The Real Film Festival (RFF) is a three-day film event held in Newcastle, Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie and Maitland, NSW, Australia.
The RFF was created to foster and develop the art of storytelling real events through film. The festival’s niche and core differentiator are films based on true stories.
The weekend unfolds with a variety of feature length and short film screenings offering films that make you think, cry and laugh but ultimately inspire change. We will select a range of films that celebrate real people, real places and real stories.
The festival comprises of documentary and independent feature film screenings, industry development workshops, masterclasses, panel discussions, Q&A's and short film competitions. The festival was also designed to educate and inspire film-making and its associated disciplines amongst the local industry and wider community to help stimulate and promote activity in the film, digital & arts sectors.

This will be updated as more prizes are announced.

Competition requirements.

The Real Film Festival (RFF) is on the lookout for fearless filmmakers prepared to tell their untold stories.

In order to tell their/others 'real' life story, each short film competition category must take inspiration from one of the below criteria:

Take a look around. Where you live, your families, your friends. Find what inspires you?

The RFF’s most popular short film competition invites filmmakers of all levels to find inspiration and tell your story through film. We will select a range of films celebrating real people, real places and real stories.

This year we have six categories. Each short film must take inspiration from one of the following criteria:
1. Living with a disability
2. Multiculturalism
3. Indigenous voices
4. Women living in regional areas
5. Your story
6. “Why Hunter?” (3 minutes only)
“Why Hunter” provides an incentive for filmmakers, business owners and the local community to tell their story & showcase their talents, and the talents of business operations in the city.

The competition will be judged by some of Australia’s most experienced industry professionals who will provide feedback on all films, giving you the opportunity to hone in on your strengths and overcome your weaknesses.
CLOSING DATE for non-competition entries is Friday, July 26, 2019. Entries for screening only (non-competition) can run up to 90 minutes. NO LATE ENTRIES will be accepted for non-competition entries.
CLOSING DATE for competition entries is Friday, August 16, 2019. Entries for competitions can run up to 12 minutes including titles & credits, with the exception of 'Why Hunter?'. Entries for 'Why Hunter?' must run no longer than three minutes. Late entries (for competition only) will be accepted until Friday, September 6, 2019 and will incur an additional fee.
You are required to state if you are entering your film for public screening or for the competition.

Awards & Prizes
Yet to be announced. Please see for awards and prizes as they are announced.
Conditions of Entry
The following conditions apply to all submissions.

1. Your film must be based on a true story to comply!
2. All entries must be submitted for judging and screening without a menu.
3. Mark what category you are entering on the entry form.
4. All films entering the non-competitive screening must not be available for download online.
5. Each submission has a fee of $35.00. Concession $25.00
6. A late entry in the competition categories has a fee of $50.00. Concession $40.00
7. All entries must be accompanied with a completed registration form.
8. All footage and special effects MUST be original.
9. Any music accompanying a film must be copyright free or original. Any other music MUST be covered by a currently licensed agreement.
10. Please include:
• Title of production.
• Creative team listing
• Runtime
• Music statement (royalty free, original or under the licensing agreement).
• The production shall have a 2-second black leader.
11. The productions together with their copyright will remain the property of the owners, however, the competition committee reserves the right to screen any entry more than once and to make a copy in part or full for publicity of the festival only.
12. All entries will be handled with extreme care, but no responsibility for loss or damage will be accepted.
13. All entries received will be acknowledged by email.
14. Entrant productions will be retained with the exception by the competition committee until after the public screening.
15. Entries will NOT be returned unless mail cost is included.
16. Awards will be made to the best entry in each of the categories as listed on the entry form.
17. A copy of the judges’ comment sheet will be provided by email to the nominated team/ individual contact after the completion of the 2019 Real Film Festival.
18. All decisions of the judging panel are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
19. No entrant shall be present during the judging of his/her production.
20. We look forward to receiving your submission!
21. Have fun!!

Overall Rating
  • Jason van Genderen

    One of my all-time favourite festivals. Inclusive, in-depth and so well programmed... well worth putting this one on your festival map!

    February 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Jas. We truly love and value all that you bring to the festival each year.

  • Scott Berry

    Very empowering of young filmmakers :)

    December 2018
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Scott! We look forward to seeing you again at the future festivals.

  • Michelle Crocker

    It was a pleasure to be selected and screened at the Real Film Festival. While I was unable to attend due to distance the festival organisers communication via telephone reassured me that they valued our film and would treat it with due care. As this organiser utilised the information already uploaded to Filmfreeway it was a breeze to meet the requirements for the festival. Thank you very much for your care and support.

    November 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Michelle, We hope to hear from you again in future years.