Insight welcomes and values your questions.

If you have an enquiry about the Festival, it may be a common question that we are asked routinely. To help you get a quick response, we have provided general answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive. Please check our FAQ below: if your question does not appear in the list, or if  it hasn’t been answered fully, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Am I eligible for the Student Filmmaker Award 2016?

You need to be a either a current student at a college, university or film school in the UK or a recent student at one of these educational establishments, aged 18 or over, with an interest in and aptitude for filmmaking.

Please see details on How to enter for further information.

When will the next Insight Film Festival take place?

The inaugural Insight Film Festival took place in 2007. The festival is held every two years where possible, but every year filmmakers are invited to enter films for Insight’s Curation Scheme.

Since 2015 Insight has curated a series of themed screenings and Q&A in various locations around the UK.

The 5th Insight Film Festival is scheduled to take place as soon as finances allow.

What does Insight do in years when the main film festival is not being held?

In years when the Insight Film Festival does not take place, we spend time researching, planning and taking actions to prepare for the event the following year. We also host other events related to the main film festival. For example, we hold Education Events in our local community (Manchester, England) and run a School Film Competition; we also provide screenings, either in partnership with other organisations or on our own, and run other competitions with valuable prizes. We are continually researching and developing new awards. We continue to exhibit selected films received as part of our Curation Scheme at bespoke Insight screenings and as packages shown at other film festivals around the world.

How does the Festival Curation Scheme relate to the Insight Film Festival?

The Insight Film Festival event is a celebration of the best films submitted to us on the theme of ‘faith’ over the period that the Call for Entries is open. Each film is considered for a variety of awards managed by Insight.

At times when Insight is not running competitions for awards, we operate our Curation Scheme. Films entered into the scheme are considered for inclusion in Insight-branded packages that are screened at events and festivals around the world.

Films submitted to the Festival Curation Scheme are eligible for award competitions run by the Insight Film Festival, subject to the rules in place for each award.

I’m not religious. Why should I be interested in the Insight Film Festival?

‘Faith’ is a universal, human theme. If you are seriously interested in making films or moving image presentations, your work will be influenced by the attitudes and culture that surround you at any given moment: you can’t help engaging with the subject of faith. Insight provides you with opportunities to expand the mind and to get filmmakers’ work recognised by the global filmmaking community. Whatever your beliefs and background, you will want your work to offer a valuable contribution to the society to which you belong. Faith is an integral part of everyone’s life, including your own.

Why has religious faith been chosen for the subject matter?

Religious faiths of all types (including agnosticism and atheism) are some of the main forces that drive societies throughout the world.  Whether or not you agree with the concept of ‘faith’; whether or not you hold a faith position personally; or whether you think it is helpful or unhelpful, there has never been a greater time of greater need than now for real insight and communication between people on the subject.

What should I expect to find at the Insight Film Festival?

You should expect to meet passionate filmmakers of all ages and from all backgrounds. Expect to be blown away by expressions of faith on film, by experiencing films you may not see anywhere else. Expect to be challenged through workshops, presentations, talks, lectures and seminars – and expect to meet people just as enthused by film as you, who may have different perspectives on life.

How does the Insight Film Festival's judging process work?

For the main Insight Film Festivals, entries are assessed first by a preliminary panel. The panel recommends a certain number of films on a shortlist to be offered for consideration to the Festival’s high-profile judging panel. This jury picks winners and commendations from the shortlist. The winning films are announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at the climax of the Festival. Insight’s other awards, independent of the main Festival and assessed at different times in the two-year cycle, such as the Festival Curation Scheme, follow similar procedures but may be judged by a team of Insight associates.


What qualities do Insight Film Festival judges look for in film entries?

Every film that is officially entered into the Insight Film Festival, for any of our awards, is viewed carefully in our selection process. Panels are mindful of the technical quality and aesthetic judgements of each film submitted, taking into account likely production budgets and background (where it is known). Our panels pay particular attention to films that provide and encourage complex insights or reflections on faith.

Do you expect films entered to be about the faith of the filmmaker?

Not necessarily.  Filmmakers may have an opportunity to make a compelling film about a faith that is outside their personal experience, perhaps that of someone they know. Equally, however, it can be valuable when films help people from outside a filmmaker’s faith to gain real insight into his or her view of the world.

Can a sponsored film connected with religion be eligible for entry to the Insight Film Festival?

Yes, such a film is eligible if it fulfils the entry specification for an award. If a third party has paid for your production, or covered your production costs, please state this in your online entry form where relevant.

What do the judges look for in a film?

The judges bring their professional standards to bear when assessing the effectiveness of the movies submitted to the Festival. They look for productions that are produced to high standards and that give new insight or deep reflection into faith.

Do the films have to promote faith? Or be in favour of faith?

No, not necessarily. The Festival does not specify conclusions, only that the films entered into competition contribute materially to understanding of the concept of faith. Filmmakers may present faith in either a sympathetic or a non-sympathetic light.

Is the Insight Film Festival for ‘young’ filmmakers?

We are keen to encourage filmmakers under the age of 35 to enter their work to the Insight Film Festival, to give a platfom to fresh and undiscovered talent. Some of our awards are targeted specifically to people with developing careers in the industry. However, other awards are open to everyone, irrespective of age and experience. We welcome submissions from all filmmakers who are interested in faith as subject material.

Is the Insight Film Festival open to submissions from filmmakers worldwide?

Since 2012 we have received so much global interest that we extended our invitation to filmmakers all over the world to submit their films for the main Insight Film Festival. Our Festivals have become global events – but our organisation has a local root in Manchester, England. Occasionally we run or champion events internationally. We also run the Festival Curation Scheme to give filmmakers everywhere the opportunity for their films to be screened.

Is the Insight Film Festival still evolving?

Yes, absolutely! We welcome feedback comments, suggestions and discussions about partnerships, collaborations and funding with anyone who has an interest in the Insight Film Festival and its focus of ‘faith in film’. For example, we have recently launched out Festival Curation Scheme. Please email us, we would love to hear from you via insightfestival@gmail.com

Can I be sure that my film will be treated fairly when I submit my work to the Insight Film Festival?

The Insight Film Festival is a member of the Universal Film and Festival Organisation and we comply with UFFO’s Code of Practice. We have published a detailed review of how Insight complies with the Code in our blog, which we invite you to read.

How is the Insight Film Festival funded?

The Insight Film Festival relies on grants and generous donations from partners and interested organisations. As with all such funding, we are constantly looking to the future – and seeking those who might want to support us. We’d like to hear from you if you think you can help us: please email insightfestival@gmail.com

How can I join the Insight Film Festival team?

Occasionally we put out a call for volunteers local to our base in Manchester, England, especially when the time for the Insight Film Festival is near. However, Insight is expanded internationally: if you would like to get involved and help us to get established in your country or locality, please contact us at insightfestival@gmail.com.