The Cheltenham International Film Trust is non-profit charity which is responsible for the Festival. The purpose of the Festival is to introduce, attract and boost audience diversity for the best of independent film from around the world; screening films that reflect the times we live in culturally, socially, politically, artistically and giving voice to a new generation of emerging filmmakers.

And, via its charitable aims, the Festival seeks to inspire young people, especially disadvantaged and living in marginalised communities, to engage with the culture of cinema and the art of film making. To this end, the Festival organises Master Classes in the arts & crafts of filmmaking for students of film, as well as members of the public, giving a peek behind the scenes into how the magic of film is created.