Leeds Young Filmmakers Golden Owls Awards

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 Tuesday 27 March 2018, 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.


* 25 for vulnerable adults or people with additional needs










The deadline for entries is 4pm, Friday 2 Feb 2018 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 2018, 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 2018, 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.

Once again 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.

‘Being the Same, Being Different’ is the theme for this year’s MediaFish Perspective Award

As we grow up we often want to be like the people we admire. But it’s good to be different – if we were all the same it would be boring! Your film could be a celebration of the things that make us different, such as how we look, the way we dress or the things we like doing. Or you could explore the pressures felt by young people to fit in with people around them. Or perhaps you’d prefer to tell the story of someone who feels different and how this can make them feel – good or bad? Perhaps you can highlight how have people been treated by society for being different and is there anything we can learn from this? 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 will be automatically entered into the MediaFish Perspective Award in addition to the submitted category.

Special Recognition Awards

For 2018 in addition to the main category prizes, there will be a selection of other 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 Tuesday 27 March 2018.



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 2017 Golden Owl winners on YouTube here.



When will the Golden Owl Awards ceremony take place?

The evening of Tuesday 27 March 2018 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 a special VIP reception ahead of the ceremony with refreshments.

Who can enter?

Any young person from Leeds who has made a short film since Jan 2017 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 2018.

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.

Full entry guidelines are on the application form. For more information contact martin.grund@leeds.gov.uk or call Leeds Young Film on 0113 378 5999

ArtForms Leeds