The Watchdog Film Festival is all about celebrating quality film-making on topics of social and societal importance.

This festival accepts submissions from all over the world with a particular focus on films that make the viewer question the traditions, practices, systems, and hierarchies within the contemporary world. These can be fiction films, fact-based-fiction, investigative documentaries, exposés, and journalism-related films.

The festival event will be held in Brisbane, Australia and will screen the best entries including smartphone films, documentaries, fiction films, student films, charity (not-for-profit company) made films, and corporation made films. The 2019 event will take place later this year (probably late August or early September) depending upon the new venue.


We are the first and only film festival that will screen investigative films that dive into worlds otherwise unknown. We will shortlist films that cover matters of social importance and public significance and that ask us to question our own individual world or our systems within society. These can be documentaries, fictional films, narratives, journalism-style segments, and so on, as long as the film has an important message for society, be well researched, and based on fact. For example, the movie Okja explains the complexity of the meat industry to viewers in a very skilled, entertaining and tactful way drawing parallels to all of the meat industry including the dog meat trade. Okja is explaining our corporate meat culture back to itself and thus is a "watchdog" style fiction film. Another great example is Blood Diamond (film) and Blood Diamonds (documentary) which both explain the consequences of the real diamond trade in parts of Africa. These movies expose socio-political and economic systems so viewers can question the diamond industry and whether they want to support it.

Other examples of films with a watchdog message using a watchdog style are.....

V for Vendetta
Pay It Forward
Happy Feet
The Big Short
Dear White People
Shattered Glass
War Dogs

Food, Inc.
Bowling for Columbine
Super Size Me
Who Killed the Electric Car?
Inside Job
The Story of Aaron Swartz, The Man Who Could Change the World

Even though the above films have a high budget, we are happy to accept no or low budget films especially those financed via crowdfunding.

The program for this festival will be announced early 2018 and we seek to screen several investigative exposés, several smartphone made films, a few feature length films, and several short films.

Attendance at the event will be free for cast and crew of submitted films and winners will be featured on our Facebook page, on our website, and on twitter.

Anyone attending this film festival will learn a lot from the content of the screened films as well as network with other filmmakers and industry professionals.

This will be a great event!

Only the best films will recieve awards. Films will be shortlisted as "Finalists," which means you are nominated for an award. All nominated films will have a very short teaser screened along with the title and award nomination (category). The winning film will be screened in full.

All films must be submitted via an online screener for review.

Films will be shortlisted and submitters will be contacted prior to the event.

We accept films from all over the world and encourage all budget levels to submit.

Overall Rating
  • Thomas Francine

    On June 6, 2019, I was told my film was selected and nominated for an award. And that the festival was to be in August 2019. Got delayed indefinitely. It's now January 2020. The festival never happened. I've been in touch with the organizer. He just tells me it's still going to happen, but he has no clue when. I think all submissions should get their money back, but so far that has not happened.

    January 2020
  • Great communication from organisers! It's wonderful when a festival encourages student filmmakers. I look forward to seeing this festival grow in the future. My students and I attended the Awards Night and we were impressed by the variety of film styles and stories. Very eye-opening!

    June 2018
  • Excellent little festival, I look forward to seeing it grow in future years ahead bringing the much needed attention to various social issues. Overall great job guys!

    March 2018
  • Joan Shenton

    We are delighted and honoured to have won Best of Festival Award and Spirit of Watchdog Festival award for our film "Sacrificial Virgins". We have had wonderful attention form the festival. Thank you!

    March 2018