The Setting Sun Film Festival is the premier film festival in Melbourne's West. We have grown over the past seven years from a community festival to one with a national and international reputation attracting entries from around the world. We're a five day festival that includes a competition for the best short films under 20 minutes. We also screen feature length films. Our 2019 festival screened ten programs, with most sold out. Our categories are Open to all and cover animation, documentary, short feature, comedy, acting, directing, screenwriting, tertiary, secondary and more. We have a female only program sponsored by the award winning film producer Sue Maslin. We at the prestigious art deco Sun Theatre Yarraville. Loads of cash and prizes to give away.

$10,000 in cash and other prizes. Still being confirmed.
$1000 for Best Short Film Overall
$1000 cheque for Best Film By A Female Filmmaker (must have female director)
All details here:

Guidelines for Shorts and Feature films, Social Media Policy & Disclaimer
You can also read the submission guidelines on our website if your prefer:

By entering the Setting Sun Film Festival, entrants agree to abide by the following terms and conditions. Failure to abide by these terms and conditions will result in disqualification. Fees will not be refunded. By entering a film, it is presumed that every entrant has read the Terms and Conditions, award categories and judging information.
All films in all categories entered into the competition, must have been completed from 1st December 2017 until January 31st 2020. Applicants must register and pay before submitting their film. The deadline is midnight est. 31st January 2020. Every entry must have a phone number and address or face disqualification.
All films in all the short film categories in the competition, (which is separate to the festival) must not be more than 20 minutes opening to closing credits. We will accept and screen films outside these restrictions however they will not be eligible for the competition.
Films will be judged and the winners announced on the website prior to the festival starting. Judges’ decisions are final and no discussion will be entered.
All short films must be uploaded by the filmmaker onto FilmFreeway, YouTube or Vimeo with the link included in the application for judging. No hardcopy DVDS are to be submitted to the festival. Please check the quality of your film once uploaded. Please provide the password on your application.
For screening purposes at the Sun Theatre, successful short film festival applicants will need to provide:
– Adult entrants must send a DCP file set to 25 fps. Films shown on Opening Night, may also need to send a DCP file set to 24fps to accommodate the Sun Theatre’s cinemas.
– Secondary Schools and secondary students may send a High Definition MOV H264 or PRORES file set to 24 frames per second, and with resolution 1998 x 1080 for Flat Aspect Ratio 1:85 OR 2048 x 858 for Scope Aspect Ratio 2:39
Rarely, film festival programs maybe subject to change, and films may be removed, beyond the control of the festival. Also, filmmakers need to stay update up via emails sent through FilmFreeway and/orFacebook in case issues arise with your file.
Filmmakers agree to send their DCP file to the Sun Theatre, six weeks prior to the start of the festival. Failure to do so can result in disqualification.
BEST SHORT FILM WEST: Filmmakers entering the Best Short Film West Award must have had key creatives (director, producer, writer) living in the West, or have completed their entry in the West, during 1st December 2016 – January 31st 2018 to be eligible. Must provide address or other evidence.


Entrants must have two of the following to be eligible to be screened in the female filmmaker program, The Rouge: producer, screenwriter, director.
Only films with a female director can be eligible to win the Sue Maslin sponsored Film Art Award for Best Film By A Female Filmmaker and the $1000 prize.
The winner of the Rouge Program agrees to mention the festival in media interviews.
SECONDARY STUDENTS: entering a film in the competition must be over 13 years of age to enter. It is presumed that by entering the competition that the child’s parent/ guardian has read the terms and conditions and has consented.

BEST SHORT FILM FROM A WEB SERIES: Can be any genre but only ONE episode can be submitted per entry. This cannot be substituted for another entry once entered.

FEATURE FILMS: To enter your film for consideration please note the following:

For the purposes of the festival, an Australian film is any film with 51% or more Australian financing.
Your film can be a documentary or a narrative.
Preferably, your film has not been screened in Victoria and was completed between the dates 1 December 2016- 31st January 2018.
Your film must be more than 60 minutes long.
You are available for a Q and A following the film’s screening
All feature films must be sent by hard drive, USB, or dropbox link for viewing by judges. The feature film chosen to screen during the festival must be a DCP file set to 24fps or 25fps.

Once a film is entered into the festival, it cannot be withdrawn after 24 hours. Films cannot be withdrawn at all after the Call for Entries deadline expires and judging begins. Should a filmmaker choose to withdraw their film, no refund will be issued. Refunds are not issued if the film has not been entered by the deadline.
A filmmaker may not substitute a film that has been entered into the festival with another film.
The Setting Sun Film Festival will not be responsible for damaged, lost, misdirected or unusable content.
Content that is libellous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, sexually, culturally or racially offensive will not be included. A film under the threat of litigation, or facing litigation must not be entered. No refunds will be issued.
An entrant is solely responsible for ensuring that all necessary copyright and other permissions for their film has been obtained prior to submitting their film. This includes, but not limited to, music, stock images, footage, photos, graphics and sound. Entrants warrant their film does not breach any of the intellectual rights, or any other rights, of any other person. Entrants will fully indemnify the Setting Sun Short Festival of any costs, loss, expenses, damages, or liability, whether direct or indirect, arising out of a claim by a third party or another party.
The judges’ decision is final and no discussion will be entered. Entrants agree not approach festival staff to discuss.
As the Sun Theatre theatres are small, finalists and winners will receive two free tickets to the Opening Night only if their film is screening. Everyone else receives one free ticket to a general session screening of their film. Selected finalists are also expected to attend the festival or send someone from the film to represent them if they are a winner in the competition.
The Setting Sun Film Festival is an artistic festival. Corporate films, films that promote or publicise an organisation, issue or event will not be accepted. Films with contact details for an organisation or an event will not be accepted. Sponsor logos (unless from a film body sponsor) cannot be used at the credit sequence. However sponsors can be credited in the credit sequence via a thanks.
Films may be moved for judging into different categories at the discretion of the Festival Director.
The Festival Director may include films in the festival that fall outside of the judging and festival criteria. These films will not be part of the competition.
Films cannot be entered into the competition more than once.
Festival programmes may subject to change due to circumstances beyond the festival’s control.
Finalists and winners must be present, or send a representative, to accept their award. Please notify the festival office if you are unable to collect your award
Winners must contact the festival office to collect their prizes within two weeks of the conclusion of the festival or forfeit their prize
All festival winners agree to mention the festival in any media interviews or marketing they do for up to 12 months after the festival ends. We work hard to promote you. Share a little love back.
By submitting a film into the festival, entrants authorise the SSFF, the right to use their short film, synopsis and details for publicity and promotional activities related to the festival, social media the right to additional screenings outside of the festival as part of marketing the festival.We always let filmmakers know in advance. Please drop us a line if you have any queries.

If your film has been selected for the 2020 Setting Sun Film Festival, it must not be screened on social media until the Festival ends.

While we welcome feedback and discussion, we expect participants in the festival to act in a respectful manner on social media. Festival entrants agree not to make:

knowingly false or mischievous complaints or statements about individuals, companies or sponsors involved with the festival
content that is misleading, obscene, off-topic, sexist, racist or spam
content that uses SSFF site for promotional or commercial purposes
content that breaks or encourages others to break the laws of Australia and its states and territories in any way, including breaching privacy laws
content that defames or harasses any participant of SSFF site, administration, employees, sponsors or volunteers.
Except as provided by law, the SSFF Website is provided “as is” and without any warranty or condition, express or implied. SSFF does not warrant that the information contained in or accessible through the SSSFF website is accurate, suitable for your purposes or without errors, omissions or viruses nor does SSFF guarantee continuous, uninterrupted or secure access to the SSFF Website. You acknowledge that access and use of the SSFF Website (including the software operating in connection with the SSFF Website) may be interfered with by numerous factors outside of SSFF’s control. SSFF does not warrant the accuracy of any advice, opinion, statement, representation or other information displayed on or accessible through the SSFF Website. Subject to the provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974, SSFF makes no representations or warranties in respect of the information and materials available on the SSFF Website or the means of accessing that information and material (including the software operating in connection with the SSFF Website).

Overall Rating
  • Alex Campbell

    Such a lovely local festival at a beautiful venue. These guys are doing very good things

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much.

  • Clea Frost

    Such a great local festival. Amazing to see our film screen in the beautiful Sun Theatre. Thanks for having us!

    June 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Clea!

  • Shannon Meilak

    This was a fab festival. The mixer on opening night was good and a great way to mingle with fellow filmmakers. The awards ceremony was enjoyable and succinct.

    June 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much Shannon!

  • A brilliant festival to be part of, with screenings in a classic 1930s cinema, a raft of awards and prizes and buzzing friendly atmosphere. Highly recommended for all filmmakers and film lovers.

    May 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Andrew, for entering great films every year.

  • Fatemeh Mohammadi

    This festival made me an exciting moment. First, I accepted my film, and I was very happy because it was a great honor for me and then another emotion.Yes, my film was nominated in two important sections. And finally, I got surprised by receiving a decent prize from the festival. I will return to this festival with my second film and I will introduce this festival to my friends thank you so much for everything

    May 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Fatemeh. All the best.