Adelaide Film Festival is proud to recognise excellence in screen storytelling with a host of regarded awards.

Our three prestigious juried awards (Best International Feature Fiction, Best International Documentary and Best International Virtual Reality) honour the best in show films each festival – boasting a combined prize pool of $30,000 cash – along with our audience awards, the Don Dunstan Award and the INSITE Award for screenwriting.


The 2017 Best International Feature Award went to I Am Not A Witch; the exciting feature debut of Zambia-born Welsh director Rungano Nyoni. We’re proud to say ADL Film Fest was the first Australian film festival to create a juried prize for best feature film.

ADL Film Fest is delighted to welcome University of South Australia School of Creative Industries to award the winning director $20,000 in recognition of their creative achievement. Our all-star jury values idiosyncratic voices, bold storytelling, creative risk-taking and overall fabulous films.

The films in competition in 2018 are:

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, dir. Joel and Ethan Coen (United States, 2018)
  • Beautiful Boy, dir. Felix Van Groeningen (United States, 2018)
  • Burning, dir. Lee Chang-dong (South Korea, 2018)
  • Celeste, dir. Ben Hackworth (Australia, 2018)
  • Capharnaüm, dir. Nadine Labaki (United States, Lebanon, France, 2018)
  • Emu Runner, dir. Imogen Thomas (Australia, 2018)
  • Girl, dir. Lukas Dhont (Belgium, 2018)
  • Memories of My Body, dir. Garin Nugroho (Indonesia, 2018)
  • ROMA, dir. Alfonso Cuarón (Mexico, 2018)
  • The Seen and Unseen, dir. Kamila Andini (Australia, Indonesia, Netherlands, Qatar, 2018)

Previous winners of this prestigious award were:

  • I Am Not A Witch, dir: Rungano Nyoni (France, United Kingdom, 2017)
  • Neon Bull, dir: Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil, 2015)
  • Jîn, dir: Reha Erdem (Turkey, 2013)
  • Incendies, dir: Denis Villeneuve (Canada/France, 2011)
  • Treeless Mountain, dir: So-yong Kim (USA/South Korea, 2009)
  • Still Life, dir: Jia Zhangke (China, 2006)

Paolo BertolinScott Hicks and Sarah Perks comprises the Documentary Jury in 2018. In 2017, the International Feature Jury included Marten Rabarts, João Pedro Rodrigues, Leena Alam, Catherine Fitzgerald and Miranda Dear.

Past juries have featured distinguished Head of the Film Office, Christian Jeune of Cannes Film Festival notable writer Lawrence WeschlerPierre Rissient, Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. CoetzeeNoah CowanNaomi Kawase and Australian legend producer Al Clark.



The Flinders University International Documentary Award celebrates distinctive factual filmmaking.

ADL Film Fest is delighted that our long-term partner Flinders University acknowledges excellence in documentary making with a prize of $10,000 for the director of the winning film.

The films in competition in 2018 are:

    • América, dir. Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside (United States, 2018)
    • Chris the Swiss, dir. Anja Kofmel (Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, 2018)
    • The Cleaners, dir. Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck (United States, Netherlands, Brazil, Germany, Italy, 2018)
    • Ex Shaman (Ex-Pajé), dir. Luiz Bolognesi (Brazil, 2018)
    • The Eyes of Orson Welles, dir. Mark Cousins (United Kingdom, 2018)
    • Generation Wealth, dir. Lauren Greenfield (United States, 2018)
    • Happy Sad Man, dir. Genevieve Bailey (Australia, 2018)
    • Putin’s Witnesses, dir. Vitaly Mansky (Czech Republic, Latvia, Switzerland, 2018)
    • Island of the Hungry Ghosts, dir. Gabrielle Brady (Australia, Untited Kingdom, Germany, 2018)
    • Walden, dir. Daniel Zimmerman (Austria, Switzerland, 2018)

Previous winners of this prestigious award were:

  • Taste of Cement, dir: Ziad Kalthoum (Germany, Syria Qatar, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, 2017)
  • Speed Sisters, dir: Amber Fares (USA/Palestine, 2015)
  • Blush of Fruit, dir: Jakeb Anhvu (Australia/Vietnam, 2013)

Larissa Behrendt, Tania Nehme and Madeleine Parry comprises the Documentary Jury in 2018, following on from Molly ReynoldsHania Mroué and Eva Orner in 2017.



We are delighted to be working with AFTRS (Australian Film, Television and Radio School) on the award for this platform and that you have the chance to experience the wonder of virtual reality from all over the world.

The films in competition in 2018 are:

  • Borderline, dir. Assaf Machnes (Israel, 2018)
  • Carriberrie, dir. Dominic Allen (Australia, 2018)
  • Dinner Party, dir. Angel Manuel Soto (United States, 2017)
  • Kobold, dir. Max Sacker (Germany, 2018)
  • Parragirls Past, Present, dir. Parragirls Past, Present Team (Australia, 2017)
  • Rooms, dir. Christian Zipfel (Germany, 2018)
  • The Real Thing, dir. Benoit Felici (France, 2018)
  • The Unknown Patient, dir. Michael Beets (Australia, 2018)
  • The Whale, dir. Jung Woo Park (South Korea, 2018)
  • Your Spiritual Temple Sucks, dir. John Hsu (Taiwan, 2017)

Sue Austin, Kim Batterham and Mathew Tizard comprises the Documentary Jury in 2018.

Congratulations to Michelle & Uri Kranot’s Nothing Happens (Denmark, France) which won the AFTRS International VR Award in 2017.

A special mention went to Selly Raby Kane’s homage to Senegalese mythology, The Other Dakar (Senegal).

Rachel Landers, Head of Documentary at AFTRS said This year’s VR line-up in competition at Adelaide Film Festival is storytelling at it’s vibrant best – beautiful, curious and rich with infinite possibilities. I travelled to the future, changed sex and species, was trapped in an unnerving icy European landscape, sat at the feet of African muses, swam underwater with prehistoric beasts and got eaten by zombies. I also acquired a large number of very cool dance partners… some non-human. Basically awesome!”

Jury member, Google Creative Technologist Mathew Tizard said “Nothing Happens was the unanimous choice of the jurors. It’s beautifully made and shows just what can be accomplished with VR storytelling when you play to its strengths. The narrative is compelling, shifting between three viewpoints within the same scenario. The piece raises pertinent questions about observation and embodiment which are central to furthering the conversation about VR as a narrative medium. It’s a pleasure to see older animation techniques combined with the new elements that VR can offer, such as head tracking and spatial sound, both of which intensify the viewer’s sense of immersion.

AFTRS logo


The Audience Awards are voted by the audience following each screening in the festival.

We are delighted to announce the (formerly) 2017 GU Film House Audience Award winners:

  • Best Feature Film went to Warwick Thornton’s frontier western Sweet Country,
  • Best Documentary was awarded to Axel Grigor’s entertaining portrait of Australian film editing legend Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible, and
  • Best Short Film went to Back to Back Theatre’s HIVE project film Oddlands, directed by Bruce Gladwin.