The search for the country’s best short film is underway with today’s official launch of The Best Australian Short Film Competition.

PerthNow, in partnership with SAE Creative Media Institute, is inviting both emerging and established filmmakers nationwide to submit their original short films for the chance to share in a $75,500 prize pool, currently the richest in the country.

As well as an incredible cash first prize of $30,000, the competition provides scholarship opportunities and invaluable exposure, with selected films screened on PerthNow, Western Australia’s #1 news and entertainment website.

This exciting initiative is proudly supported by Seven Perth, Screenwest and The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

West Australian Newspapers Editor in Chief, Anthony De Ceglie, said: “This competition is more than a chance to win substantial cash prizes; it’s an opportunity for filmmakers to share their stories with a wider audience, to celebrate the power of storytelling through the art of short films, and to serve as a stepping-stone for emerging talents.

“We are excited to witness the creative brilliance that will shine through this competition and are proud to be part of an initiative that supports and uplifts our local film industry.”

SAE General Manager, Dr Luke McMillan, said: “SAE is thrilled to be supporting up-and-coming filmmakers by partnering with The Best Australian Short Film Competition, where we are offering a $10,000 scholarship for a Bachelor’s degree in animation or film.

“In recent times, we’ve witnessed remarkable growth within the Australian film sector. As leaders in creative media education, this expansion has opened doors for our students to craft compelling content that sparks profound discussions and paves the way for successful careers in the industry.”

Screenwest Chief Executive Officer, Rikki Lea Bestall, said: “Short films have the ability to serve as incredible calling cards, provide skills development opportunities and tell imaginative, powerful stories.

“We look forward to seeing the competition’s judging panel uncover more filmmaking talent – it’s an exciting time for our local sector.”

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Director General, Lanie Chopping, said: “This is such an exciting chance for filmmakers to have their creation recognised and seen by the industry and the Australian public!

“Our department is proud to be supporting this competition through presenting the West Australian Short Film Prize category. I know the calibre of talent we have locally and we are committed to the growth of our screen industry, which is being increasingly acknowledged nationally, attracting talent and productions to our state.

“I encourage all experienced and budding short filmmakers to grab this chance to wow audiences nationwide by telling their story through this exciting opportunity.”

The Best Australian Short Film Competition accepts Australian-made short film entries across all fiction and non-fiction film genres, produced from 1 July 2022. Films submitted must be no longer than 10 minutes, inclusive of credits.

Entries close January 22, 2024.

Competition submissions will be assessed by a panel, then the shortlisted films will be judged by a Grand Prize Jury which includes Gold Logie nominee and AACTA and Helpmann award-winning actor, Mark Coles Smith; award winning director, writer and producer, Nel Minchin; internationally renowned filmmaker, Zak Hilditch; and award-winning playwright and Home and Away star, Kirsty Marillier.

The total prize pool of $75,500 is split across these categories:

· The Best Australian Short Film Prize – $30,000
· Next Gen Youth Prize – $5,000
· Best Animation Prize – $5,000
· Future of Film Innovation Prize – $5,000
· Peoples’ Choice Prize – $5000
· The West Australian Short Film Prize – $10,000 (Presented by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.)
· WA First Nations Filmmaker Prize – $7,500 (Presented by Screenwest)
· SAE Emerging Talent Prize – $10,000 partial scholarships towards a Bachelor in Animation or Film at SAE

Submissions for The Best Australian Short Film Competition are now welcome. For terms and conditions, please go to

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