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 fifth 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.

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
  • Ashlee London

    Great Festival guys! Thank you for choosing Unheard Of

    January 2021
  • Oscar Fairweather

    Well run. Well looked after. Profesh and fun!

    November 2020
  • Neil Goss

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

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much Neil. Hope to see you on our new platform ;)

  • 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
    Response from festival:

    You’re too kind :) Let’s chat about getting some free promo for your film on Sanctuary moving forward.

  • 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
    Response from festival:

    Hey there Nick. Well done on a great film that we selected. It was played on the Thursday and we WERE looking to make it a part of our new streaming platform. There are phone numbers on our website. A quick call or question to our organisers would have straightened things out for you. Let's just say we have your message now. Loud and clear. Thanks for the feedback.