We are on baby! Full steam ahead.
The Sanctuary International Film Festival will return to The Village Theatre, Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast for the seventh consecutive year on 21 – 24 November 2021.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Sanctuary Cove, the outdoor & indoor event premieres some of the best short films, documentaries and feature films from around the world. Film industry workshops, panels, industry networking and special events such as a charity golf tournament, an exclusive VIP opening and celebrity closing party will also form part of the 2021 program.

The free outdoor activities include; the short film festival, roving entertainment, a unique kids film festival, live music and more, which create an engaging, fun and interactive atmosphere for budding filmmakers, film buffs and families.

Boasting a record 200+ entries this year, more screenings and a broader more engaging program than ever before. Celebrating all aspects of filmmaking and supporting local and international feature and short films from various genres. The Sanctuary Film Festival was created to amplify the voices of the independent filmmakers.

“With entries now from all over the world, this years festival has grown to an all time high and what better place to host it than the premier Sanctuary Cove precinct, neighbour to some of the biggest film productions in the world.” Said event founder Mike Goldman.

The Sanctuary Cove Film Festival is held from the 21st to the 24th of November, and is proudly sponsored by Screen Queensland and the Queensland Government.

The Film Competition awards, includes a grand prize for Best Short Film. Other awards include Best Director, Best Achievement in Screenplay, Best Documentary and Best Achievement in Cinematography. More prizes added as the competition draws closer. Please keep in mind due to covid we have had a lot of sponsors pull out so we are more about recognition this year. We just want to keep our little festival going and appreciate your support.

Films must have been completed in the last 2 years and not yet commercially released to an Australian cinema, television, DVD or streaming audience.

Feature films must be over 70 minutes in length and short films must be under 10.

All films must pay a submission fee to retain integrity of the competition. In rare cases a special exemption can be made by the committee for under developed nations or cases of extreme hardship.

Films must be available for screening during the festival from November 21 - 24, 2021.

Narrative and Documentary films with Australian distribution are ineligible for competition but could be eligible for an exclusive VIP LAUNCH screening - please contact info@sanctuaryfilmfestival.com to submit.

Films aired on free to air television, released on DVD, streamed on line publicly before the festival are not eligible for competition.

We do not accept unfinished films apart from in-progress sound or colour.

There are strictly no refunds to any festival entries.

Please post us a screening copy of the film on DVD. PAL is preferred. Please send a cover letter describing your film. There is a no return policy on DVDs. You will be notified upon receiving your film.

Under no circumstances are films invited to the competition. Only officially submitted films will be viewed by our committee.

All selected filmmakers receive complimentary tickets across the event.

All winners have the option of being a part of the new Sanctuary Film streaming service.

Overall Rating
  • Hhere was no communication with the organizers and no networking, we received an honorable mention so thanks for choosing us❤️️

    January 2022
  • Alexander Bruckner

    Thank you for having us :-)

    December 2021
  • Keith Barnfather

    Frankly not that impressed. Delighted to get an Honourable Mention, but no-one replies to emails. Can't honestly recommend it.

    December 2021
    Response from festival:

    hey there Keith, could you please email anything you need to know to mg@sanctuaryfilmfestival.com and we will get onto it straight away. cheers and thanks for the review.

  • Awesome film Festival from the Down Under. Love the energy and diversity from Sanctuary International Film Festival, thank you for the official selection & honorable mention, We love you Australia !

    November 2021
  • Gregory Kelly

    Odd experience with this festival personally. Initially, I received an official selection notification and a download request, then our status was changed to honorable mention - fair enough, mistakes happen. However, our film poster was shared on their Facebook page and used as marketing on their Facebook banner, but my email and follow-up email were ignored when I sought clarification to whether our film was actually screening. I see other reviews sharing similar issues here re: communication. Unfortunately, I won't be submitting to this festival in the future.

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    One star for showing and promoting your film. Thanks a million. If you have any issues please email mg@sanctuaryfilmfestival.com we never received any email from you.