Final deadline dates for receipt of online submission forms and film screeners
- UK and international short films (40 minutes or less) – Thursday 17 June 2021, 17:00 British Summer Time (BST)
- UK feature-length films (more than 40 minutes) – Thursday 17 June 2021, 17:00 BST
Each year the festival presents a selection of the best in world cinema, showing audiences a wide array of films, representing a variety of languages, genres and filmmaking styles.
The festival showcases exceptional British filmmaking alongside international work, and the programme spans features, shorts, fiction, documentary, artists’ moving image, restorations, animation and films for families, alongside titles destined for awards-season glory.
Seeking films for selection, our programmers view films at other festivals, follow alumni filmmakers’ work, and research films in production from UK distributors and international partners, actively tracking new work from different territories.
The submissions process enables us to be open to filmmakers who wish for their films to be considered, so the festival can encounter fresh filmmaking voices that may not reach us by other means, ensuring we consider the widest possible pool of new work, from directorial debuts to established talent.
How to submit
Our guidelines and regulations for submitting a film for consideration, important for checking your film’s eligibility, can be downloaded below:
For UK features or short films please see point 9 of the guidelines and regulations PDF for information regarding UK production classification.
All deadline times are local British time, GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) or BST (British Summer Time).
Fee for international short films
- Regular is £20 if received by Friday 4 June 2021, 17:00 BST
- Late submission £30 if received after Friday 4 June, 17:00 BST to Thursday 17 June 2021, 17:00 BST
Fee for UK feature films
- Early bird £30 if received by Friday 9 April 2021, 17:00 GMT
- Regular £40 if received after Friday 9 April, 17:00 GMT to Friday 4 June 2021, 17:00 BST
- Late submission £55 if received after Friday 4 June, 17:00 BST to Thursday 17 June 2021, 17:00 BST
Fee for UK short films
- Regular £15 if received by Friday 4 June 2021, 17:00 BST
- Late submission £25 if received after Friday 4 June, 17:00 BST to Thursday 17 June 2021, 17:00 BST
On completion of your online submission form and confirmation of successful payment, you will be sent a confirmation email containing delivery instructions for a DVD screener (if you have not already provided a password-protected viewing online link).
For any queries about film submissions please email email@example.com.
The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI
The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI is a £50,000 award to benefit an outstanding British writer, director, or writer/director whose first or second feature film premieres at the BFI London Film Festival. With a shared goal from both the BFI and IWC to provide more opportunity to underrepresented filmmakers and strive for more inclusion in the industry, for the first time in the bursary’s history all potential applicants will need their film to meet the BFI Diversity Standards in order to be eligible to apply.
For clarity, British writers, directors and/or writer/directors holding a UK passport and working and residing in the UK, or currently a formal resident in the UK (having lived or worked here for the last five years) with a first or second feature premiering in the BFI London Film Festival will still be eligible for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award if the film is a non-UK production. Filmmakers which are otherwise eligible and which are entered through open submissions or entered by a sale or distribution partner will have the opportunity to formally submit an application for the bursary award once the film is invited to the festival. Any filmmaker who is otherwise eligible but whose film has not yet been assessed for the Diversity Standards will also have the opportunity to submit it for assessment once the film has been invited to the festival. You do not need to apply before the invitation stage.