Rules and regulations for submitting to the 2019 Edinburgh International Film Festival.
As the longest continually running film festival in the world, EIFF is now preparing its 73rd edition which will take place in Edinburgh from 19 to 30 June 2019.
Since 1947, the Festival has brought ground-breaking and exciting films from all over the world to appreciative UK audiences and a wide variety of press and industry guests. EIFF seeks to present the most creative and innovative developments in world cinema, bring filmmakers to local, national and international attention, and provide a dynamic platform for engagement with them and their work.
EIFF is especially interested in films by emerging filmmakers whose work manifests stylistic boldness, strength of form, and the ambition to use the medium in a way that resists cliché.
- All submitted films should be no older than 12 months old by June 2019, and meet with the selection criteria as described below.
- EIFF regards a short film as 30 minutes or under and a feature film as anything over 30 minutes.
- Films that are available to purchase are not eligible. This includes DVD/Blu-ray/VHS formats.
- Promotional films are not eligible (e.g. films promoting tourism, charitable appeals, etc.).
Different genres and lengths of film have different premiere requirements:
- ALL Feature Films (Fiction, Documentary, Animation and Experimental) must be UK premieres. EIFF is particularly interested in world, international or European premieres. Films that have previously been publicly screened, broadcast or otherwise made publicly available (including online) in the UK will not be considered.
Short FICTION, DOCUMENTARY and EXPERIMENTAL submissions are split into UK and International categories:
- UK Short Fiction, Documentary and Experimental Films must be Scottish Premieres. EIFF is particularly interested in world, international or European premieres. These films may have previously been publicly screened anywhere outside of Scotland, including the rest of the UK. However, we are unable to accept films that have previously been broadcast or otherwise made publicly available (including online) in the UK.
- INTERNATIONAL Short Fiction, Documentary and Experimental Films must be UK Premieres. EIFF is particularly interested in world, international or European premieres. These films CANNOT have previously been publicly screened, broadcast or otherwise made publicly available (including online) in the UK.
Short ANIMATION submissions are split into UK and International:
- UK Short Animations have NO premiere restrictions. Films CAN have previously been publicly screened, broadcast or otherwise made publicly available (including online) in the UK.
- INTERNATIONAL Short Animations must be UK Premieres. EIFF is particularly interested in world, international or European premieres. These films CANNOT have previously been publicly screened, broadcast or otherwise made publicly available (including online) in the UK.
PLEASE NOTE – your fee is non-refundable. If your film does not match the criteria listed above and you still submit your film, we will not consider your film and will not refund your fee.
The final selection of all films presented at the Festival and their placement in the EIFF programme is at the discretion of of the Artistic Director.
The following awards will be given at the 73rd Edinburgh International Film Festival.
FEATURE FILM AWARDS
The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film
Named in homage to one of the most original and imaginative artists in the history of British cinema, with a career spanning 60 years, the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature was inaugurated at EIFF in 1990 to honour imagination and creativity in British filmmaking and is regarded as a mark of prestige both within and outside the UK film industry.
The award, which carries a cash prize, is open to new British feature fiction films, and will be decided by a jury of respected film professionals.
The Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film
Judged by the Michael Powell Award Competition Jury, the Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film celebrates and promotes the great tradition of the art of film performance in the UK.
The Award for Best International Feature Film
EIFF seeks to represent global trends in cinema by introducing important new films and new filmmaking directions. The Award for Best International Feature Film highlights filmmaking from outside the UK that is imaginative, innovative and deserving of wider recognition.
The award, which carries a cash prize, is open to first and second live-action feature fiction films from any country outside of the UK and will be decided by a jury of respected film professionals.
The Award for Best Documentary Feature Film
EIFF began life in 1947 as the First International Festival of Documentary Films and is dedicated to presenting the best new documentary work to its audiences. The Award for Best Documentary Feature Film highlights bold and inquisitive documentary filmmaking from around the world.
The award, which carries a cash prize, is open to first and second documentary feature films from all countries and will be decided by a jury of respected film professionals.
The Audience Award
EIFF’s Audience Award is one of the Festival’s most popular awards with the public, filmmakers and distributors alike. The award is voted for by cinema-goers attending public screenings. Eligible films are selected from across the EIFF programme by the Artistic Director.
SHORT FILM AWARDS
The Award for Best Short Film
The Award for Best Short Film affirms EIFF’s long-standing support of directors of short films and is intended both to recognise the outstanding achievements possible within the short format and to offer encouragement for the feature filmmakers of the future.
The award, which carries a cash prize, is open to short-form, live-action fiction, documentary, experimental and animated films and will be decided by a jury of respected film professionals.
The McLaren Award for New British Animation
Inaugurated in 1990, the McLaren Award for New British Animation provides a focus for new British short animation and recognises the spirit of creativity.
The award, named in honour of Norman McLaren, the renowned Scottish-born animator and innovator, is decided by audience vote.
The Submission Process
Deadline & Fees
There are three submissions deadlines:
Earlybird – Thursday 13 December 2018
SHORT – £20.00 / FEATURE – £75.00
Regular – Thursday 17 January 2019
SHORT – £30.00 / FEATURE – £85.00
Late – Thursday 7 February 2019
SHORT – £35.00 / FEATURE – £90.00
If submitting an Secure Online Screener via Withoutabox, these are the deadlines for submitting to the Festival via the online system.
If you are submitting a DVD screener, these are POSTMARK deadlines and reflect the date by which you must send your submission. However, please send your submission as soon as possible.
Please make sure you submit the correct fee for your submission.
How to Submit
*PLEASE NOTE SUBMISSIONS OPEN ON WEDNESDAY 31 OCTOBER 2018*
EIFF is a partner of Withoutabox. The direct link to the EIFF Withoutabox submissions page is: www.withoutabox.com/login/1360
Log onto the website, set up an account and submit your film to EIFF directly from the website. Your fee will be taken over the internet.
WAB allows you to either submit a DVD screener or a Secure Online Screener.
If you are submitting a Secure Online Screener, WAB will instruct you on how to upload your film onto their viewing system and EIFF shall watch via their online viewing platform. Please login into your WAB account and follow the instructions on how to upload your screener and submit to EIFF.
It you are submitting a DVD Screener, then once submitted, all you need to do is send us the DVD of your film. We will obtain all other information from the WAB system. Please clearly mark your WAB tracking number on both the DVD and the outer envelope and packaging.
EIFF Submissions Form
You can download a submissions form directly from the EIFF website.
Complete this by hand and send it along with your DVD and payment method.
Payment must be made in POUNDS STERLING only. Please note that if you pay by credit card the exchange rates are determined on the date of the transaction.
If you submit via Withoutabox you will be asked to pay by credit or debit card.
If you submit using our downloadable submissions form you can pay by credit card, debit card or cheque. ALL payments must be in pounds sterling.
The submission fee is non-refundable.
PLEASE NOTE: we DO NOT accept American Express or cash payments.
How to send your Submission
Secure Online Screener
If you are submitting a Secure Online Screener, WAB will instruct you on how to upload your film onto their viewing system and EIFF shall watch via their online viewing platform. You do not need to send us anything.
If you have completed your submissions application online through WAB all we need from you is a DVD copy of your film. Please mark clearly the film’s title and tracking number on the disc as below, but please do not use DVD labels:
Don’t forget to include your tracking number somewhere on the front of your envelope!
If you have completed the downloadable EIFF Submissions Form from our website, please send the form together with the DVD of your film. No tracking number is required.
In an effort to cut down waste and in-line with our environmental policy, we ask that you do not send printed press or promotional materials to us – we will not keep anything in your package except your DVD (and submission form if applicable). Even the case will be recycled, so there is no need to create artwork for your DVD.
ALL DVD Screener submissions should be sent to:
88 Lothian Road
PLEASE NOTE: All international submissions must include the wording “Trade Sample” on any customs label. For customs purposes all international submissions are required to give a value of no more than £3 or US$6 to the package. Failure to do this may result in an extra charge and your film not being considered for EIFF.
EIFF DOES NOT pay the cost of postage or carriage for DVD screeners - You must pay for this yourself.
Secure Online Screeners
If you are submitting a Secure Online Screener, Withoutabox will instruct you on how to upload your film onto their viewing system and EIFF shall watch via their online viewing platform. Please login to WAB and follow the instructions to upload your online screener and submit your film to EIFF.
ALL SUBMISSIONS TO EIFF MUST BE ON DVD. WE DO NOT ACCEPT BLU-RAY SCREENERS. We accept DVD PAL and DVD NTSC.
You must label the disk with the film’s title and tracking number if applicable.
Multiple submissions: please note we can only accept one film per DVD. We cannot accept several films on one DVD.
Our programmers will consider rough cuts and will judge the film accordingly. No film will be rejected on the basis of being incomplete. However, due to the large volume of titles we receive, we cannot guarantee that programmers will be able to watch the completed film at a later date. Please consider this before submitting the rough cut and aim to have your final cut ready and submitted by our LATE deadline.
When submitting a rough cut, please provide details of the elements of your film still to be completed.
EIFF will consider a previously submitted film only if it has been considerably re-edited or re-shot. If you are unsure, it probably means it hasn't been changed enough. Please include a cover letter with details of the changes made. If we already viewed your film as a rough cut in the preceding year, we normally will not consider it for the current year.
If your DVD does not play we will contact you and request another screener. However, in this case there is a risk that we will not receive the working copy in time to view, and discs that do play properly will get priority viewing. Please make sure that your DVD is the correct format (see above) and plays all the way through before submitting. If your disc is damaged in the post we will contact you for a replacement.
If submitting a Secure Online Screener please ensure it plays fully before submitting.
If your film contains non-English dialogue, we require that you include on-screen subtitles. If your film is mostly in English and you are intentionally leaving out subtitles for non-English dialogue, you do not need to provide on-screen subtitles.
Change of Contact Details
Please make sure that you inform us of any changes to your contact details by e-mailing email@example.com.
Email is main form of communication used by the EIFF Submissions Team. It is vital that we have the correct information so that we can contact you about your submissions.
EIFF is proud to be able to support a wide variety of screening formats and always screens at the optimum possible format for each film. Should your film be accepted for our official selection, screening formats will be discussed with you by our Programme Planning Department.
Receipt of Submission
After we have processed your submission a confirmation e-mail will be sent to you. Those who submit through Withoutabox can check the status of their submission through the website. Alternatively, if sending a DVD by post, you may also include a self-addressed, stamped postcard, which we will mail back to you once your submission has been processed.
Please allow at least four weeks for your submission to be processed and confirmation to be sent.
If your submission is successful you will be informed by the end of April 2018 and our official Entry Form and Screening Guidelines will be sent to you. You should pay particular attention to the shipping and customs information that will also be sent to you at that time.
Please note EIFF DOES NOT pay screening fees.
If your submission is unsuccessful, we will inform you by e-mail as soon as possible, no later than early May 2019.
Submission to EIFF constitutes agreement to all rules, regulations and conditions contained in this document and your consent that your film be considered for any awards that may be given at the Festival. Submission also certifies that all film and music rights and clearances have been obtained (in accordance with UK copyright laws). By submitting, you agree not to withdraw your film from EIFF after it has been accepted by the EIFF selection board.
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