The Real Film Festival (RFF) is one of Australia’s leading independent film festivals offering audiences film competitions, workshops, panel discussions, film screenings and networking opportunities.

Having commenced in Newcastle NSW in 2012, the Festival now heads in to its ninth year offering film and educational experiences across the globe.

In light of the catastrophic economic and social impacts COVID-19 has brought to not only our communities, but the broader national and international communities, the RFF has found a way to diversify and innovate the most valuable components of the festival program by moving the workshops, short film screenings and film completion screenings online.

This year’s festival program will include professional development opportunities for emerging film makers from diverse backgrounds to create content and build skills with industry professionals through online workshops, short film screenings and short film competitions.

We are on the lookout for fearless filmmakers prepared to tell their untold stories. We invite submissions from filmmakers from around the globe. Successful films will be screened at the Real Film between November 6 to 21, 2020.

The Real Film Festival supports independent film making talent, engages diverse communities and stimulates social conscious audiences through a series of programs.
The festival is a celebrating real events storytelling through film. Filmmakers are invited to submit short or feature length films for consideration in the Film Screening category, and short films only can be submitted into the Short Film Competition (up to 15 minutes). A panel of industry professionals select the final films to be screened at the festival together with the winners of the short film competitions.

The film screenings and competition guidelines are required to address the following topics;
Impacts of COVID-19
Stories from the Hunter region NSW
Living with a disability
Celebrating diversity and inclusion
Social justice, environmental and human rights issues
Reducing waste

We encourage submissions from filmmakers living with disability, First Nations, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, LGBTQI and female filmmakers.

Produced by Screen Hunter, the Real Film Festival began in Newcastle, NSW Australia in 2012 and has served as stimuli for discussion around social justice, environmental and human rights issues and celebrated diversity in film behind the camera and on screen for eight years.

If you are interested in online workshops, they will be held between Friday November 6 and Friday November 20, 2020. Please check for up to date information.

This program is designed to raise community spirit and provide tools to assist local residents, businesses and the greater community recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and the economic and social issues that have arisen, to help bring the community together.

8 categories
$20,000 Australia Dollars in prize money, Mentor-ships and prizes

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 community, 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 8 categories. Each short film must take inspiration from one of the following criteria:
1. Impacts of COVID-19
2. Stories from the Hunter region NSW
3. Reconciliation
4. Living with a disability
5. Celebrating diversity and inclusion
6. Homelessness
7. Social justice, environmental and human rights issues
8. Reducing waste
We encourage submissions from filmmakers living with disability, First Nations, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, LGBTQI and female filmmakers.
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 improve in on your strengths and overcome your weaknesses.
CLOSING DATE for non-competition entries is Friday, August 5, 2020. 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, September 18, 2020. Entries for competitions can run up to 15 minutes including titles & credits.
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).
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 are to be uploaded to the FilmFreeway portal
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.
16. Awards will be made to the best entry in each of the categories as listed above.
17. A copy of the judges’ comment sheet will be provided by email to the nominated team/ individual contact after the completion of the 2020 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
  • Rodrigues David

    Realfilm is a festival with great Hospitality. It was a honor for us to be a part of this Festival and beeing selected as semi finalist.
    The whole team of the film « Leaving to live » thank you warmly for your great work !
    All the Best, 🍀

    July 2020
  • 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
    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
    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
    Response from festival:

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