Entries are now open for the 71st Sydney Film Festival in 2024, in cinemas from 5—16 June. Showcasing an array of diverse stories, the festival continues its tradition of premiering a rich blend of features, documentaries, and short films at venues throughout Sydney. This year, filmmakers have the opportunity to vie for a staggering prize pool of $155,000 spread across various award categories.
“Every edition of the Sydney Film Festival renews our commitment to cinema and its creators,” said Festival Director Nashen Moodley. “This year, with a $155,000 prize pool up for grabs, including the return of the world’s largest environmental film prize, we not only celebrate our long-standing legacy but also offer a substantial platform to upcoming and established filmmakers. The world of cinema is vast, and at Sydney Film Festival, we endeavour to capture its every nuance.”
Submissions for the Festival are being accepted through Film Freeway and will close on 01 March 2024 for international and Australian productions, the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films, and the Documentary Australia Award.
The 2024 season will celebrate the 55th year of the Festival’s Australian short film competition, making it the oldest short film competition in Australia. Since 1970, the competition has served as a launch pad for emerging Australian film talent, spring-boarding countless directors, producers and actors towards international success.
The winners of the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films and the Documentary Australia Award are Academy Award eligible, as these competitions are officially recognised as qualifying awards by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Entries are open to features, documentaries and short films in all categories of the Festival program, including for:
Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films, prizes include;
The Dendy Live Action Short Award for best Australian short film ($7,000) and the
Rouben Mamoulian Award for best Australian short film director ($7,000), both sponsored by Dendy Cinemas, who have supported the Awards for 36 years.
The Yoram Gross Animation Award for best Australian animated short film ($7,000), supported by Sandra and Guy Gross in memory of the Australian animation producer and director Yoram Gross.
The AFTRS Craft Award for demonstrated excellence by a craft practitioner in an Australian short film ($7,000), sponsored by AFTRS.
The Event Cinemas Rising Talent Award recognising an emerging short filmmaker who has had no more than five short film credits ($7,000). This award is sponsored by Event Cinemas and open to film creatives, directors and screenwriters.
FLUX: Art+Film International Shorts under 15 minutes in length
Freak Me Out International Shorts under 15 minutes in length
Family International Shorts under 15 minutes in length
Features (40 mins+):
Australian Features (Fiction)
International Features (Fiction and Documentary)
Documentary Australia Award acknowledging excellence in Australian documentary production of any length ($20,000), supported by Documentary Australia for 11 years running.
Sustainable Future Award for a narrative or documentary film of any length that deepens our knowledge and awareness of the impact of the global climate emergency ($40,000), made possible by a syndicate of passionate climate activists led by award sponsor, Amanda Maple-Brown.
Screenability Program. Welcoming entries of any length to the festival’s Screenability program from filmmakers living with disability.
First Nations Program. Encouraging submissions (features, documentaries and shorts) to the festival from First Nations filmmakers from Australia and around the world.
All feature length films selected for the Festival are considered for inclusion in the Official Competition and compete for the Sydney Film Prize ($60,000).
The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films and the Documentary Australia Award for Best Australian Documentary competition are open exclusively to Australian productions.
Before entering, Festival organisers urge all entrants to review the submission requirements closely, to ensure all entries meet premiere status and broader eligibility requirements. A small fee applies for all programs and awards, except for Screenability and First Nations which have their fee waived.
Head to https://www.sff.org.au/info/submissions/ or full eligibility criteria and submission details.
The closing date for all entries is 01 March 2024.