First Film

There’s no judging, no competition, no scary stuff, just a sharing of your first film which we’re defining as the first film you’ve entered into a film festival – this one! It doesn’t matter if other members of your team have entered film festivals before as long as you haven’t and you are the one putting it forward.

It doesn’t matter if you have made films before as long as you haven’t put any into a festival before, won an award for them or had something officially released/broadcast before.

We’ve tastefully called this segment ‘First Films are Sh*t, Show Them Anyway’. Of course we know all your first films will be masterpieces but even if they aren’t, we should share them anyway! Once that hurdle is out of the way we can all keep making better and better films.

Monday 25th March at Film Festival Central in the Grosvenor Centre Northants. Drinks a definite. Films need to have a connection to Northamptonshire (team, subject, shot here, etc). Email us on to enter your film.

48hr Film Challenge

If you only have 48 hours that you can dedicate to making a film, that’s fine! Sign up to our FREE 48 hour film challenge from 7pm on Friday 15th March to 7pm on Sunday 17th March. You can sign up at any point during this period but you have to complete the film by 7pm on the Sunday. The theme which your film must be made around will be announced at Film Festival Central in the Grosvenor Centre Northampton on Friday 15th March at 7pm. People who attend at this time will be the first to get the theme/prop/line of dialogue that must be included in the film. Feel free to arrive from 6pm for drinks. If you can’t make it we’ll put the theme online at 8pm or email it to you if you register with

You either have to be a Northants resident/student OR have to be able to visit Film Festival Central in the Grosvenor Centre on Friday 15th at 7pm or Saturday 16th 10am – 5pm or Sunday 17th 12.30pm – 7pm to qualify to take part.

It doesn’t matter if you are a really experienced team or if you an individual who has never made a film before, anyone can enter. We don’t expect everyone to have access to a camera. A film shot on your phone is fine.

There is no minimum length for the finished film – it can be as short as you like!

The format: on the Friday we’ll give you a theme/line of dialogue/prop for you to use in your film. This means you can’t really prepare too much – so everyone is in the same boat. Then by 7pm on the Sunday you have to deliver a finished film to us. We’ll screen all films before the end of the festival – obviously you are all invited – and we’ll give a prize to our favourite.

You have to deliver the finished film to us by 7pm on Sunday 17th March. This can either be in person on a memory stick or via a file sharing service. If it is Google Docs please email or if it’s any other service please use You must make sure this reaches us by 7pm. We will acknowledge receipt. Please make sure your memory stick works and all that jazz, as we can’t accept late entries.

We will be open at the Grosvenor Centre Friday 7pm-8pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 12.30pm-7pm. You can pop in, ask questions, use the space (within reason!), etc. We cannot edit for you or anything like that but we want to be helpful! You can also email us at if isn’t urgent. Or if you really are stuck you can call/text Becky on 07930 646721 but I can’t guarantee I can answer and please don’t call at unsocial hours!

So, in just 48 hours you’ve got yourself a whole film.

RULES: Everything you do must be legal! And you must have permission to use actors, music, locations, etc. where needed. If you need help with how to start getting permissions or keeping safe please let us know. Always be safe! Any age person can enter – technically no under 16yrs should be directed on camera by an adult in a professional capacity without a child license….. If adults are working with young people, the young people should be supervised by an appropriate adult. Everything you do must be original – i.e. created by you and not stolen! All footage must be created within the 48hour window – no pre-created footage. We need films as MP4 or MOV files.

Guidelines: We want something that is finished – it doesn’t need to be a masterpiece but needs to feel complete. You can work on your own or with a team (no size limit). You can film on a phone, camcorder, Arri Alexa, whatever you want. If you get the Grosvenor Centre and the doors are locked call Becky on 07930 646721 – we are operating outside of normal shopping hours – my number is on the Screen Northants website if you forget – If you’re busy on one of the days or evenings, don’t worry, you don’t have to spend every hour on it! Feel free to deliver it early even. Please avoid anything that is grossly offensive or indecent – you’re welcome to ask us what that is! We don’t mind the odd swear!You need to incorporate the theme/prop/line of dialogue in a meaningful way i.e. a poster with the line of dialogue somewhere in the background with no relevance to the plot isn’t meaningful! It can be as short or as long as you like. One of the best shorts I ever saw was 20 seconds long…

All films will be shown on Wed 20th March at Film Festival Central – all welcome. Bring friends! It’s of course all free. We’ll provide the drinks. If your film wins you will be invited to our Closing Ceremony on Wed 27th March to receive an amazing trophy and goodie bag.

Screen Northants will be judging the entries – our decision is final. You may give us bribes but they won’t affect the outcome….

  • Paul says “I’d be interested to see well-crafted films with a good narrative and a good understanding of film grammar.”
  • Becky says “I’d love to see some nice concise short films which cleverly incorporate the theme, maybe in a way that I wouldn’t have expected. And I want to see Northampton on film!”

To sign up (it’s free!) email us at