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.
Words by Anastasia Charisiou
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.
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.
St Kilda Film Festival
This Melbourne hot-spot features the top 100 films submitted by Australian filmmakers, plus music videos (SoundKILDA), international content and special events.
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.
The Environmental Film Festival Australia (EFFA)
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.
Submissions are now open. Browse, click, submit.
Sydney Indie Film Festival
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.
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.
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.
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.