Adelaide Film Festival is proud to recognise excellence in screen storytelling with a host of well-regarded film festival awards which in previous years have included Jury awards across International Feature Fiction, International Documentary and International Virtual Reality. Previous festivals have also presented audience awards, the Don Dunstan Award, the INSITE Award for screenwriting and the Change Award for positive social or environmental impact.
Works submitted to the festival have previously won the festival competitions.

The 2020 AFF Feature Fiction and Documentary competitions were decided by a prestigious jury. Their expertise covered a broad range of engagements with the screen, from writing, criticism, exhibition to production.

We thank them for their passionate and dedicated investment in deciding the 2020 winners, awarding $20,000 in prizes.

Best International Feature Film Festival Award

Presented alongside several Audience Awards, AFF was the first Australian film festival to create a juried prize for best feature film. Our all-star jury values idiosyncratic voices, bold storytelling, creative risk-taking and overall fabulous films.

View previous winners in the International Feature Film Award.

Best International Documentary Film Festival Award

The International Documentary Award has celebrated distinctive factual filmmaking.

Previous Jury members include Larissa Behrendt, Tania Nehme, Madeleine Parry, Molly Reynolds, Eva Orner, Michael Loebenstein, Jane Schoettle, Beck Cole and Kristy Matheson along with other distinguished practitioners and professionals.

View previous winners in the International Feature Documentary Award.

Best International Virtual Reality Award

AFF was the first Australian film festival to create a juried VR Award. In 2018 the winner was The Unknown Patient, dir. Michael Beets (Australia) following on from inaugural winner Nothing Happens, dir. Michelle & Uri Kranot (Denmark, France).

In 2018, the VR Jury was Sue Austin, Mathew Tizard and Kim Batterham. Past juries have included Rachel Landers and Amanda Duthie.

View previous winners in the International Virtual Reality Award.

AFF Audience Awards

The AFF Audience Awards are voted by the audience following each screening, giving everyone who comes to the Festival a chance to champion their favourite films.
2020 Audience Award winners:
• Best Feature Film: Shiva Baby, dir. Emma Seligman (USA, Canada 2020)
• Best Documentary: Old Faither, dir: Heather Croall (Australia, 2020)
• Best Short Film: Ayaan, dir: Alies Sluiter (Australia, 2020)

View previous winners of the AFF Audience Awards.

Change Award

In 2020 AFF introduced the Change Award.
The inaugural AFF Change Award for positive social or environmental impact celebrates cinema that expresses a desire to live in new ways.
How do we do better, be better, ensuring a sustainable future for all of humanity and other species while nurturing the best of human values and visions?
The Change Award provides $5,000 for the feature that best celebrates these values – as voted by the AFF Audience.

The 2020 Change Award Winner was Firestarter- The Story of Bangarra

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.

Find out more and view previous winners of the Don Dunstan Award.

Bettison & James Award

The annual award provides $50,000 in recognition of an exemplary and inspiring lifelong body of work.

The Jim Bettison and Helen James Foundation works with AFF to facilitate the Bettison & James Award. Commencing in 2015 the annual award was established in recognition that many Australians have contributed an exemplary and inspiring lifelong body of work of high achievement and benefit; and that the completion, extension, recording and/or dissemination of such work would have benefits for both the individual concerned and for the wider Australian community. 

View previous winners, and find out more about nominations for, the Bettison & James Award.