Proudly supported by Screen Queensland, the Sanctuary International Film Festival will return to The Village Theatre, Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast for the fifth consecutive year on 21 – 24 November 2019.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Sanctuary Cove, the outdoor & indoor event premiers 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 and exclusive VIP opening and closing parties will also form part of the 2019 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 prize pools totals over $15,000 in awards, including a grand prize for Best Short Film. Other awards include Best Director, Best Achievement in Screenplay, Best Documentary and Best Achievement in Cinematography.

Films must have been completed in the last 3 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, 2019.

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

Overall Rating
  • Rosie Jones

    Once the film was selected there was literally no communication. I have no idea if the film was screened or the festival even took place. I checked the website and asked to see images from the festival but all communication was ignored. Don't waste the entry fee.

    February 2019
    Response from festival:

    Hi there Rosie. Your film was played. Very funny. The crowd LOVED it. We also love your NEW Doco THE FAMILY. What an incredible achievement. Good luck with future endeavours and please contact us for free tickets and a fee waiver for your next film. We're here to make friends :)

  • Jeremy Rigby

    A FIVE Star International Film Festival with heart! Highly recommended and very professional with a great mix of attendees. My 91 year old father, the star of my selected film and I were made to feel most welcome. I'm looking forward to entering, being selected and attending the next festival. My only one regret was not booking local accommodation so that we could enjoy the seemingly endless beer and wine in the vip section.

    January 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks a million for your review. What an incredible film. Congratulations.

  • A great exciting film-festival, my gratitude and thanks for selecting Ask Wonder.

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    Legend see you in November for a beer!

  • Anthony Miller

    Fantastic time had by all great to have had my film as part of the festival. Looking forward to next years event
    Mad Antz Films

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    Love your work. Glad we could move your screening. Big things ahead for you Anthony. We're right behind you.

  • The Bailey Boys (Triple O Productions)

    Where to begin!! 5-Star Film Festival all the way. We have attended each year, and are astounded each time at how the Festival manages to exceed everyone's expectations time and time again. Stunning location, BRILLIANT, witty & comedic MC'ing a la legendary Mike Goldman, INSANE prizes and uber-generous sponsorship support, an entire weekend of film, entertainment, prizes, laughter & delicious food & wine. Not only does this Festival cater for experienced filmmakers, it also provides up and coming filmmakers with a wonderful opportunity to have their creativity recognised and acknowledged in a supportive and encouraging environment. Already blocked out the calendar for the 2019 Film Festival.

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    What a superstar family. We were so pleased we discovered you before your big trop-fest win. Kinda made us all feel special. See you in November.