A dozen film will compete for the award.

The BFI London Film Festival (Oct 7-18) is to introduce a new Short Film Competition at this year’s 59th edition.

In line with the festival’s official, documentary and first feature competitions, 12 films will compete for the BFI London Film Festival Short Film Award.

LFF’s programme team, led by festival director Clare Stewart, will shortlist 12 short films from across the festival programme which “demonstrate a distinctive cinematic style and a confident, original handling of chosen theme and content”. 

The winning film will be selected by a jury of senior international film professionals and the Short Film Award will be presented at the LFF awards ceremony on Oct 17 in London.

The festival recently revised its eligibility guidelines for short film, recognising the limited exhibition opportunity for short filmmakers.

Eligibility for the festival progamme and shortlisting for the Short Film Award will be in line with new general submission guidelines: short films must have been completed within the previous 18 months, and can have previously screened anywhere in the world or UK, broadcast or been made available online.

Previously screened early short works at the LFF have been from filmmakers such as Andrea Arnold, Peter Strickland, Ana Lily Amirpour, Destiny Ekaragha and Sean Durkin who have also gone on to screen feature film work in the festival.

Stewart said: “The BFI London Film Festival has long valued the short film, a form in which filmmaking is often at it’s most original, daring and playful.

“We build on this commitment by creating a new platform to celebrate this essential facet of cinema, in line with our other competitive strands for fiction, documentary and debut features.”

Films shortlisted to compete for the Award will screen within the curated short film programmes across the festival’s main programme strands, and then have a repeat screening in additional Short Film Award Collections on the final weekend of the festival.

The deadline for the submission of short films is June 12 and can be submitted through the BFI London Film Festival website at www.bfi.org.uk/lff.