Aspiring filmmakers across the UK are being invited to submit their ideas for a new, short, experimental film as the Northern Film School and Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) launch the first annual Louis Le Prince prize.

The Northern Film School, at Leeds Beckett University, will commission an experimental film from the winning proposal, offering a total prize equivalent of £1,000 in production and processing costs, access to equipment, and expert mentoring.

The winning film, which will be shot on 16mm celluloid film, will be presented at the 2018 Leeds International Film Festival.

The prize has been created to honour Louis Le Prince, the cinema pioneer internationally-recognised for filming the world’s first moving images in Leeds in 1888.

“Louis Le Prince’s discovery sparked a revolution that changed so much, and is still changing things today,” Robert Shail, Professor of Film in the Northern Film School, explained. “The digital revolution has changed things further but it has not destroyed celluloid – if anything it has focused attention on what it can do. Filmmakers think so too: Spielberg, Nolan, Abrams, Andrea Arnold, to name a few, all work in celluloid today.”

“Experimental film is a dynamic and essential element within the Northern Film School’s production slate, encouraging experimentation and risk-taking in our students’ filmmaking and expanding their understanding and appreciation of the potential of moving image,” said Annabelle Pangborn, Head of the Northern Film School. “We look forward to working closely with the winning filmmaker here at the Northern Film School, offering bespoke mentorship within our world class facilities.”

The competition is open to all UK-based filmmakers, including students and non-EU citizens, and applications should be submitted by the closing date of Monday 18 December. The winner will be announced in January, with the film being made between February and September 2018. For more information, and to submit an entry, please visit

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