We are on baby! Full steam ahead.
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 2020.

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 2020 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.

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, 2020.

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.

Overall Rating
  • Neil Goss

    A well organised festival with excellent communications. The SIFF should not be overlooked.

    December 2019
  • Olga and Andrii Andreiev

    Thank you for this wonderful festival. I was happy to take part in it. Hopefully in the future I will send my film here again.

    December 2019
  • Nick Graalman

    I can only speak for the one day I was there, but I would skip this film festival. My film was selected, featured as 1 of 8 films on the front page of their website, but not being screened at all during the festival. Felt quite misleading (to me and the public). No emails were replied to and to top it all off, no one there knew what film I was even talking about (think deer in headlights). Had anyone even seen it? To their credit, they did an interview with me, once I explained that my film was one of the selected films. SO, thats something, small consolation though, given they had no idea what the film was about. I think it's possible that I was used. My film made for a nice picture on their front page, or perhaps the synopsis would pull interest. Hard to say, but I'l never go again.

    November 2019
  • Scott D Clark

    Absolutely blown away to see my film - 'The Sky Is Falling' in its Australian Premier on the big screen. Such an amazing festival!

    November 2019
  • 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 :)