Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully we have covered most of your questions below. Some of the answers will only be relevant to either Film or Flash Fiction challenges.

Q: I don’t live in the UK, can I still take part?

A: Yes, no problem.  Location is not an issue for taking part, we have many people enter from outside the UK.   The only thing to consider is the award ceremony and possible prizes that involve local attendance.   We do not have budget for travel and accommodation and cannot invite you to attend unless you are in London.    So, if you win or are shortlisted we will accept any prizes on your behalf and post where applicable.   Of course, if you get here under your own steam you will be very welcome to the events.   Also note that the challenge is run using UK time, so 11am an 1pm in England!


Q: I am under 18 can I enter the challenges?

A: Yes, we just ask that a parent or guardian accept responsibility for you and agree to the challenge rules.

Please ask your parent to add the following text to your submission ‘I give my permission for [insert name] to enter the SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr challenge. Signed [insert name].


Q: Can I use stock footage in my film?

A: Yes, we will accept films with some stock footage.  Make sure you have cleared the copyright for anything you use.  Howver, please bear in mind that we are unlikely to shortlist a film that consists of mostly stock material.  The challenge is to write and shoot the film from scratch in the 48hours.


Q: What about music in my film?

A: You can use music that is cleared for use in your film and the further uses of the finished piece.  We will aim to put the film in festivals, broadcast it, put online and who knows what else.  If you don’t hold the complete rights for the music, don’t use it.


Q: I’ve registered on the site, but can’t see my challenge details

A: As well as creating an account, you must also register for a challenge. register for a challenge. Once registered, check your account page for confirmation of the entry.


Q: I’ve submitted online, but have not had a confirmation email

A: It takes time for us to collect the data and confirm receipt, if you’ve submitted your film or story online, check your account page for confirmation that your submission has been accepted.


Q: Can I sell, publish or develop my film or story after submitting to the challenge?

A: Yes.  It’s yours and you own own it, so exploit away!   However, please remember by taking part you grant us an in-perpetuity, world-wide, royalty free, non-exclusive licence to promote, publish, sample and sub-licence the work.   We will never charge any money for the story or film, but we will offer it free to anyone who wants to show it.   The intellectual property in the work is yours and we do not make any claim on this, so we wont take the world or characters you develop without permission.


Q: I would like to submit my film to another festival, can I?

A: See above…   it’s yours so do what you like.  One thing though, why not tell us what is happening so we can help promote it!


Q: Can I publish my short story elsewhere?

A: Yes.  By submitting you give us rights to publish the story, but it is still yours and you can do what you like with it.


Q: Can you keep my story or film offline?

A: No. If you think you have a masterpiece, or a load of rubbish (never!) then don’t send it in.  We want to show the world all the entries we receive and will put them online and share with our partners to publish.  If you don’t want it live, don’t submit it!


Q: Can I use a pen name or similar?

A: Yes. Well sort of.  We need you to use your real name and contacts when registering, so we know who you are.  For the Flash Fiction challenge, you can have it published under a pen name, but we will always refer to you by that – though we are not sure why you would, surely entering and maybe winning would be a good thing and using your real name is best in our opinion.  Also, think about the publicity should you win – we may want to get photos, shout loud and tell the world that you did this.  Gets messy if we can’t tell people who you are.  For the Film Challenge – similar thoughts, though less critical as we use the Team Name throughout – so pick a good one 🙂


Q: Do all members of my team need to register?

A: No.  We just need a primary contact for your team.  We use this for all notifications, like ‘you won’ etc… so make sure we have a current email and phone number!  One suggestion though, get all members of your team to agree with you to take part, a simple letter of intent clearing their work or performance or whatever they contributed – if it gets big and viral, don’t want a prima donna trying to restrict the film.


Q: Why do you need a phone number?

A: Because email can be unreliable.  If you are shortlisted or we have some cool news about your film, we’ll be all excited and want to contact you ASAP.  We often try phone because it’s quicker.  A land line is fine if you don’t have or want to use a mobile.  We don’t sell it on or call you for any other reason.


Q: Does everyone get the same film or story TITLE?

A:  No.  We generate hundreds of titles and these are given out randomly to each entrant.   We did toy with the idea of using the same title, but couldn’t stand the idea of reading or watching a hundred versions of the same thing… maybe one day we will try this format – but for now, you get a random title unique to you!