Submissions for the 2023 edition of the Adelaide Film Festival are now open. Filmmakers are invited to submit their film, short, series or VR work, and if accepted, will join the world’s best screen stories as an AFF2023 Official Selection.
AFF 2023 will be held from 18 October to 29 October and is now calling for entries in feature films, feature documentary, series (single or multiple episodes), short films and VR works* (drama, documentary, hybrid, experimental and animation) made in Australia and internationally. These can be any length or genre. Films under 40 minutes are considered to be short films.
* Please note that as VR evolves the AFF selection criteria has shifted toward cinematic and narrative work and must be able to be played on an Oculus Quest 2. Please use this as a guide prior to submitting VR work.
Dates for submissions
Submissions open Wednesday 14 December 2023
Early bird deadline Monday 1 May 2023
Submissions close on Monday 29 May 2023
Last Chance Deadline Monday 5 June 2023 at 5.00PM
All submissions must be in by Monday 5 June at 5:00PM
(All dates are relative to Adelaide/ AEST time)
Notification date: Tuesday 12 September 2023
Entry fees (excluding FilmFreeway fees)
- Early bird (deadline 1 May 2023)
- Final deadline – General (deadline 29 May 2023)
- Last chance deadline Monday 5 June 2023 at 5.00PM
Features: $80 (early) $110 (general) $130 (last chance)
Shorts: $40 (early) $65 (general) $75 (last chance)
VR: $40 (early) $65 (general) $75 (last chance)
Series: $40 (early) $65 (general) $75 (last chance)
All entries must be submitted via FilmFreeway. Fees are not refunded if the film is not selected or is ineligible to screen at the festival.
The Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) is one of Australia’s premier film festivals, known for its distinctive programming and innovative approach to new screens. Also known as the ‘friendly festival’, AFF is renowned for welcoming filmmaker guests and patrons from around Australia and the globe.
Established in 2003 as a biennial festival, and as of 2022 annual, AFF was the first film festival in Australia to invest in new works. The AFF Investment Fund (AFFIF) has invested in more than 110 Australian projects of which around half have been features and the others a mix of shorts, TV series, interactive projects, and Art & The Moving Image works.
You can read more about AFF Investment Fund films and their success, such as wins at Cannes, Berlin and Sundance here:
Given its Investment Fund (for Australian works), AFF is renowned for both its support for and the premiering of significant new Australian cinema, increasingly of new Australian voices. In this vein, AFF often selects work by emerging directors from across the globe, alongside works by established, master storytellers.
Awards & Prizes
Adelaide Film Festival is proud to recognise excellence in screen storytelling with a host of juried awards with and $30k in cash prizes. In previous years these awards have included International Feature Fiction, International Feature Documentary, and International Virtual Reality & The Change Award for a feature, as well as audience awards. AFF is proud that films submitted to the festival have gone onto be competition winners.
In addition, AFF presents Australian only awards for distinguished contributions by practitioners and thinkers most notably the Don Dunstan Award and the Bettison and James Award.
In 2023 AFF has four prized awards:
• Best Fiction Feature – for films with idiosyncratic voices, bold storytelling and creative risk taking
• Best Documentary Feature – for distinctive factual storytelling
• The Change Award for Feature Films – encouraging positive social and environment impact and expressing new directions for humanity.
• The Best Short – for outstanding shorts in any genre
AFF will have two additional awards voted for by AFF Audiences.
To find out more about awards and past winners go here
Conditions of Entry:
The Adelaide Film Festival will take place between 18 October -29 October 2023. By submitting your film (Film) to the Adelaide Film Festival, you agree to the following:
1. All the information provided either through the online entry form or through email correspondence with Adelaide Film Festival is true and accurate. Please also ensure that if your email changes, this is updated on film freeway and/or in correspondence with the Adelaide Film Festival.
2. You either own the rights to, or have received permission to use, footage, sound, music, images, and all other contributions that are part of the screen work to the extent necessary to submit the Film to the Festival and, if accepted, screen the Film at the Adelaide Film Festival.
Please note: if you have any doubts about any of the rights in the Film, you must notify the festival at the time of submission.
3. The screen works must be completed in the past 12 months with completion date after 1st of November 2022.
To be eligible for consideration, all submissions must meet the following requirements:
4.1 Works accepted are – feature fiction, feature documentary, series, short films and VR works (drama, documentary, hybrid, experimental and animation) made in Australia or internationally. These can be any length or genre.
Please note that for VR the Adelaide Film Festival seeks narrative based work that is cinematic.
4.2 Works not accepted:
– works that are exclusively educational, scientific or for training or promotion
– music videos
– VR works that require significant space to move and game based VR works
4.3 Films and series must not have been (or will not be) broadcast on television or a streaming platform or publicly screened, distributed or exhibited (for a targeted cinema release) in a physical location within the state of South Australia, Australia, prior to 30 October 2023 .The only exceptions to this requirement are for private screenings held for cast, crew or investors, and film-school graduation screenings. You must notify the Adelaide Film Festival of such screenings.
4.4 Films must not have been (or will not be) available commercially online and accessible in Australia, either for free or via on-demand services prior to 30 October 2023 including at other Australian film festivals online platforms. Screenings as part of a digital or online festival are permitted if the festival is for a limited run and geo-blocked such that access by South Australian viewers is prohibited.
4.5 VR films that are available online or have been previously broadcast are eligible for submission.
4.6 Work-in-progress submissions
The Adelaide Film Festival may agree to preview films that are not yet finished during the submission period. BUT must be finished in time for the festival. The film must be at picture lock stage. Work -in-progress film should only be submitted if the Adelaide Film Festival head of programming has agreed to accept the film. You must first send details of the status of the film to [email protected] to have your film approved for submission as a work-in-progress.
4.7 All non-English language films and screen works must be subtitled in English. If selected the screening version must also be subtitled.
4.8 We do not accept late submissions
5.1 All entrants must pay a flat fee per film entered. The fee varies based on the category entered and whether it is submitted in the early bird period or not.
Please note that the entry fee is not refundable.
5.2 Selection decisions are final. AFF does not provide feedback on films and is not obligated to enter into any discussion about selection decisions”.
5.3 In the event that the Adelaide Film Festival’s in-person events are cancelled, restricted or rearranged due to COVID-19 or any other Government regulations. Submission fees will not be refunded in the case of restrictions to the festival.
In the event of your screen work being officially selected, you will be notified by invitation by 15th of September 2023. Once selected it will be crucial to gather all the information necessary for the presentation and marketing of the film in the festival such as stills and press kits.
6. Selected Projects
If your film is selected to screen as part of Adelaide Film Festival:
6.1. You grant AFF a royalty-free, non-exclusive, Australian license to screen the Film between 18 October to 29 October
6.2. You agree to provide the following screen work no later than 22 September 2023:
6.2.1 For feature fiction, and feature documentary you will supply the Adelaide Film Festival with a DCP .
6.2.2 For Shorts and series a DCP is preferred but other digital formats are subject to discussion
6.2.3 The Adelaide Film Festival cannot screen from DVD or Blu-ray
6.2.4 For VR – AFF accepts formats that can be played on an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset.
6.3 You must notify the Adelaide Film Festival immediately if any of the rights in the Film become disputed or a claim is made against you in relation to the Film.
6.4 You must indemnify the Adelaide Film Festival from all claims arising from or in connection with the submission of the Film, or any infringement of any intellectual property in connection with the screening of the Film as part of the festival.
6.5 You grant the Adelaide Film Festival a royalty-free, non-exclusive Australian license to use film excerpts, film stills, press kits and other promotional materials from the Film for publicity and promotional purposes in relation to the festival, including on its website.
6.6 The Adelaide Film Festival will only insure DCPs/tapes of films invited to the festival, for the duration of their stay in Australia and during transit to and from the entrant or to and from a following engagement.
7. Unselected Projects:
7.1 Please note the Adelaide Film Festival cannot provide specific feedback and critical analysis on unselected projects
7.2 The Adelaide Film Festival does not offer refunds to films that aren’t selected for the festival.
8. Other Important details:
8.1 Programming decisions are made at the discretion of the Head of Programming and the Creative Director and take into consideration numerous elements and factors for curation of the overall film festival program.
8.2 The Adelaide Film Festival reserves the right to program films that fall outside of the eligibility criteria under special circumstances.
8.3 It is the filmmakers’ responsibility to ensure that the film meets the eligibility criteria. If a film submitted subsequently becomes ineligible (such as screening at another South Australian festival or available online etc) it will be automatically removed from consideration and submission fees will not be refunded.