NFF 2023 Schools Competition

A new Schools Competition is now open where Northamptonshire schools can make a drama short film, on any theme, up to 10 minutes in length specially for the festival before May 2023. New for 2023 there will be 2 prizes – £2000 of film equipment for both the winning Primary School and the winning Secondary School/FE (up to 18yrs). Submissions are free and all entries will be screened in a cinema as part of the festival.

We want every school in Northamptonshire, from Primary through to FE (6th forms and colleges) to enter a film into our free competition.

Screen Northants has worked with so many talented young people in Northamptonshire over the last 5 years that we thought there should be a platform to show their work and to celebrate their talent, and we have added a little competition to make it interesting for the school.

The films can be about anything. We only want one entry per school. How the school picks the film it wants to enter is entirely down to them. We hope there are a number of films made in each school and that you have your own internal competition to decide which film is entered into the NFF Schools Competition. Schools are also welcome to submit any other films into the Main Short Film Competition or the Under 16yrs Short Film Competition when these open for NFF 2023. 

Every film that is entered into the Schools Competition will be screened during the festival, which means schools will be able to come see theirs and other schools’ entries on a cinema screen.


We are still fixing the dates for NFF 2023 so the deadline is TBC in April 2023 – email your film or a link to your film to

Your film can be publicly viewable online if you want or can remain private but by submitting to the festival you are granting permission to Screen Northants to screen it in a venue to the public. Please ensure you have all the relevant permissions (including students, contributors and music). You can use free services like WeTransfer, Dropbox, YouTube or Vimeo to get it to us. It can be password protected but make sure you send us the password for judging! We will need you to send us an actual file before the screening date in May.

We are looking for Scripted Drama. No documentaries or Visual Art pieces. We would like films to be more no than 10 minutes long. No minimum length. We are looking for films made specially for the competition rather than something you made last year but you can absolutely make something to suit the curriculum you are teaching or an event in the school.

The films should be made predominantly by the young people and not involve students who are older than 18yrs unless incidentally.

If you have an idea but want to clarify if it will be accepted, please get in touch. We’re also more than happy to offer advice or point you in the direction of additional resources.

Previous winners

In 2022 we were very happy to have handed out the prize for Best Film to Duston Eldean Primary School with COVID: A Child’s Perspective. Runner up was runner up Leo Kelly from Northampton College with Hope. We are excited to be working with Duston Eldean to help them spend their £2000 of film equipment vouchers kindly provided by Northampton Town Centre BID. 2022 Competition judge BBC Northampton’s Kerrie Cosh said “This was a beautiful summing up of the past two years.”

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