4th Annual

British Documentary Film Festival

December 04, 2017 to December 07, 2017

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The British Documentary Film Festival
20 Bunhill Row
London England EC1Y 8UE
United Kingdom
Phone: 07955010577

DECISIONS ALREADY MADE • This event has already made decisions and notified submitters for the current cycle. Submissions are no longer being accepted.

Environmental Documentaries
This category is for films contributing to raising awareness about an environmental issue.
Social Documentaries
This category is for documentaries that deal with a social issue.
Wildlife Documentaries
This is a category for documentaries that deal with wildlife.
Heritage Documentaries
The category for documentaries that remember a time and people from history that has passed and captures its spirit and sense of period.
Short Documentaries
This category is for a documentary under 55 minutes in duration.


The British Documentary Film Festival provides a UK showcase for a diverse range of documentaries, including challenging, exciting and important works.

We welcome first time film-makers and students as well as experienced professionals.


The British Documentary Film Festival is a chance to get great exposure at a great venue, in the UK.

We have five awards to be given out each year:

The Environmental Award
- This award is given to a film for its contribution to raising awareness about an environmental issue, in a powerful and unique way.

The Life Changing Award
- An award for a film that deals with a social issue and makes a contribution towards a better world to live in.

The Wild Animal Award
- Given to the documentary that captures animals and wild life in a creative and enlightening way.

The Heritage Award
- Given to a documentary that remembers a time from history that has passed and captures its spirit and sense of period.

Best Short Documentary
- This award is for a documentary under 55 minutes, that the jury deem to be unique, original, fresh and bold.

All awards are voted on by a jury of industry professionals.
The nominations are made by the selection committee.
Any films deemed to have a conflict of interest with the jury and/or the selection committee will be screened 'Out of Competition' and are ineligible for awards.


NIKLAS BERGGREN (Festival Registrar); NIKLAS BERGGREN (Festival Registrar)


British Documentary Film Festival
Rules for Participation

1. Dates and Venue
The absolute final deadlines are as dictated on Withoutabox. Category winners (see 8.) are announced after the festival. The venue for the festival will be announced closer to the date of the event.

2. Competition
The festival reserves the right to place entries into alternative categories if they feel it is to the benefit of the title. Each submission must be entered separately. Entries will be assessed and successful submissions will be programmed for screening and enter the festival competition. Failure to submit a screener copy four weeks prior to the festival will rule out eligibility for an award. If your film is selected we reserve the right to show your film at a date and time of our choosing.

3. Subtitles
Any foreign language films must have english subtitles.

4. Formats
For the selection process a digital screener must be submitted via Withoutabox. Screenplays must be submitted as a digital .PDF via the Withoutabox.

Successful submissions that are granted a screening must submit a DCP.
*Please note we do not accept films shot in 4:3 unless the filmmaker has reformatted it to 16:9.

5. Selection
Festivals are organized by the Film Festival Guild. The festival directors reserve the right to invite films for the competition and programme. Screening schedule will be announced after the final submission deadline. The final award winning entries will be selected by a festival jury and audience votes. Award winners will be notified within 14 days of the festival screenings.

6. Entry Returns
We do not return submission entries.

7. Screenings
It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure that films for screening are deposited with the festival organizers at least 7 days before any scheduled screening.

8. Publicity
We reserve the right to use extracts from submissions for festival publicity and marketing purposes. Press kits are not required, but are useful, so please feel free to send these with your submissions.

9. Categories

Environmental Documentaries
Social Documentaries
Wildlife Documentaries
Heritage Documentaries
Short Documentaries

10. Awards

The Environmental Award
The Life Changing Award
The Wild Animal Award
The Heritage Award
Best Short Documentary​

11. Submission, Selection for Screening, Awards and Voting
There are 3 distinct stages. Submission, screening and awards. The administrators' decision is final.



I have read all of the British Documentary Film Festival ‘Rules for Participation’. I understand them and will comply with these rules. I warrant the submission of my original work and there are no disputes regarding the ownership of the submission. I also warrant the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead and I fully indemnify the Festival against any claim made for such violations of law. To the best of my knowledge, all of the statements herein are true and correct. I understand that failure to adhere to the Festival rules will result in disqualification and forfeiture of any entry fee. The Festival reserves the right to use a clip and/ or clips from accepted entries, up to three minutes in length, or 25 words in length for screenplays, for publicity purposes. I agree to hold the British Documentary Film Festival and the organisers harmless from and defend them against all claims, demands, losses, damages, judgements, liabilities, and expenses (including legal fees) arising out of or in connection with any and all claims by third parties, whether or not groundless, based on any film submitted by myself to the Festival. Once submitted I agree to the Festival showing my film if it wins at a time and date of the organisers choosing.