Proudly presented and produced by the City of Port Phillip, the St Kilda Film Festival supports the Australian film industry by showcasing the best short films. These films, made by emerging and accomplished industry professionals are in with a chance to share in a massive prize pool, with the Festival also an Academy Awards qualifying event (award-winning films from the Festival are eligible for consideration in the Short Film Awards and Documentary Short sections of the Oscars®).

St Kilda Film Festival provides the most comprehensive overview of the national short film industry, screening the top short film entries alongside a rich program of special events, international screenings and a free filmmaker development program.

Following the extraordinary success of an online program in 2020, the 2021 St Kilda Film Festival will present a hybrid program of online and physical screenings/events.

Please note: The Under the Radar (St Kilda Film Festival's youth competition for filmmakers under the age of 21) call for entries will open as a sub category to this competition in December.

A message from Festival Director, Richard Sowada:

The St Kilda Film Festival is Australia’s oldest short film event and represents a key annual event on the national screen culture calendar.

Each year, the festival receives hundreds of entries from around the country, and it’s this diversity that makes the film festival one of the most dynamic and vital celebrations of the short form in the country.

The virtual 2020 St Kilda Film Festival reached national audiences in excess of 47,000 viewers. For 2021, we’re planning a hybrid event that combines online events, physical screenings, exhibitions, moving image art and creative collaborations across the City of Port Phillip. There’ll be a sackful of surprises and we’d love to see your film in the mix.

Your film will be assessed by a panel and then a jury of festival alumni and industry experts, so even though we may (or may not) meet in the flesh, your film will make connections with filmmakers and industry in ways you may not think.

The beachside suburb of St Kilda is nationally renowned for its vibrancy, energy and creative adventure. Was that a hint? We look forward to seeing your creations.

The Short Film Competition has a huge prize pool of cash and in-kind craft awards, including a $10,000 prize for Best Short Film. Other awards include Best Director, Best Achievement in Screenplay, Best Documentary and Best Achievement in Cinematography.

St Kilda Film Festival Terms and Conditions

1. The St Kilda Film Festival short film competition only accepts Australian-made short film entries.

The Festival also accepts Australian co-productions where:
- a significant proportion of key crew are Australian, OR
- significant pre and postproduction occurred in Australia, OR
- the film received significant funding from Australia

Australian co-production eligibility details must be detailed at the time of submission and the Festival has final decisions on eligibility. If you are unsure of eligibility, please contact the Festival office at filmfest@portphillip.vic.gov.au.

2. St Kilda Film Festival accepts all fiction and non-fiction film genres.

3. Films submitted must be no longer than 40 minutes, inclusive of credits.

4. The Producer grants St Kilda Film Festival the rights to:

(a) Exhibit the film online for the duration of the Festival, in a programmed session available ‘on-demand’ from the St Kilda Film Festival website via the approved streaming platform. (Note the ticketing structure is still to be confirmed but there are likely to be free and low-cost sessions).

(b) Screen to a physical audience in a programmed session dependent on COVID conditions. Screening locations are to be determined but are likely to include both traditional and non-traditional screening venues. The 2021 St Kilda Film Festival will be a hybrid event and it is likely that most of the content will be exclusively screened online.

(c) Utilise a portion of the entered film for promotional purposes such as the trailer.

5. The Producer warrants to the St Kilda Film Festival that they have obtained all the necessary permissions to enter this film and that the film does not infringe the rights, including copyright, of any third party. This includes use of music and literary material.

6. All productions screened at 2021 St Kilda Film Festival must have been completed within 2 years of the entry closing date.

7. Entries cannot be withdrawn after Friday 5 March 2021. By submitting your film to the St Kilda Film Festival for consideration, you acknowledge this condition of entry and waive your right to withdraw your film from the Festival after this date.

8. If your film is selected for the Festival, you will be sent an email confirmation by March 2021.

9. The Festival strongly requests that selected films are removed from public viewing for the duration of the Festival campaign. This does not apply to existing agreements with other Festivals and online platforms.

10. As part of the online presentation of the event, the St Kilda Film Festival will be expanding its reach to a national audience. We do advise that all online festival content will be under a strict geo-blocked restriction limited to Australia only.

11. The St Kilda Film Festival has a commitment to ensuring equitable participation and inclusion. The Festival offers film submission waivers for films where the Director and/or Producer identify as being:
• First Peoples
• A person with disability
If this applies to your submission please email filmfest@portphillip.vic.gov.au to receive your waiver code prior to completing your submission.

Overall Rating
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  • During this challenging time, the St Kilda FF did their utmost to continue with the festival and to fully involve all participants and patrons. Thank you. It was privilage being involved with this renown festival.

    July 2020
  • India Dupre

    Even though the St Kilda film fest was online this year, they went out of their way to make us filmmakers feel special and rewarded. They even invited the composer from my short RING to an online panel. You can see why they have a terrific reputation and I strongly suggest submitting.

    June 2020
  • Richard James Allen

    We were thrilled to be part of the first ever online St Kilda Film Festival. It was very well organised and presented, with wonderful communication. We were particularly excited that our film, I WANT TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT WOMEN, was nominated for four awards and won Best Documentary. Thanks to Richard, Laura and Amber and the team for your passion to keep Australian cinema alive!

    June 2020
  • Xavier Brydges

    Great communication and handling of the festival during COVID-19. The new festival director, Richard Sowada, handled it well!

    June 2020
  • Philippe Sung

    A must submit festival. Australia's longest running short film festival where the team moved mountains to keep the show on the road during an incredibly challenging environment. Huge congratulations to the festival team for doing such a wonderful job.

    June 2020