SUNDAY APRIL 5 at 11:59pm

The organisers and partners of the 2020 SciFi Film Festival are monitoring and adhering to the Australian Federal Government's guidelines and recommendations on all matters pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage our loyal patrons, filmmaking friends, dedicated staff and social followers to do the same, including social-distancing and home-stay measures in a consolidated effort to help control the spread of the virus.

We are continuing to work towards the planned 2020 festival dates of August 28-30; conditional upon public health and safety conditions and government-mandated directives.

Therefore, Program Director Simon Foster, with the support of the Festival Director Tom Papas and the organisational team, has decided to not take any further submissions for the 2020 program beyond the now final deadline of 11.59pm AEDT on Sunday, April 5.

"We currently have a record number of submissions, whether they be feature, short, student or animated films," says Foster. "It is heartbreaking to have to suspend the submission process, but it would be unfair to continue to take fees at a time when there is so much uncertainty and prospect of delay."

The festival acknowledges that some filmmakers may currently be in post-production or working towards the previously outlined deadlines. If that is your situation and you do still wish to submit in the months ahead, please contact the Program Director at with your production details.

The team here at The SciFi Film Festival thank you for your understanding and hope you and your loved ones keep a healthy mind and body in these trying times.


The SciFi Film Festival will return to Event Cinemas George Street, Sydney for its seventh edition from August 28-30, 2020. After record attendances in 2019, Australia’s premiere celebration of science-fiction/fantasy cinema will again strive to meet the exceptionally high standards in speculative storytelling that its loyal patrons have come to expect.

The 2019 line-up represented a high watermark for the festival, which has seen year-to-year growth in ticket sales, further establishing its credibility and profile in the Asia Pacific marketplace. This year, 11 features and a record 32 short films made the program, which boasted three World Premieres, four International Premieres and 27 Australian premieres.

Guest attending in 2019 include Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner, the writing/directing brothers behind the Opening Night blockbuster, Nekrotronic; U.S. writer/director Joel Guelzo, attending the international premiere if his time-travel drama, Norman; Megan Riakos, Chairperson of Women in Film and Television (N.S.W.); and, short film auteurs from across the world, including Australian directors Chris Elena (Audio Guide), Steven Kerr (Spiral) and Jason Trembeth (Carcerem).

“After the madness of the Nekrotronic Opening Night event and the success of 2019 films such as Human Lost, The Final Land, A Living Dog and Norman, we know we have set ourselves a very high standard to meet in 2020,” says Program Director Simon Foster, returning for his third season working alongside Founder and Festival Director Tom Papas and an expanding team of dedicated genre buffs. “The records we set in 2019 will be a challenge to top, but envisioning and overcoming that which challenges us is central to science-fiction storytelling.”

This year, the SciFi Film Festival will be seeking sponsorship and advertising partners determined to share in the ongoing growth of the festival. Details of Platinum, Gold and Silver sponsorship packages are available upon request for cutting-edge companies keen to access young, influential, tech-savvy audiences and hoping to work beside current festival partners such as Event Entertainment and Hospitality.

The SciFi Film Festival offers awards in key categories that will be presented prior to the Closing Night film. The awards are named in honour of the great pioneers in science-fiction:

Mary Shelley Award for Best Feature Film and Best Short Film:
Named in memory of the teenage girl who invented modern science fiction in 1818 with her novel Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. Shelley was posthumously inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2014.

Lotte Reiniger Award for Best Animation Award:
Charlotte "Lotte" Reiniger directed the first feature-length animated film, The The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), and would create such masterworks as The Chines Nightingale (1927) and Silhouetten (1936).

Georges Méliès Award for Best Special Effects: The great French special effects pioneer crafted the iconic images in such classics as A Trip to the Moon (1902) and The Voyage Across the Impossible (1904).

Léon Theremin Award for Best Music/Sound: The long, eerie aural atmospherics of the Russian inventor's electronic musical instrument (the first to be mass-produced) became the signature sound of the 'golden era' of science fiction film and television in the 1950s.

Brigitte Helm Award for Best Actress: Forever remembered amongst film buffs and sci-fi fans alike as ‘Maria’ in Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

Rutger Hauer Award for Best Actor: A giant of the genre, notable for his landmark performance as replicant Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, the late Dutch actor also featured in Ladyhawke (1985), The Hitcher (1986), Split Second (1992), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) and Sin City (2005).

Discovery Student Film Award is open to students who are registered in a recognised film school, college or university, when they have made their film.

Terms and Conditions
1. All filmmakers/applicants or entity submitting a film to the SciFi Film Festival (hereafter known as ‘SciFi’, ‘SFFF' ‘We’, ‘Us” and ‘Our”), accept and agree to comply with the following Terms and Conditions

2. SciFi only accepts online registrations and submissions to be assessed. We accept films in any language… However, films not made in English must have English subtitles.

3. The person submitting a film to SciFi Film Festival is ‘You’ or ‘Your’ and You agree that Your film may be screened at SciFi Film Festival event, if it is selected.

4. We only accept films that have been produced during and after 2016

5. All submission fees are non refundable.

6. How to Submit
• Complete and submit Your online submission form.
• Pay relevant Submission fee
• You will receive confirmation of Your successful registration
• Films must be submitted via an online platform.

Student and Young Filmmaker category entrants must be registered in a recognised film school, university, college, high school, middle school or elementary school with proof of ID from the institution to qualify for the relevant fees.
You must supply the following:
• Your Student ID
• Name of school, college or university
• Name of Your Course
• Lecture or teacher
• Email of lecturer or teacher

7. Filmmakers submitting must also supply:

• Production credits and contact details
• 5 Photos for promotional purposes, no smaller than 1024 x 576 pixels
• Media pack for promotional use by SFFF
• Film Poster
• A short trailer of the film (Optional)

8. All films will be accepted and assessed with the view to screening them at a SciFi event(s). However, only films included in the Official Selection will be screened at a cinema venue(s). If Your entry is selected as part of the Official Selection for SciFi, You must provide Us with a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) in order for it to be screened. You will receive instructions on how to submit your DCP.

9. Cinema screenings are scheduled during the festival and or event at the discretion of SciFi. We undertake to make every effort to adhere to the published schedule program, however, SciFi reserves the right to alter this schedule and venue at any time for any reason. SciFi does not accept any liability for any costs claimed to arise as a result of a change in the scheduling.

10. Awards may be presented during the SciFi, at the discretion of the organisers and the Jury Panel.

11. By submitting a film, You grant us the right to screen Your film at one or more SciFi Film Festival event, copy and/or reproduce, modify, adapt and any part thereof, up to one (1) minute of the film submission. We may also use Your submission and any other promotional material/photo’s and/or information submitted by You to communicate it to the public in all media, including via our website and publicity materials, or to advertise and promote SciFi, event(s), its products and services, or all, and to showcase Your film.

12. You own the copyright to Your film as its author and represent and warrant that You have (and will continue to have during the duration of SciFi and thereafter) all necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions we need to use Your film and You will provide evidence of such on our reasonable request.

14. We accept no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by any person as a result of submitting a film to SciFi and its curation and all related events.

15. You indemnify and hold harmless SciFi from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening materials entered.

For further information contact SciFi Film Festival:

Overall Rating
  • It was a privilege to have my short film 'TRUTH.exe' involved in this festival. There were tech issues with the festival screener I'd sent them and I had already flown over to the festival so was unable to send a fixed one. They went out of their way to get a working file for the screening sorted which I was very grateful for. It was also great to meet with the other filmmakers that were present. Would definitely recommend this festival to other sci-fi filmmakers.

    June 2020
  • Jason Trembath

    The Sci-Fi Film Festival was an awesome experience and a truly great film festival to be part of.
    Simon, Tom and the team were wonderful and amazingly hospitable to me as a filmmaker. They are true champions of Science-Fiction here in Australia and work very hard behind the scenes.
    I can't recommend submitting to this festival enough, as a Science-Fiction filmmaker I was very grateful to be part of the 2019 lineup and to have film showcased here.
    Thanks guys!

    December 2019
  • Dana-Lee Mierowsky Bennett

    The SciFi Film Festival is by far the best film festival I have been part of. The festival organisers were welcoming and accommodating. Their passion for Sci Fi and supporting filmmakers showed in a fantastically organised film festival. What was fantastic was the social media presence, live streaming interviews, questions with the directors on social media and involvement of film supporting bodies like Women in Film and Television. Having our film screened at Event Cinemas at George Street cinemas was an absolute highlight. Definitely submit your film to the SciFi Film Festival. If you get in, you will experience more then just a film festival!

    September 2019
  • Joel Guelzo

    Absolute amazing Film Festival! I just wanted to let people know how awesome this festival did on taking care and respecting its filmmakers and the films shown. Every step of the way, I was taken care of and responded to in a timely fashion. They went out of their way to accommodate and facilitate help with promoting my film through Facebook, blogs, all sorts. I was just so happy to have my film play at this festival, and even more so when every step of the way, they tried to find ways to make the festival better for my film, and also the festival audience as well. Thanks so much Scifi Film Festival!

    September 2019
  • The most awesome festival for a world premiere ever. I've never felt so welcome at a festival as here. Our feature film "A Living Dog" and our team was featured in many articles, blog-posts and interviews and immediately we got requests by other blog-sites and festivals. Unfortunately we were not able to be there, because Germany is very far away, but I'd recommend the SciFi Film Festival to every scifi filmmaker (and scifi fan) out there!

    September 2019