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. A special category of St Kilda Film Festival is the Youth Short Film Category - Under the Radar. This category provides an opportunity for young filmmakers (under the age of 21) to show their work in an internationally recognised film festival.

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.

A message from Festival Director, Richard Sowada:

The St Kilda Film Festival is Australia’s longest-running short film festival and represents a key annual event on the national screen culture calendar. And in 2024, we turn 40!

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

Since 2020, the St Kilda Film Festival has reached audiences of more than 80,000 in its online and physical formats. The event features screenings and live performances in cinemas and bars; creative collaborations; moving image art exhibitions; games platforms; and professional development opportunities right across the creative suburbs of St Kilda and South Melbourne. For our 40th birthday, there'll also be a sack full of surprises and we'd love to see your films in the mix.

Your film will be assessed by a panel of SKFF alumni, and a jury of industry experts, so even though we may not meet in the flesh, your film will forge connections with filmmakers and industry professionals in ways you may not think.

We look forward to seeing your inspired creations.

The winner of the Under the Radar Short Film Competition will be awarded a cash prize of $1000.

St Kilda Film Festival – Under the Radar 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 Under the Radar Director -

2. To enter Under the Radar Category:
(a) An entrant MUST be under 21 years when the short was filmed (the entrant is referred to as the “Producer”).
3. St Kilda Film Festival accepts all fiction and non-fiction film genres. All films should adhere to Australian G-rating guidelines. Films must not contain violence or images, language or behaviour that is unlawful or offensive, or that refer to illicit drug use. Where this requirement is not followed, the Producer may be contacted to edit the film or otherwise the film will be disqualified.

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 2024 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 (submitting filmmaker) 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 2024 St Kilda Film Festival must have been completed within 2 years of the entry closing date.

7. Entries cannot be withdrawn after Friday 1 March 2024. By submitting your film to the Under the Radar 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 25 March 2024.

9. The Festival strongly requests that selected films are removed from public viewing on other platforms and do not appear at other public screenings for the duration of the Festival campaign. This does not apply to existing agreements to other Festivals or with streaming 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.
Film Criteria

11. Films submitted must be no longer than 15 minutes, inclusive of credits.

12. Entries must be received by Wednesday, January 31 2024.

14. The St Kilda Film Festival has a commitment to ensuring equitable participation and inclusion.

The festival offers film submission waivers for people who require financial assistance with entering the competition or for those film makers who live, work or study within the City or Port Phillip. Please email Jay-Dee via to request a submission waiver.

If you have accessibility requirements or require an adjustment to participate in Under the Radar, please contact Jay-Dee Pitcaithly on 0481 153 535 or email

Please note, this event is co-run by the City of Port Phillip FReeZA events committee. a Victorian State Government Initiative to support all ages drug, alcohol and smoke free entertainment for 12 to 25 year olds.

Overall Rating
  • Caitlin Soennichsen

    Such a great experience! I'm so lucky that this was my first film festival as a young filmmaker. Unfortunately, COVID hit Melbourne and affected my screening (and the whole festival) but it didn't affect the professionalism from St Kilda Fest and my enjoyment of the whole experience!

    June 2021