The Lift-Off Network Season

The Lift-Off Season includes a series of Lift-Off Festivals, Showcases @ Pinewood Studios, workshops & networking events supported by a global members' platform - the Network Members' Hub.
Throughout the year-long celebration of indie film, the Lift-Off Season identifies projects and awards nominations for the Lift-Off Season Awards. The Season's final event held at Pinewood Studios, the Season Awards recognises the best-of-the-best and promotes the filmmaking talent from within the projects.
Previous Season Awards Winners have gone on to win Oscars and acquire global distribution deals. But beyond the headline successes are countless stories of creative development, inspiration and collaborations with a true indie spirit from within the Network.
The Lift-Off Season includes:

The Season Awards

The Lift-Off Season Awards is an annual event celebrating the best of the best from the Lift-Off Season.

Deserving projects pick up a shortlist placement from the various events throughout the Lift-Off Season. The final list of nominations is announced after the season's last event, where they screen online leading up to the Season Award Ceremony.

Screening at Lift-Off's HQ in Pinewood Studios, The Season Award Winners are awarded the coveted Lift-Off Trophy. The event culminates with a screening of the best films in each category and a celebration of all the outstanding creativity from the Network.

Lift-Off Film Festivals

Each festival screens a diverse range of projects and talents during a month-long event comprising online screenings & in-person networking sessions.* During the screenings, the Official Selections are invited to join the Lift-Off Network Hub, to access focus groups and online workshops throughout the event.

All festival screenings are in competition & Lift-Off Season Award Qualifying

Lift-Off's Competition, Awards & Judging Process

Each year, the Lift-Off Global Network of film festivals screen hundreds of incredible films from diverse artists that all deserve praise. Throughout the Lift-Off Season, we aim to discover and publicise the very best from this pool of talent and give those filmmakers the recognition, exposure and support they deserve.

There are two judging rounds before festival winners are awarded. In the first round - the Crowd Round - the judges and the general audience review the films and vote for the four projects they wish to see progress to the second round - The Network Round. After the festival closes, audience votes are combined with the judge's scores and the top-rated films in each programme progress to the Network Round.

Hosted on the Lift-Off Network Hub, the Network Round is an internal screening where Lift-Off Members and the Lift-Off Jury select the winners, award special mentions, and nominate films to promote the Season Awards Shortlist.

Click here to see previous festival winners and special mentions.

Lift-Off Showcases

The Showcases, held at Pinewood Studios, are quarterly events aimed at screening & workshopping indie content from unsung talents and introducing producers to exciting new projects. Film showcases consist of an out-of-competition screening followed by a focus group & feedback session. Screenwriter showcases consist of script readings with professional actors, followed by a focus group centred around the next stages of development.

Whilst the screenings are out-of-competition, deserving projects may be promoted to the shortlist for the Lift-Off Season Awards.

The Mission

Founded in 2011, the Lift-Off Network champions true indie filmmaking. The Lift-Off Network promotes up-and-coming voices and provides a space for collaboration and support towards the next step.

The Network believes that indie film matters, storytelling can change the world & emerging artists need support to develop creatively, foster new connections and reach global audiences.

The Headquarters

Lift-Off Global Network is based at one of the most famous film studios on the planet. Our headquarters at Pinewood Studios in the UK is at the heart of the film industry. This gives us unique access to state-of-the-art technologies, industry stakeholders and a great canteen!

We welcome face-to-face meeting requests from anyone interested in learning about our work. We are an open and energetic team focused on changing the film industry by introducing unique ideas - forging long-lasting relationships with other organisations and the great people we meet along the way.

Lift-Off Session &
First-Time Filmmaker Sessions

Lift-Off Filmmaker Sessions & First-Time Filmmaker Sessions are designed to be the entry into the Lift-Off Global Network. These free-to-submit competitions are held in a monthly online showcase dedicated to screening a collection of globally submitted indie shorts and features (of all genres) from new voices to our global audiences.

Lift-Off Sessions isn't about selecting the best possible shorts or features from the films submitted to us; it is about providing a screening opportunity for everyone. An option we hope highlights and educates every month.

All selections will get an invaluable opportunity to engage with a wide range of contemporaries' work while supporting indie film and its continued success.

The Lift-Off Network Hub

The Network Hub is the virtual home for festivals, workshops and members of the Lift-Off Global Network.

Get free submissions with Network Membership:

⭐ Fee waivers to all Lift-Off Festivals & Showcases (worth $300)
⭐ Apply for representation at international film markets, including Cannes, EFM, and AFM
⭐ Access to international film jobs
⭐ Networking, Workshops & Online Events

Networking-Speed-Date Sessions

Join us at the famous Lift-Off Networking-Speed-Date session, followed by drinks and a party! An exclusive event for Official Selections & Network Members, attendees are invited to pitch their future content or share their previous work with an emphasis on finding collaborative partners to help with the next step. After the presentations, attendees participate in the Network-Speed-Date, where they get a chance to speak with everyone in the room for 1 minute before continuing with deeper conversations in the bar.

* For the 2023 Season, in-person networking events will be held at Berlin, Manchester, New York, Los Angeles & London

Social Media

Be sure to follow us on our social media platforms to stay up-to-date with all news regarding Lift-Off!