Who We Are


Film is a unique medium, and the New Renaissance Film Festival’s mission is to support and champion the best upcoming artists, filmmakers and screenwriters in this new era, to fulfill their dream in telling their stories. We’re not interested in current fashions or politically-motivated content, but seek out artistically-driven stories that are imaginative, emotional and positive. Our passion is to tell great stories.

We achieve this by:

1. actively finding new gems and discovering excellent stories that move us, challenge us and above all inspire us;
2. promoting talented filmmakers and screenwriters on our social media, with initiatives such as Film of the Week, interviews, and interviews during our festivals in London and Amsterdam;
3. being open to experimentation, a diversity of artistic voices and storytelling styles; and
4. attracting partners who are passionate about independent film and can help us to nurture the artists we showcase.

We focus on the ARTIST, on the STORY and on building an international COMMUNITY of inspiring artists and storytellers.


NRFF was featured recently in the London METRO’s list of TOP UK FILM FESTIVALS among some very distinguished company, including Raindance and Aesthetica. Our small and friendly arthouse festival has premiered and screened films that went on to win an Oscar, or received a major distribution deal.

Since September 2016, we have been ranked in the top 100 best reviewed film festivals on Film Freeway. This platform serves more than 8,000 film festivals around the world. What makes this special is that the ranking is determined by reviews from the filmmakers and screenwriters who have participated in our festival. Despite our size, there are each year many gems to be found among the many short and feature films. Many filmmakers and actors are traditionally present and a lot of networking takes place.

The spacious John Lyons Theatre, City Lit, in Covent Garden, will be the home of the New Renaissance Film Festival (NRFF) for its fifth edition in mid-September 2020.


The festival is organized by JAN HENDRIK VERSTRATEN and MASSIMO BARBATO who are themselves filmmakers and writers. They believe at the heart of every great film is a great story, one that will inspire an audience and hopefully help to shape culture in a positive way.

NRFF London has several categories for UK and International filmmakers and screenwriters. We will screen around 120 inspiring features, narrative shorts, documentaries, animations and music videos over the course of the festival, finishing with a fun AWARDS CEREMONY. Running alongside the festival is a SCREENWRITING COMPETITION and a series of MASTERCLASSES by film industry experts and other networking opportunities.

It is our passion to not only provide a stage for our filmmakers but also to strengthen the film community by building an engaged audience through social media. Each year we encourage artists to meet and forge new connections at our festival. Many new collaborations have resulted.


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Submissions are via Film Freeway. Please read our guidelines (see below) and competition terms before doing so. The festival will take place in mid-September 2020, and all contestants will be notified at least 6 weeks prior to the event.

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When and where does the NRFF take place?

The New Renaissance Film Festival takes place in London, England in August. A festival programme will be announced nearer the time, including venue details.

How can I submit?

You can submit your film ONLINE through FilmFreeway. FilmFreeway.com is a safe, one-stop shop for submitting to film festivals, and it’s free to join.  Your work is only accessible to festivals that you submit to and can never be downloaded or shared without your permission. You always retain 100% of all rights to your intellectual property, and receive real-time submission status updates directly from the festivals you’ve entered.

Can I submit in any other way?

At the moment FilmFreeway is our major platform but we are considering new partners which may be added in the future.

What happens once I’ve submitted my film or my screenplay?

Once we have your information from FilmFreeway, your fee and your link to your online screener or your screenplay document, we will start the judging process. Please be patient – in most cases you won’t hear from us until after the very final deadline has passed. We will get back to all submitters as soon as possible.

How do you decide which films to show or which screenplays to award?

We will not simply select those films or writing that already have won an award. We hope to find new gems and discover excellent stories that move us, challenge us and above all inspire us. We realise this to be highly subjective, but we will definitely try to be open to a diversity of different voices and points of view.

After the judging process is complete, can I get any feedback?

The judges unfortunately cannot offer any feedback on unsuccessful entries.

Are there any age restrictions on submitting to the festival?

There are no age restrictions for submitting to the festival so everyone is welcome to enter. Work can therefore be entered on behalf of someone who is under 18 and it is your judgement call as to whether you think the work is suitable.

Can I alter my entry once it has been submitted?

No alterations can be made to submissions once they have been received.

Can I enter more than one film or one screenplay?

You may enter as many films as you like. You must purchase a separate entry fee for each film you submit, and you must also complete the online entry form separately for each film.

Is entry to the festival open to international entrants?

The festival is open to international submissions. We welcome submissions from all over the world and look forward to seeing a huge variety of entries.

Do you ever consider waiving fees?

Unfortunately we cannot offer any discounts or waive the submission fee. We will not review your work without it. We will not make any exceptions. All indie filmmakers struggle financially but if we waived the fee for every filmmaker who asked then we wouldn’t be able to provide this festival platform.

Do I need music/sound rights for my submission?

Yes. You are fully responsible for the clearance of all music or sound contained in your entry. You may be required to produce documentation at anytime. Find out more at:

BBC Film Network

The American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers

Does my film have to have been produced this year?

We accept submissions of films produced in any year, but we will give preferred consideration to films produced after 1 August 2018.

Can I submit work which has been previously screened elsewhere?

Yes, entries can be sent which have previously been screened elsewhere, including films that have screened online, but please include information on previous screenings with your submission.

My film is not in English, do I have to provide English subtitles?

All dialogue in the film is required to either be dubbed in to English, or provide English subtitles. The only exception is with song lyrics, which do not have to be translated.

Does my film have to be a premiere?

No. But let us know if it is, as we can use this to promote the film if selected.

My film is online, will you still screen it?

We prefer it not to be online, but may still select it if we really like it.

Will New Renaissance Film Festival pay for me and/or my crew to come to the festival?

Sadly we can’t afford to fly filmmakers or screenwriters over for the festival.

Will you pay for my accommodation if I attend the festival?

No, we can’t afford to put you up either. We can advise you on accommodation though, if you wish. We are currently seeking for sponsorship to develop our hospitality budget.


Last update 4 September 2019


We are the New Renaissance Film Festival London and this privacy policy provides information as to when and why we have or will collect personal data from you, and how we store and use it securely, in accordance with the GDPR


We collect(ed) your email information when you submit(ed) a film or a script to us; sign(ed) up for our newsletter; or buy/bought tickets for any of our screenings.


We collect(ed) information that was necessary to contact you with results of your submissions; or to inform you of our upcoming festival deadlines and programmes; or to confirm your bookings for screenings. The information in our database is limited to emails.


We use the information we hold about you for a number of purposes including to provide information you have asked for, to provide a service you have requested from us, to request additional information from you and to inform you of special offers and screening opportunities.

We keep your personal information as long as is necessary for the purposes set out above or until you unsubscribe. In any newsletter or mail out you will always be offered the opportunity to unsubscribe.


The New Renaissance Film Festival will not and has never shared, sold or otherwise make available your personal information to third parties.


You have certain rights under data protection laws in relation to the personal information we hold and are using. To exercise your rights, please use the contact details provided under the ‘Contact Us about your personal information’ section below.

Your rights include asking for a copy of the information we hold about you, having any inaccurate information we hold about you corrected, or to request that we stop emailing you. (The option to unsubscribe will always be evident on our mail-outs).


The New Renaissance Film Festival is committed to keeping your data secure. We use a variety of procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorised access and use.


We will keep this data protection notice under review and will let you know about any changes made to it by email. The latest version of this notice will always appear on this page.


If you would like more information or would like to raise any queries, exercise your rights or make a complaint in relation to our use of your email address, you may contact us directly.