IWM Short Film Festival 2018 has now taken place. Please check the website again next year for updates about the next IWM Short Film Festival.

Anyone can enter. We especially encourage submissions from student and amateur filmmakers.

30 minutes. Films submitted which are longer than 30 minutes will not be considered for the Festival.

No, the film must be inspired by IWM and its collections, but our collections are incredibly varied. In the past we've had films submitted that have used black out film from the Second World War to explore the theme of astronomy, film covering the history of lidos and how rockets were developed.

No, but the film must be inspired by IWM and its collections. We do, however, encourage filmmakers to use our collections, which include an extensive film archive. There will be a special award for the film that makes best use of IWM archive material.

You can explore a catalogue of around 800,000 items by using our collections search. There are a huge range of items, big and small, from aircraft down to shoes, photographs and films. Over 130,000 of them have digitised images, sound or video. If you are looking for film specifically, please explore the IWM Film Sales site.

For the 2018 Festival, filmmakers were eligible to use up to five films, five photographs and three audio recordings from IWM collections free of charge. All material must have been already digitised. Any material that fell outside of this offer was subject to a charge. We may offer a similar rate for future festivals

The IWM Short Film Festival special award category changes each year to link with IWM’s exhibition seasons. The focus for 2018 was Making A New World, a new IWM exhibition season across IWM North and IWM London. The festival therefore actively encouraged creative responses that explored how the First World War has shaped the society we live in today.

Yes, we welcome varied submissions inspired by IWM and its collections.

For more information see our judging criteria.


Call for entries for IWM Short Film Festival 2018 is now closed. Shortlisting is currently taking place and those filmmakers selected to be screened will be informed by 27 July 2018.

Unfortunately, IWM is not able to contact unsuccessful entrants. If you do not hear from us by 27 July 2018, please assume that your entry has not been selected. Shortlisted entries will be required to submit a screening copy via memory stick by Friday 17 August 2018.

Due to a substantial increase in submissions over the past few years, IWM Short Film Festival has introduced a small submission fee to cover administrative costs. Filmmakers can benefit from early bird prices: from 4 December 2017 until 30 March 2018 students can submit their films for $7*, and all other filmmakers for $13*. From 31 March 2018 to 27 April 2018, students will pay $13*, whilst other filmmakers will pay $20* standard.

*FilmFreeway is a Canadian company which charges for submissions in US Dollars. The total amount in British Pounds will vary on the day due to the exchange rate. Filmmakers will also need to cover any bank charges incurred when making payment to FilmFreeway.

Yes, but you must complete a separate submission form and provide separate versions of the required materials for each film.

Films were submitted under one of the following categories:

  • Documentary
  • Creative response

There are four additional awards:

  • IWM Special Category: Making A New World*
  • Best Student Film
  • Best Use of IWM Archive
  • Audience Vote Award**


*This special category encourages creative responses exploring how the First World War has shaped the society we live in today.

**All shortlisted films will be eligible for the Audience Vote Award.

Festival screenings

IWM Short Film Festival 2018 will run from 25–29 October at IWM London. A more detailed festival programme will be announced in autumn 2018.

For the Festival in 2017 we had 681 entries of which 37 were shortlisted and screened.

All films that are submitted will be part of the Festival competition. Filmmakers will have decided which category – Documentary or Creative Response – they are entered in when they completed their submission form.

There are awards in the following categories:

  • The Annie Dodds Award for Best Documentary
  • Best Creative Response
  • IWM Special Category: Making A New World
  • Best Student Film
  • Best Use of IWM Archive
  • Audience Vote Award


Winners in the five judged categories will be announced at an awards ceremony held at the start of the festival. The ceremony will be attended by the festival organisers and sponsors, the festival judging panel, professionals from across the film industry, shortlisted filmmakers, members of the press and other special invited guests. The winner of the Audience Vote Award will be announced after the end of the screenings through IWM's digital channels.

More information

View some of the previous winners online.