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Submissions for the 43rd Cambridge Film Festival are Now Open!


** Fee waivers and discounts are available. See below for details **

Since our inception in 1977, we've been a beacon for independent cinema, celebrating the art of filmmaking in all its forms. As a BIFA & BAFTA qualifying festival, we take pride in showcasing bold, imaginative films from around the globe while paying homage to cinema's rich heritage.

What Sets CFF Apart:

- INDUSTRY DAY: A hub for filmmakers and professionals offering enriching talks, workshops, and presentations. It’s a place to sharpen your skills and create lasting industry connections.

- CFF YOUTH LAB: Spearheaded by young, enthusiastic cinephiles, this program is crucial for nurturing film evaluation and criticism. Engage in our dynamic workshops and meet renowned industry figures like Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo.

- NETWORKING & CAREER ADVANCEMENT: Our festival is a fertile ground for budding and established filmmakers to develop skills, build networks, and gain industry insights.

Along with CFF’s open submissions process, these initiatives support local and international filmmakers. Providing a supportive platform to showcase their work while developing skills and building vital network connections.

2024 Marks Our 43rd Edition: Join us this October for a celebration of cinema like no other!


In Praise of Cambridge Film Festival:

"An unmanageably rich feast, with a particularly strong strand of artists' cinema, and a selection of silent revivals that put the recent London festival in the shade."
Henry K Miller - Sight & Sound.

"The Cambridge Film Festival is one of the key screen events in the U.K. calendar."

"Easily outclasses its rivals".
The Times.

Submit your film

Please ensure you have read the rules and terms below before submitting.

We are proud to be a FilmFreeway Gold Festival and a BAFTA and BIFA Qualifying Festival for British Short Film.

Submission Deadlines

January 19, 2024 - Opening Date

February 7, 2024 - Super Earlybird Deadline

March 13, 2024 - Earlybird Deadline

April 17, 2024 - Midway Deadline

May 22, 2024 - Regular Deadline

June 26, 2024 - Late Deadline

July 25, 2024 - Final Deadline

September 24, 2024 - Notification Date

October 24 – 31, 2024 - Event Date


One of Cambridge's most notable symbols is its love of punts. They are an icon of the city's waterways, and we have named our Jury awards* in honour of them.

- Golden Punt Jury Award: Best Film
- Crystal Punt Jury Award: Best Director

- Audience Award for Best Fiction Feature
- Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
- Audience Award for Best Short Film.

- CFF Youth Lab Jury Award

Cambridge Film Festival is a BAFTA and BIFA qualifying Festival.

*Awards were renamed for 2024. All UK premieres are eligible for the audience awards.

Submission Fees 

(FilmFreeway Gold Fee)

Shorts (maximum 25 minutes in duration)

Super Early Bird: £25 (£21)

Early Bird: £30 (£27)

Midway: £33 (£29)

Regular: £36 (£32)

Late: £40 (£36)

Final: £45 (£40)


Fiction Features (minimum 60 minutes in duration)

Super Early Bird: £45 (£38)

Early Bird: £55 (£49)

Midway: £60 (£53)

Regular: £65 (£58)

Late: £70 (£62)

Final: £75 (£67)


Documentary Features (minimum 60 minutes in duration)

Super Early Bird: £45 (£38)

Early Bird: £55 (£49)

Midway: £60 (£53)

Regular: £65 (£58)

Late: £70 (£62)

Final: £75 (£67)


The Cambridge Film Trust operates the Cambridge Film Festival (registered charity no. 1120059), and our annual operations and viewing the volume of submissions we receive are very costly; despite this, we offer several submission fee waivers and discounts.

1. We are committed to supporting local filmmakers by waiving submission fees for filmmakers (directors and producers) based in Cambridgeshire.

2. Directors and producers who have previously screened films at the Festival are also entitled to a waiver.

3. We offer a 25% discount to encourage submissions from directors from Black and Global Majority backgrounds.

Please email to request any of these discounts and waivers.

Include your (FILM TITLE) and (DISCOUNT/WAIVER) as the email's subject line.

Include either:
Proof of address (such as a scan/pdf of a current utility bill)
The year your previous work screened at CFF
Your request for the Black and Global Majority director discount

Fees will not be waived under any other circumstances, so please do not contact us to request that we make an exception, as we will not be able to do so.

Please note that submission fees will not be refunded.

Rules and Terms

Submission Eligibility: 

1. Feature films (fiction and documentary) must not have been released in the UK in any format, including online, before their screening in the Festival.

** Exceptions may be made for films of exceptionally high quality or films that premiere at the London Film Festival only at the discretion of Festival staff.

2. Short Films have no premiere requirement but must not be publicly available online in the UK.

** All UK premiers are eligible for the CFF Audience awards.

3. Only films completed within the 18 months before the start of the festival are eligible for submission.

4. All submissions not in English must be provided with embedded English closed caption subtitles.

5. While it is not a requirement and will not affect your chances of being selected, we encourage filmmakers to include a supporting Closed Caption file with your submission where possible.

6. Previously submitted work will only be considered if it has been substantially altered.

7. All rights, permissions, and clearances must be obtained before submission, and applicants must ensure they have the right to submit the work. By entering your work, you agree to this and the responsibilities involved. The Cambridge Film Trust, the registered charity that runs the Cambridge Film Festival, assumes no responsibility for violation of copyright law and submission fees will not be refunded.


All films must be submitted via a secure online screener (FilmFreeway).

We encourage filmmakers to include their pronouns in their bios or alongside their submissions. E.G. Name: Elle Haywood (She/Her)

The festival reserves the right to change deadlines and to close submissions earlier than stated at our discretion.


1. The Cambridge Film Festival team will conduct the selection. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection process, and the festival's decision is final.

2. Unfortunately, due to the volume of entries, we cannot offer individual feedback or enter into a discussion about your work.

3. All successful submissions will be notified by email by 16th September 2024. Please ensure we can reach you in August and September to confirm your film's inclusion in the Festival programme.

4. All successful submissions will be listed on our website when the complete programme is announced.

5. Please do not send any press materials with your submission. Should your film be accepted, we request you send us digital images and other press/publicity materials, including press kits.

Festival Screenings and Scheduling: 

1. All screenings during the Festival period will take place at the discretion of the Festival. We reserve the right to change the advertised schedule at any time for any reason and will not accept liability for any costs incurred due to such changes.

2. You must not withdraw your film from the Cambridge Film Festival programme after its selection/participation has been confirmed. Without our prior agreement, it must not be screened elsewhere before its presentation at the Festival.

3. Your film must be available to screen as a DCP for an in-cinema presentation. No other formats will be accepted. DCPs of selected films must be received by the Festival at least one month before the start of the Festival.

4. The Festival cannot cover the costs of any format transfers or subtitling.

5. The Cambridge Film Trust will accept responsibility for technical damage to prints of selected titles while they are in the Festival's possession and will reimburse the value of the print stock (or part thereof) only. Please ensure you have sufficient insurance to cover your work while in transit to and from the Festival.


If you have a question about your submission, please email