First held in 2017, NiSFF, is an IMDb registered live screening festival event of short films at The Royal Exchange Hybrid Performance Space & Cinema in Newcastle Australia that celebrates short films and their makers from all around the world and that is open in all genres. NiSFF looks to present an accessible and cheap platform for filmmakers to have their work screened live before an audience.

Newcastle is a city with a population of approximately 700,000 about 90 mins north of Sydney NSW Australia.

All films selected for screening will be awarded an Official Selection laurel. Best in genre awards will be awarded laurels from Officially Selected films in International, Australian and Regional state NSW categories. However, NiSFF retains the right not to award a 'Best of...' award in a category if no film submitted in that category is of a standard the judges consider to be suitable. All Officially Selected films are Nominations for an award at the festival. We are interested in an imaginative use of the cinematic form as well as good comedies, dramas, doco's, art films, experimental, avant garde & genre films (horror, slasher, sci-fi, fantasy etc)

New South Wales premiere status is required.

Films should have been completed within a five year period leading up to the festival. Films submitted to earlier editions of the festival cannot be resubmitted again in future years unless they have been significantly reworked..

Submissions are by online screener with link to Vimeo or other site or by a downloadable version of the film on FilmFreeway. Password protection for the online screener is the responsibility of the submitter.

NiSFF is not obsessed with technology but rather appreciates creativity and ingenuity in cinematic storytelling regardless of the standard and sophistication of the technology used. Consequently, expensive DCPs are not required and we cannot accept submissions on celluloid. The festival will not screen directly from websites such as Vimeo or You-Tube and do not want Blu Ray discs. Submitters are only ever required to provide a link from where a reasonably high resolution copy of the film ( preferred at least 1080 or greater or 780 for phone films) can be viewed and downloaded. MP4 files are preferred.

Copyright remains vested in the film-maker and the film-maker grants the festival a licence to screen their film during the festival.

The film-maker waives any right to screening fees or royalties from the festival by submitting to the festival.

Films are preferably to be in English but films that are not in English may still be selected if the story is still comprehensible for English speaking audiences and dialogue is not fundamental to the narrative. Films may be subtitled at the discretion and expense of the film-maker.

Applicants are to submit to the category that describes their residence (eg regional NSW, Australian or International) and that approximates the running time of their film regardless of the films genre. The organizers will then categorize the film into the various genre categories e.g. live action drama, animation, doco, experimental, unconventional, art films, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, comedy films etc. The films will then be grouped and judged in the festival on the basis of their genre,duration and regional category. Film-makers can nominate the genre of the film on their FilmFreeway project page and the organizers will take that as final determination of the genre and may also consult with the film-maker in regard to the genre of the film where necessary.

Awards will be given based upon genre and length and region. For example, these will include:
Best NSW Regional Super Short/Phone Film Live Action Drama;
Best NSW Regional Super Short/Phone Film Experimental Film,
Best NSW Regional Super Short/Phone Film Documentary
Best NSW Regional Super Short/Phone Film Comedy,
Best NSW Regional Super Short/Phone Film Animation.
Best NSW Regional Short Short Live Action Drama,
Best NSW Regional Short Short Experimental Film,
Best NSW Regional Short Short Documentary,
Best NSW Regional Short Short Animation,
Best NSW Regional Short Short Comedy.
Best NSW Regional Short Live Action Drama,
Best NSW Regional Short Experimental Film,
Best NSW Regional Short Documentary,
Best NSW Regional Short Animation,
Best NSW Regional Short Comedy.
Best Sci-fi, Best Horror, Best Fantasy, Best Unconventional etc in the various formats.
The same categories will apply separately for Australian and International films in the various genre and running time classifications as those for regional New South Wales (NSW) submissions.

Films judged the best of their genre in the regional NSW, Australian or International categories will be Officially Selected to screen at the festival as finalists and award nominees and a 'Best Short Film Award' will inevitably be awarded from all finalists from all genres and regional locations as the best overall film. All Official Selections are Nominees for an award. Honourable Mentions will also be awarded but will only be screened at the Festival at the discretion of the Festival.

No screening fees are paid to filmmakers and film-makers bare their own expenses if they chose to attend the festival.

Newcastle International Short Film Festival welcomes your submission.

Overall Rating
  • Greg Moran

    Great Festival. Good communication. Very Friendly and supportive. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend in person but was very honoured to receive the awards for best Australian short comedy and best Australian film for our short film Culicidae.

    December 2022
  • Ramin Babayev

    i will honourably mention this festival among other festivalsđź‘Ť

    November 2022
  • Alexis Dallas

    Thrilled to have had my short screened ! Great communication all the way ! Thank you

    December 2021
  • Tina Wake

    great! Thanks for having us x**

    December 2021
  • Carolyn Saul

    Am thrilled that “this bond i and Bondi” was selected to be part of the NISFF 2021 and what an honour to win the award for Best Australian Short Documentary! So glad I could travel to Newcastle to attend the Festival. It was well organised, the Royal Exchange venue was perfect and there was the opportunity to meet and connect with other filmmakers. Thank you to all the Festival organisers!

    December 2021