The Setting Sun Film Festival is a culturally diverse festival and the premier film festival in Melbourne's West. We attract quality entries from around the world. Our short film program is one of the largest in Melbourne. Our 2023 festival will be a hybrid event involving physical and online screenings, paid and free events. Loads of cash and prizes to give away. We screen at Kindred Studios and the Sun Theatre Yarraville.

$10,000 in cash and other prizes. TBC
$2500 for Best Short Film Overall 2023
$500 cheque for Best Film By A Female Director (must have female director)
All details here:

Read about categories, prizes and judging in the Submit Film section  here.

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 2020 until 31st Jan 2023. Applicants must register and pay before submitting their film. The deadline is midnight. ESTABLISHED IN 31 January 2023.
All films in all the general short film categories in the competition, (which is separate to the festival) must not be more than 40 minutes opening to closing credits. Films in the Under 18s youth section, and the female filmmaker section, can be no more than 20 minutes.
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, via YouTube or a Vimeo link 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 a DCP file set to 25 fps
- all films that require KDMs will require a valid KDM for festival duration as well as 2
weeks in advance to allow for testing.
- sound is to peak no greater than -3.0dB

For screening at Kindred Studios, the Greek Centre and online:
Filmmakers will need to provide an MOV file for the online component of the festival.

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.
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 Best Film by a Female Filmmaker and the $500 prize. The winner agrees to use the festival laurel in the credits. The winner of the Rouge Program agrees to mention the festival in media interviews and use a laurel.
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.
FEATURE FILMS:  For the purposes of the festival, an Australian film is any film with 51% or more Australian financing.
i. Your film can be a documentary or a narrative.
ii. Preferably, your film has not been screened in Victoria and was completed between the dates 1 December 2020- 28 February 2023.
iii. Your film must be more than 60 minutes long.
iv. You are available for a Q and A following the film’s screening
v. All feature films must be sent by hard drive, USB, or Dropbox link for viewing by judges. The feature film file 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 after 24hours, 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 libelous, 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 Film 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 to approach festival staff to discuss.
Rarely, film festival programs may be subject to change, and films may be removed, beyond the control of the festival. Filmmakers need to stay update via emails sent through FilmFreeway and/or Facebook. In case issues arise with your file, every entry must have a phone number and address or face possible disqualification.
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.
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. 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.
Films cannot be entered into the competition more than once.
In the event of a global pandemic, the festival will go online.
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.
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 2023 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:
i. knowingly false or mischievous complaints or statements about individuals, companies or sponsors involved with the festival
ii. content that is misleading, obscene, off-topic, sexist, racist or spam
111. content that uses SSFF site for promotional or commercial purposes
iv. content that breaks or encourages others to break the laws of Australia and its states and territories in any way, including breaching privacy laws
v. 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 SSFF website is accurate, suitable for your purposes or without errors. 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
  • We were glad to have our films selected!
    Thank you and until next year!

    May 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for entering such great films.

  • courtney harrison

    I was selected for the setting sun festival earlier this year. Following some confusing back and forth email communication, I took three weeks to respond due to confusion about how to submit my film. When I finally submitted a link despite no instruction to do that, I was told that I was taken off the program. Overall, I was upset and disappointed with the lack of helpful communication. It felt more like I was conversing with a robot. Also, when I checked the program, I noticed the only category that my film could of qualified for was the queer film category which my film isn’t a queer film…so that would of been very unprofessional if it was placed in that category without any sort of confirmation from me. I was very excited to be apart of this festival as it’s my first successful film festival entry but left really hurt by the outcome.

    May 2023
    Response from festival:

    Hi Courtney, we're sorry to hear you had a negative experience. As discussed, it's important filmmakers submit files by deadline or let us know before the deadline if they are having issues. It can be difficult to find a spot for a film once the programs are completed, the session files created and tickets are on sale.

  • Great Festival ☀️ Thank you so much for the Official Selection of Just Like Water film 🎥 Best wishes from Greece 🇬🇷

    January 2023
  • Martin Potter

    Thanks so many to the Setting Sun team for including us in your festival. It was such a great experience - beautiful cinema, incredible communication & support and a great screening. Fantastic festival.

    May 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Martin. Best of luck with your film.

  • It may be the Setting Sun Film Festival, but this Melbourne film festival is definitely rising to great heights. An incredibly interesting, eclectic and diverse festival catering for both local and international films. Festival director Anna Bourozikas and her team are warm, welcoming and deliver a great show. I participated in this year's festival in what could be described as an intensely challenging time for any film festival, anywhere in the world, due to the pandemic. While deprived of their usual cinema hub - the great Sun Theatre in Yarraville - they managed to run a stellar program online. I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this festival and will be entering again. If you're a local Melbourne filmmaker, Australian and International - do not hesitate to submit.

    December 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Brendan. It's filmmakers like you that make the festival great. Thank you for entering a great film.