Now in it's 8th year, Fantastic Planet is Sydney, Australia's premier fantastic genre film festival, and remains dedicated to the promotion and exhibition of independent fantastic cinema.

Founded by the team behind Australia's leading horror film event - A Night of Horror International Film Festival - Fantastic Planet showcases the latest in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and cult cinema, and hosts a number of parties, forums, and special events.

Unlike many festivals, Fantastic Planet pledges to program the majority of its lineup from cold submissions (i.e. films submitted by you - the independent filmmaker - through our open submission process). We never have, and never will, program the majority of the festival's line-up with films sourced from sales agents, distributors, or other festivals. This helps ensure that you - the independent submitting filmmaker - have a far better chance of screening at Fantastic Planet: Sydney Sci-Fi & Fantasy Film Festival, than at many festivals that also accept cold submissions, but them turn around and program the majority of their line-up each year from films that they source from elsewhere.

In 2017, Fantastic Planet Film Festival will again be taking place in conjunction with A Night of Horror Film Festival. Together the festivals provide Australia's leading showcase of independent genre specific cinema. Combined, the fests screened over 100 films in 2016. Both festivals retain independent programs and their own specific award categories. The festival prides itself in presenting the work of independent filmmakers not only to enthusiastic audiences but also to media and leading industry professionals.

FilmInk Magazine says: "A Night of Horror and Fantastic Planet team up... to bring genre buffs and film fans a fistful of the most original, innovative and thrilling independent pics you’ll see all year."

Past juries of the festival have included:

Antony I. Ginnane (SPAA, IFM World Releasing)
Brian Trenchard-Smith (Director: BMX Bandits, The Man From Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot)
Simon Foster (Sunday Night at the Movies, 2UE, SBS)
Oscar Hillerstrom (SCI FI channel)
Jon Hewitt (Director: Acolytes, Darklovestory, Redball)
Jack Sargeant (Film Writer, Programmer: Revelation Perth International Film Festival)
Claire Absolum (Producer: Insight, SBS TV)
Steven Kastrissios (Director/writer: The Horseman)
Doug Turner (Director/writer: I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer)

Filmmaker Feedback:

Nicholas Costa (Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time): "If you are looking for a great opportunity to find your sci-fi audience, look no further. The best decision we made during our entire festival campaign was having the international premiere of our film, Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time, at Fantastic Planet Film Festival in Sydney, Australia. As a producer, FPFF is exactly what you're looking for in a film festival. Not only was the festival Director Dean Bertram a wonderful, gracious, and accommodating host, but he and his team continued to push and support our film long after the festival shut its doors for the season. More to the point, Dean Bertram was instrumental in helping us lock down international distribution shortly after our Fantastic Planet screening. As a result, we are now officially on our way to the world stage!"

Kevin A. McCarthy (Fury: The Tales of Ronan Pierce) - "I can't say enough great things about Sydney Australia's "A Night of Horror/Fantastic Planet International Film Festival". Set in the heart of the bohemian village area of Newtown (Sydney), this festival has it all; filmmakers and actors presenting their bad-ass genre films, a beautiful venue, awesome parties, tons of new lifelong industry connections, and a festival staff that truly cares about hospitality. Unlike many other festivals that simply source their program from other festival lineups, "A Night of Horror/Fantastic Planet International Film Festival" truly wishes to unearth new talent. They are constantly looking for undiscovered films from around the planet, and I know for sure that they watch all the bundles of submissions that come their way. In fact, they relish the idea of finding undiscovered films worthy of a world premiere. I know this to be true because they gave our crazy little film a chance when it seemed no one else would. It has opened all the right doors for our film, and I owe a major thanks to Dean Bertram and his wonderful staff for giving us the opportunity to world premiere our film at his kick-ass festival in Sydney. Seriously...can't freaking wait to go back!!"

Kurando Mitsutake (Samurai Avenger: The Blind Wolf / Gun Woman) - "Fantastic Planet: Sydney Science Fiction & Fantasy Film Festival is destined to become one of the most important genre film festivals in the world. The festival directors' vision, selections, and commitment to launch independent filmmakers' careers are immensely impressive. Their love and conviction for the genre picture is so real. This festival was the best film festival I've ever attended. Fantastic Planet rocks!"

Megan Riakos (Crushed) - "It was such a pleasure to screen my mystery thriller feature CRUSHED at the Fantastic Planet Film Festival. Dean Bertram and the festival team make it their duty to go above and beyond to program interesting and worthy films, covering an array of styles within the genre world. They take the lead in discovering rising talent rather than just following the trends and are genre lovers who draw passionate audiences to the festival. Fantastic Planet brings the party from the cinema to the events afterwards too and as a filmmaker, being able to meet audience members and socialise with them during festival is the cherry on the top. Nothing beats a passionate discussion about films and filmmaking at 2am in the morning!"

Nathan Christoffel and Adrian Kristofferson (Eraser Children) - "We're so stoked with the entire experience at Fantastic Planet - you guys put in so much work and it all payed off with a fantastic festival. Having Eraser Children for the opening night film was a big deal for us - it reassured us that there's a audience that will get behind our film in this country. We are extremely impressed with how much time and energy your team gave to us and other filmmakers, everything ran so smoothly from start to finish - Dean and Lisa are the perfect festival directors! We're both really looking forward to seeing you again, next year's festival will no doubt be something to behold!"

James Naylor (A Dark Matter) - "Fantastic Planet Film Festival along with Dr. Dean Bertram and his crew soared beyond my expectations. The Dendy is a fantastic venue with a fantastic staff. Sydney is a city full of life that craves fantastic film. The screenings were well attended and the Q&A was professional and well thought out. I have nothing but applause for this growing festival I was so lucky to be part of. A DARK MATTER will be remembered because of Fantastic Planet!"

Steven Christopher Wallace (Vengeance De Los Muertos) - "Out of towners being treated well on the festival circuit is generally the norm, however Fantastic Planet really sets the gold standard when it comes to hospitality. From the moment I set foot in Sydney I felt like one of the family. Dean introduced me to all the staff and I felt right at home. Not only that, they had a killer programme and the after parties were really great too. Finally, I’ve made numerous relationships I expect to collaborate with in the near future. Fantastic Planet has been a wonderful experience and I cannot begin to express my gratitude. They get my highest recommendation."

Nay Htat (The Drawing) - "Fantastic Planet Film Festival is a marvel! I had an amazing experience at the festival, and I was very honoured to be part of it. It is so huge and very well organized with excellent programming. And very welcoming and supportive to the filmmakers. So I personally think that it is one of the best filmmaker friendly festivals. I definitely look forward to entering my next film."

Lucas Till (All Superheroes Must Die) - "A festival rife with talent, paralleled only by its hosts' hospitality."

Jason Trost (Wet and Reckless) - "A two week long vacation into the insanity of film with the world's best host as your tour guide.

Best Film, Best Director, Best Male Performance, Best Female Performance, Best Short Film, Best Australian Short Film, Best Music Video. Feature Screenplay Competition: winner, 1st runner up, 2nd runner up. Short Screenplay Competition: winner, 1st runner up, 2nd runner up.

In submitting your film or video to Fantastic Planet Film Festival you guarantee that you have all the relevant permissions, licenses and releases for your film or video to be screened in a public exhibition. You must have in your possession the permissions, licenses and releases for the submitted film or video's music, script, actors etc.

The festival requires preview screeners of films to initially be submitted online, i.e. with private Youtube or Vimeo links. We no longer accept physical submissions, i.e. DVDs.

There is no restriction as to the year that the film was made.

If your film is selected to screen at the festival, you must supply us with a copy of your film in one of the following formats: Blu-Ray, DCP, digital media file (avi, .mov, or mpeg-2.), or DVD.

While care will be taken, we are unable to guarantee the safety of your Blu-Ray, DVD, hard drive, or film while in our possession, or in transit. If your film is selected to screen at the festival, please do not send a master copy, or your only copy of the film.

After the festival, hard drives containing digital files submitted to the festival for exhibition will be either returned to entrant or forwarded to another film festival as requested by entrant.

After the festival, 35mm feature film prints and hard drives containing digital files submitted to the festival for exhibition will be either returned to entrant or forwarded to another film festival as requested by entrant.

Festival only pays for return shipping. We do not pay for shipping both ways of DCP or film prints. If selected to screen at the festival, filmmaker agrees to arrange for and pay for shipping of film or DCP to the festival in Sydney, Australia. Filmmaker also agrees to provide necessary KDM for any DCP sent to the festival at no expense to the festival.

Additional publicity materials (stills, posters etc.) are welcome but not required.

Please select the most relevant category for your film. You may choose between:

1. Feature Films: Any feature length film (45 to 140 minutes in duration) that deals with science fiction, or fantasy themes. Documentaries and animations are also welcome.

2. Short Films: Any live action film (45 minutes or under in duration) that deals with science fiction or fantasy themes. Your film can be narrative fiction, experimental, or even a short documentary about science fiction or fantasy.

3. Short Animations: Any animated film (45 minutes or under in duration) that deals with science fiction or fantasy themes.

If you are entering an unproduced screenplay please select from:

4. Screenplay (Feature): For feature length screenplays between 45 and 130 pages in length. (Please read additional screenplay competition rules and terms below).

5. Screenplay (Short): For short screenplays that are less than 45 pages in length. (Please read additional screenplay competition rules and terms below).

A panel of judges, selected by Lovecraft 21C Productions, will decide the winners of each of the above categories. The winners of each category will be announced at the festival’s award night. In all cases, the judges' decisions are final.

Entrants whose films are chosen for screening at the festival will be notified by early November 2016. Entrants whose films are selected will be given a free ticket to the screening of their film at Fantastic Planet Film Festival 2016.

If you decide to attend the festival and require accommodation while in Sydney we are able to recommend local hotels/motels, but unable to cover any costs that your travel or accommodation might incur.

By entering the festival you agree to commit to, abide by, and give your confirmation and assent to the following statement:

"I authorize Lovecraft 21C Productions Pty. Ltd. to screen the film listed above, upon the film's acceptance in Fantastic Planet Film Festival. For the purpose of the screening I authorize Lovecraft 21C Productions to market the film in whatever manner they see fit. I acknowledge that Lovecraft 21C Productions holds the screening rights of the above listed film for Fantastic Planet Film Festival. I confirm that all other rights remain the sole property of myself and/or my nominated production company. I hereby confirm that all material used in the production of the film is the original work of myself or my nominated production company, or is work for which I or my nominated production company have obtained with releases, including but not limited to actors' performances and the musical score. I guarantee that I have obtained all the necessary permissions, licenses and clearances to enter this film into Fantastic Planet Film Festival, and that the film and the screening of the film by Lovecraft 21C Productions, does not infringe the moral and ethical rights including copyright of any third party. If entering a screenplay, I guarantee that I have obtained all the necessary permissions, licenses and clearances to enter this screenplay into Fantastic Planet Film Festival. I understand that my submission is in no way a guarantee of acceptance into Fantastic Planet Film Festival, and that nobody representing Lovecraft 21C Productions or Fantastic Planet Film Festival has guaranteed my acceptance into the festival prior to this submission. I have read and agree to the rules and conditions of Fantastic Planet Film Festival. I have also read and agree to any specific rules relating to the category that I am entering my film, video, or screenplay."


There is no restriction to the year that the screenplay was written.

Screenplays must be submitted electronically, the festival no longer accepts physical paper submissions.

All screenplays should be formatted in accord with industry standards.

Please include a paragraph synopsis.

No rewritten/corrected pages will be accepted once entry is received.

Screenplay must be in English.

Screenplay must not have been previously optioned, purchased, in production or produced.

Screenplays written as adaptations of other works must have secured rights before being submitted.

If a winning screenplay is the work of more than one writer, any prize will be split evenly amongst the writing team.

Screenplays will not be returned (they will be destroyed after the competition). So please do not send the only copy of your script.

The entrant retains copyright to their screenplay. The entrant agrees that he or she will never assert against Lovecraft 21C Productions or Fantastic Planet Film Festival any claim or action based on plagiarism, infringement, confidential or fiduciary relationship, implied contract, idea theft, unfair competition or any other theory arising in connection with their submission to Fantastic Planet Film Festival, and the entrant understands that Lovecraft 21C Productions accepts no liability of any kind for the unauthorized use of all or part of such submissions by any person. In this regard, the entrant hereby absolutely releases and forever discharges Lovecraft 21C Productions, Fantastic Planet Film Festival and its officers, employees, volunteers, judges, readers, affiliates, and associates, individually and collectively, of or from any and all claims, liabilities, damages, legal fees, expenses, debts, actions, and causes of action against Lovecraft 21C Productions or Fantastic Planet Film Festival of every kind whatsoever, now and in the future, in connection with the entrant's submission.

Overall Rating
  • April Phillips

    A really well run, welcoming and friendly event. Thanks for having me. I was stoked to receive the Independent Spirit Award especially as this festival really does support Indie Filmmakers.

    December 2019
  • Jeffrey Howe

    Couldn't rate the in-person aspects of the festival since it was very, very far away, but the staff were excellent communicators when it counted for the screenplay contest.

    December 2017
  • Amazing festival. Excellent screen. Organisers live streamed interviews to Facebook before the event and gave filmmakers a free drink on entry. Films were of a very high standard as well. Highly recommended!

    December 2017
  • Neil Chase

    A great festival run by great people. Highly recommended!

    December 2017
  • Thank you guys for voting my screenplay 'Joseph' into the finals!! I am delighted that you enjoyed my story.

    December 2017