Leeds Young Filmmakers Golden Owl Awards


Leeds Young Film Festival, ArtForms and Logistik are delighted to present the 2015 Leeds Young Filmmaker Golden Owl Awards, celebrating the talents of young filmmakers from across the city.


What is Leeds Young Filmmakers’ Golden Owl Awards?

An exciting filmmaking competition, now in its fourth year, for young people aged 19* and under.

The Golden Owl Awards celebrates the best of young people’s filmmaking across the city and offers an opportunity for you to see your work on a big screen in front of an audience of friends, parents, carers, teachers, filmmaking professionals and other young film enthusiasts.

The Oscars style red carpet, black tie extravaganza, held in the splendour of the Leeds Town Hall on April 1st 2015, will showcase the best new films from Leeds emerging talent, with awards being presented by celebrities and local dignitaries. Expect to see some famous faces from film and TV, with the sounds of Leeds Youth Jazz Rock and Training Orchestras filling the auditorium, as well as one or two surprises throughout the evening!

* 25 for vulnerable adults or people with physical impairments.


How to Apply


Download an application form for full instructions on how to submit your film. This year you can send your film by post or electronically. Please download the guidelines PDF here if you want to submit electronically.

We want your films to be the best they can be, so we’ve also created a set of filmmaking tips to help you. Download the Film Tips PDF here.

* 25 for vulnerable adults or people with physical impairments.



Entry Criteria

1. Produced by children / young people under 19 *

The majority of the people involved in the production of the film must be aged 19 * years or under.
The production must be young person-led and young people must have devised the script or story. Young people must also have been involved in using the camera and sound equipment and been involved in the editing.

* 25 for vulnerable adults or people with physical impairments.

2. Maximum of 10 minutes, including credits

Films can be of any length up to 10 minutes. Even one minute films will be considered – longer is not necessarily better. Trailers will not be accepted – only complete films.

3. Only films made since January 2014 can be entered

Previous submissions will not be accepted.

4. Maximum 3 entries per person / group / school

You may enter up to three films in total; however only ONE film can be shortlisted per category per person / group / school.

5. Contains no copyrighted material

If your film is selected you must have gained permission for any copyrighted material, including music / soundtrack. See www.leedsyoungfilm.com for sources of copyright free music, film and images. ArtForms can also provide information about rights free resources at www.artformsleeds.co.uk

6. Attend the Golden Owls Awards

If your film is selected you must be able to attend the Golden Owls Awards ceremony which will take place on April 1st 2015 at Leeds Town Hall.


Return the completed entry form with a copy of the film on DVD to:

Leeds Young Film Festival
Golden Owls ENTRY 2015
Town Hall, The Headrow
Leeds, LS1 3AD

Each film entry MUST be accompanied by a completed entry form. If you send in more than one film, you will need to complete an entry form for each submission.

DVDs cannot be returned, so please don’t send the master copy of your film.

Entries can also be submitted online. Please e-mail your submission form to martin.grund@leeds.gov.uk



When will the Golden Owl Awards ceremony take place?

The ceremony takes place on the evening of Wednesday 1 April 2015 at Leeds Town Hall and will be the opening ceremony for Leeds Young Film Festival. It will be a ticketed, black tie event with celebrities and dignitaries from the film, civic, education and business worlds.

Who can enter?

Any young person from Leeds who has made a short film since Jan 2014 can submit to this competition. We welcome submissions from individuals or groups of friends, Youth & Community Groups and Schools & Colleges.

Which categories exist?

NB Films should be entered according to the age(s) of the young people at the time the film was made.

  • Individuals/groups of friends can enter films into three age groups:

11 and Under



  • Community Groups have a single separate category :     

Community Groups

  • Schools & Colleges can enter films into five age categories:

KS1: 3-7

KS2: 7-11

KS3: 11-14

KS4: 14-16

KS5: 16-19

  • MediaFish Perspective Award in partnership with Child Friendly Leeds

 The theme for this year’s Award is ‘The Importance of Family’ and is chosen by young people for young people.

Who are the people who care for you, or who you care for? Who do you identify with and what creates that shared identity? Who gives you consistency in your life? Where do you feel at home?

As the world changes and we make more connections with different people, we still need to know that there is somewhere we belong.  ‘Family’ can mean different things to different people, but it is something we recognise as being important for us all.  We’d love to see films that explore the role that family plays today, the difference family members can make when they support one another and what ‘family’ means to you! Remember, families come in all shapes and sizes …

What sort of films are we looking for?

Films can be of any genre or type including comedy, horror, drama, animation or documentary. This includes music, skate and promo videos. For schools and colleges submissions can include films produced in lesson time or as extra curricular activity and can be made as part of a project, for fun or as a specific commission. Trailers will not be accepted – only complete films.

What are the judging criteria?

  • Young people’s involvement throughout the filmmaking process – we are really interested in your ideas as the young people who are making the film. We want to know hear your ideas and stories and how much you have driven the concept project and as well as how much you have been involved in the process of making it. If there has been adult involvement, please tell us how much they have been involved and how much has been their own work.
  • Compelling, interesting and engaging storytellingall good filmmaking is good storytelling and we will be looking at how strong and original the ‘story’ is and how effectively it is told with the chosen techniques / formats (e.g live action, animation, documentary).
  • Originality and creativity – a good film is not dependent on complicated techniques and expensive equipment, we will be looking at how effectively and creatively the resources/equipment available has been used to tell the story. We are particularly interested in innovative techniques where this helps to tell the story better such as interesting camera shots or how the editing has been carried out in a way which enhances the storytelling.
  • Quality of camerawork, sound and editing – effective use of the equipment are all essential in creating a good film and we will be looking for clear dialogue, appropriate soundtrack, mix of shot types, smooth editing, etc. High production costs are not essential – editing and sound can be effective without costing lots of money. Where there are actors in the film, we will be looking for them to be well rehearsed and clearly engaged by the story.
  • Age and ability – we don’t expect the technical ability of 5 year olds to be as good as 15 year olds and this will be taken into account. However we do expect the creativity and involvement of the young people to be clearly demonstrated regardless of age.

Who judges the films?

A shortlist will be selected in each category by a panel of independent judges, consisting of professionals working in the moving image industry, film and media education and a representation of young people.

Will all films be shown?

Not all films entered into the competition will be screened. Edited highlights of shortlisted films will be shown at the award ceremony and winning films will be screened in Leeds Young Film Festival 2015.

How will I know if my film has been selected?

If your film is successful, then we will contact you by Friday 27 February 2015 at the latest. If you do not hear from us by then your film has not been selected.

Please Note: All films submitted by individuals / friends will also be considered for the Independent Directions Young Filmmaker Awards (The INDIs) a national competition run by Leeds Young Film Festival. Click here for more information.

The competition is supported by Leeds City Council through the Leeds Young Film Network, ArtForms, the Leeds Young Film Festival and Leeds City Learning Centres in partnership with VISTA. It reflects the commitment made by the Council to support young people through the Leeds Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) and Leeds as a Child Friendly City.

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