East End Film Festival Submission Guidelines and Procedures 2018

East End Film Festival 2018 will take place in April 2018. The festival aims to showcase cutting edge independent films from around the world, with a specific emphasis on first and second time directors, alongside the festival’s continued commitment to the filmmakers, history and communities of East London.

N.B. Submission is free of charge for residents, employees and students of Tower Hamlets. Please see the Submission Fee Waiver section below for further details.

All applications should be submitted exclusively via Film Freeway. You will be given a Unique Tracking Number which you should quote on all materials and when communicating with the Festival office.

Please be sure to read the terms and conditions before submitting your film:

The East End Film Festival accepts all UK and international titles irrespective of length or genre. This includes, but is not limited to: fiction, documentary, music film, animation and experimental work.

All submissions must have been completed after the 1st of January 2017.  Feature submissions must not have previously been released in the UK on any format. Whilst the EEFF does not have a specific premiere restriction on submissions, premiere status will be a factor in decisions taken by the programming team, and may comprise a specific condition of an invitation to screen at the festival.

Six years ago the festival began charging fees for its film submissions. The decision to charge filmmakers was not an easy one, but sadly without this renumeration the EEFF would not be in a position to administrate and exhibit the level of submissions that it receives each year. The festival have endeavoured to keep submission costs as low as possible, and continues to offer free submission to residents of Tower Hamlets. Proof of address will be required. Please see guidelines and procedures for further information.

Please note that all shipping and postage costs to and from the festival must be borne by the submitting party, including those for the submission package and, if the film is selected, for all prints, tapes and additional materials sent to and returned from EEFF. EEFF will not accept COD shipments and will not absorb any fees incurred in British customs. Films can be delivered and collected by hand from the festival office by arrangement.

Submission dates for your diary
Submissions Open – Monday 11 September 2017
Earlybird Deadline – Wednesday 11 October 2017
Regular Deadline – Sunday 7 January 2018
Late Deadline – Sunday 4 February 2018
Extended Deadline – Wednesday 14 February 2018

Submission fees
For Short films (under 20 mins)

Before Earlybird deadline: £10
Before Regular deadline: £20
Before Late deadline: £30
Before Extended deadline: £50

For long shorts (films between 21 and 49 mins)

Before Earlybird deadline: £20
Before Regular deadline: £35 ​
Before Late deadline: £50
Before Extended deadline: £100

For Documentary features

Before Earlybird deadline: £20
Before Regular deadline: £35 ​
Before Late deadline: £50
Before Extended deadline: £100

For Feature films

Before Earlybird deadline: £25
Before Regular deadline: £40 ​
Before Late deadline: £60
Before Extended deadline: £120

Procedures and Guidelines
EEFF endeavours to complete all selection procedures by 1 March 2018. Notification will be by email.

The EEFF is able to screen feature films on 35mm, DCP, and BluRay. Please note that DVD and certain high-resolution digital files will only be used as a screening format on extremely rare occasions. We accept feature films and documentaries in all of the above formats. Short and medium-length films must to be sent to the EEFF as DCPs. There may be some exceptions, strictly at the festival’s discretion.

All hardcopy DVD submissions must be posted to our festival office (details available on request).

The East End Film Festival accepts submissions through Film Freeway, which provide cost-saving, paperless submission to film festivals around the world. Allowing online applications via a single master entry form, online fee payments, and tools for providing press kits and Secure Online Screeners, these are economical, eco-friendly, secure alternatives to hard-copy DVD submissions.


Submission format
Films entered for selection must be submitted via FilmFreeway or DVD format only. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONLINE LINKS (OTHER THAN THE FILMFREEWAY ONLINE SCREENING PLATFORM) WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Title, Unique Reference Number/FilmFreeway tracking number, screening format and running time must be clearly labelled on the DVD. Submitted DVD’s will not be returned but may be collected from the EEFF Office during office hours by arrangement. You may also include a SAE with correct postage for the return of your film.

Screening format can be 35mm, BluRay and DCP for feature films, with short films to be submitted on DCP, with some exceptions.


Submission eligibility
The East End Film Festival submissions criteria are as follows:

  • Short Films to a maximum length of 20 minutes.
  • Films between 21 and 49 minutes in length are accepted, categorised as ‘mid length’ films. All films of 21 minutes or more must be submitted in this category, or they will not be considered.
  • Feature Films minimum length of 50 minutes including fictional narrative, documentary, animation, and experimental, music video or any crossover of the above.
  • Exploitation or pornographic films will not be accepted.

The EEFF welcomes submissions from all sectors of the international filmmaking community. The festival also actively encourages the participation of films that can be categorised as being of particular relevance to East London. To qualify under the ‘East London’ category the film must must fit at least one of the following criteria:

  • The producer, director or writer lives, works or studies in East London.
  • A significant part of the film’s production or post-production took place in East London.
  • The film significantly reflects one of the many communities or cultures of East London – this may include UK wide and world cinema – or seeks to promote the rich cultural diversity of East London.

East London, for the purposes of the EEFF, is classified as comprising the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, Waltham Forest, and Greenwich.

In addition to the above, all submissions must have been completed since January 2017. Feature submissions must not have previously been released in the UK on any format.

The EEFF reserve the right to use any material provided to us for marketing purposes. All films in a language other than English must be subtitled or submitted with a script translated into English.


Submission Fee Waiver: Tower Hamlets Residents, Employees, Students
Submission is free of charge for residents, employees and students of the London borough of Tower Hamlets. In order to request a fee waiver, please email film@eastendfilmfestival.com with the subject THR FEE WAIVER followed by the title of your film, including proof of your Tower Hamlets address, employment, or place of study. Please send a photocopy of one of the following forms of evidence:

– A utility bill (e.g. gas, electricity, water, telephone)
– A bank/building society statement
– A Council tax bill
– A pay slip
– Proof of enrollment on Tower Hamlets full-time course
– Valid College/University student card

NB: Proof must be dated within 6 months of your submission date.


Submission Discount: Returning Filmmakers

We are delighted to introduce a special discounted rate for festival alumni this year. If you have participated at EEFF in the past, please email film@eastendfilmfestival.com with the title of your film and the year that you screened at EEFF and we will provide you with a 50% discount code.


Shipping and postage
DVD submissions should be sent to the festival’s shipping address, which will be provided on request.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL SHIPPING AND POSTAGE COSTS TO AND FROM THE FESTIVAL MUST BE BORNE BY THE SUBMITTING PARTY, including those for the submission package and, if the film is selected, for all prints, tapes and additional materials sent to and returned from EEFF. EEFF will not accept COD shipments and will not absorb any fees incurred in British customs. All charges must be pre-paid. EEFF will not accept submissions if customs and delivery fees have not been paid by the submitting party. To avoid customs fees, please ensure all tapes and/or prints are labelled ‘For temporary, cultural purposes only. No commercial value. Non-pornographic.’


Selection of films
Features and shorts will be selected by festival programmers and guest programmers. Eligible submissions are reviewed and selected under the following criteria:

  • Quality of narrative and production values
  • Independent nature of the production
  • Relevance to overall EEFF Criteria, including competition selection criteria
  • Limitations and availability of screening slots
  • Availability of film rights for distribution

EEFF endeavours to complete all selection procedures by 1 March 20188 and to inform submitting parties, by email, of the festival’s decisions on or shortly after that date. Successful submitting parties will receive a Filmmaker’s Pack that will include important information on print transport, press and publicity, accreditation, contact information and how to maximise their EEFF experience.

Whilst the EEFF does not have a specific premiere restriction on submissions, premiere status will be a factor in decisions taken by the programming team, and may comprise a specific condition of an invitation to screen at the festival.

Please note that shortlisted titles for each festival award will be selected ahead of the EEFF’s 2018 programme announcement, with all nominated filmmakers informed of their competition selection by 10 March 2018.

A selected print or tape must be received at the EEFF Festival Office no later than 21 days prior to its scheduled screening.


Festival screenings and scheduling
EEFF is able to screen 35mm, DCP and BluRay for feature films, and short films from DCP. DVDs, files and other formats will only be used on rare occasions, and strictly by agreement. EEFF aspires to provide the best quality projection possible but will not be held liable for any failure in the technical quality of the projection. EEFF assumes that the submitting party or filmmaker or print source company has insured for damage and loss of the festival print or tape. Screenings are scheduled at the discretion of EEFF. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, EEFF reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. EEFF will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling.

No film may be withdrawn from the festival programme after its selection, and no film may be screened outside the Festival during the Festival and before its official presentation without the agreement of EEFF. This will include any premiere status that was stipulated by the festival in offering said film a position within the EEFF programme. All enquiries on the above may be directed to film@eastendfilmfestival.com.

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