Discovering the most distinctive new directors in world cinema, the festival champions the filmmakers making great work now, and who will be creating important cinema for decades to come. The EEFF Best Film Award is reserved for first and second features and documentaries.

Previous award winners of the EEFF Best Film Award include As I Open My Eyes by Leyla Bouzid, Ivy by Tolga Karacelik, White Shadow by Noaz Deshe, Halley by Sebastian Hoffman and El Ultimo Elvis by Armando Bo.

Previous festival jurors have included Joe Wright (BAFTA winning director, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice), Sarah Gavron (Director, Suffragette), Amma Assante (Director, A United Kingdom), Ron Perlman (Actor, Hellboy), RZA (filmmaker & musician – Wu Tang Clan), Gillian Wearing (Artist and filmmaker), Barry Ackroyd (Captain PhillipsHurt Locker), Peter Bradshaw (Film Critic, The Guardian), Irvine Welsh (novelist, Trainspotting), Armando Bo (Screenwriter, Birdman), Peter Straughn (Screenwriter, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), Iain and Jane Forsythe (artists and filmmakers 20,000 days on Earth).


The breeding ground for the most important new filmmakers, short film is an incredibly vibrant and vivid area of filmmaking, seemingly becoming more exciting and respected on its own terms year on year; it boasts a far higher glass ceiling in terms of gender and ethnic diversity than the world of feature films. Here we recognise a powerful British voice working in short form, challenging the well-trodden cliché that a short film is somehow flimsier than a feature.

Previous award winners of the Best UK Short Award include The Third Dad by Theresa Moerman Ib, Don’t Blame Us Cause We Are Famous by Amelia Hashemi, Colours by Graham Fitzpatrick, and Life Sentence by Ray Panthaki.


Festivals may have programmers, juries and directors, but it’s the audience who really matter.


The EEFF’s Transit Award is new for 2018, and has been established in direct response to the alarming drop-off between first and second feature film production. Currently, over 80% of first time UK filmmakers never go on to make their second film.

Feeding directly into the philosophy behind EEFF’s Mind the Gap professional development programme, the Transit Award is an award of £10,000 to assist a filmmaker in the development of their second feature. The Transit Award is not a production award, it is specifically designed to give a filmmaker the scope, time and resources to advance their second feature, whether that be through story or script development, partnership building, networking or fundraising. More info here.

East End Film Festival 2018

Best Film: Daha directed by Onur Saylak
Special mention to I Am Another You, directed by Nanfu Wang
Jury: Edith Bowman (radio and TV host), Dominic Buchanan (producer), Ophelia Lovibond (actress), and Kate Muir (screenwriter and critic).

Best UK Short: Pommel directed by Paris Zarcilla
Special mention to Wale, directed by Barnaby Blackburn
Jury: Karen Krizanovich (critic), Alexandra Roach (actress), Selina Robertson (film programmer and co-founder of Club des Femmes), Sophia Thakur (poet and artist), and Jamie Thraves (writer and director).

EEFF Short Film Audience Award: One More, directed by James Alexandrou AND War Has No Eyes, directed by Perry White.

East End Film Festival 2017 Winners

Audience Award for Best Short Film: Killing Ruby, directed by Sam O’Mahony.

East End Film Festival 2016 Winners

  • Best Feature Film: As I Open my Eyes directed by Leyla Bouzid
    Jury: Tolga Karacelik (director, IvyEEFF Director-in-Residence 2016), Kaleem Aftab (film writer and producer, This is What), Sarah Gavron (director, Suffragette), Ron Perlman (actor, Hellboy), Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (director, Television).
  • Best Documentary Feature Award: Sonita directed by Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghanmi
    Jury: Mark Donne (writer-director, UK Gold), Katharine Round (director, The Divide), Bob & Roberta Smith (multimedia artist, Make Your Own Damn Art), Bruno Wizard (renowned musician, The Homosexuals).
  • Best UK Short Film Award: The Third Dad directed by Theresa Moerman Ib
    Jury: Celine Haddad (Senior Film Executive – Talent, Creative England), Will Massa (Senior Programme Manager, British Council), Alex Taylor (writer-director, Spaceship), Rachel Tunnard (writer-director, Adult Life Skills).
  • EEFF Accession Award (Screenwriting)Adult Life Skillswritten by Rachel Tunnard.
    Jury: Bola Agbaje (Screenwriter and playwright).

East End Film Festival 2015 Winners

  • Best Feature Film: Ivy directed by Tolga Karacelik. Special Mention: Manos Sucias.
    Jury: Noaz Deshe (Director, White Shadow, EEFF Director-in-Residence 2015), Irvine Welsh (author and screenwriter), Viv Albertine (musician, artist, filmmaker), Amma Asante (Director, Belle), Ross Clarke (Director, Dermaphoria).
  • Best Documentary Feature Award: Welcome To Leith directed by Michael Beach Nichols & Christopher K. Walker. Special Mentions: 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets and Trip Along Exodus.
    Jury: Kate Smurthwaite (comedian, activist), Rita Daniels (Executive Producer, Channel 4), Orlando von Einsiedel (Oscar nominated director, Virunga), Xiaolu Guo (filmmaker and novelist).
  • EEFF Short Film Audience AwardHi, Miss! directed by Dionne Edwards.
  • EEFF Accession Award (Soundtrack)Containment (Soundtrack composed by Graham Hadfield). Special mention: Paragraph (Soundtrack composed by Paul Clark).
    Jury: Frank Turner (Musician).

East End Film Festival 2014 winners

  • Best Feature Film: White Shadow directed by Noaz Deshe.
    Jury: Sebastian Hofmann (Director, Halley), Eddie Berg (Director of Partnerships at the BFI), Gillian Wearing Obe Ra (Photographer and Video Artist), Mark Adams (Film critic, Screen InternationalSunday Mirror) and Peter Straughan (Playwright, Author and Oscar nominated screenwriter).
  • Best Documentary Feature Award: Mistaken For Strangers directed by Tom Berningher.
    Jury: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard (British Artists and Filmmakers), Emad Burnat (Director), Shanida Scotland (Storyville, BBC’s international documentary strand), Tristan Anderson (BAFTA winning documentary filmmaker).
  • Best UK Short Film Award: Colours directed by Graham Fitzpatrick.
    Jury: Chris & Ben Blaine (Directors), Eva Weber (Director) and Clint Dyer (Actor, Writer, Director and Producer)
  • EEFF Short Film Audience AwardThe Undream by Alexander Thomas. Starring Welsh BAFTA winner Jonny Owen as an insomniac who exists in two worlds, it’s the dark, quiet story of one man’s fight.
  • EEFF Best SoundtrackMars At Sunrise directed by Jessica Habie; soundtrack by Tamir Muskat
    Jury: Fay Milton (Savages), Jules Woods, Graham Hartstone (Sound engineer), Ari Benjamin Meyers (Composer) and Karl Hyde (Underworld).
  • EEFF Accession Award (Cinematography)Soho Cigarette directed by Jonathan Fairbairn; cinematography by Gavin Northover.
    Jury: Barry Ackroyd (Cinematographer, The Wind That Shakes The Barley).

East End Film Festival 2013 winners

  • Best Feature Film: Halley, by Sebastian Hofmann. A tale of urban loneliness that follows a security guard at a Mexico City gym, whose physical deterioration contrasts wildly with the healthy bodies around him. EEFF 2014 will feature a special focus on Mexican cinema, with Sebastian Hofmann as the EEFF’s Director in Residence.
    Jury: Peter Bradshaw (Film Critic, The Guardian), Armando Bo (Director, El Ultimo Elvis), Sally El Hosaini (Director, My Brother The Devil) and Joe Wright (Director).
  • Best Documentary Feature Award: Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic by Marina Zenovich and The UK Gold by Mark Donne. Last year saw the award being shared by Richard Pryor and The UK Gold. The former delves into the mind of one of the world’s greatest stand-up comedians whose career veered between triumph and disaster; while the latter exposes the City of London’s role in the secretive network of tax avoidance.
    Jury: Morgan Spurlock (Writer and Filmmaker), Mark Stewart (Musician), Rachel Wexler (Producer), Niklas Engstrøm (Head Programmer, CPH:DOX).
  • Best UK Short Film Award: Life Sentence by Ray Panthaki. This first foray into writing and directing for the London-born actor sees two schoolboys’ paths cross one night in London. The film is loosely inspired by events affecting Panthaki’s own life.
    Jury: Martina Amati (BAFTA-winning short filmmaker), Joe Bateman (Director, Rushes Soho Shorts Festival), Nik Powell (Vice Chair, European Film Academy), Jodie Whittaker (Actress).
  • EEFF Short Film Audience AwardThe Day My Goldfish Died by Adam Greves.
  • EEFF Best SoundtrackThe Outer Edges by Karl Hyde. The Underworld frontman performed his beautiful and mesmerising winning score live at EEFF’s closing night gala.
    Jury: Jason Cooper (The Cure) and Rhys Webb (The Horrors).

East End Film Festival 2012 winners

  • Best Feature Film: El Último Elvis by Armando Bo, a dark, blackly comic and moving drama portraying a delusional Elvis impersonator in downtown Buenos Aires. EEFF 2013 will feature a special focus on Argentine cinema, with Armando Bo as the EEFF’s Director in Residence.
    Jury: Dexter Fletcher (Actor/Director), Sandra Hebron (ex-Artistic Director, BFI London Film Festival), Adrian Wootton (Chief Excutive, Film London) and Joe Wright (Director).
  • Best Documentary Feature Award: 1/2 Revolution by Karim El Hakim and Omar Shargawi, a compelling first-person account of Egypt’s Arab Spring uprising, chronicling events as they unravelled on the streets and alleyways of Cairo.
    Jury: Cairo Cannon (Producer/Screen Writer), Inigo Gilmore (Foreign Correspondent & Filmmaker) and Kim Longinotto (Filmmaker).
  • Best UK Short Film Award: Callum by Michael van der Put, which portrays a schoolboy struggling to cope with feelings of guilt after his first love is killed at a local train station..
    Jury: Sarah Chorley (Shooting People), Tony Grisoni (Screen Writer/Director), Liz Harkman (Director, Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival), and Sam Martin & Tony Shocash (Decode).
  • EEFF Short Film Audience AwardA Killey by Mitch Panayis, a wry and stylish tale of an East London gangster’s last stand, taking in the environmental changes taking place in the East End under the guise of Olympic development.

East End Film Festival 2011 winners

  • Best Debut Feature: Udaan by Vikramaditya Motwane, a wonderful coming of age tale from India that moved the film’s festival audience.
    Jury: Adrian Utley (Portishead), actress Monica Barladeanu (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu) and Ailsa Ferrier (Artificial Eye).
  • Best Documentary Feature Award: Katka by Helena Trestikova, a heatbreaking investigation of the life of a pregnant drug addict.
    Jury: Andy Glynne (DFG), British director Jez Lewis and Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne.
  • Best UK Short Film Award: God View by Billy Lumby, the story of mentally ill father who misses his daughter.
    Jury: Joe Bateman (Rushes Soho Shorts), Steve Hartley (SAE), and British director Morag MacKinnon.
  • EEFF Short Film Audience Award: Tres Tristes Tigres by David Munozportrays the harrowing experience of three Bangladeshi migrants who have travelled to Dubai to seek a better life.

East End Film Festival 2010 winners

  • Best International First Feature: Francesca directed by Bobby Paunescu
  • Best UK First Feature: Shed Your Tears And Walk Away directed by Jez Lewis
  • Best Documentary Feature Award: Presumed Guilty directed by Roberto Hernández / Geoffrey Smith
  • Best Feature Soundtrack: Erasing David – Michael Nyman, Composer
  • Best UK Short Film Award: Whore directed by Fyzal Boulifa

East End Film Festival 2009 winners

  • Best International First Feature – Everybody Dies But Me, directed by Valeriya Gai Germanika
  • Best UK First Feature – The End, directed by Nicola Collins
  • IFG Inspiration Award for Best Feature Documentary – Rene, directed by Helena Trestikova
  • Best UK Short Film Award – September directed by Esther May Campbell
  • EEFF Short Film Audience Award – Idol Mind, directed by Kate Greenslade