Southampton Film Week’s annual film competition, SFW: Shorts will return in 2021.
Please visit OFFICIAL SELECTION to see our full shortlist of films for 2020.
About SFW: Shorts
Southampton Film Week, now in its 13th year, is a festival at the heart of the developing film hub on the South Coast of England. The festival is focused on providing opportunities for filmmakers to showcase their work and to develop their knowledge and skill through a range of events from workshops to masterclasses.
Alongside its showcase screenings Southampton Film Week seeks to exhibit a wide selection of films, classic and new, to broaden opportunities for film fans and filmmakers to experience the best of UK and International cinema, focusing particularly on films and film-works which are generally less accessible to audiences. The Festival has developed a regular strand of Music and Film events, Artists’ Moving Image work and a Youth Film Festival.
SFW: Shorts invites submissions of short films of all production styles and techniques including animation, documentary, drama, experimental and artist film. Films must be no more than 10 minutes long (including credits) and can be submitted in SD or HD video formats (see the full terms and conditions for details). Submissions are accepted through FilmFreeway:
Southampton Film Week is led by City Eye, a film charity which supports the development of filmmakers and film culture through its programme of education and training events, its own production work and its screening programme, which includes Southampton Film Week. Established in 1986, City Eye has recently relocated to new purpose-built filmmaking and screening facilities at the heart of Southampton’s Cultural Quarter. The fit-out and equipping of these spaces is underway and a full programme of events, activities and training, alongside access for emerging and established talent to our new facilities, will soon be announced.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic physical access to our centre and engagement with our activities has been restricted. We will continue to monitor the situation taking account of the latest Government, Public Health England and sector guidance in planning our forthcoming activities, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our participants, audiences and staff at all times.
The SFW: Shorts film competition is run and organised by City Eye. The competition screening and awards event will take place in Southampton Film Week (SFW) between 6 – 15 November 2020. At this stage (July 2020) we have not concluded whether it will be possible for filmmakers and audience to attend this live and in person or whether it will be accessible online. We will continue to make announcements through our website and social media channels and all submitting filmmakers will be contacted as decisions are made.
Categories and Awards
Filmmakers can submit their short films to the following categories –
- Best Artist Film
- Best Documentary
- Best Fiction
The Best Artist Film category is for experimental and artist films, that can be narrative or non-narrative. Any style of film is accepted including animation, live action, music, dance, abstract etc. The Best Documentary category is for non-fiction (factual) short films of any theme or style including animation, live action, talking heads, expository or reflective documentaries. Finally the Best Fiction category is for narrative based fictional short films of any theme, style or genre including animation, drama, horror, comedy, thriller, romance, sci-fi etc.
All films submitted to any of the SFW: Shorts categories must be under 10 minutes in length (including titles and credits). Films must have been completed after 1st January 2019 and, in City Eye’s opinion be appropriate for a public audience.
All shortlisted films will be eligible for the Michael Fuller Award for Best Film selected by our panel of judges and the Audience Award voted for at the screening and awards ceremony during the festival. Filmmakers from Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey, West Sussex and Isle of Wight will also be in contention for the Solent University sponsored Regional Filmmaker Award*.
Deadlines and Fees
Earlybird deadline – Monday 31st August 2020– £10
Regular deadline – Wednesday 30th September 2020 – £15
Regional Filmmakers – Wednesday 30th September 2020 – £10
EXTENDED DEADLINE – Saturday 10th October 2020 – Use SFW20 at checkout for 20% off!
FilmFreeway Gold Members get a 30% discount on the above fees.
- All short films must have been completed after 1 January 2019.
- All short films should either be in English or have English subtitles.
- SFW: Shorts is open to short films of all production techniques, including animation, documentary, drama and experimental film.
- Films should not be focused on the promotion of commercial products or services.
- Films cannot exceed 10 minutes duration (including credits). There is no minimum length.
All filmmakers whose films are shortlisted will be notified by email or phone by Friday 16th October 2020.
About Michael Fuller
Each year in SFW: Shorts the Best Film (as voted by a panel of independent judges) is
awarded the Michael Fuller Award.
Michael was a supporter and advocate for City Eye throughout its history and whilst he was Arts Officer at Southampton City Council and then Hampshire County Council.
During his time at SCC he was also involved in setting up Southampton Film Festival, the forerunner to SFW, which began in the 1980s and continued into the 90s. He remained passionate about film and indeed the cultural welfare of Southampton and the wider region. He was a member and Chair of the Phoenix Film Society. Michael died in December 2011.
His support and counsel is missed but we are so pleased that Michael’s wife, Lesley, has approved the creation of this memorial to him.