IWM Short Film Festival 2018 promo image

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.

Read the guidelines below on the criteria for the 2018 submissions.  


  • Anyone can enter IWM Short Film Festival. We especially encourage submissions from student and amateur filmmakers.
  • Films must be no longer than 30 minutes in length. Films submitted which are longer than 30 minutes will not be considered for the Festival.
  • Films must be in English or have embedded English subtitles.
  • Films should have been completed after 1 January 2013. Films completed before this date will not be considered for the Festival.
  • Films which have been previously submitted to IWM Short Film Festival will not be considered for re-submission.
  • Films must be submitted before midnight on 27 April 2018. Films submitted after this deadline will not be considered for the Festival.
  • Films do not have to include IWM Collections material, but they must be inspired by IWM and its collections.
  • Films do not need to focus on war and conflict as long as there is a demonstrable link to IWM collections.
  • Entrants can submit more than one film. However each submission must be made via a separate submission form, and separate versions of the required materials for each film must be provided.
  • To cover administration costs, a small payment is required for submitting a film to IWM Short Film Festival 2018, as outlined below. All costs for film production and formatting are the responsibility of the entrant.
  • For more information read our FAQs and see our judging criteria.


Categories for Submission

Films were submitted under one of the following two 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.


Key Dates

The deadline for submissions was midnight on 27 April 2018. 

IWM will contact all shortlisted entrants by 27 July 2018. Unfortunately, IWM is unable 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 17 August 2018 if a screening copy is required.


Submission Fees

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.


Submission Process

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.

Submitting your film to IWM Short Film Festival required the following:

  • Logging in to or create an account on FilmFreeway and upload your film.
  • Making sure your FilmFreeway submission (or ‘project’ page) lists the following details:
    • Title of film
    • Total running time
    • Completion date
    • Overview/Synopsis
    • Credits
    • Country of origin
    • Stills from the film
    • Twitter/Facebook
    • Filmmaker biography
    • Uploading a version of your film directly to your ‘project’ page or include a link to Vimeo/hosting website
    • Check the privacy settings to make sure you are happy with who can see your ‘project page’.
  • Completing the submission form on IWM Short Film Festival’s Film Freeway page.
  • You must have included a still from your film (landscape format, minimum height of 50 mm or 591 px, resolution 300 dpi).
  • Shortlisting will take place 1 May 2018–27 July 2018.
  • If your film is shortlisted you will need to provide a screening copy on a memory stick. You will need to provide this by 24 August 2018.
  • The file name should contain only the full name of the film, in capital letters with underscores between words (no spaces).
  • It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to ensure the screening copy complies with the technical specifications below. Failure to comply will mean IWM are unable to screen the film.


Technical Specifications

  • Films must be rendered with H.264 video codec with an .mp4 wrapper/file extension.
  • Films should not exceed 32mbps.
  • The aspect ratio should be 16:9 (1920:1080).
  • All subtitles must be embedded.
  • The maximum file size is 10 gigabytes.
  • Volume levels should be equalised and be between 6 and 12 dB.
  • For more information, please read our FAQs and see our judging criteria.


Using Archive Material

This year filmmakers entering the Short Film Festival 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. See our terms and conditions for more information.

Sign up to the Short Film Festival mailing list to be kept in the loop about festival updates.