Filmmaking Challenge 2024

It’s often said the best film school is making a film, so this is your chance to make a documentary. 

Folkestone Documentary Festival Filmmaking Challenge returns for a 2nd year to inspire, engage and celebrate local filmmakers from Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh. We encourage all levels of filmmakers to pick up a camera this summer and make a documentary.

Are you up for the challenge?

Working in partnership with Klip Films and Screen South, we’ve devised the competition to encourage seasoned and budding filmmakers to come up with ideas in the documentary form based on the local environment, stories and communities in Kent.

 The competition is open to both professional and community filmmakers and is an opportunity to have some fun with the form or try out something new. The jury will be looking for imaginative interpretations of subject matter rather than perfect technique. Films can be shot on multiple cameras or on your phone - it’s up to you. The main thing is to pick up a camera of some kind and get shooting.


Films must be:

●      Documentary genre

●      Maximum 5 minutes duration

●      Made between 15th May and 16th September 2024

●      Shot within Kent, England

●      Made by a filmmaker/team based within Folkestone, Hythe & Romney Marsh

●      Filmmakers must own rights to all footage and music, and have all other necessary consents and permissions

Read the full requirements before you make your film here


We are awarding three prizes this year and shortlisted films will be screened as part of the Documentary Festival Industry Day on Friday 18th October:

  • BEST FILM - voted by the jury
  • BEST FILM - voted by the Industry Day audience

The three winning films will be announced and screened at the Closing Gala for this year’s festival, on Sunday 20th October. The winners will be awarded a voucher for £1000 worth of free film shooting and post-production equipment hire from Screen South including cameras, sound equipment and editing suite. The teams of the shortlisted films will receive free tickets to this event.

Thinking of taking part? Sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of the page, follow us on social media #filmmakingchallenge and we'll keep you posted on the latest news and updates about the competition.

Image: Oliver Pratt, Best Film 2023 for John and the Ossuary

Oliver Pratt for John and the Ossuary


This year’s jury will consist of a group of professionals from the film industry plus the winner of last year’s Best Film, Oliver Pratt.


New to filmmaking or need to brush up on your skills? Fear not. Screen South is hosting a series of FREE workshops designed to equip you with the basics to shoot and edit a short documentary film:

covering lighting, sound and managing ambient conditions.

covering lighting, sound and managing ambient conditions.

in Screen South’s state of the art editing suite.

in Screen South’s state of the art editing suite.

Workshops will take place at Screen South, The Glassworks, Mill Bay, Folkestone, CT20 1JG. Capacity is limited to 10 people per workshop so make sure to sign up in advance via Eventbrite using the links above.

Networking and Collaboration

Our hope is for you to connect with other filmmakers. If you seek help, need crew or have questions, we invite you to become a member of our Facebook Group where you can connect and network with other filmmakers in Folkestone, Hythe & Romney Marsh. You will need a Facebook account to become a member.

Film Submissions from 2023

In search of inspiration? Unsure whether to take part? Watch the submissions from last year here to see the range of films and filmmakers who took part.

“Filmmaking Challenge gave me the opportunity to show the real story I wanted to tell. This was a chance to make a film that delved into a subject matter that I had not previously explored as well as develop my craft.” Oliver Pratt, Best Film 2023

Image: Human Nature by Anna Braithwaite

Human Nature by Anna Braithwaite


Films must be submitted by Monday 16 September 2024 at Midday via our entry form here.


Q: Are the credits counted as part of the 5 min duration?

A: No, the maximum duration of the “story” must be under 5 minutes. The End Credits are allowed to run for 30 seconds on top of the 5 minutes. Opening Titles and sequences are, however, included in the 5 minutes. 

Q: What music can I use?

A: You can use composed music but you must have written permission from the composer to use their music. This is easiest if you know the composer. If music has been released by a record label it is often very difficult to obtain the rights and it will most likely be expensive. We suggest teaming up with a composer or musician, or using free library music, which you may be able to find online, but make sure to check the terms of use very carefully.

Q: Can I use archive material that I have shot prior to the competition’s timescale?

A: You are allowed to use a reasonable amount of archive pictures and footage so long as you own the rights to use them and it is clear that the documentary at large was made during the challenge timescale.

Q: Do I need to be a professional filmmaker to take part?

A: No, the Filmmaking Challenge is open to both professional and non-professional community filmmakers and we welcome a range of stories, experiences and expertise.


If you have any questions, you are welcome to drop us a line:

It’s time to start planning your film. We can’t wait to see what you come up with. Good luck!

Screen South & Klip Films logo

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