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.



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 2018 University of South Australia Feature Fiction competition winner is THE SEEN AND UNSEEN, directed by Kamila Andini, supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Indonesia Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

JURY STATEMENT: Paolo Bertolin, Scott Hicks, Sarah Perks

Within the huge diversity of cinematic offerings in the University of South Australia Feature Fiction Competition, from great maestros of cinema through to first time directors, we the Jury decided to follow the spirit of the ADL Film Fest in supporting new talents that challenge viewers outside of their comfort zone.

So we have awarded a filmmaker who invites us on a cinematic journey to a land that is both a geographical location and a space of the mind. A land that is so near and familiar to many, and yet still so unseen in terms of the riches of its culture and traditions. A landscape of feelings and emotions that are deeply human and universal in which the director mesmerizes us with culturally specific performances and mysticism.

The Feature Fiction prize goes to Kamila Andini for THE SEEN AND UNSEEN, Indonesia.


Thank you so much Adelaide Film Festival, the programmers, most of all the juries for this opportunity. This is a small film that started with nothing but passion to tell a relation of my tradition, spirits and art.

There are so many great directors with their films in the Competition who always inspire me as a filmmaker and I would love to take this award as an energy to keep on their journey of telling a story and above all, to create more.

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 2018 Flinders University Feature Documentary competition winner is ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS, directed by Gabrielle Brady.


Thank you so much to the Adelaide Film Festival, Flinders University and the Jury for awarding us the best documentary prize. It is a huge recognition given the incredible range of films screening in competition this year at Adelaide!

Island of the Hungry Ghosts was four years in the making and took a labor of love from everyone involved. We want to extend our congratulations to the whole crew -who brought so much mastery to each of their crafts and roles. To all of our supporters – who kept us afloat in the more difficult moments of the film . In particular I would like to thank my dear friend and collaborator Poh Lin Lee and her family for their immense involvement and opening up their lives up to make this film.

Finally our deepest gratitude to those at the heart of this film – the asylum seekers who offered so much to the project. May we provide you with the safe haven you deserve.

Thank you – I wish we were all there with you tonight! Gabrielle

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

The 2018 AFTRS Virtual Reality competition winner is THE UNKNOWN PATIENT, directed by Michael Beets.

JURY STATEMENT: Sue Austin, Kim Batterham, Mathew Tizard

The Unknown Patient revisits a story from Australian history that explores the nature of memory in ways that only VR can approach. We were impressed by the quality of the storytelling, dynamic rendering and lighting, the feeling of presence, and the use of performance capture – all of which intensify the viewer’s sense of immersion.


It was a pleasure to be back in Adelaide as part of the jury for the AFTRS Virtual Reality Competition. VR is still a developing medium, which means it encourages both makers and viewers to expand their ideas about how stories can be told. This year’s shortlist again reflected the diversity of approach and execution that makes it such an interesting category, and also make it so difficult to judge! The work we’ve selected as the winner showed excellence in a number of areas. It revisits a story from Australian history that explores the nature of memory in ways that only VR can approach. We were impressed by the quality of the storytelling, dynamic rendering and lighting, the feeling of presence, and the use of performance capture – all of which intensify the viewer’s sense of immersion. We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2018 AFTRS VR Award is “The Unknown Patient”.

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).

AFTRS logo



The Audience Awards are voted by the audience following each screening in the festival. The Audience Award’s are proudly presented by Rising Sun Pictures.

We are delighted to announce the 2018 Adelaide Film Festival Audience Award winners:

  • Best Feature Film went to Anthony Maras’ Hotel Mumbai,
  • Best Documentary was awarded to Erica Glynn’s She Who Must Be Loved
  • Best Short Film went to The Art of the Game, directed by Matthew Bate in collaboration with Trent Parke & Narelle Autio
  • 2017 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.