Australia’s best film festivals for emerging filmmakers

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We collated a list of Australia’s top independent film festivals for emerging filmmakers, so you can spend your time defining cinema, instead of avoiding it altogether.

Film festivals are an incredible way to gain exposure for your work, but it can be a time-consuming process working out which festival is best suited to your work.

Pacífico FilmPacífico Film

As we prepare to submit Pacifico film (a documentary film made by the Gobe founders about a two-year journey through South America) to festivals, we wanted to share the load.

Finding the courage to take an idea to a mass market has never been more trying. While it’s impossible to eliminate the competitive nature of the industry, it’s important to put yourself and your work out there and seize the opportunities at hand. Here are a few of the best, but once you get started, keep searching for more chances to share your work.

The Hunted. St Kilda Film Festival, Australia's Top Short Films 2019

St Kilda Film Festival

  • What

    This Melbourne hot-spot features the top 100 films submitted by Australian filmmakers, plus music videos (SoundKILDA), international content and special events.

  • Where

    stkildafilmfestival.com.au

  • Why

    It’s now an Academy Awards qualifying event, which means prize winners are eligible to be considered for the Academy Awards for short films, animations and documentaries.

Anote's Ark. EFFA 2018

The Environmental Film Festival Australia (EFFA)

  • What

    Running for nine years and only getting bigger every time EFFA is Australia’s only international film festival dedicated to screening films with a focus on environmentalism. Whether you’re a local filmmaker finishing your first short film, or an international producer planning your annual film festival circuit, EFFA provides a unique platform for filmmakers with a shared hope: the power of creativity to deliver positive social change.

  • Where

    effa.org.au

  • Why

    Submissions are now open. Browse, click, submit.

Skin FilmSkin. Sydney Indie Film Festival – Official Selection 2018

Sydney Indie Film Festival

  • What

    The Sydney Indie Film Festival began in 2015, with a simple goal: to showcase both local and international, new and creative works by emerging and established artists. The intimate nature of such a festival, enables it to be flexible with its showcase; screening all genres of so opportunity abounds for all sorts of filmmakers.

  • Where

    sydneyindiefilmfestival.com

  • Why

    The nature of an indie film festival brings with it an open and supportive cohort of creative folk who, like you, may be submitting a piece of work for the first time. It’s a great way to meet your peers, network and dip your toes in the water.

Be You T. Fool — Winner Best Film Tropfest 2019

Tropfest

  • What

    Chances are we don’t need to tell you about this one. Since 1993, Tropfest has successfully provided a platform for filmmakers to generate new content and share their stories, covering a range of genres.

  • Where

    tropfest.org.au

  • Why

    Each year the festival delivers a raft of programs that encourage emerging talent to participate in the film industry and has helped launch some of Australia’s most notable film and TV careers.

Armed with this list we encourage you to be brave and submit your films to festivals. Start putting yourself and your work out theren and remember that the path to success is a ticker tape parade of torn up rejections. Once you’ve submitted to these film festivals, keep your momentum going and search for more that specifically relate to your film. Good luck.

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Anastasia Charisiou

Anna is a writer, producer and creative from Melbourne. She likes her coffee black and her brain full of useless facts. She also likes to write words for brands she likes and people she loves.