SCINEMA is a celebration of the power of the moving image to tell stories about the world, how it works, and our place in it. Whether it’s the long slog and occasional thrill of discovery, the awesome scale of our universe, the beauty of nature, environmental challenges that we face on our planet, or how technology will shape our future, there are hundreds of science stories we want to see on screen.

SCINEMA, pronounced with a long ‘i’ to emphasize the science behind the cinema, is an international science film festival, providing a platform on which filmmakers, professional, amateur and student, can showcase their science films, from dramas to documentaries, animations or epic natural history.

SCINEMA, established in 2000, attracts entries from across the world, including some of the world’s most respected science factual programs, producers and directors.

SCINEMA International Film Festival will take place in June 2017 with screenings at Palace Cinemas across Australia. This will be followed by the community program, giving community groups, schools and other organisations the chance to host their own SCINEMA screening during National Science Week in August 2017. In 2016 over 250 venues hosted screenings as part of the community program, including a screening in Antarctica.

Awards & Prizes

Best Film

Best documentary

Best Director

Best Short Film

Best Experimental/Animation

Award for Technical Merit

Award for Scientific Merit

Special Jury Award

Rules & Terms

Scinema International Science Film Festival (the Festival) is a project of The Royal Institution of Australia, delivered through Austraila’s Science Channel (
All films accepted into the Festival will be included in the SCINEMA Community Screening Program available online through Australia’s Science Channel VOD platform. Community Screening playlists are password protected and only issued to registered venues. A selection of finalists and winning films will also be chosen to be screened at live events in cinemas at Palace Nova Cinemas around Australia in June 2017.
Following the festival program all films have the option to be included on Australia’s Science Channel for a license period of 12 months for a non-exclusive free VOD license for Australia and New Zealand. Limited license fees payable to filmmakers upon application.
Entry Instructions
1. Entries will be accepted through FilmFreeway.
2. All media must be clearly marked with the title of the entry, the entrant’s name, contact email, phone and address. It is the responsibility of the entrant to update any changes of address or contact details post submission.
3. All films with dialogue must be in English or English narrated or subtitled.
4. All entries must have been produced after 1 September 2015.
5. All entries must be fully completed works - do not submit works in progress.
6. Confirmation of receipt of entry will be emailed.
7. The Royal Institution of Australia accepts no responsibility for entries lost, delayed or not received for any reason.

Judging & Selection
1. A film review panel will be selected by The Royal Institution of Australia, and this panel shall decide which entries make it to the final judging round and select award winners.
2. A selection of films reaching the final judging round will screen as part of the 2017 Festival at cinemas across Australia during June 2017.
3. All films accepted into the Festival will be curated into a community film program to screen by free VOD under the SCINEMA International Film Festival banner at multiple venues across Australia, New Zealand and territories in August 2017.
4. By submitting your film for the Festival you are agreeing it can be screened at all of the above.
5. If selected, entrants agree and understand, that their film shall screen in either or both, our live festival event and/or our online festival event that utilizes VOD.
6. The jury’s decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
7. Only one prize or trophy will be produced per category - if a winning production(s) is a group entry, the group will have to split or share their prize.

Copyright & Permissions
1. Copyright resides entirely with the artist(s). By submitting your entry to the Festival you confirm that you have obtained all releases necessary for the public exhibition of your work including internet.
2. In the case of student works, you must ensure you have obtained permission from students and/or their parents to use their image in your films. By submitting your entry to the Festival you confirm you have received all required permissions.
3. The Royal Institution of Australia will not be held responsible for any breach of copyright or permissions arising from any entries submitted.

Promotional Use
Entrants shall allow clips or images from their works, to be reproduced by radio, newspaper, television and the Internet for promotional purposes only. Please provide a 300dpi image for this purpose.

Withdrawal from Festival
Entrants wishing to withdraw from SCINEMA International Science Film Festival must inform the festival in writing by 1 April 2017 by contacting Lisa Bailey on

Entry Statement
By submitting an entry in the Festival, you declare your understanding, compliance and acceptance of all terms included in this application.

Copyright release
I grant permission for the film entered to be included in the SCINEMA program. If my film is accepted, I will nominate how my film may be screened from the following 2 options:

1. Have your film shown at the national screenings if selected by the Jury, and then made available online for both community screening playlists and general public viewing via Australia’s Science Channel, where your film will be available for a license period of 12 months for a non-exclusive free VOD license for Australia and New Zealand.

2. Have your film shown at the national screenings if selected by the Jury, and then made available online for community screenings through Australia’s Science Channel. Community screening playlists are password protected and only issued to registered venues.

I declare that :
• I have the authority to convey that all copyright and permissions necessary are secured.
• the exhibition of this work will not violate or infringe upon the rights of any person, firm or corporation.
• I have read and agree to the TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ENTRY, and give permission for The Royal Institution of Australia to transfer sections from the above titled production for use as required in relation to the Festival for screening and promotional purposes.
• the entry is an original production completed after 1 September 2015.
*If you are under the age of 18, please have an authorised adult complete and submit this form on your behalf.

1 Review

Overall Rating
  • false
    David Ruby

    The SCINEMA International Science Film Festival is one of the loveliest and friendliest festivals I have ever been in touch with.

    Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend in person but the festival were brilliant at keeping me updated with the progress of the event and letting me know how many people were attending that it felt like I was there all along.

    I would recommend this festival to anybody thinking of applying to a festival in Australia.

    September 2017
    Scinema2017 filmfreeway icon 330x330px
    Response from festival:

    Hi David, thanks for your kind review and glad you enjoyed taking part!