The Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC), in association with Swinburne University of Technology, invites emerging and established filmmakers to submit films for consideration in the 2023 Multicultural Film Festival (MFF).
Now in its fifth year, the MFF celebrates multiculturalism through the lens of short films that explore stories of cultural diversity and living in multicultural Australia, home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures and people who identify with more than 300 ancestries around the world.
We are seeking creative, original, non-formulaic short films about any aspect of cultural diversity created by Australians with a multicultural background (for example, they or their family arrived in Australia as migrants, refugees or asylum seekers) or filmmakers of any background who produce films that explore multiculturalism and promote social cohesion.
Original interpretations of what it means to be multicultural are encouraged. This could include personal stories of the filmmaker, their friends, family or a community member. Films can also explore the differences and distinctions inherent in Australia’s cultural, linguistic and religious diversity.
In 2023, we are excited to introduce two changes to the program.
Following the Premiere Screening of winning films at ACMI, guests can place their live vote for a new People’s Choice Award, to be announced at the end of the night. This filmmaker will walk away with their category award, plus the People’s Choice Award.
To better showcase young filmmakers, winners of the Best Young Filmmaker Awards will be screened separately in their own virtual Young Filmmaker’s Premiere Screening on a school-day afternoon. Guests will include all category entrants, their guests and schools wishing to see the talent and learn from the stories of others.
We continue to be excited by supporting more and more screenings and broadcasts of the 2022 Official Selection at in-person, virtual and hybrid events across Victoria, SBS OnDemand, and Federation Square. These opportunities and more will continue to be sought for the 2023 Official Selection.
SBS proudly sponsors the 2023 MFF.
Please note the event date is tentative to be confirmed as soon as possible.
The Award categories are:
• Best Short Fiction Film
• Best Short Non-Fiction Film
• Best Open Category Film
animations, comedies, music videos or other
• Emerging Filmmaker Award
for those having produced no more than one other film
• Best Young Filmmaker Award
produced individually or in a group independently, at home with a parent or as part of their school community under one of two sub-categories:
1. Ages 4 to 11 years
2. Ages 12 to 17 years
• Chairperson’s Choice Award
chosen by the VMC Chairperson for the film that best addresses racism, cultural diversity/multiculturalism, faith and/or social cohesion, or does so in a way that is Victorian-specific by topic or location.
All films are automatically considered for this award.
• People’s Choice Award
to be chosen from among award-winning films via live-voting at the Premiere Screening (Young Filmmaker entrants are not eligible).
Award-winning films and those receiving an Honourable Mention will be officially announced at the 2023 MFF Premiere Screening at ACMI in late August 2023, or at the virtual Young Filmmaker’s Premiere Screening. All award-winning films will be screened.
All films chosen for the 2023 MFF Official Selection will:
• receive an official MFF laurel; a digital image acknowledging the film’s specific achievement that can be displayed on the film and in trailers, websites and on social media
• be available on the VMC’s YouTube Channel
• have the potential to be screened at select times on the Big Screen at Melbourne’s Federation Square
• be promoted to government and non-profit organisations for screening events or broadcasts (see below Terms)
Films receiving an Honourable Mention will also:
• have their title, crew and cast featured in the 2023 MFF Booklet alongside a synopsis and still image
• be credited as such in all publications, screenings and broadcasts.
All Award-Winning films will:
• receive a $250 monetary prize ($100 for Young Filmmakers)
• be featured in the 2023 MFF Booklet (as outlined above)
• be credited as such in all publications, screenings and broadcasts
Select award-winners will also receive a private one-hour mentoring session with a leading industry representative from SBS.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who can submit a film?
People living in Australia and Australians living outside of Australia.
Do I have to be a professional filmmaker?
No. You do not need to be qualified or experienced in making films. Anyone with a recording device is encouraged to submit an entry, as long as they and their film meets the requirements.
Is there an entry fee?
How long should the films be?
Films must be between five and 15 minutes in length, except for those submitted in the Young Filmmakers category, which has no minimum length but must be less than 15 minutes.
Do films have to be in English?
No. Films can be in any language or have no speaking at all. Foreign-language audio (or important on-screen text) must have English subtitles.
Do films need to address a subject matter?
Yes. Films should address racism, social cohesion, multiculturalism and/or cultural diversity, and/or feature people with relevant lived-experiences. We understand cultural diversity to refer to differences among groups of people due to racial or ethnic backgrounds, faiths, languages and / or traditions. Films that showcase the commonalities between people of different cultures are encouraged.
Do I need to provide anything else with the film?
Yes. Entrants must provide a biography of up to 150 words to describe themselves, including their background.
How many films can I submit?
You can submit a maximum of two films, as long as they are significantly different from each other.
What format do films need to be in?
So that the VMC, Swinburne, ACMI, SBS OnDemand and Federation Square (and potentially others) can screen the films, they must be submitted in the following format.
• Standard: Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 1080 p (1920 x 1080)
• Format: 1998 x 1080 (the 1998 format conforms with DCP)
• Aspect: 16:9
• Audio: Stereo, sample rate 48khz (128 kbps)
• Codec: MPEG 4 (.mp4) 4.5 Mbps
• Frame rate: 24fps
• H.264 compression
• For films shot in SCOPE format the format needs to be 2048 X 858
The MFF is run by the State of Victoria (the State) acting by and through the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) in association with Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne University). The MFF includes the submission and judging of films, the announcement of the Official Selection, award-winning films and those receiving an honourable mention, and the screening or broadcasting of films by organisations approved by the VMC.
Please read these Terms carefully. If you have any questions, please contact the VMC at email@example.com
If you have technical questions or difficulties submitting your film, please contact Swinburne University at firstname.lastname@example.org
By submitting a film into the MFF, you accept these Terms.
1. Films must be submitted by 16 April 2023 at 11:59pm. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Age and parental consent
2. Films from children under the age 18 must be submitted by a parent, guardian or their school.
3. Entry is open to people living in Australia and Australians living outside of Australia.
4. Filmmakers may not enter using false information.
5. The VMC may, at its sole discretion, disqualify a film from the MFF if:
a. for any reason, the film does not comply with these Terms;
b. the VMC has reason to believe that the filmmaker has breached any of the Terms or been engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise the fair and proper conduct of the MFF; or
c. the VMC considers a film to be inappropriate, defamatory, discriminatory, offensive, or otherwise not in compliance with these Terms.
6. Films must be in the format and length outlined in the above FAQs.
7. Filmmakers may submit a maximum of two films, as long as they are significantly different from each other.
8. Entrants acknowledge that their biography will be used to support their entry and may be read out at the MFF and used in public promotional activity by the VMC and Swinburne University.
9. By submitting a film to the MFF, the entrant acknowledges that all subjects appearing in the film have consented to their appearance in the film and to the VMC, the Victorian State Government (the State) and Swinburne University’s use of the film in promotional activities. This may include use across VMC and State channels including, but not limited to, events, websites, YouTube, social media and VMC’s online platforms. It may also include use by Swinburne University, including on the Zooming In website and other promotions, and by SBS, SBS OnDemand and Federation Square.
10. The VMC, the State and Swinburne University are not responsible for obtaining consent from subjects in any film in the MFF and will not accept responsibility for consequences arising from any failure on the part of the entrant to obtain such consent.
11. Films must be nonpartisan, non-political and free from obscene or defamatory content, speech or imagery, and must be suitable for an audience aged less than 18 years.
12. Films are recommended to comply with a PG or G classification.
Originality and copyright
13. Films must be the original work of the filmmaker; however, this does not exclude people who receive mentorship or training through a film training program or university course.
14. It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to ensure that they have permission to reproduce any third-party materials contained in their film.
15. Filmmakers must not breach copyright of any other filmmaker or organisation in the production of their film and must accept all responsibility for the content of their film.
16. The VMC, the State, Swinburne University, SBS OnDemand, Federation Square nor any other organisations are not responsible for any infringement or breaching of copyright licensing of third parties by the filmmaker in the production of their film.
Entries in other competitions
17. The VMC welcomes films that have been entered in other competitions, as long as no logos or other branding marks are included in the film, and no copyright or licencing agreements are breached.
Judging of films
18. The judging panel will consist of representatives of the VMC, Swinburne University, and members of the film industry. The panel will judge films based on:
a) Narrative: Expressive and creative thinking
b) Impact: Technical elements
c) Originality: Creative vision
d) Evidence of addressing racism, social cohesion, multiculturalism and/or cultural diversity
19. The number of Official Selection films and awards presented is at the sole discretion of the MFF.
20. The decision of the Judges and the awarding of prizes is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Notification and Announcement of Winners
21. Filmmakers of the Official Selection will be notified of the Premiere Screening the MFF at least one week beforehand.
22. MFF Official Selection filmmakers, Award-winners and those receiving an Honourable Mention will be announced at the Premiere Screening of the MFF in late August 2023.
Use of films (licence and intellectual property)
The VMC and Swinburne University like to ensure that MFF films have as wide a reach as possible, and to give the film and the talents of its cast and crew the screen-time that they deserve. The VMC will invite organisations and broadcasters to screen Official Selection films, either individually or, should they also be award-winning films, as part of the reel shown at the Premiere Screening.
23. The entrant owns the intellectual property in their film.
24. The entrant (or parent / guardian) grants to the VMC, the State and Swinburne University a 3-year non-exclusive licence to, for all films entered in the competition but primarily those in the Official Selection:
a) screen and use films across its channels, including but not limited to, events and other promotional platforms;
b) utilise a portion of the film for promotional purposes;
c) screen films at MFF events organised by VMC or Swinburne University
d) display films on Swinburne University’s Zooming In website
e) share films with Victorian and Australian government and non-profit organisations for the purpose of those organisations screening the film:
a. at in-person, virtual, online, streamed or hybrid events for their staff and/or the public
b. online and/or via a televised broadcast (for example by SBS or Channel 31)
25. A non-exclusive licence means that an entrant can screen their film themselves and give other people permission to screen their film.
26. Entrants will always be attributed as the author of their Entry when their film is used or screened.
27. Wherever possible, the VMC, the State and Swinburne University will provide notice to the entrant regarding the use of their films.
28. Entrants may, temporarily or permanently, revoke the licences granted under these conditions at any time by emailing email@example.com
29. Neither entrants, their parent(s)/guardian(s), teachers and schools, nor any other person, will be reimbursed or compensated for any use of the Film, now or in the future.
30. As a condition of entry, filmmakers consent to:
a) having their name announced publicly during the MFF, through VMC, the State and Swinburne University communications, which may include media, social media and websites;
i. Young Filmmaker category entrants will only have their first name, and any relevant school and grade made public.
b. if they are part of the Official Selection, having their entries promoted by the VMC, the State and Swinburne University following the 2023 MFF and in the lead up to the 2024 MFF.
31. If the filmmaker promotes their film being in the MFF themselves, they should acknowledge the MFF.
32. The VMC and the State reserve the right to cancel or change the MFF at any time without conferring with filmmakers.
33. If the MFF is interfered with or is incapable of being held due to reasons beyond the State’s control, the State reserves the right and discretion to modify, postpone, suspend or cancel the MFF.
34. The State reserves the right to extend, cancel or amend the process for the MFF, including these Terms, in its absolute discretion at any time.
35. The VMC, the State and Swinburne University are not liable for any loss or damage whatsoever which is suffered by any filmmaker, including, but not limited to, indirect or consequential loss, or for personal injury suffered or sustained during the course of preparing the film, entering MFF, or acceptance of a prize or award, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law.
36. The VMC, the State and Swinburne University are not responsible for covering any costs associated with the entrant entering the MFF, receiving a prize or travelling to the MFF.
Privacy and Collection Notice
37. The VMC, the State and Swinburne University collect the information that filmmakers and/or their parents or guardians or schools provide in their MFF submission. This may include information about the filmmakers cultural (racial or ethnic) background (which may be defined as ‘sensitive information’ under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014).
38. The information is used to assess films, contact filmmakers, administer any licences granted under these conditions and to promote the MFF. The VMC will refer this information to Swinburne University and possibly other government departments and submitting and entry serves as your consent to this. You can request access to, corrections of and withdrawal of any information provided in your submission by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
39. The information that you provide in your entry will be held by the VMC, the State and/or Swinburne University, and managed in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Public Records Act 1973. For more information on the VMC's handling of personal information, please refer to our privacy page.
40. The VMC, the State and Swinburne University may disclose this information to third parties relevant to the conduct of the MFF, including but not limited to, judges, sponsors, and prize and certificate suppliers.
Photographing, Filming and Recording of filmmakers at MFF events – Privacy and Collection Notice
41. This notice applies to photographs, video or recordings of filmmakers (including those under the age of 18) that are collected, used or disclosed by the VMC, the State and Swinburne University as part of MFF in-person and online events.
42. Photographs, video and recordings of a person that may be capable of identifying the person may constitute a collection of ‘personal information’ under Victorian privacy law. This means that any images of you and / or your child taken during the MFF may constitute a collection of you and / or your child’s personal information.
This personal information will be held by the VMC, the State and/or Swinburne University, and managed in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Public Records Act 1973. For more information on the VMC's handling of personal information, please refer to the VMC’s privacy page.
Ownership and Reproduction
43. Copyright in the images will be wholly owned by the VMC. This means that the VMC may use the images in the ways described in this notice without notifying, acknowledging or compensating you or your child.
Unless you tell us otherwise via the email below, photographs, video or recordings of you and / or your child may be used by the VMC, the State and Swinburne University in formats that are accessible to the public, including social media channels (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn), websites and any other publications promoting the MFF. Children under the age of 18 will be identified by first name only (or not named at all).
44. The VMC the State and Swinburne University understand that individuals, parents and guardians have the right to withdraw permission for us to use photographs, video or recordings of themselves and/or their child.
45. If you have read this notice and are comfortable with the VMC using photos, video or recordings as described above, you do not need to take any further action.
46. If you do not want images of you and/or your child to be collected or used by the VMC, the State or Swinburne University, please email the VMC at email@example.com
47. If you do not understand these Terms, or would like to talk about any concerns, please email the VMC at firstname.lastname@example.org