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Competition Terms and Conditions

The competition is run on the basis of allowing creative freedom and expression of ideas. However, there must be rules and these are ours. Scroll down to the bottom to see the rules governing each of the award categories

Entry Category
Time Limits
Age range
First Entry Fee (£)
Additional Entries (£)
BBFC Max Rating
Short Film
< 2 m
12 to 19
2 -to 15 m
12 to 15
2 to 20 m
15 to 19

The terms and conditions specified on this page stand as definitive should any information on this website conflict. Please get in touch with us at to assist with any questions.


Short Film Category entries are only judged as a whole and not against any award categories. They are ineligible for all award categories except best short film. 


Credits and eligibility decisions are based on the credits submitted with each film.  Nominations are announced no earlier than three (3) weeks before the competition awards evening. The Judging panel may make multiple nominations in a single category for a single film at their discretion.

By submitting information on this website or through electronic email (in relation to this competition), you agree to this information being stored for the purposes of running the competition.  Form data submitted through this website will additionally be stored by Wix in accordance with their GDPR policies. Email addresses may be used for future competitions, and you can withdraw consent by emailing



‘Film’ is the term given to the entry submitted to the competition.

‘Entry category’ is the term given to which competition the entry is being submitted. For example, the Senior Category.

‘Entry’ is an instance of a single film entry into one of the entry categories.

‘Category’ generally refers to an awards category, such as best director. To differentiate awards from entries, these terms are often expanded.

'Entrant' is the person making and submitting the film.

'School' refers to the eligible school (as defined in these rules) where the entrant resides either as a pupil or member of staff.

General Entry Rules

  1. A school is considered eligible for entry if it meets the criteria of catering to the academic education of the age categories listed below. This includes independent, maintained, academy and sixth-form colleges.

  2. Pupils may enter their own team and make payment, but they must still enter with their school’s oversight and permission. This is to ensure general safety and other safeguarding practises are followed and met. Therefore, with every entry, there must be the email of a member of the school staff. These people will be emailed regarding invitations to the awards evening, etc. THEREFORE ENTRIES MUST NOT BE MADE WITHOUT THE PRIOR PERMISSION FROM THE ENTRANT'S SCHOOL.

  3. Should the respective school's official email link to somebody who is not authorised, by the school’s leadership, to act on behalf of the school, the entry may be deemed ineligible and withdrawn from the competition. This is at the sole discretion of the London Schools’ Film Competition, and refunds cannot be made.

  4. Unlimited entries per school are permitted in any or all of the entry categories.

  5. Judging is done anonymously with no details of the submission being given. However, this is also subject to the entrant school’s film maintaining this anonymity within their film.

  6. Each film submission must have a unique entry code. If the competition permits multiple entries, entrants will be sent multiple codes.

  7. Films must be electronically submitted by 1159pm on the date published on the LondonSchools.Film website. Entries submitted after this date and time are unlikely to be accepted.  Refunds cannot be given in any circumstance.

  8. A single film cannot be submitted to multiple entry categories (Junior/Senior or Short) in part or whole.

  9. Category age limitations refer to the ages of the director and screenwriter only. The eligibility period is the date spanning from entries being open to the film submission deadline. This period spans two academic years, therefore making eligibility easier and more flexible. See judging category rules for further guidance.

  10. Limitations of entry are specified in the above table.

  11. On-screen talent can be of any age, at the school’s discretion, but they must be or have been a pupil/staff member of the school during the entry and submission window. Certain prize categories carry some age restrictions.

  12. The film run time is from start to finish and includes any title sequences and credits.

  13. For the Junior competition, the screenplay can be based on an existing story but must be modified in some way. If based on an existing story, the school must have the full rights to perform and modify the work.

  14. Any genre and theme fitting the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) classification rules are permitted.

  15. Full cast and crew should be credited with each submission – indicating pupil/adult roles (if necessary). However, in the interests of child protection, credits added to the end of any film should contain first names only with surname initials (if required).

  16. No professional involvement whatsoever from outside each school – this must be a film wholly created by the entrant school’s staff and pupils only.

  17. Any prize money is intended solely to support the school’s investment in film and media. There can be no refunds if entries are not submitted on time.

  18. Through submitting an entry, there is explicit agreement that the video can be published on YouTube, media outlets, etc., as part of the London Schools’ Film Competition (LSFC).

  19. A staff representative from each entrant school will be asked to sign to the fact that these rules have been complied with fully and entered in the spirit of fair competition.

  20. Only films submitted with an entry form and signed consent for all participants can be entered into the competition.

  21. The entry fees will go into an annual fund, from which trophies and catering (for the award nominees) will be subtracted. The remaining monies will form the prize fund. All entry categories contribute to their own separate fund. Other running costs of the competition will be met by Mill Hill School.

  22. Mill Hill School will receive free entry in contribution to the administration, technical and staffing costs required to run and host these awards.

  23. Only prize category nominees will be invited to the awards evening. Subject to availability, additional awards evening places can be purchased (details on request) so as to not significantly impact the prize fund. Schools should ensure that at least one adult accompanies any pupil(s) attending the awards evening (through award nomination), and one place will be provided free of charge per nominated school. For non-nominees, it is our intention that the evening will be live-streamed or recorded.

  24. All rights, clearances and permissions must be obtained prior to submission, and applicants must ensure that they have the right to submit the work with regard to third parties connected to the production of the film in question. By entering your film, you agree to this and the responsibilities involved. The London Schools’ Film Competition assumes no responsibility for violation of copyright law, or any other laws breached in the making or submitting of an entry. We cannot clear any music/audio licensing for you: all rights must be arranged prior to submission.

  25. The voting records can be made available, on request, to any competing school up to six months after the awards ceremony. 

  26. All foreign language films must have English subtitles.

  27. All judging decisions are final.

Please email if you have any questions or queries.

Judging/Voting Rules

Films for each entry category will be judged by a voting panel. These panels may consist of the same or different judges.  It is expected that each panel will be formed from industry experts; however, in the case of a large number of submissions, which cannot reasonably fall upon a small judging panel, then entries would first go into an elimination round, formed by volunteers, before going through to the final judging panel. Details of this will become known as the entry window closes.


The competition is about openness and transparency: details of the panel and any pre-selection panel will be published in advance.


There can only be one winner in each prize category (with multiple second-place positions). In the event of a points deadlock, the following will take precedence:

  1. The judges’ votes will be scanned, and the entry that received the highest number of judges’ top votes will be given 1 additional point

  2. If it is not clear from step 1, the head judge will be asked to cast the final verdict.

  3. If the head judge cannot be contacted in time, their ranking will be used to determine which entry gets the additional point.

  4. If the head judge’s votes still result in deadlock, the winning school (on total points) will receive the additional point, in as much as it does not affect the final ranking

  5. If none of the above can be achieved in a fair way, the other judges will be contacted to make the deciding vote.

Judging Category Information

Some of the competition prize categories may have additional rules as listed below. There is also additional guidance for some categories. Finally, some categories are awarded to individuals and some to the school. Jump over to the Entry Categories page for details on how points are awarded for each prize category. The categories page lists which judging categories are included in the Junior and Senior entry categories, etc. Short Film entries have a single award; from this, the top three short film winners are announced.

Best Short Film

Up to 4 names of the submitter’s choosing

Run time is given in the rules above

Best Overall Film

Awarded to entrant school rather than a specific person (given these are often team collaborations).

Awarded based on the film with the highest number of points.

Best Film: Audience Vote

Awarded to entrant school rather than a specific person (given these are often team collaborations).

This category is based on the highest number of likes a film receives on the official YouTube page ( ) for a given film, within the judging window. Dislikes DO NOT count in any way.

Most Memorable Scene

Awarded to entrant school rather than a specific person

Best Screenplay/Narrative 

Fully credited writers or lead researchers. Co-writers are only eligible where there are no lead writers credited. ‘Additional Material by…’, ‘Original Story by…’ and similar credits are not eligible. All genres are eligible, including documentaries.

Senior category entries must be original, Junior can be adapted.  

Pupil(s) age (writers) must fit within the entry category’s age restrictions. 

Unoriginal screenplays for Senior entrants are ineligible for this award.

Best Cinematography

The director of photography (DoP/cinematographer) or principal camera person

Best Principal Acting/Presenter(s)

Top-billed actor(s) or presenter(s)

All actors/presenters MUST be associated with the entrant school to be eligible.

The winning school can decide who this award is given to.

Best Editing

Editor. Other editing credits, such as Assistant or Co-Editor, are not eligible.

Best Director

Fully credited directors. Co-directors are only eligible where there is no lead director credited.

Must be a pupil registered at the school (within the submission window)

Pupil(s) age must fit within the entry category’s age restrictions.

Best Ensemble Cast/Supporting Member(s)

Awarded collectively to the overall cast/on-screen talent

Can be of any age, but to be eligible for this award, all must be directly associated with the school.

Best Production Design

Awarded to entrant school rather than a specific person

Best Hair, Costume and Makeup

Awarded to entrant school rather than specific person

Best Sound Mixing/Editing

Sound supervisor or sound editor.

Includes Foley, SFX and audio recording quality

Any sound used must be royalty-free, Creative Commons or permission granted from the rightsholder(s) for placement on YouTube and/or general streaming.

Best Music/Use of Music

Composer or music supervisor.

Includes incidental, title credits and diegetic/non-diegetic music

This category is for both composition of original music for a film and the supervision of sourced music.

Music must comply with copyright laws. Copyright music must have permission from the rightsholder(s) and be eligible for placement on YouTube and/or general streaming.

Best Visual Effects/Special Effects

Special Effects Supervisor and/or Visual Effects Supervisor.

Professional software packages are permitted as are templates.

Practical effects count.

Special Awards Information

From the 2024 competition, special awards were introduced. The list of special awards may change each year and can be found on the categories page

There is a list, from which judges can select up to three nominations. Each nomination can go to any of the competing films within each category – including multiple awards. They are intended to be fun and light-hearted. These are not awarded with a trophy. Each nomination is judge independent and no consensus for a winner is required. 

There is a separate list of special nominations that attract negative 5 points. No one film will receive more than one award (per judge) and judges do not have to nominate any film.

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