The competition is open to existing and new films which embody the principles of ecological restoration and explore the relationship between people, science, restoration, and the environment. Films may be submitted by both students and professionals in the field of ecological restoration as well as established or emerging film makers. We particularly encourage submissions from first nations and aboriginal peoples from Australia and around the world.

1) Student and Ecological Restoration Professionals

Short films, < 5 minutes
New films only
Little to no past experience in film making

2) Open Category and Established Filmmakers

Short films, 2 – 15 minutes
Feature films, > 15 minutes
New or existing films

Selected films will be shown in person in Darwin in September 2023 with the winner announced at the end of the festival. Prizes are available for each category and selected filmmakers will have the opportunity to pitch their submissions to Australian based producers for further development or publication.

Students and ecological restoration professionals also have the opportunity to participate in a free training course. SER is developing an online film course that takes students through the process of developing, planning and making a short film that engages the viewing audience with their field of study and/or practice.

If you are a student and interested in participating in the training program, please fill out the online form here

If you have questions pertaining to the film festival, please direct them to

Prizes will be award for the winner and runner up for each category.

a. All entries will be viewed prior to the festival by a pre selection committee chaired by the Programming Director.
b. Finalists chosen by the committee will be viewed by the public at the Society for Ecological Restoration Film Festival
c. Films selected for the festival will be announced by July 30th, 2023
d. Applicants must have the intellectual property rights and distribution rights to enter this film into the competition. Applicants must acquire the performing rights for any music contained in the film and provide evidence should it be required.

a. The dispatching of any entry to the film competition implies acceptance of all regulations by the Applicant.
b. Films produced prior to the year 2021 will not be eligible for the competition.
c. Film makers from any country may enter the tour and are encouraged to attend the screening.
d. Films may be of any length and submitted by both professional and amateur film makers.
e. Submission of films does not guarantee their screening at the Festival.
f. No screening fee will be paid.
g. A completed and signed entry form must accompany each film otherwise it can not be considered for inclusion.
h. Films in any language other than English MUST have English subtitles or be dubbed in English to be considered for inclusion.
i. All submissions will be retained by the Festival for selection and archival purposes and will not be returned.
j. The Applicant grants the Festival and its successors, licensees and assigns the right to copy the entry in its entirety to facilitate technical operations of the Festival, in and through any and all media formats now known or hereafter devised.

By submitting your film, you confirm that you have read, understood and agree to the following terms:
1. You have all intellectual property rights to all content in the submission and you have the performing rights for any music contained in the film.
2. If requested you will provide evidence of intellectual property ownership should it be required.
3. You agree to allow the Society for Ecological Restoration and its successors, licensees and assignees to use your film and any associated photos or extracts in the Society for Ecological Restoration Film Festival or any associated ecologically focused programming in any digital format including cinema projection, video on demand, DVD/Blu-Ray and streaming compilations, anywhere in the world. Films may be shown at multiple screenings. Segments of the films may be used in trailers and marketing. Photographs, screen grabs or filmmaker submitted images may be used in promotional material and social media. The Society for Ecological Restoration may sub-licence this right without further consent.
4. To the best of your knowledge, all of the statements in this document are true.
5. The film submitted is not subject to litigation nor is threatened by any litigation.
6. You are duly authorised to submit this film to the festival and its competition.
7. You understand that the Society for Ecological Restoration Film Festival and its owner Society for Ecological Restoration are not responsible for any type of loss or damage to you pertaining to the film or its use.
8. Final decision on the award winners and films included in the Society for Ecological Restoration Film Festival will be at the absolute discretion of the Event Organisers.

a. Preferred format to receive and screen films is 16:9 ratio PAL format. We accept either Avid DNxHD or Apple ProRes 422 at 1920x1080p, in a .mov or .mxf wrapper. Our preference is to use the 10bit codecs (example: ProRes 422 (HQ) or Avid DNxHD 175X, 185X or 220X – depending on frame-rate). Please submit the frame rate that your film was edited in, to a maximum of 30 frames per second, ideally 24 or highter. Audio should be uncompressed PCM, .wav or .aif at 24bit, 48kHz.
b. Files SHOULD NOT include bars and tones at the beginning of the programme.
c. Files should not have advertisements at the beginning of playback. Any disk locked into playing adverts at the beginning of the film will not be eligible for entry. When ‘play’ is selected the film should start immediately.
d. Sound levels should conform to professional broadcast standards.
e. We encourage submissions of films in High Definition preferably in 720p, 1080p.
f. We also encourage submissions via digital download from fast servers, youTube or Vimeo.
g. Upon request hard drives can be returned after the festival at the Applicants cost, using recorded/tracked mail. Should you wish to use a courier instead, we ask that the filmmakers make their own arrangements and cover the costs.

4. PROMOTIONAL REQUIREMENTS: If your film has been selected for the Society of Ecological Restoration Film Festival, the following must be submitted:
a. A minimum of 2 high-resolution promotional still photographs at 300dpi must be submitted electronically or on disc for each film.
b. All images must be labeled with film title, location and photographer credit (or provided in a separate word document) and images must include rights to be used for film promotional purposes.
c. The Festival reserves the right to use up to two (2) minutes from each entry submitted for promotional purposes including but not limited to the tour Trailer.

a. The Society of Ecological Restoration Film Festival will inform all Applicants of the status of their application once short listing is complete. If accepted the preferred format is a high definition digital file.
b. All entries give the right to Society of Ecological Restoration Film Festival to show the film at the Festival date.
c. By submitting pictures/images and signing this form the image/picture copyright holder is giving permission to the Society of Ecological Restoration Film Festival to use these images for festival promotion and documentary purposes. The copyright of these images will always remain with the copyright holder.
d. The Applicant grants permission for the Society of Ecological Restoration Film Festival to release contact details to the Media/

All film makers are responsible for obtaining any permissions required by copyright law in the use of any music and images used in their films. Society of Ecological Restoration Film Festival will take no responsibility for copyright infringement. If the Society of Ecological Restoration Film Festival thinks it necessary, proof of copyright will be asked for. Failure to produce proof in writing from the copyright holder will result in automatic expulsion from the competition

Overall Rating
  • Christine + Marc Sonvilla + Graf

    We were not able to attend the festival in person, but we are very impressed by the online appearance and activity, the great program and consider this event hugely important for communicating ecological topics to a broader public!
    We are thrilled that our short film about river restoration was considered a valuable contribution to the festival and very much hope that we can contribute our little portion to spreading the word about dam removal activities and their relevance to river health and resilience.
    (We didn't rate "hospitality" and "networking", since we were not on location but we are sure it would be a five star rating.)

    October 2023