Established in 1952, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is one of the world’s oldest film festivals and the Southern Hemisphere’s largest. The Festival has a large, dedicated and growing audience with a well-established public profile as a major event on the Australian calendar.
The Festival is a unique event in Australia, with a vibrant screening program, a loyal audience, and industry initiatives providing opportunities for Australian filmmakers at many levels. In recent years, MIFF has successfully extended its activities to include a raft of industry and filmmaker focused programs to complement its core business, the screening program. These are:
• Accelerator, a 4-day educational and inspirational skills development program for up-and-coming directors with short films screening at MIFF;
• MIFF 37ºSouth Market, a 4-day film financing market for producers with market-ready projects pitching to potential international and local co-financing partners;
• MIFF Premiere Fund, MIFF’s own investment and loan fund, providing essential financing support for local feature-length films. In 2022, MIFF presented 34 world premieres, 10 of which were Premiere Fund films.
• MIFF Talks program, a complementary program of panels and In Conversations featuring invited guest directors, actors, screenwriters and producers.
MIFF has an Academy®, BAFTA and AACTA accredited short film competition. The winners of the top prizes in the competition become eligible for Oscar® consideration.
In 2022, MIFF screened over 300 features, documentaries, and shorts experiences from 81 countries in 74 languages over 18 days. The 2023 festival will run from 3 - 20 August.
As part of MIFF’s landmark 70th-anniversary festivities, 2022 rang in the inaugural MIFF Awards, which consisted of three prizes: the flagship A$140,000 Bright Horizons Award (presented by VicScreen), which celebrates filmmakers on the ascent; the Blackmagic Design Australian Innovation Award, recognising an outstanding Australian creative within a film playing in the MIFF program; and the Audience Award, a beloved festival favourite returning after a brief hiatus.
Additionally, MIFF features one of the most highly regarded short film competitions in the Southern Hemisphere, accredited by the Academy®, BAFTA, and AACTA. The winners of the top prizes in the competition become eligible for Oscar® consideration. Thanks to our Shorts Awards partners, in 2022 the eligible short films competed for a total cash prize pool of A$63,500.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING REGULATIONS CAREFULLY PRIOR TO SUBMITTING OR MAKING ENQUIRIES REGARDING SUBMISSIONS. YOU CAN FIND THE SHORT FILM COMPETITION REGULATIONS HERE.
1. Submission Deadlines
4. Preview Screener Formats
5. Eligibility Requirements
6. Authorised Use and Inclusion of Materials
7. Works-In-Progress and ‘Rough Cuts’
8. Prior Submissions
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (“MIFF”)
SUBMISSION REGULATIONS FOR THE 71ST ANNUAL MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (“FESTIVAL”)
3 TO 20 AUGUST 2023
THESE REGULATIONS GOVERN THE SUBMISSION OF ALL WORKS FOR CONSIDERATION FOR THE FESTIVAL AND YOU (“YOU” OR “SUBMITTER”) ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE FOLLOWING REGULATIONS CAREFULLY TO CONFIRM YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE SAME PRIOR TO SUBMISSION OF ANY FILMS. PLEASE NOTE THAT MIFF RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ALTER THESE REGULATIONS WITHOUT NOTICE AND THAT THESE REGULATIONS ARE NOT CONFIRMED TO GOVERN REGULATIONS FOR FUTURE FESTIVALS.
1. Submission Deadlines
Please refer to the MIFF website for a comprehensive table regarding deadlines and associated fees: miff.com.au/about/submissions/submission-regulations
**Please read the following regulations carefully with regards to Works-In-Progress.
Only films submitted to the correct category, accompanied by the correct fee and received by the allocated deadline will be considered. MIFF reserves the right to disqualify a submission, and to have any and all paid fees forfeited, should the submission not meet all of these requirements.
Please note: MIFF does not offer fee waivers.
This category is reserved for any film whose runtime is 40 minutes and 29 seconds or less (including credits). If the film is submitted into any Short category and the length is greater than this definition stipulates, MIFF will change the category and the Submitter will be required to pay the fee increase before the film is considered. Failure to do so will mean that the film will not be considered for the Festival and any and all fees paid prior will be forfeited.
This category is reserved for any film whose runtime is 40 minutes and 30 seconds or more (including credits). If the film is submitted into any Feature category and the length is less than this definition stipulates, MIFF will change the category; the film will still be considered for the Festival, but MIFF will not refund any portion of the fees paid.
If at least half of a film’s total film funding for development or production is from Australian sources, if at least half of the film was shot in Australia, and/or if at least half of the post-production work was done in Australia, a film can be classified as (at least) an Australian co-production and is thus eligible to be submitted into any Australian category. If the film is submitted in an Australian category and there is no indication that any of the corresponding definitions apply within the FilmFreeway fields ‘country of production’ or ‘country of filming’, MIFF will change the category and the Submitter will be required to pay the fee increase before the film is considered. Failure to do so will mean that the film will not be considered for the Festival, and any and all fees paid prior will be forfeited.
This includes all films that do not fall under the ‘Australian’ definition; to reiterate, Australian co-productions can be submitted into any Australian category. If the film is submitted into an International category and it meets the conditions for an Australian category, MIFF will change the category; the film will still be considered for the Festival, but MIFF will not refund any portion of the fees paid.
This sub-category of short film is reserved for films that have an absence of linear narrative and/or include abstraction within the structure and conventions of the physical medium itself. It is not for unconventional fiction films.
This category is for any project presented or intended to be presented in a multi-episode format, including limited series, docuseries, web series, anthologies or any other project that was designed to develop over multiple episodes. There is no limitation as to the length of each episode or the number of episodes in each submission; however, only one screener will be accepted for any submission, so all episodes for consideration must be presented in succession within that single screener.
The submission fee:
• must be made in USD, as collected by FilmFreeway
• is payable by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, Discover, Diners Club, UnionPay or PayPal, and accepted via FilmFreeway only
• cannot be waived (NO EXCEPTIONS)
• cannot be discounted, including for the submission of multiple films.
• MIFF cannot provide refunds for submissions that do not meet eligibility criteria or are otherwise deemed to be disqualified under these regulations.
• Films submitted without payment WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED and the submission will be disqualified.
4. Preview Screener Formats
Screeners in physical format are no longer accepted; MIFF accepts online screeners only. Any submission sent via disc or any other physical format will not be considered for the Festival; should this be the only format in which the submitted film is delivered, the submission will be disqualified, and any and all fees paid will be forfeited.
Short, Feature and Episodic Preview Screener Formats
Submitted films must be either uploaded directly to FilmFreeway via their Secure Online Screener system, or supplied as a password-protected Vimeo link or unlisted YouTube link entered directly into the FilmFreeway online application form. Some important notes:
• MIFF does not accept screeners via email; you must upload directly to FilmFreeway or to a third-party site such as Vimeo or YouTube.
• If the password changes at any point between the submission and the Festival, the Submitter must inform MIFF via email ASAP. Any film that is submitted with an incorrect or outdated password cannot be considered for the Festival; in such a case, the submission will be disqualified, and any and all fees paid will be forfeited.
• If the screener is supplied via a Vimeo link, please ensure that the privacy settings are updated such that embedding is allowed; this ensures that MIFF can view the film via FilmFreeway. This can be done while logged in to your Vimeo account and navigating to Settings > Privacy > Where Can This Video Be Embedded? and selecting ‘Anywhere’.
XR Preview Screener Formats
• 360-degree video should be uploaded directly to FilmFreeway as a downloadable file
• All other experiences (including interactive) must include a downloadable link from a third-party site such as Google Drive or Dropbox
Whichever way XR preview screeners are sent, the work must be received by MIFF by the dates listed above. As with all other submissions, if the work is not received by the appropriate deadline, the submission will be disqualified, and any and all submission fees paid will be forfeited.
5. Eligibility requirements
To be eligible for consideration, all submissions must meet the following requirements:
• Films must have been completed after 1 January 2022.
• Films must not have been (or will not be) broadcast on television or publicly screened, distributed or exhibited in a physical location within the state of Victoria, Australia, prior to 21 August 2023. The only exceptions to this requirement are for private screenings held for cast, crew or investors, and film-school graduation screenings.
• Films must not have been (or will not be) available commercially online and accessible from the state of Victoria, Australia, either for free or via on-demand services prior to 21 August 2023. Screenings as part of a digital or online festival are permitted if the festival is for a limited run and geoblocked such that access by Australian viewers is prohibited.
• Films must be in their original language; if the original language is not English, subtitles in English must be provided.
• MIFF reserves the right to program films that do not adhere to the above eligibility requirements.
• These regulations are specific to MIFF 2023 and do not indicate eligibility for MIFF 2024 and beyond.
6. Authorised Use and Inclusion of Materials
It is the sole responsibility of the Submitter to:
• secure permission from the rights holders of any and all copyrighted and/or trademarked content or materials included within the film
• clear all content within the film from any and all actual or potential legal claims and issues, including, without limitation, claims based on theories of libel, defamation, invasion of privacy, violation of rights of publicity, theft of trade secrets, breach of confidence, breach of confidential relationship, and breach of express or implied contract (“Third Party Claim/s”).
MIFF will not be held responsible for any unauthorised inclusion of:
• any copyrighted and/or trademarked content or materials within or relating to the submitted project, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any Third Party Claim/s for copyright infringement and/or trademark infringement, trademark dilution or unfair competition
• any content or materials within or relating to the submitted film that are or may be the basis for any Third Party Claim/s.
If any unauthorised inclusion of materials as set out above applies to a submitted film, MIFF reserves the right to forego consideration of that film, or to withdraw the film from confirmed programming – in which case any and all fees paid prior will be forfeited.
7. Works-In-Progress and ‘Rough Cuts’
IF A WORK-IN-PROGRESS (WIP) IS BEING SUBMITTED, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY.
MIFF does accept submissions of WIPs only if the following conditions have been met:
• The film must be at least at picture-lock stage.
• The submission is made during the FEBRUARY submissions period ONLY. If a WIP is submitted during any other submissions period without any prior discussion with the submissions team, MIFF will disqualify the submission and submission fees will not be refunded. NO EXCEPTIONS.
• The Submitter accepts that the rough cut is the ONLY VERSION that can be submitted. MIFF will not accept further cuts of the film as they are completed. Please think very carefully about whether or not you should submit the film as a WIP (see Point 8 below).
If you have any queries regarding WIPs, or if you have a WIP XR experience you want to submit, please email submissions(at)miff.com.au.
8. Prior Submissions
If a film has previously been submitted to MIFF, it is not eligible for submission to the 2023 Festival. This also applies to WIPs that have previously been submitted, even with significant changes.
• Submission to MIFF is with the understanding that selection may be for any and all exhibition formats that constitute MIFF 2023, including in-cinema screenings, digital exhibition or both.
• All Submitters will be notified of an outcome by end of June 2023. Festival programmers select and invite all films presented at MIFF. If the Submitter’s contact details change during the submissions period, you must inform MIFF via submissions(at)miff.com.au.
• If the film is selected to screen at MIFF 2023, it must be made available in one of the following formats, received by MIFF no later than close of business (5pm AEST) 11 July 2023:
Shorts and Features
• DCP (DCI Compliant)
• Other video format compliant with MIFF’s digital platform requirements
XR (inclusive of VR, MR and AR)
• HTC VIVE
• 360-degree video for playback through Gear VR
• Mobile application
• If the film is selected for both in-cinema and digital exhibition at MIFF 2023, it must be made available in materials appropriate for both settings.
• If the film is selected to screen at MIFF 2023, MIFF strongly encourages the Submitter to supply closed captions and/or audio description so that the film can be viewed by audiences with access requirements.
• If the film is selected to screen at MIFF 2023, the Submitter must provide a minimum of three (3) digital copies of stills from the film via email or WeTransfer (minimum image specifications: 300dpi, JPGs or JPEGs only). Electronic Press Kits (EPKs), digital posters, director headshots and social media handles may also be supplied to MIFF, but are not mandatory. Please note: MIFF may supply these materials to third parties for the purpose of editorial coverage of MIFF. These materials may also be used for MIFF’s publicly available print publications and print products as well as online media (MIFF website/s, MIFF mobile application/s and MIFF social media channels), where they will remain available without any time or territorial restrictions. Please be aware that MIFF cannot make photographer attributions within our printed or online guides.
• Exhibition materials, including but not limited to film prints or DCPs, of officially selected films will be insured by MIFF for the duration of the film’s stay in Australia and during transit to the Festival; all incoming freight charges will be covered by the Festival.
• MIFF abides not to hold any more than four (4) screenings of any submitted film exhibiting at a physical location (excluding XR). An expanded capacity for digital exhibition may apply.
• MIFF’s selection decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into. MIFF does not provide critical analysis or feedback.
All correspondence from MIFF regarding FilmFreeway submissions will be sent via FilmFreeway, directly to the email address of the Submitter, or through third-party email campaign software. Please do not unsubscribe from MIFF communications, as you may miss key updates.
Although MIFF takes every precaution to ensure that messages are sent to the Submitter via email, MIFF disavows any responsibility for messages not delivered to the email address supplied. MIFF recommends that Submitters regularly log in to FilmFreeway to ensure that the submission has been completed (including, but not limited to, payments and screener uploads), that the supplied email address is correct and up-to-date, and that the film’s status has changed to ‘In Consideration’ within two weeks of submitting.
If you need further assistance after reading the above regulations or our FAQ (https://miff.com.au/about/submissions/submission-faq), please email the submissions team via submissions(at)miff.com.au. If you have a FilmFreeway Tracking Number, please ensure you quote it in the subject line so that the team can assist you with your query as quickly as possible.