Enter the short film competition

The Challenge

Entries are now closed: the entry deadline was June 14th 2021, 5.00pm BST

We want to see great films – it doesn’t matter what your budget is or what genre you’re working in. The competition is open to anyone from anywhere in the world, and entry is absolutely free – but there is ONE simple rule:

Your film MUST be 90 seconds or less in duration.

Entry requirements:

  • Must be 90 seconds or under
  • Must be completed after January 2020

Read full entry requirements →

Why Ninety Seconds?

… because it will challenge you to think creatively and to cut ruthlessly. More importantly, it will get you and your work noticed.

Cool Unicorn Bruv by Ninian Doff“Constraint is a very useful tool for creativity. Forcing yourself to tell a story in 90 seconds makes you lose all extraneous or self indulgent elements. I think a big problem with short films is they are often not very short! I love the 90 second format.”
Ninian Doff of DepicT! 2013 fame – he scooped both the Main DepicT! Award and The Shooting People RPS Audience Award with comedic gem Cool Unicorn Bruv

The Fat Cat by Mole Hill“There’s something about the 90 second format – longer than a commercial, but shorter than [most] shorts – that seems to bring out a really high level of invention and experimentation.”
2012 winner Mole Hill (The Fat Cat)

The Peace of Wild Things by Adam DJ Laity“DepicT! is special – I’ve always felt that if I can’t do it in 90 seconds, what makes me think I can do it 90 minutes!”
DepicT! Royal Photographic Society Cinematography Award winner in 2014 Adam DJ Laity (The Peace of Wild Things)

What You’ll Get

All shortlisted films get:

  • Film exposure and promotion through depict.org, at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival and through associated partners
  • An Encounters Festival Network Delegates pass with all the trimmings, including tickets to the popular Depict Showcase and the prestigious Encounters Awards Ceremony
  • Half price Shooting People membership

DepicT! Showcase 2015 at Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival

DepicT! Showcase 2015 at Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival


Main Depict 2021 Award

£1500 cash + Lifetime membership to Shooting People
Supported by The Royal Photographic Society and Aardman Animations.

Depict Royal Photographic Society Cinematography Award

£1000 cash
Supported by The Royal Photographic Society

Depict 2021 British Award

A special package of support which will both promote the winning 90-second film and further develop the filmmaker’s skills including:

  • Access to some key BAFTA events
  • A place on a short course at the National Film and Television School in 2021-22, subject to availability
  • Exposure on the BFI NETWORK industry platform, a one to one with Head of BFI NETWORK Jessica Loveland and a discounted pass to the BFI London Film Festival
  • Lifetime membership to Shooting People
  • Note: It’s a great opportunity but be aware that it does require some commitment on your part. For teams of filmmakers, note that unfortunately, we can only offer the full package of support outlined above for one of the filmmakers involved in your film


Depict Random Acts Award

A mentoring session with Channel 4 Random Acts commissioning editor Shaminder Nahal.
Supported by Channel 4

Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival

Encounters Film Festival (Bristol, UK) is the UK’s longest running competitive short film and animation festival. It presents one of the world’s best-known showcases and meeting points for emerging talent, and seeks to promote the importance of short film as a means to develop the next generation of filmmakers and animators. Encounters is also a gateway to the world’s most prestigious short film and animation awards: the BAFTAs, the Oscars®, the European Film Awards and the Cartoon d’Or.

“Much has changed in the worlds of short and animated film-making in the past 20 years – digital has transformed the industry, short-film debutants have become major directors – but this festival has remained Britain’s premier destination for both.”
Steve Rose, The Guardian on Encounters Film Festival