ESI Film Festival Lisbon to feature €6,000 prize pool, ESG Gaming partnership renewed

ESI Lisbon Film Festival prize pool and ESG sponsor announcement

Esports Insider’s events arm ESI Events has announced the return of responsible gaming non-profit ESG Gaming as the official not-for-profit partner for the ESI Film Festival Lisbon.

The event will, which returns on September 24th as part of ESI Lisbon, will feature a €6,000 (£5,000) cash prize pool, courtesy of ESG Gaming.

ESI Lisbon 2024

ESG Gaming is a non-profit committed to using gaming and emerging technology to achieve a positive social impact. It marks the continuation of ESG’s support for the event following the inaugural ESI Film Festival, which took place in 2023 at prestigious venue BAFTA 195 Piccadilly in London.

The ESI Film Festival is a short film competition dedicated to shining a light on the stories of those behind the screen, highlighting the role gaming and esports can play in improving people’s lives. It offers filmmakers a platform to bring attention to some of the many stories that warrant telling in and around the gaming and esports communities.

Submissions for the ESI Film Festival are free, open to the public and can come from individuals, groups, companies or institutions. Entries are judged by a jury of industry experts based on the film’s originality, creativity, cinematography, plot, messaging and other criteria. The deadline for submissions is July 17th. A full breakdown of submission information and rules can be found here. To submit a short film for the ESI Film Festival, applicants can use the form here.

The ESI Film Festival’s return in 2024 sees the introduction of a Best Student Film category, alongside the main award for Best Film. The festival will see the winning short films played to a live audience from in and around the video games, esports and film industries, alongside talks, drinks and food.

The festival will take place on September 24th during ESI Lisbon, ESI Events’ flagship B2B industry festival that will bring together leaders from the esports, video game and creator economy industries. ESI Lisbon 2024 takes place across September 23rd-25th.

ESI Film Festival 2023 crowd shot
Crowd watches a short film at the ESI Film Festival London in 2023. Image credit: Esports Insider

Sam Cooke, Managing Director and co-founder at ESI, commented: “We were pretty blown away by the submissions we had in our first edition in London last year, and the coverage in Forbes was a testament to the calibre of the debut show, the idea behind it and of course the entries. With the winner ‘Emzii: It’s For Everyone’ telling a powerful story and so many other great and similarly powerful entries alongside, we’re excited to see what 2024 brings, especially with the addition of a student category.”

“We’re also proud to have ESG’s backing and support once more, so thank you to Lee Willows as this enables us to offer a top prize pool for a film festival that’s fully accessible and free to enter.”

Lee Willows, Founder of ESG Gaming, said: “An important part of our social purpose at ESG Gaming is to donate a percentage of our surplus annually to grassroots, community-led esports organisations and creatives in our space. It is a real pleasure for us to not only fund the Film Festival but also offer a prize fund. I, alongside the other judges, were not only moved by the quality of the films for last year’s event but also by the way in which the creations brought their lived experiences to life. 

“Emma Rose, last year’s winner, is continuing to gain recognition for her work, which I think is hugely inspiring and so pleasing to see. I am looking forward to seeing what the Class of 24 bring to this year’s Festival and am very much humbled that we are able to contribute alongside the other judges and work in collaboration with Esports Insider to support not only the Festival but also ESI Lisbon as the not-for-profit partner.”

In September ESI Lisbon, ESI Events’ most ambitious event to date, is expecting to welcome 1,000+ attendees from a diverse range of companies across the esports industry, the wider video game industry and the gaming creator economy sector. Alongside the ESI Film Festival, ESI Lisbon will also see the return of creator economy, gaming and esports start-up pitch competition The Clutch and the debut Esports Leaders, an exclusive invite-only event designed specifically for esports’ most senior decision-makers.

Esports Insider