Recognising excellence in screen storytelling, Adelaide Film Festival presents a suite of esteemed awards.

AFF audiences are encouraged to vote and select their favourite films in the AFF Audience Awards, AFF Short Film Prize, Change Award and AFF Statewide Schools Filmmaking Competition People’s Choice categories.

An invited Jury selects the best film in the Feature Fiction and Documentary competition categories. The 2023 jury consisted of the award-winning director Kitty Green, Indonesian film curator Alexander Matius, Former Head of Drama & Entertainment for ABC Sally Riley, entertainment reporter and critic David Rooney, and innovative director Goran Stolevski.

Find out more about the 2023 Jury here.

Feature Film Award

AFF was the first Australian film festival to recognise accomplishment through a juried prize for best feature fiction and documentary film. Our Competition Jury values idiosyncratic voices, bold storytelling, creative risk-taking and overall fabulous films.

In 2023 six diverse feature films from across the globe were in the running for the juried prize of $10,000 supported by Swarmer.

The winner of the 2023 Feature Film Award was the Iranian film Empty Nets, by director Behrooz Karamizade. 

Documentary Award

The AFF Documentary Award celebrates distinctive factual filmmaking. Our Jury members look for the most original and distinctive documentary voice for the 2023 Documentary Competition.

In 2023 six feature documentaries were in contention for the 2023 award with prize money of $10,000 supported by Crumpler.

The winner of the 2023 Documentary Award was Hollywoodgate, directed by Ibrahim Nash’at. 

Audience Awards

The AFF Audience Awards are voted for by film-goers, giving everyone who comes to the festival a chance to champion their favourite films. There are three Audience Awards, in categories for feature fiction, documentary and short film. All films in AFF 2023 are eligible for the AFF Audience Awards.

The winners of the 2023 Audience Awards were:

Feature Fiction: Poor Things directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.

Feature Documentary: Bromley: Light After Dark by Sean McDonald.

Short Film Prize: Blame the Rabbit directed by Elena Carapetis and The Unrequited Life of Farrah Bruce by Daisy Anderson.

Change Award

In 2020 AFF introduced the Change Award for positive social or environmental impact through cinema expressing a desire to live in new ways. The Change Award celebrates the feature that best demonstrates these values. The winning filmmaker will receive prize money of $5,000.

The winner of the 2023 Change Award was Black Cockatoo Crisis by Jane Hammond. 

Don Dunstan Award

With each edition of AFF, the Adelaide Film Festival Board presents the Don Dunstan Award in recognition of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Australian screen culture.

The 2023 Don Dunstan Award Winner was Sally Riley.

Learn more about the 2023 Don Dunstan Award Winner

Bettison & James Award

Administered by Adelaide Film Festival, this annual award provides $50,000 in recognition of an exemplary and inspiring lifelong contribution by an individual working in any field.

The 2023 Bettison & James Award winner was Uncle Major ‘Moogy’ Sumner AM. 

See the 2023 Bettison & James Award Winner