The Adelaide Film Festival is considered one of Australia’s most distinctive and innovative. Every two years, AFF screens the very best of contemporary Australian and international feature films, documentaries, short films and virtual reality productions and premieres screen projects made with the support of the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund.
Also known as the ‘friendly festival’, Adelaide Film Festival is renowned for welcoming filmmaker guests and patrons from around Australia and the globe. 2022 will see the resumption of guests being able to travel for the Festival to Adelaide, South Australia, a centre for filmmaking and cultural excellence in Australia.
AFF is calling for feature films, feature documentary, series (single or multiple episodes), short 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.
Established in 2003, AFF was the first film festival in Australia to invest in new work. Across ten festivals, the AFF Investment Fund has invested in more than 100 projects of which around half were features and the others a mix of shorts, TV series, interactive projects and Art & The Moving Image works.
AFF Investment Fund supported films have gone on to garner national and international acclaim, screening at major festivals and winning 100 international and almost 200 national prestigious awards. Amongst this swag of laurels are three at Cannes, one at Berlin and two Sundance Film Festivals wins. Highlights include Anthony Maras’ Hotel Mumbai, Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale, Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country and Samson & Delilah, Rolf de Heer’s Charlie’s Country and Ten Canoes, Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays and Rosemary Meyers’ Girl Asleep to name just a few.
Through the fund, AFF has championed VR works, including Lynette Wallworth’s Emmy Award winning Collisions and Trent Parke, Narelle Autio and Matthew Bates’ The Summation of Force.
The Festival’s patrons are Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, who for 28 years entertained us on their weekly film review programs – The Movie Show and At The Movies.
Adelaide Film Festival is proud to recognise excellence in screen storytelling with a host of regarded awards which in previous years have included Juries 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.
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM 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.
Beginning, dir. Déa Kulumbegashvili (Georgia, France, 2020)
The Seen and Unseen, dir: Kamila Andini (Indonesia, 2018)
I Am Not A Witch, dir: Rungano Nyoni (Zambia/ France / UK, 2017)
Neon Bull, dir: Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil, 2015)
Jîn, dir: Reha Erdem (Turkey, 2013)
Incendies, dir: Denis Villeneuve (Canada / France, 2009)
Treeless Mountain, dir: So-yong Kim (USA / South Korea, 2008)
Still Life, dir: Jia Zhangke (China, 2006)
In 2020, the International Feature Jury was Andrew Bovell, Khoa Do. Zak Hepburn, Rebecca Summerton and Natasha Wanganeen.
Past juries have included Paolo Betolin, Scott Hicks, Sarah Perks, Marten Rabarts, Catherine Fitzgerald, Leena Alam, Joao Pedro Rodrigues, Miranda Dear, Christian Jeune, Wayne Lewis, Maggie Lee, Tom Hajdu, Sophie Hyde, Lawrence Weschler, Maryanne Redpath, Pierre Rissient, J.M. Coetzee, Noah Cowan, Naomi Kawase and Al Clark among other distinguished practitioners and professionals.
INTERNATIONAL BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD
The International Documentary Award has celebrated distinctive factual filmmaking.
Past winners include:
Firestarter- The Story of Bangarra, dir: Nel Minchin, Wayne Blair (Australia, 2020)
Island of The Hungry Ghosts, dir: Gabrielle Brady (USA, 2018).
Taste of Cement, dir: Ziad Zalthoum (Syria, Qatar, Germany, Lebanon, UAE, 2017)
Speed Sisters, dir: Amber Fares (USA/Palestine, 2015)
Blush of Fruit, dir: Jakeb Anhvu (Australia / Vietnam, 2013).
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.
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.
ADELAIDE FILM FESTIVAL 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)
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
Submissions open 20 October 2021
Early bird deadline Sunday 4 May 2022
Submissions close on Sunday 29 May 2022
Last Chance Deadline Sunday 5 June 2022
(All dates are relative to Adelaide/ AEST time)
AFF accepts feature films, feature documentary, series, short and VR works (drama, documentary, hybrid, experimental and animation) made in Australia and internationally. These can be any length or genre.
Submissions must be received by the official FINAL closing date: Sunday 5 June at 5:00pm.
Entry fees (excluding FilmFreeway fees):
Early bird (deadline 4 May 2022)
Final Deadline (deadline 29 May 2022)
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)
We do not accept late submissions.
Notification date: Friday 16 September 2022
All entries must be submitted via FilmFreeway: https://filmfreeway.com/AdlFilmFest
Entry fees are not refunded if the film is not selected or is ineligible to screen at the festival.
Films under 40 minutes are considered to be short films.
If your film is selected to be screened at AFF 2022 then it must be delivered in DCP format, except in the case of VR submissions.
Any other digital formats will be subject to further discussion.
We cannot theatrically screen from DVD or Blu-Ray.
Works must have been completed after 1 October 2021.
We do not accept:
- works that are exclusively educational, scientific or for training or promotion
- music videos
- films that have been exhibited in South Australia, in any form, prior to 30 October 2022. Private cast and crew and graduation screenings are accepted but AFF must be notified about these screenings.
- films that have been broadcast on Australian television (cable or free-to-air) prior to 30 October 2022 or have been made available for sale or rent prior to 30 October 2022.
- films that have been broadcast on the internet or available for download in any capacity prior to 30 October 2022. However, films available online via secure password protected sites are eligible.
- VR films that are available online or have been previously broadcast ARE eligible for submission.
AFF reserves the right to program films that fall outside of the eligibility criteria under special circumstances.
AFF may agree to preview films that are not yet finished during the submission period, but will be finished in time for the festival. The film must be at picture lock stage. Work-in-progress films should only be submitted if AFF has agreed to accept them. You must first send details of the status of the film to email@example.com to then have your film approved for submission as a work-in-progress/rough cut.
Festival programmers select and invite all films presented at AFF. All entrants will be notified of the Festival’s programming decisions by email by 16 September 2022. Please notify AFF if you change the contact email address provided when submitting your film.
AFF selection decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into. We do not provide critical analysis or feedback.
If after submitting to AFF your film becomes ineligible (screened at another South Australian festival, broadcast on television, available online etc), it will be automatically removed from consideration for AFF and submission fees will not be refunded.
AFF 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.