LJMU Short Film Festival returns for 2024

Film students at Liverpool John Moores University are getting ready to host the fourth annual LJMU MA Short Film Festival – taking place online and in-person. Tony McDonough reports

LJMU MA Short Film Festival
Organisers of the 2024 LJMU MA Short Film Festival


Liverpool is to see the return of the LJMU MA Short Film Festival in March with organisers promising an “enhanced and expanded” event.

First held in 2021, the festival showcases outstanding student films from around the world in four strands: Fiction, Animation, Documentary and Experimental. It is organised by Liverpool John Moores University MA Film students as part of their studies.

Scheduled to take place online from March 15 to 22, and in-person from March 18 to 22, this year’s festival features 38 films from 21 countries.

Student filmmakers will compete for one of four Paper Bird Awards, bestowed on the winning film by judging panels comprised of industry experts, academics, previous winners and LJMU students.

Visitors to the festival website will also be able to vote for their favourite film to receive the Audience Paper Bird Award.

or the first time, the festival will be fully hybrid, meaning that audiences will have the choice of how they want to watch: in-person at one of the screenings or online at ljmumashortfilmfestival.org

Live screenings of each individual film strand will take place at LJMU’s Redmonds Building across March 18 to 21. Each screening will be followed by a live Q&A with some of the filmmakers featured in this year’s programmes.

The annual closing awards event will take place on Friday, March 22, at Scale Liverpool and in another first for the festival, this will also be streamed live across social media channels and are 100% free to enter.

Festival co-organiser and international MA student, Emily White, said: “As a Canadian, I am proud to be a part of the LJMU MA Short Film Festival.

“It reflects the diverse cultural make-up of the city of Liverpool through its commitment to showcasing the talents of student filmmakers globally.

“The festival’s module has enabled my classmates and I to gain first-hand experience of working within the film festival and wider film industry, which will support us as we look to develop our professional careers going forward.”


The Redmonds Building
The Redmonds Building at Liverpool John Moores University. Picture by LJMU


The LJMU MA Short Film Festival is curated and delivered as part of the MA ‘Exploring Film Festivals, Distribution and Exhibition’ module. This approach to post-graduate study is spearheaded by Dr Lydia Papadimitriou as part of the MA Film course.

Co-organising and curating a real festival enables LJMU MA students to gain hands-on experience in a variety of disciplines, including, trailer editing, social media campaign management, public relations, and live event management.

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Dr Papadimitriou added: “I am so pleased that the LJMU MA Film Festival is going from strength to strength. For the first time since we started off in the middle of the pandemic, the festival is now going to be fully in-person and fully-online.

“This year’s MA Film students have done an amazing job selecting an outstanding programme out of 2,746 film submissions.”

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