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Please read though the FAQs before signing up or sending us questions, we are operating on a skeleton staff (spooky) so may not be able to respond to questions ASAP!

The Challenge

When is the Challenge?

7pm (BST) on Friday 15th September to 7pm (BST) on Sunday 17th September 2023

How do I register for the Challenge?

Via The 2023 Challenge page on our website

When does registration close?

6pm (BST) on Friday the 15th September 2023.

Should I have received a confirmation email when registering?

You will receive an email copy of your Registration form, this can take a couple of minutes to process. If you haven’t received this within an hour, contact us.

Can I use premade puppets?


What kind of puppetry can I use in my film?

Any kind of physical based puppetry. For example hand, rod, Bunraku, stop motion, table top, object manipulation, basically any kind of puppetry you use your hands to directly manipulate. You can have elements of human actors and animation but the bulk of your film must be physical puppets.

Can I submit a stop motion film?


Can I submit a film I have already made?

No. All films submitted must be original and made over the Challenge weekend. Including the ITEM, THEME and ACTION that will be announced at the start of the Challenge. Films that do not meet this criteria will not be included.

I’m not based in Bristol, can I enter?

Yes! We want to see films from near and far!

Are there prizes?

Prizes are to be confirmed. If we raise sufficient funding and sponsorship then we will announce prizes.

Is there an age limit? What are the youth awards?

Anyone one of any age can enter. We have two specific age categories that will highlight youth participation. Under 15s and 16 – 21. Please state in registration if you would like to be considered in one of these categories. At least one individual or member of the team must fall into the age category and play a big part in the filmmaking process.

Will I still be a part of the main Challenge if I enter an age category?

Yes, your film can qualify for more than one category, just select them when submitting on FilmFreeway.

How much does it cost to enter the Challenge?

Will be operating on a ‘Pay What You Can’ Basis. We want everyone to be able to take part in the event and don’t want a registration fee to stop anyone being creative. However if you are able to donate then we suggest a donation of £5 per participant/viewer (donate here), this helps cover the cost of running and organising the festival and will help us make this a permanent yearly event. If you can donate more, great! If you can’t donate that’s absolutely fine! Our goal is to inspire creativity through puppetry and welcome all to join. Check out our donation page on the website for more info.

Do I get extra time for title cards and credits?

No, the film time limit of 3.30 minutes includes allowance for a title card and credits.

When is the film submission deadline?

7pm (BST) Sunday 17th September 2023

I’m not going to get my film in by the deadline! What should I do?

If you are unable to get your film to us by the deadline then unfortunately your film will not be eligible for judging.

I can no longer participate, what do I do?

Nooooooooooo we are sad to see you go but things happen. If you could send us a message with your info saying you need to cancel your place then that would be great.

What format/ratio does my film need to be?

Your film can be either a MOV or MP4 file. The higher quality the better. You can submit your film in any aspect ratio, we will scale it to fit a standard screen. We would prefer it if your ratio is 16:9 or like a standard YouTube video.

The Film Festival Screening & Finale

When is the Online Film Festival Screening and Finale?

Join us on September 23rd and 24th as we show all the entries in the 2023. Timings to be announces after films have been submitted.

Where can I watch the online Film Festival Screening?

On YouTube, follow us on YouTube and social media to stay up to date with Screening announcements.  We will also post details here in due course.

Do I have to pay to watch the Film Festival Screening?

No, but Donations are appreciated! All money raised goes to help keep the Film Challenge accessible to anyone, anywhere.

When/where is the film festival Finale?

The Finale will be shown on YouTube and Live at the Cube in Bristol at 6pm (BST) on the 24th September 2023

Other Questions

How can I support the Challenge?

You can donate to the Challenge! See our Donation page on our website. This will help support the running and organisation of the Challenge making it possible to be a yearly recurring event. Also you can spread the word. If every one can get one more person to participate or watch then the Festival will grow. If you are a company who wishes to work with or support the Challenge then please contact us.

Do I still own the rights to my film if I submit it?

Yes! You do however give the Bristol 48 hour Puppet Film Challenge the right to use your film for the festival and for future promotion and Screenings.

I’m a professional in the puppet industry, is this a Challenge for me?

Absolutely. This is your chance to get your work viewed not only by a panel of industry professionals who will provide feedback and advice on your work, but it also allows you to reach a wider viewing audience. This Challenge is a great chance to practice your skills and create original content in a strict time frame.

I’ve never made a puppet or puppeteered before, is this a Challenge for me?

Yes! There’s no better way to start a new creative challenge than a short time framed challenge. This will give you a good basis to set off on your exploration of puppetry, have fun and get creative. The more challenges you take on the better you get and the more skills you develop. Follow the event on Facebook to see tips and advice from the organisers and feel free to ask us any questions if you get stuck!