Filmmaker submissions for LIFF 2021 now open 

A qualifying film festival for both the Oscars® and BAFTAs, LIFF presents an extensive and diverse programme of discovery that celebrates the achievements of new and established talent from around the world. You are now able to enter your film to LIFF 2021 using the FilmFreeway platform where you can find full information about our categories and criteria. You only need to enter your film into one category: if your film is eligible for other categories it will still be considered by the programme selectors.

The deadlines for submissions to LIFF 2021 are:
Earlybird - 6th April 2021
Regular - 31st July 2021
Final - 31st August 2021

In 2020 LIFF received 4933 feature and short film submissions from 121 countries for its four programme sections: Official Selection for new narrative features; Cinema Versa for documentary features and shorts; Fanomenon for genre / fantastic features and shorts; and Leeds Short Film Awards with eight competition categories and £4500 in cash prizes.

You can view the LIFF 2020 programme here


LIFF Submissions FAQ

Q. How do I submit my film?

A. We use FilmFreeway to manage all our feature and short film submissions.


Q. I'm not sure if my film is a feature or a short film?

A. Under 45mins is classified as a short film, over 45mins is considered a feature film. However for the Queer and Screendance submissions, films must not exceed 20mins.


Q.  My film is eligible for multiple categories, do I have to submit to them all?

A. No, you only need to submit once to the category you feel best suits your feature or short film. Your film may be selected to a different category than you submit to, however will advise you about this before the final selection. 


Q. When should my film be completed to be eligible to submit?

A. Only films completed after 1st January 2020 will be considered for the competitive sections.


Q. How many films can I submit?

A. There is no limit to how many films you can submit! If you wish to submit multiple films you may be eligible for a discounted rate, so please email us at


Q. My feature/short does not have a BBFC rating?

A. Films screened during LIFF receive a 18 certificate from Leeds City Council. Although there are exceptions to this, please take this into consideration when submitting or attending the festival. If your film receives a BBFC rating and is selected for the festival, please let us know!


Q. I'm a distributor and wish to submit multiple films.

A. Please contact us directly at


Q. Do I need to provide subtitles with my submission?

A. For all non-English speaking submissions, we require embedded English subtitles and if selected we may ask for English speaking submissions to provide a subtitle track for accessibility e.g. d/Deaf audience members.


Q. My previous films have been shown at LIFF before and I'd like to submit a new film. 

A. We love to support festival alumni! Please email us at and let us know.


Q. I'm a local filmmaker, can I get a discount?

A. Unfortunately, we do not offer discounts for local filmmakers however we encourage you to submit to our Yorkshire Short Film Competition.


Q. I'm a student, is there a student short film competition

A. Sadly not, however if your institution would like to submit multiple films they may be eligible for a discounted submission rate. Please contact us at


Q. Can I submit a work in progress?

A. We certainly do but to ensure our programmers are fully aware of this, please make it as clear as possible that your submission is not fully finished. 


Q. My film covers a sensitive/explicit topic, will it still be considered?

A. Absolutely! We welcome films for all ages. However, if you would like to submit a film more catered towards families and children, please visit the Leeds Young Film Festival submission page instead.


Q. I'm having issues submitting my film on filmfreeway

A. Please contact


Q. If successful, when would my film be shown?

A. LIFF2020 will be held 4th November - 19th November, however more information regarding the specific short film categories will be posted on our website.


Q. I've submitted my film, what now?

A. Ensuring all fees have been paid, then relax! You can keep up to date with LIFF updates @leedsfilmfest & @leedsshortfilm on Twitter and if successful, you will be notified by mid-September.


Q. What are the prizes if my film wins?

A. Depending upon the category, each filmmaker will be awarded a Leeds Short Film award, and a cash prize. Please check our Filmfreeway page for more information.


If you have any questions that have not been answered here please contact us via

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