The Blue Heeler Film Festival is returning for 2023 !!! This year is our 10th Anniversary!

The awards night of the festival held in Denman, will showcase the incredible talents of short filmmakers nationwide! The event will also be live streamed on our social media platform.

The theme for the 2023 Blue Heeler Film Festival is 'BLUE'. The theme can be interpreted in any way you see fit, whether literal, symbolic or metaphorical.


The 2023 Blue Heeler Film Festival will feature two categories:
1. Secondary School - for entrants aged 14-18 years
2. Open Category - for entrants 18 years and over.

Emerging creatives from across Australia are welcomed to submit their short films into the Blue Heeler Film Festival for 2023. This one-night festival will showcase the incredible talents of short filmmakers nationwide.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your short film, we encourage you to explore rural aspects of life in Australia.

This event is organised by Muswellbrook Shire Council and sponsored by Bengalla.

-----When you submit please tag us on Twitter/Instagram or Facebook or even Tiktok!-------
Hashtags you can use are #blueheelerff #blueheelerfilmfestival #bhff23

First Prize for the Open category - $10,000 AUD + 'The Golden Bluey'

First Prize for the Secondary School category - $5,000 AUD + 'The Golden Bluey'

The Golden Bluey for Best Local Film
The Golden Bluey for Best Actor
The Golden Bluey for Best Actress
The Golden Bluey for Best Director
The Golden Bluey for Best Cinematography

Terms and Conditions

Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully before entering submitting your film in the Blue Heeler Film Festival (“the Competition”). By submitting your film in the Competition, you are deemed to have read, understood, accepted and agreed to be immediately bound by these Terms and Conditions in their entirety.


1. To enter the Competition Entrants must ensure that their film submission (“Film”):
a. the filmmaking process occurred in Australia;
b. the Film is consistent with the theme of the Competition; and
c. the Film has not been broadcasted or streamed on television, Netflix, Amazon or other streaming services.

2. All Entrants must provide the location the Film was made in their submission as well as a valid email address and telephone number. Failure to provide this information may result in disqualification.

3. If the Entrant is under the age of 18, participating in this Competition is acknowledgement that a parent or guardian has read, understood, accepted and agreed to be bound by these Terms and Conditions


4. Films must be submitted in the following formats:
a. standard resolution: 1920 wide x 1080 high pixels;
b. aspect ratio: 16:9;
c. audio: Stereo, sample rate 48khz (128 kbps).
d. codec: Most file formats are accepted for submission, but H264-MPEG-4 (with High bitrate) or Apple Pro Res 422 files are very common; and
e. duration: Maximum length is 7 minutes - 00:07:00 (including titles & credits).
f. When submitting, upload the film directly to the submission platform. URL submissions will not be accepted.
g. 720 pixel films will not be accepted.

Competition Period
5. The Competition will commence at 8am on Monday, 25 September 2023 and close at 4pm on Friday, 6 October 2023 (AEST).
Limits on Entry
6. Each person is only permitted one film entry into the Competition.
7. The prize pool consists of:
8. If any prize is unavailable due to reasons beyond the control of the Council, the Council in its sole discretion, reserves the right to substitute the prize with a prize of equal value and/or specification.
9. Films will be judged on originality, creativity, plot, pacing, structure, characters, cinematography and entertainment value as well as on effectiveness of the message and the ability of the film maker to reach an audience.
10. Judges will be selected by Council in its sole discretion.
11. All judges agree to act in accordance with Council’s Code of Conduct in performing their duties, in particular, in dealing with conflicts of interest.
12. In the event that a judge declares a conflict of interest, Council will appoint an alternative judge for the relevant Film entry.
13. All decisions and actions of the Council relating to the judges and any perceived conflict of interest are exercised at its absolute discretion and are final.
Winner Notification
14. Winners of the Competition will be notified by Council’s Contact Officer via telephone, email or post and it is the responsibility of the prize winner to then make contact with Council within the appropriate period.
15. If there is a dispute as to the identity of the Entrant, the Council reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to determine the identity of the Entrant.
16. Winners of the Competition will be asked to send Council a video introduction of themselves and/or the group of persons involved in the filmmaking, how the Film was made, what the theme means to the Entrant and any additional information about how the Film was made.
17. Council may request that the winners of the Competition speak to local press and share the news on social media, tagging Council.
Unclaimed Prizes
18. Prizes must be collected within 21 days of Council providing notice to you that you have won a prize.
19. A prize that has been won but remains unclaimed after 21 days is forfeited to Council and you acknowledge that you have no claim for any loss, cost or expense suffered in relation to same.
20. Council reserves the right to award any unclaimed prize to the next best valid Film entry as considered by Council.

21. Council does not claim any ownership rights of the film that you submit in the Competition. The Entrant will retain all rights, title and interest in and to the film submitted by the Entrant in the Competition.
22. The Entrant warrants to Council that the Entrant:
a. is the author of the Film;
b. owns or has been granted all copyright rights and interests in the film submitted in the Competition;
c. has the capacity to enter into these Terms and Conditions;
d. has not wrongfully obtained any copyright rights or interests in the film;
e. will reframe from entering into any contract which could reasonably interfere with the licence granted to Council under these Terms and Conditions; and
f. as at the date of submission of the Film, no third party has challenged or disputed the Entrant’s copyright ownership of the Film.
23. The Entrant grants a non-exclusive, irrevocable, non-transferable, worldwide licence to Council to:
a. screen the Film in front of a live audience at the Blue Heeler Festival,
b. Screen the Film on Council’s website or through social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram; and
c. include clips or film stills of the Film in any promotional trailer, advertisement, marketing or other publicity in relation to the Competition or any future event by Council.
24. The Entrant unconditionally indemnifies and keeps indemnified Council against all loss, liability, costs, expenses and claims that Council incurs as a result of or in relation to a breach of the Entrant’s representations and warranties contained in these Terms and Conditions.

25. Under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) (PPIP Act), the Council must notify Entrants of certain matters which it collects personal information about them including how it plans to use or disclose it. If an Entrant chooses to enter or take part in the Competition, the Entrant will be required to provide Council with personal information about themselves or others involved in the filmmaking including name, address, telephone number, email address and the film.
26. The Council will collect, store and disclose the personal information which the Entrant has provided for the purposes of:
a. carrying out the Competition (including notification and promotion of prizes); and
b. promotion, marketing, publicity, or research.
27. Entrants consent to the Council using the Entrant’s name, likeness, image and/or voice (including any photograph, film and/or recording of the same) and the Entrant’s film (in whole or part) in any media, internet, broadcast or other platform, for an unlimited period without remuneration for the purpose of promoting this Competition (including any outcome), any future events held by Council and promoting any products manufactured, distributed and/or supplied by the Council.
28. Entrants acknowledge and agree that images uploaded as part of the Competition may be used in future Council promotions and/or marketing.
29. By entering the Competition, the Entrant consents to the collection, storage and disclosure of their personal information in the manner outlined in these Terms and Conditions.
30. If an Entrant would prefer that the Council does not use or disclose the participant’s personal information in the way outlined in these Terms and Conditions and/or retain their personal information for the purposes described herein, the Entrant should contact Council’s Contact Officer, details below.
31. An Entrant has the right to access, in most circumstances, personal information which the Council holds about the Entrant. An Entrant may contact the Council to ask for access to the Entrant’s personal information, or if the Entrant has a complaint concerning an Entrant’s information privacy.
32. If an Entrant considers that any personal information that the Council holds about the Entrant is inaccurate or if at any time the Entrant’s details change, the Entrant may contact the Council’s Contact Officer, details below, and the Council will take reasonable steps to ensure that such personal information is corrected. The Council will take reasonable steps to keep personal information secure from misuse, interference, loss or unauthorised access, modification or unauthorised disclosure.
33. The Council’s Privacy Statement contains further information on its processes in relation to access to and correction of personal information, about how a participant may complain about a breach of the Privacy Principles and how the Council will deal with such a complaint. The Council’s Privacy Statement is available at:

34. The Council reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity of entries and Entrant and to disqualify any Entrant who submits an entry, or conducts themselves in a manner that is not in accordance with these Terms and Conditions or who tampers with the entry process. Failure by the Council to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.
35. Entrants are solely responsible and liable for the content of the film submission (and the consequences thereof). The content of film submissions does not any way reflect the views of the Council.
36. Entrants agree not to submit any content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, sexually, racially, culturally, or ethnically offensive, harassing, intimidating, threatening, hateful, discriminatory or abusive.
37. Council reserves the right to delete or reject any film that in its sole discretion deems abusive, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, in violation of copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights.

38. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions limit, exclude or modify or purports to limit, exclude or modify the statutory consumer guarantees as provided under the Competition and Consumer Act, as well as any other implied warranties under the ASIC Act or similar consumer protection laws in the State and Territories of Australia (“Non-Excludable Guarantees”). Except for any liability that cannot by law be excluded, including the Non-Excludable Guarantees, the Council (including their respective officers, employees and agents) exclude all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of the Competition.
39. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Entrant’s release and indemnify Council (including officers, councillors, employees and agents) for all liability (including negligence); for any personal injury; and/or any loss, cost, expense or damage; whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, whether present or future, fixed or ascertained, actual or contingent and arising in any way out of: (a) any technical difficulties or equipment malfunction (whether or not under the Council’s control); (b) any theft, unauthorised access or third party interference; (c) any entry or correspondence that is late, lost, altered, damaged or misdirected due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Council; (d) any variation in the prize value to that stated in these Terms and Conditions; (e) acceptance or use of the prize; or (f) participation in the Competition.

40. If you have any questions or concerns in relation to the Competition or these Terms and Conditions please contact Council’s Contact Officer, Stephen Wright, at or alternatively on 0490 200 679.
41. Incomplete, indecipherable or illegible entries may be deemed invalid.
42. All decisions and actions of the Council relating to the Competition and/or redemption of the prizes are exercised at its absolute discretion and are final. No discussions or correspondence with entrants or any other person will be entered into.
43. If the Competition is interfered with or is not capable of being conducted as reasonably anticipated due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Council, including but not limited to technical difficulties, unauthorised intervention or fraud, weather, epidemic, the Council reserves the right, in its sole discretion to the fullest extent permitted by law to (a) disqualify n Entrant; and/or (b) modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the Competition, as appropriate.
44. Council reserves the right to amend or vary these Terms and Conditions at any time before or during the Competition. Any amendments or variations will be notified to Entrants.
45. Failure by the Council to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of these rights.
46. The laws applicable in New South Wales govern these Terms and Conditions.

Overall Rating
  • Lachlan Horrigan

    I was very fortunate to have my film 'A Day at the Dog Park' screened at the 2022 Blue Heeler Film Festival. Although I wasn't able to attend in person, I was still able to view the live stream of the event. The organisers are very professional and friendly with their communication and it was great to see the audience react to my film.

    October 2022
  • SHtick Productions

    Well Im a little sad my amazing production didn't win, but congratulations to all winners and I hope to see you all next year.
    The organisation and the hospitality was spot on, it was a great experience.

    October 2022
  • Hugo Morgan

    Blue Heeler is a great local Australian film festival. I have been participating and attending since I started high school and the festival has fostered and celebrated my growth as a filmmaker. I look forward to many more years of working with this festival and the Muswellbrook community.

    August 2022
  • Alessio Mazza

    Great festival - we have been entering into it now for a few years and its one we also note in the calendar to have something prepared!

    August 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Alessio we loved having your film in 2021 and can't wait to see what you guys come up with for this year's theme of 'Working Dogs'!

  • Clancy Ellerman-Miller

    It was a great experience to have my film screened at the festival! I'm looking forward to submitting my new films at the next one!

    July 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much for your review! We really appreciate it and can't wait to see what you do next time!