Bolton Film Festival returns to the Light Cinema on 1st/2nd/3rd October 2019  - a nine screen cinema housed within an amazing listed Victorian market building in the centre of the town which has recently undergone a twenty seven million pound refurbishment.

We're screening innovative and groundbreaking short films from independent film-makers. Whether it’s drama, documentary, animation, comedy or experimental film our aim is to showcase emerging talent to an audience of like-minded individuals and industry experts.

Festival Patron

Maxine Peake


Iain McKee

Gerard Kearns


Sammy Winward


George Newton

Submissions are now open for the 2020 edition of Bolton Film Festival  

Bolton Film Festival 2019

Tickets on Sale 

For our third edition we've introduced new strands and new venues including our VFX Lab, a VR Jukebox, we've got Sci-Fi, Dance and Music and for those who like a fright night we've added a Horror section to the programme.

The festival opens with a day of documentary talks and films and for those who are more focused on narrative films we have a "Script to Screen" session and "The do's and dont's of the pitch."

We've partnered with Bolton Universities VFX department who've curated a guest line up of speakers that are second to none,  The IRIS Prize  LGBT guest programme returns, we've got networking events, masterclasses and social nights within "The Vaults" and most importantly we've got 175 short films lined up over the three days.

Panels and Industry Sessions

BFF brings a whole host of talent to it's screenings, talks, masterclasses and panels. Including Bolton born artist Hetain Patel (a 2019 Derek Jarman nominee), the 6 times RTS documentary winning director Richard Macer joins us , Richard Melman of Spring Films and OSCAR and BAFTA nominated animator Barry Purvis.

Creative organisations including BFI/Film Hub North, Doc Society , Creative England and Northern Docs host a series of panels from "Script to Screen", "The Do's and "Dont's of the Pitch" and "Breaking into the Creative Industries".

Masterclasses include "The Kit Bag" with James Oldham D.O.P,  an editing masterclass with Andrew McKee and "Sales, Marketing and Distribution" with Deborah Rowland. 

On the animation front we've got McKInnon & Saunders, Aardman, Factory and many more alongside the legend Barry Purves.

Our VFX talks coming soon....



Although we show award winners throughout the week we like to save some of the gems for our final night where we also announce the winners of each category and present our awards. Tickets are in huge demand for our final night and we expect to sell out.


For our third edition we've got over 175 short films from home and abroad, as well as our showcase "Blocks" we have a Triple F Rated women in film session, a War and Remembrance strand and we've new additions with Horror, Sci-Fi, Dance and Music and our experimental strand at Neo Artists. We've also got a guest programme from The IRIS Prize.

Previous Editions

Bolton International Film Festival is a rising star in the UK festival scene, a showcase for all things film - from animation, through to drama, documentary, experimental and VR.  We've been consistently voted a "A Top 100 reviewed" festival on FilmFreeway but this year we've also been rated a "Top 12 UK Festival" by Film Daily, a Creative England CE50 and we've been nominated for awards in "Community" and "Women in Film". You can look back at previous editions with the link below. 

Networking and Parties

Arguably one of the most important aspects of a film festival we'll give you the opportunity to create connections with industry representatives and other film-makers with dedicated coffee sessions, open panels and after parties.

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We're helping selected film-makers by offering free and discounted accommodation at The Holiday Inn (Bolton) one of our supporting partners (please note this is by invitation only by the festival director of BFF as it is subject to a limited numbers of rooms available).

FF_Logo_Icon_Colour_500px_RGB.jpg Bolton Film Festival, C/O Cinema Light Experience, Market Place, Bolton BL1 2AR