ensure that the submitter’s contact information is up-to-date and checked regularly (including junk mail).
- Bristol Science Film Festival may need to alter deadlines, notification and screening dates and reserves the right to do so.
- If your film is disqualified or not selected, we are unfortunately unable to provide individual feedback.
- Stills and clips of selected films will be used for Bristol Science Film Festival publicity. Please do include stills of your films with your Film Freeway submission, as well as your social media handles for ease of publicity.
- Bristol Science Film Festival reserves the right to edit any information provided in your submission for publicity to promote the Festival.
- Bristol Science Film Festival reserves the right to include excerpts of your film in screenings or publicity to promote the Festival.
- A panel of external judges will watch the full shortlist for the category they are assigned to and score films. The panel’s scores will be averaged by the Film Festival Directors to determine the winners and runner-up.
- In the event of a tie, the Film Festival Directors will make the final decision.
- Cash prizes will be sent to a nominated bank or PayPal account within three months of the winners announcement.
- By submitting your film through Film Freeway you are agreeing to the terms above. Film entry is binding and implies acceptance of these rules and terms.
- Where there is disagreement over the interpretation of the terms, Bristol Science Film Festival’s interpretation will always take precedence.
- Failure to comply with the above may mean that your submission is disqualified.
Frequently asked questions
How do I know if I’m an amateur or professional filmmaker?
Please do use your own judgement: we understand that everyone’s situation is unique! However, as a guide, if you used your own professional quality equipment, got paid to make this film or have made/make a living from your film making then we think you are a professional filmmaker. If you had to hire or borrow equipment, applied for grants to fund the film, are a student or hobbyist filmmaker, or paid for everything yourself, we think you are an amateur filmmaker.
Can I submit a film as a group?
Yes, though we only give one prize per submission.
Can I submit more than one film?
Yes, you are more than welcome to submit more than one film.
Can I submit a film if I’m not in the UK?
Yes, we welcome submissions from anywhere in the world!
Is there a fee for submitting my film?
There is a £5 fee for submitting films. However, if you are able to, we would appreciate additional donations to support this and future film competitions. Bristol Science Film Festival is entirely volunteer-run and donations will only go to venue hire and competition prizes. Donations can be made via PayPal.
If £5 is too much for you to spend, please do send us an email and we will do what we can to waive fees for those in difficult financial circumstances.
Drop us an email at email@example.com