A qualifying event for the BAFTAs and the Oscars, Leeds International Film Festival selects and celebrates the latest and greatest short films from the UK and around the world. The six packed competitions include International, Animation, British, Yorkshire, Music Video and Screendance. Our competitions are judged by a selection of leading industry professionals and the winners of the competitions will be screened in a special programme at the end of LIFF 2017.

You can see the trailer for the Leeds Short Film Awards 2017 here and below are details of the competitions and the juries.


The world’s first moving images were shot in Leeds in 1888 by Louis le Prince and today the International Competition is named in his honour. 34 short films screen across six programmes in this Academy Award qualifying competition. Expect universal tales of hope and survival, alongside strange stories, peculiar people and an array of animals.

Jury Sarah Ahern, Projects Manager & Programmer for the Audi Dublin International Film Festival; Laurence Boyce, Head of Programme for PÖFF Shorts at Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia and editor of Cineuropa Shorts; Suvi Hanni, Festival Producer for Tampere Film Festival.

Programmes Animal Nitrate, Daydream Nation, Death is Not the End, The Faraway Nearby, Future Tense, Life And How To Live It


Once more we’ve scoured the globe to bring you the finest and most diverse animated short films for our ever popular World Animation Competition. There’s been a bumper crop of quality animations of every kind this year, making all three programmes pretty much unmissable! We’re screening 30 animated shorts, half of which are UK premieres, from over 15 countries.

Jury Alice Dunseath, Lecturer in Animation and Digital Image-making at Goldsmith University - Alice’s animation Hunting for Hockney screened in competition at LIFF 2015; Abigail Addison, film producer and director of animation agency Animate Projects, and on the Advisory Board of Underwire Festival and Animation Alliance UK; Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, whose graduation film A Love Story screened at LIFF 2016 and went on to win the BAFTA for British Short Animation earlier this year.

Programmes World Animation 1, World Animation 2, World Animation 3


In our BAFTA-qualifying competition programmes we’re showcasing a unique and curious mixture of the best that British filmmakers have to offer. The films in the two British competition programmes allow an uninhibited view of stories that examine the change, growth and transition of religion, love, identity and existence. You can also join us on a journey around the UK’s greatest county, through a collection of short films which exemplify the magnificent work of Yorkshire filmmakers, but also demonstrates the shire in all its glory.

Jury Lydia Beilby, Short Film Programmer for Edinburgh International Film Festival and a founding member of artists’ collective Screen Bandita; Fiona Hegarty, Cinema Distribution Manager for Random Acts Presents and previously the documentary programmer at Cork Film Festival; Kate Williamson, co-curator of Short Sighted Cinema, an organisation dedicated to promoting British short filmmaking, which hosts The Shortest Nights film festival.

Programmes Carried Away (British Competition 1), Left Behind (British Competition 2), Yorkshire Competition


This compelling collection of international dance films offers a very different take on the short film genre. From the isolated, frozen wastes of northern Finland to the frenetic chaos of an urban supermarket, this intriguing programme demonstrates the myriad ways a moving body can tell a story.

Jury Yolanda M. Guadarrama, co-founder of Motion, a screendance festival based in Berlin and since 2013 has led MOVIMIENTO EN MOVIMIENTO, based in Mexico; Anna Macdonald, a moving image artist and scholar from the UK, who specialises in working directly with the public; Maia Sørensen, specialises in dance film as a director, choreographer, editor and performer and who has won international awards for her films.

Programme Screendance Competition


The Leeds International Music Video Award is a vibrant and ever-surprising survey of current trends in the contemporary music video, traversing experimental innovation and outstanding video-making craft. This year’s fourth edition of the programme presents a captivating, challenging and provocative showcase of visual brilliance ranging from consummate and artful storytelling to the truly avant-garde and everything else in between.

Jury Ben Lewis, head booker at Super Friendz, the team behind Belgrave Music Hall and Headrow House; Gabrielle Jenks, Director of Abandon Normal Devices, the UK’s only roaming festival of art, new cinema, and digital culture; David Simpson, music journalist for the Guardian and lecturer in music journalism and popular culture at the University of Huddersfield.

Programme Music Video Competition