Key UK film events

There is a wide range of significant film events taking place in the UK throughout the year. Here's a list of some of the major events:

  • Steve McQueen's WIDOWS 62nd BFI London Film Festival Opening film

Steve McQueen's WIDOWS was the Opening Night Gala film at the 62nd BFI London Film Festival in October 2018

The British Council Film website also hosts an ever-growing searchable database of film festivals and events in the UK and throughout the world

The BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards)
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. Their annual awards (known as the BAFTAs) are presented to individuals and companies in the disciplines of Film, Television and Gaming.


BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival

BFI Flare showcases the best in new international LGBTQ filmmaking with Special Presentations and thematic programming, alongside rediscovered and represented archive film and television work. Flare also offers a programme of industry events, networking and mentoring schemes.

BFI London
Film Festival (LFF)

The BFI London Film Festival (LFF) is run by the British Film Institute. LFF programmes new features, documentaries and short films from across the globe, and recently restored treaures from the world's film archives. The LFF offers the following awards: Official Competition Best Film; Sutherland Award for First Feature; Grierson Award for Documentary; Short Film Competition; IWC Filmmaker Bursary; BFI Fellowship.
The festival also runs events, education and industry programmes which include conferences, talks, networking events and new talent labs.

British Animation Awards

The biennial British Animation Awards recognizes excellence in the field of animation. The awards include works from students, commercials, short films, children’s entertainment, experimental work, feature films and music videos. DVDs of the best of the awards are available for the public to buy as well as specially curated DVDs of animation from around the world.


Edinburgh International Film Festival
Established in 1947, EIFF is one of the world’s longest running film festivals. The festival showcases films from around the world and especially focuses on new works from emerging British filmmakers. The festival also runs a wide range of training workshops, labs, industry talks, conferences and networking events.

Encounters Bristol International Film Festival
Encounters is one of the longest running competitive short film festivals in the UK. It showcases over 280 international short films and offers various opportunities for emerging talent. Prizes include the Grand Prix, British Award, European New Talent in Short Film Award and many others.

Glasgow Film Festival
Glasgow Film Festival is one of the leading UK film festivals. The GFF audience is central to the festival's programming and ethos. GFF aims to enable audiences to experience the best international cinema. The GFF programme regularly features: new local and international film from all genres; mainstream crowd-pleasers to groundbreaking art-house experimentation; the return of well-loved classics alongside rare cult gems; with filmmaker guest appearances, interactive workshops and discussion panels to complete the mix.

London International Animation Festival
The London International Animation Festival (LIAF) is a major annual showcase for independent animation, presenting one of the largest collections of auteur independent animation gathered at any festival in the world.

Sheffield Doc/Fest

Sheffield Doc/Fest is a world leading and the UK’s premier documentary festival, celebrating the art and business of documentary and all non-fiction visual storytelling. Doc/Fest is​ a hub for all documentary and non-fiction content across all platforms, from feature length to shorts, and including interactive and virtual reality projects. The Festival welcomes filmmakers and professional delegates from around the world and its main activities are: International film programme; Alternate Realities for digital and interactive innovation; Talks & Sessions to inspire, inform and debate;​ Marketplace for international business; Live events and networking, alongside a year-round programme of screenings and training events.
Since 2010, British Council has supported groups of documentary fimmakers from around the world to attend Sheffield Doc/Fest as part of a growing section of international delegations.


Wildscreen Festival
The Bristol-based Wildscreen Trust aims to convene the best photographers, filmmakers and creative professionals with the most committed conservationists to create compelling stories about the natural world; that inspire the wider public to experience it, feel part of it and protect it.
One of the Trust's main areas of activity is Wildscreen Festival - the internationally renowned festival that celebrates and advances the art of natural world storytelling which also awards the prestigious Panda Awards