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  • Film Festival with Live Screenings
  • Screenplay / Writing Contest
About :

Proudly presented and produced by the City of Port Phillip, the St Kilda Film Festival supports the Australian film industry by showcasing its best short films. These films, made by emerging and accomplished industry professionals, are in with a chance to share in a massive prize pool; and as an Academy Awards qualifying event, award-winning films from the Festival are also eligible for consideration in the Short Film Awards and Documentary Short sections of the Oscars®.

St Kilda Film Festival provides the most comprehensive survey of the national short film industry, screening the top short film entries alongside a rich program of special events, international screenings and a free filmmaker development program.

A message from Festival Director, Richard Sowada:
The St Kilda Film Festival is Australia’s longest-running short film festival and represents a key annual event on the national screen culture calendar. And in 2024, we turn 40!

Each year, the Festival receives hundreds of entries from around the country, and it’s this diversity that makes the St Kilda Film Festival one of the most dynamic and vital celebrations of the short form in Australia.

Since 2020, the St Kilda Film Festival has reached audiences of more than 80,000 in its online and physical formats. The event features screenings and live performances in cinemas and bars; creative collaborations; moving image art exhibitions; games platforms; and professional development opportunities right across the creative suburbs of St Kilda and South Melbourne. For our 40th birthday, there'll also be a sack full of surprises and we'd love to see your films in the mix.

Your film will be assessed by a panel of SKFF alumni, and a jury of industry experts, so even though we may not meet in the flesh, your film will forge connections with filmmakers and industry professionals in ways you may not think.

We look forward to seeing your inspired creations.

Awards & Prizes:

The Short Film Competition has a huge prize pool of cash and in-kind craft awards, including a $10,000 prize for Best Short Film. Other awards include Best Director, Best Achievement in Screenplay, Best Documentary and Best Achievement in Cinematography.

Rules & Terms:

St Kilda Film Festival Terms and Conditions

1. The St Kilda Film Festival short film competition only accepts Australian-made short film entries.
The Festival also accepts Australian co-productions where:
- a significant proportion of key crew are Australian, OR
- significant pre and postproduction occurred in Australia, OR
- the film received significant funding from Australia

Australian co-production eligibility details must be detailed at the time of submission and the Festival has final decisions on eligibility. If you are unsure of eligibility, please contact the Festival office at [email protected]

St Kilda Film Festival accepts all fiction and non-fiction film genres.
Films submitted must be no longer than 40 minutes, inclusive of credits.
The submitter grants St Kilda Film Festival the rights to:

(a) Screen to a physical audience in a programmed session (dependent on public health restrictions). Screening locations are to be determined but are likely to include both traditional and non-traditional screening venues. The 2024 St Kilda Film Festival will continue to be a hybrid event with some special programs outside of those selected in this process being screened online.

(b) Utilise a portion of the entered film for promotional purposes such as the festival trailer.

(c) For selected films, exhibit the film for an extended period (the week following Closing Night) available for streaming in the Encore Showcase, which may be paywalled. Selected films will be screened at the Victorian Regional Tour that follows the festival.

Please note: all of the above opportunities may not apply / are not guaranteed to all selected films.

2. The Producer (submitting filmmaker) warrants to the St Kilda Film Festival that they have obtained all the necessary permissions to enter this film and that the film does not infringe the rights, including copyright, of any third party. This includes use of music and literary material.

3. All films screened at 2024 St Kilda Film Festival Top Short Competition must have been completed within 2 years of the entry closing date.

4. Entries cannot be withdrawn after Friday 1 March 2024. By submitting your film to the St Kilda Film Festival for consideration, you acknowledge this condition of entry and waive your right to withdraw your film from the Festival after this date.

5. If your film is selected for the Festival, you will be sent an email confirmation by Monday 25 March 2024.

6. The Festival strongly requests that selected films are removed from public viewing on other platforms and do not appear at other public screenings for the duration of the Festival campaign. This does not apply to existing agreements to other Festivals or with streaming platforms.

7. The St Kilda Film Festival has a commitment to ensuring equitable participation and inclusion. The Festival offers film submission waivers for films where the Director and/or Producer identify as being:
• First Peoples
• A person with disability
If this applies to your submission please email [email protected] to receive your waiver code prior to completing your submission.

8. Selected films will be required to provide sidecar closed caption files (usually .srt files) along with their film prior to screening. (Filmmakers can generate these files automatically via Adobe Premiere Pro Speech to Text or Vimeo).

9. The festival also requires that if selected, films should be supplied as hi-quality digital file (Pro-res or similar quality). If selected, the Festival may ask for a copy of the submitted film in other formats as well (such as DCP) depending on the film's screening location.

10. All submitted films will be assessed by an independent panel of industry professionals, including alumni from previous iterations of the Festival and the Festival Director. This panel will shortlist the Top Short Films, which will be screened at the 2024 St Kilda Film Festival.

11. If Shortlisted, award-eligible films will be judged, nominated, and awarded by a jury of three screen industry professionals independent of the Festival (the Festival Director is not included on the jury). Nominations will be publicly announced during the Festival, and Award Winners will be announced on Closing Night.

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