Leeds Young Filmmakers Golden Owls Awards

Golden Owls 2017

Leeds Young Filmmakers’ Golden Owl Awards is an exciting filmmaking competition 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 celebrated and rewarded 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 Thursday 30 March 2017, 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 Orchestra filling the auditorium, as well as one or two surprises throughout the evening!

The competition is supported by Leeds City Council through the Leeds Young Film Network, ArtForms and Leeds Young Film Festival in partnership with Vista. It reflects the Council’s vision for Leeds as a Child Friendly City described in the Children and Young People’s Plan 2015-2019 and helps to meet several of its priorities.




The deadline for entries is 4pm, Friday 3 Feb 2017 but if your film is ready, SEND IT NOW
by email to martin.grund@leeds.gov.uk 

or by mail to
Leeds Young Film Festival
Golden Owls ENTRY 2017
Town Hall, The Headrow,
Leeds LS1 3AD

Please upload a digital copy of the film to Vimeo or YouTube and include the link and password on the application form.
You can download instructions on how to upload your video using Vimeo here.

If you choose to upload your film, you must still send in an application form via email or to the address below. Alternatively, please return the attached entry form with a copy of the film on a DVD or memory stick to:
Leeds Young Film Festival, Golden Owls ENTRY 2017, Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AD

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



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

Individuals/groups of friends

11 and Under

Community Groups

Schools & Colleges

KS1: 3-7
KS2: 7-11
KS3: 11-14
KS4: 14-16
KS5: 16-19 *

(*25 for vulnerable adults or people with physical impairments)

MediaFish Perspective Award in partnership with MindMate

The MediaFish Perspective award is the only Golden Owl award chosen by young people for young people. This year we have partnered with www.mindmate.org.uk – an NHS website for young people aged 12-19 in Leeds, designed with the help of young people to support mental health and emotional wellbeing. It allows you to explore your feelings, what might be causing them and what you can do to feel better, through self-help tools, activities, and information about where you can go in Leeds for further support.

One of the main aims of MindMate is to support young people to develop ‘resilience’. Resilience is the ability to cope when things get tough, and to bounce back despite the challenges we face in life.

Resilience is the theme for this year’s MediaFish Perspective Award.

Tell us what this means to you in your own way. You could tell us a story about an individual who found the mental strength to bounce back and carry on despite the odds. What tough challenges do young people face, and how do they cope? It might be different for every person. Some might find their strength from inside themselves, or from other people, or a combination of both. Perhaps there is a mental health issue affecting young people that you feel passionately about? Is there a positive message you can send to others that might be going through a tough time? You might get some ideas from www.mindmate.org.uk

You can make a film specifically for the MediaFish Perspective Award but any film submitted that the judges feel fits the theme of ‘Resilience’ will be automatically entered into the MediaFish Perspective Award in addition to the submitted category.

Special Recognition Awards

For 2017 in addition to the main category prizes, we have created a selection of new awards. These awards are not bound by age group or type of film and may be given for specific criteria that the judges want to reward, such as excellence in storytelling, originality, direction, acting, costume, make-up, camerawork, etc. These awards will also be announced and presented at the Golden Owls Award ceremony on Thursday 30 March 2017.



We want your films to be the best they can be so for ideas and tips please read our Filmmaking Tips sheet here.

To see what the judges have selected previously you can view the 2016 Golden Owl winners on YouTube here.



When will the Golden Owl Awards ceremony take place?

The evening of Thursday 30 March 2017 at Leeds Town Hall; It will be a ticketed, black tie event with celebrities and dignitaries from the film, civic, education and business worlds. All young filmmakers with a shortlisted film will be invited to attend this special event.

Who can enter?

Any young person aged 19* and under (*25 for vulnerable adults or people with physical impairments) from Leeds who has made a short film since Jan 2016 can submit to this competition. We welcome submissions from individuals or groups of friends, Youth & Community Groups and Schools & Colleges.

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 at a special event in Leeds Young Film Festival in April 2017.

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 extracurricular 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. More information can be found on the application form.

For more information contact martin.grund@leeds.gov.uk or call Leeds Young Film on 0113 247 8398

Leeds Young Film FestivalArtForms LeedsVistaChild Friendly Leeds