The poster of the first edition, click to enlarge

The LJMU MA Short Film Festival

The 1st edition of the LJMU MA Short Film Festival took place online from 16 to 23 April 2021. The festival is international and open to student short films (fiction, documentary, and animation). We will be back for the 2nd edition, taking place 1-8 April 2022. Submissions will open on 22 November 2021.

Students of the MA Film at Liverpool John Moores University program and curate the festival strands. They are given opportunities to contribute to social media outreach, poster and award design for the edition, publicity, festival trailers and Q&As.

What Makes Us Unique?

The LJMU MA Short Film Festival is unlike any other festival in that it is entirely run by the MA students at Liverpool John Moores University as part of the Exploring Film Festivals, Distribution and Exhibition module on their course. They do this under the guidance of module leader Dr. Lydia Papadimitriou and festival coordinator Jacqui Griffin, but the festival rests almost completely in their control.

The students make a huge effort to be inclusive of filmmakers from all genders, ethnicities, and parts of the world. This results in an incredibly diverse program of short films across the three strands (fiction, documentary, and animation) all of which are made by students from other universities and/or film schools.

Exploring Film Festivals, Distribution and Exhibition

The festival operates from within the module Exploring Film Festivals, Distribution and Exhibition, which is led by Festival Director and Reader in Film, Dr Lydia Papadimitriou and collaboratively taught with Jacqui Griffin, Festival Coordinator.

Exploring Film Festivals goes beyond production and representation, to consider the different ways in which film circulates. It examines the historical and contemporary significance of film festivals both in assigning value to film (through programming and awards) and in providing an alternative distribution network, while also assessing the significance and function of film programming in festivals.

The study of film festivals is a relatively recent field and a key source is the collection of essays Film festivals: History, theory, method, practice (2016) edited by Marijke de Valck, Skadi Loist and Brendan Kredell.

Littlewoods Building, Liverpool

MA in Film

The festival is part of the MA Film at Liverpool John Moores University. The programme leader of this course is documentary filmmaker Dr Keith Marley, who takes part in the jury of the Paper Bird Award. The MA Film combines theory and practice, fostering innovative approaches to both the making and understanding of film (and film festivals).

In the UK, Liverpool is the second most filmed in city (after London) and has a vibrant media and cultural industry. With the Twickenham Studios film production facility due to open in the Littlewoods Building in 2022, the MA Film and its festival are firmly rooted for a growing future.