Welcome to UpLift Film Festival! Organised by students at the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS) at University of Essex.

The festival screens film work and hosts additional activities that focus on particular themes. In its first edition the festival explores the themes of ‘local community’ and socio-economical struggles’. UpLift aims to:

  • Bring light to social issues such as cost of living crisis, discrimination, community struggle.
  • To bring communities together by showing work from all parts of the world. In other words, to turn the local to global and vice versa.
  • To provide a platform to young creative practitioners who are starting their careers to showcase their work, network with fellow filmmakers, and grow their confidence.
  • To engage with the local community at Essex and provide opportunities of collaboration and growth, being committed to a mission on sustainable future.


The festival spans over two days, and will be hosting:

  • Screening slots of various short films from around the world!
  • A masterclass with director Jane Gull where she will talk about her latest feature film Love Without Walls (2023) and discuss social realist film aesthetics.
  • A discussion with Christian Against Poverty. The charity provides free professional debt help, job clubs, life skills groups and money education in the heart of communities. Their services are delivered face to face through working with local churches, providing practical and emotional support. Christian Against Poverty can help you get out of debt, find a job or gain vital life skills.
  • A workshop with a Colchester based filmmaker who will be discussing social realist filmmaking techniques.
  • A scavenger hunt: keep your eyes peeled for plaque cards around the film festival area that have information on each of the selected films such as director’s background, the film’s themes and context, etc.
  • A networking event for likewise film lovers and industry professionals, followed by a quiz and open mic night.
  • An awards ceremony for the award-winning films followed by an afterparty to bring the festival to a close.


Thursday 4th May and Friday 5th May from 2:30pm-10pm.

Entry is free, but you are required to book online for monitoring purposes here (networking, open mic, awards ceremony and afterparty doesn’t require a ticket).

For more information on campus locations and films to be screened, click here : UPLIFT FILM FESTIVAL 2023


Instagram: @UpLiftFilmFestival (our preferred point of contact)

Facebook: UpLift Film Festival


Click here to download : UpLift poster