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The Louis Le Prince Experimental Film Prize

Film is not dead and Louis Le Prince, the man who invented moving pictures in Leeds in 1888, would be happy about that. His discovery sparked a revolution that changed so much, and is still changing things today. 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.

At the Northern Film School we encourage students to challenge what they know, and to reinvent the way that they think about the moving image in all its forms. And it is in the spirit of the great experimenters and inventors like Louis Le Prince that we announce an invitation to experiment with celluloid.

The Prize

The Northern film school in partnership with Leeds international Film Festival will commission an experimental film from the winning proposal and offer a prize equivalent of £1000 to enable the film to be made.  The film will be a short. It must be experimental. And it must be shot on 16mm celluloid.

The theme for the inaugural Louis Le Prince Experimental Film Prize is ‘INNOVATION’

To enter the competition please submit a written proposal for an experimental film which, including credits runs no longer than 10 minutes in length. It must be shot on 16mm celluloid. Your proposal should be no longer than 1000 words and must describe both content, approach and style. To support your proposal you are encouraged to include sample stills, storyboards and any audio visual material you think important.

Filmmakers should send individual proposals with supporting material either directly to Louis Le Prince Experimental Film Prize coordinator, David Turner at or via withoutabox. The deadline for applications is midday 18 December 2017. The winning filmmaker will be notified by the end of January 2018.  The selected film must be completed in readiness for The Leeds International Film Festival in November 2018.

To assist the winning proposal the filmmaker will be offered the support of The Northern Film School including access to appropriate equipment and mentoring by our expert staff. The cost of film stock and processing will be met and there will be £200 towards other production costs. 

Key dates

Closing date for applications: 18 December 2017

The winner is announced by late January 2018

February - September 2018: the film is made

November 2018: the finished film is screened at the Leeds International Film Festival.

Rules and terms

The Louis Le Prince Experimental Film Prize is open to all UK based filmmakers including students and non EU citizens.

Louis Le Prince Experimental Film Prize is free to enter.

Louis Le Prince Experimental Film Prize judging panel will consist of NFS and LIFF representatives and a leading experimental filmmaker.

The NFS will act as executive producers to oversee and ensure successful delivery of the film.

Full terms and conditions will apply and can be supplied on enquiry.

For further information on the prize please contact Dave Turner at

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