The Heathcote Film Festival is a short film festival that has been running since 2010, showcasing both Australian and international short films.

We are a not-for-profit Short Film Festival run by volunteers and have full support from our local community. Each year, we attract more and more visitors from neighbouring towns and the nearby city of Melbourne. We receive sponsorship from a number of wineries as well as the community bank and other sponsors/grants.

Our Festival aims to grow and proliferate film culture in our community and surrounding rural region. The festival was started by a small group of passionate people who wanted to create a much-loved annual event.

We aim to celebrate film of all genres and encourage the discussion of film and film-making and to provide a forum for emerging film-makers. We hope our Festival satisfies the needs of film devotees as well as introducing novices to as broad a range of film as possible in an environment rich with film knowledge and love of film. At our Festival we also endeavour to marry enjoyment of film with the enjoyment of wine and food from our region.

The festival is held in mid September in Heathcote (Central Victoria) about a 90-minute drive north of Melbourne.

Submitted films must be no longer than 15 minutes and can be of any genre. Awards are presented at the main festival in September.

This year we are pleased to introduce an emerging film-maker award, specifically for early-career film-makers who have never produced a film for public showing before and who live or have lived in Victoria, Australia.

Filmmakers are invited to submit films in the following categories:
Short films - Submission fee: AUD$10 /AUD$8 for Gold members
Emerging Film Makers (short films) - must be an emerging film maker who lives or who has lived in Victoria, Australia - Submission fee: AUD$5/AUD$4 for Gold members

Jury prize: $AUD1000
Emerging Film-maker prize: $AUD500
People's choice award: $AUD250 (two awards, one for each night of showing)

Laurels will be provided to selected films.

1. All submissions to the festival must be made online through the FilmFreeway website and by the specified deadline. Late entries will not be accepted.

2. By submitting a film you agree to these terms and conditions.

3. Only the director or producer of a film may submit it to the festival. The person making the submission must have sole and exclusive rights, and absolute authority, and have clearances including but not limited to all creative, copyright, branding, design, legal, image and sound related aspects of the film, to submit the film to the Heathcote Film Festival.

4. The film submitted must not infringe any Australian copyright, defamation or vilification laws.

5. No part of the film is actionable for defamation, nor does it violate any right of privacy or publicity of any person, firm, or corporation.

6. Submitted films must be in English or have English subtitles.

7. The submitter assigns all rights for the festival to screen the film, and for excerpts of the film, to be used for promotional activities associated with the festival.

8. Films that are likely to be rated R 18+ or X 18+ will not be selected for this festival.

9. The Heathcote Film Festival reserves the right to assess all entries against the Australian Classification Board guidelines.

10. Entries will be selected and judged by the panel established by the Heathcote Film Festival. All decisions of this panel are final and cannot be appealed.

11. Entrants agree to indemnify the Heathcote Film Festival and hold it harmless from any damages, liabilities, losses, costs, expenses, obligations or claims arising out of a breach of their agreements, obligations, presentations and warranties under these rules. By submitting to the festival, you agree to waiver all legal action, including third party claim, against the festival, its organisers, venue, associates, stakeholders and affiliates.

12. Screening copies will be provided by the film-maker to the festival as 1920 x 1080 MP4 files in stereo or 5.1 sound formats with no watermarks.

13. Submitted films must be no longer than 15 minutes including credits.

14. Prize money transfer is subject to Australian money transfer regulations. We cannot transfer cash prizes to recipients in sanctioned countries. A list of sanctioned countries can be found at Film makers from sanctioned countries are still encouraged to submit but prizes are not guaranteed.

Overall Rating
  • Though we were unable to attend the physical festival, the clear communication and support offered by the festival organisers reflects their commitment to elevating indie film makers and hosting a festival that showcases top-quality films.

    September 2023
  • I was honored to participate in this year's Heathcote Film Festival with "Resurrection under the Ocean" short film! - πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    September 2023
  • This is a BRILLIANT festival. The screenings are wonderful, enthusiastically supported by a very large and very receptive audience. We were thrilled when our film Karl Heinz was selected and we encourage every filmmaker to submit. Highly recommended!

    September 2023