Cambridge Film Festival

Cambridge Film Festival
CFF Submissions, Cambridge Film Festival
Arts Picturehouse,
38-39 St Andrews Street
Cambridge, United Kingdom

Tel: 01223 500082
Fax: 01223 462555


Animation Children Documentary Drama Independent Short

Festival Overview

Now in its 28th year, Cambridge Film Festival is one of the UK's most popular, prestigious and well-respected film festivals, bringing an event with a national profile to Cambridge, and delivering inspiring, thought-provoking and challenging cinema to an ever-broadening range of cinema-goers. The Festival's mission is to showcase the very best international cinema to the widest possible audience, by premiering and previewing outstanding new work as well as acknowledging cinematic classics through retrospectives and revivals. Films receiving their UK premiere at Cambridge have included, VOLVER, THE LAST MITTERRAND, CRASH, GOODBYE LENIN, SILVER CITY, CLEAN, COMME UNE IMAGE, BEFORE SUNSET, SPIRITED AWAY, BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, BARTON FINK, SEX LIES AND VIDEOTAPE, RESERVOIR DOGS and THELMA AND LOUISE. Scores of celebrated international film-makers have visited the Festival, including; Terry Gilliam, John Sayles, Julie Delpy, Jeremy Irons, Sir Richard Eyre, Cate Blanchett, Richard Harris, Joel Schumacher, Robert Carradine, Jane Birkin, Peter Greenaway, Michael Winterbottom, Alex Cox, Timothy Spall, Ray Harryhausen, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Philip Kaufman, Jeunet et Caro, and Hanif Kureishi.

The Festival's strands include: new features; shorts; documentary; revivals, artist's moving image work; and a Children's Film Festival.

The Cambridge Film Festival's main venue is the state-of-the-art three screen Arts Picturehouse cinema in the centre of Cambridge, with touring events also taking place at numerous locations across the Eastern region. The Festival is supported by the National Lottery through Screen East and the UK Film Council.

The decision of the Edinburgh International Film Festival to relocate to June has provided the catalyst needed for Cambridge to continue its development with new dates outside of the summer festival season in Cambridge. Audience research has established support for this move and this repositioning to September presents a fantastic opportunity for us to relaunch the Festival brand and increase its impact.


Cambridge Film Festival was established in 1977 and ran until 1996, re-launching in 2001 after a five year break. Over the years it has developed into a high profile event with a reputation as one of the UK's most prestigious and well-respected film festivals. The Guardian has described Cambridge as "a match for the Edinburgh and London Film Festivals…", whereas The Times claimed that Cambridge "easily outclasses its metropolitan rivals".

The Festival was originally conceived with a two-fold purpose: as a means of screening the very best of current international cinema; and to rediscover important but neglected film-makers and their films, which were either out of distribution or unseen for many years.

The Festival's strands include: new features; shorts; documentary; revivals, artist's moving image work; and a Children's Film Festival. Engagement with the fullest range of film culture is generated by visits from actors and directors, parties and receptions, forums and conferences, workshops and education events, and free outdoor screenings. Films premiering at Cambridge have included Lady Chatterley, Bowling For Columbine, Before Sunset, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, 9 Songs, Crash, The Last Mitterrand, Tideland, A Cock and Bull Story and Volver, and we've played host to star guests such as Luc Besson, Cate Blanchett, Julie Delpy, Bruno Dumont, Jeremy Irons, Richard Harris, Terry Gilliam and Kenneth Branagh.

The 11 day Festival is based at the Arts Picturehouse in Cambridge but also uses other venues in Cambridge, including The Junction and West Road Concert Hall, with outreach events taking place at locations across the Eastern region. Audiences have grown by 40% in the past 5 years, reaching 16,500 participants in 2007.

The Festival is now operated by the charitable Cambridge Film Trust, which was formed for this purpose in July 2007; the Festival is the highlight of a year-round programme which champions independent cinema by presenting a broad portfolio of film-related events in Cambridge and across the Eastern region.


Cambridge Film Festival receives a large number of submissions each year and selection represents a public endorsement of your work and a prize in itself. However, the Cambridge Film Festival has two prizes, both of which are voted for by the Festival's audience:

*ShortFusion Audience Prize for best short film. The winner of this award will gain the opportunity to have their film screened before a main feature at the Arts Picturehouse cinema. Previous winners have included WASP, MUSIC FOR ONE APPARTMENT AND SIX DRUMMERS, BREASTS, and PUPPET ACCESS TV.

*The Audience Favourite Award for best film. This auspicious award is voted for via the Festival website. Previous winners have included VOLVER, BROKEN FLOWERS, STAGE BEAUTY, SPIRITED AWAY, ELLING and last year's feature submission ROCK PAPER SCISSORS.


Open to the public

* Films must not have been released in the UK in any format, including online, or shown on UK television prior to 18 September 2008.
* Films completed within the years 2007-2008 are eligible for submission.
* All foreign language films must be subtitled in English.
* Previously submitted work will not be considered unless it has been substantially altered.
* All rights, permissions and clearances must be obtained prior to submission and applicants must ensure that they have the right to submit the work with regard to third parties connected with the production of the film in question. By entering your work, you agree to this and the responsibilities involved. CFF assumes no responsibility for violation of copyright law.

Submission fees will not be refunded if your film does not meet these conditions.

* Films must be submitted on DVD or VHS only and should be clearly labelled with the title, running time and contact information.
* Submitted copies will not be returned (unless you enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your film).
* Please do not submit multiple works on the same DVD. Each film submitted must be accompanied by a completed submission form and fee.
* Please clearly write "short" (if under 30 mins), "feature" (over 30mins) or "documentary" (over 30mins) on the outside of the envelope.

The film must be available to screen in 35mm, 16mm, HDCam, Beta SP, Digibeta, DV or mini DV, NTSC or PAL; we cannot consider any other formats.

Cambridge Film Festival is a operated by a charitable Trust and works with an extremely limited budget. We regret that due to the large number of submissions we receive we must charge a small fee to cover our administrative costs:

£20 - feature or documentary (over 30 minutes in length)
£10 - short (30 minutes or less)

However we remain committed to supporting local film-makers and therefore free entry will be granted to film-makers (directors, writers or producers) who are based in the Eastern region. Please enclose proof of address with your entry (photocopy of full UK driving licence, or current utility bill)

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