The coolest film festival in the heat of the tropics.


A breathtaking location and platform to showcase some of the best short films from around the globe with some of Australia’s most accomplished film exponents sharing their knowledge with our filmmakers – the Port Shorts Film Festival is a feast for the filmmaking senses.

The 2018 Port Shorts Film Festival will be staged under the stars in nature’s playground, Port Douglas in Far North Queensland where the majestic Daintree Rainforest meets the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, on October 26th & 27th 2018.

With a prize pool worth more than $15,000 up for grabs, the Port Shorts Film Festival shines the spotlight on the imagination of Australia’s most creative minds, with a support network geared to stimulate the next generation of filmmakers.

Acclaimed Australian actor Stephen Curry, Wolf Creek and Rogue Executive Producer Matt Hearn and Australian Film Industry Awards nominated screenwriter Kier Shorey (Blurred) will be with emerging filmmakers every step of the journey as official ambassadors, mentors and judges of the Port Shorts Film Festival.

Port Shorts organisers will also conduct workshops for youth and adult filmmakers of all experience to provide them with the tools to produce quality short films, documentaries and music videos in the months leading up to the film festival.

We want to help Australia’s best emerging filmmakers achieve their potential and celebrate their individuality.

With a first prize of $5000 AUD up for grabs, the only restriction on films entered for the Port Shorts Open Filmmakers Awards is a maximum film length of ten (10) minutes - including titles and credits.
Any genre

Only music videos for original compositions are eligible.
Open to worldwide
First prize Professional Equipment

Maximum Film Length 2 minutes
Must feature Drone Footage
Open to worldwide
First prize Professional Equipment

Maximum film length four minutes
Any genre
First prize Professional Equipment

Only residents of the Douglas Shire, Cairns, Mareeba Shire, Tablelands Shire, Wujal Wujal and Cook Shire are eligble to enter Port Shorts Local Filmmakers Awards.
Maximum film length is four minutes
First prize Professional Equipment
Any genre

$500 AUD


• Port Shorts is open to everyone, from the first time filmmaker to the seasoned professional
• Films must have been completed after June 30th, 2018
• Films must be eligible for one of the following categories:

Port Shorts Open Filmmakers Award
Port Shorts Local Filmmakers Award
Port Shorts Young Filmmakers Award
Port Shorts Music Video Award
Port Shorts Drone Award

* All entries must be submitted online at FilmFreeway ( We prefer submissions to be .MP4 or .MOV formats, but please contact us at if you have any questions.

* You must submit your completed application via FilmFreeway NO LATER than 5pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time), September 22nd, 2019.

By entering the Port Shorts Film Festival, you agree that Port Shorts Inc. may use screen shots and up to 20 seconds of footage from your film for any marketing and publicity purposes.

If your film is selected for the competition you will be sent a letter of confirmation by the 1st October 2019 and must submit a video introducing yourself to the Port Shorts audience up to 15 seconds, by the 7th of October, 2019 (be as creative as you wish).

If your film is selected for the competition, a high resolution version needs to be available for download through FilmFreeway (e.g. through the interface or a vimeo link).
You agree that Port Shorts Inc., a not-for-profit organisation, may exhibit the film in total at the 2019 Port Shorts Film Festival and festival events.

If your short film is selected as a finalist at the 2019 Port Shorts Film Festival: after two years, Port Shorts Inc. has the right to reproduce the film in part or in total for inclusion on the Port Shorts website, YouTube Channel, Vimeo Channel or for any other promotional purposes.

Filmmakers are allowed to submit more than one film for the Festival provided that each film is submitted separately and meets the Festival guidelines. Films entered into previous Port Shorts Film Festival events are not eligible.

Winning filmmakers give permission to Port Shorts Inc. to show their film privately to potential sponsors.

By entering the Port Shorts Film Festival you are confirming that you have obtained all the necessary permissions to enter the film and that the film does not infringe the rights, including the copyright of any third party. By entering, you release Port Shorts Inc. from any claim and all responsibilities relating to or arising from its use of the film.

Entries for the Young Filmmaker Awards and Local Filmmaker Awards must provide evidence of eligibility:

¥ Young filmmakers. All major roles – i.e. the Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor must all be 18 years or under at the time of screening.
¥ Local Filmmakers must reside in one of the following Local Government Areas: Douglas Shire, Cairns Regional Shire, Mareeba Shire, Tablelands Shire, Wujal Wujal or Cook Shire.

The filmmaker and its agents agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Port Shorts Inc., the judges and sponsors – individually and collectively – from claims, losses, damages, demands, costs and any liabilities relating to films submitted to the festival.

Waiver Codes
Please note we do not issue waiver codes for any category of the Port Shorts Film Festival. This is to keep the competition fair for all.

The Festival
By entering Port Shorts Film Festival, you agree that Port Shorts Inc. have the final say to exhibit your film at the Port Shorts Film Festival or not. By submitting your film and entry fee, it does not guarantee acceptance of your film into the Port Shorts Film Festival. You also agree that you are aware that all films received will be judged and that some films may not be selected to be shown on the evening. You also understand that the entry fee for the festival is non-refundable and the judges’ decisions are final.

Ready to enter? Let’s go!

Overall Rating
  • Jane Hampson

    Fantastic people! Beautiful place! Great films! This festival is a gem.

    December 2018
  • Benedict Coen

    This is the second year we have been selected for the Port Shorts. Communication was great, and Elliot always responded to any questions we had. Given that we're in the UK, we couldn't attend the festival, but enjoyed watching all the winners and look forward to entering again next year!

    November 2018
  • Chris Castor

    Didn't get to attend the festival, but I had a film in it. The staff was super friendly, helpful, and supportive! Can't wait for next year and to try to attend in the future!

    November 2018
  • Our students were thrilled to have their work selected for the festival. Fingers crossed we'll be able to attend the festival in the future!

    November 2018
  • Steven Gebert

    Fantastic festival, great to be a part of it. Cannot wait to have another crack next year. Well done team!

    November 2018