Sydney Web Fest, Sydney's home for digital short-form storytelling, is back for its sixth edition in 2024!
Sydney Web Fest is Sydney's international web series festival, and is dedicated to the celebration of online content, and the talents of the creators who make it happen.
We're excited to showcase hardworking creatives, and their web-based work. SWF is committed to celebrating the creators of web series', and in particular, the creative accomplishments of women - along with honouring diversity across all spectrums. No matter how you identify, we look forward to your submission.
2024 marks SWF's sixth year, with the valued support from LA Web Fest, the eternally brilliant Michael Ajakwe, our partners Melbourne Web Fest, NZ Web Fest, Montreal Web Fest, New Jersey Web Fest, and other industry heavyweights. Sydney Web Fest’s 2024 edition will be packed with screenings, panels, networking opportunities, and our awards ceremony.
The Sydney Web Fest team is excited to welcome you to Sydney Web Fest 2024!
SWF Award for Best Series*
SWF Award for Diversity**
SWF Michael Ajakwe Award for Innovation***
SWF Technical Director's Award for Development****
Best Comedy Series
Best Drama Series
Best Documentary Series
Best Student Series
Best Kids Series
Best Animated Series
Best Short Film
Best Self Tape
Best Podcast (Fiction & Non-Fiction)
Best Actual Play Podcast
Best Actual Play Video
Best Audio Fiction Standalone
Best Screenplay - Comedy
Best Screenplay - Drama
Best Actor (x2)
Best Supporting Actor (x2)
Best Original Score
Best Sound Design
Best Visual/Special Effects
* Qualifying series must have women in at least three key creative roles (Lead Actor, Director, Producer, Writer, Cinematographer, Composer, Editor)
** Qualifying series must have an LGBTQIA+ focus and/or pass the Vito Russo test.
*** This award is in honour of the creator of web series festivals as we know them. As the founder of LA Web Fest, Michael paved the way for festivals like ours, and this award celebrates innovation and courage in filmmaking.
**** This major award is presented by our Technical Director to a project from any category. The prize aims to further a project's technical development
Please read the following terms carefully. Sydney Web Fest reserves the right to deem any project that fails to meet the criteria outlined ineligible:
[Scroll to the bottom of this section, for submission guidelines for creators of Fiction & Non-Fiction Podcasts, Actual Play audio or video projects, and Audio Fiction standalones.]
1. Upon submitting to Sydney Web Fest, you and/or your team fully accept the terms and conditions outlined by Sydney Web Fest.
2. Upon submission, you grant Sydney Web Fest rights to use works submitted, and excerpts from works submitted, for promotional purposes (presentations, highlight reels, advertising material).
3. Upon submitting your work to Sydney Web Fest, you and/or your team must have expressed authority, own all rights, and the associated intellectual property permissions, to submit works.
4. You may submit more than one project to the festival, to one or more categories, but each submission in each category must be completed separately, each with their own submission fee. If you aren't sure which category your project falls under, select which one is closest.
5. Entry fees are non-refundable. Submitters understand that submitting their work and paying the submission fee does not guarantee that their project will be accepted into Sydney Web Fest. Upon submission, submitters also acknowledge that every project received will be judged by a jury, whose decision is final. They acknowledge and accept this risk, as well as the fact that entry fees are non-refundable, and that withdrawals are not permitted.
6. With the exception of the Student Series category (which must be clearly marked on the entry's application), all content submitters must be 18 years or over.
7. At this time, all projects produced after December 2018 are eligible for consideration, regardless of previous screenings, award wins, or premiere status.
8. Each web series and podcast entry must have a minimum of two (2) completed episodes, upon submission. Only one episode is required for pilots.
9. Individual episodes in the Best Comedy, Drama, Documentary, Student, Kids, Animated, Pilot categories must not exceed fifteen (15) minutes in length, including credits. Sydney Web Fest welcomes a reduced/edited version of an episode, in order to meet the time criteria.
10. Entries that are in a language other than English, must include English subtitles for all episodes submitted. Failure to provide English subtitles may result in the project not proceeding to the next round of judging.
11. Project must be viewable globally, and not password protected by region. Projects may be submitted via platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, and via Google Drive (no Dropbox links, please!). Projects must be able to be downloaded, for the festival's promotional content.
12. Episode assets will be retained on the Sydney Web Fest Website for the duration of the festival, and will be taken down no later than seven (7) days after the festival's conclusion.
13. Sydney Web Fest will not be held responsible for any project that has not received the proper authority/permission to obtain rights to material submitted to, or screened at, SWF. This includes claims involving copyright, trademarks, screenings, or any other liability. Sydney Web Fest will also not be held financially responsible, for any of the listed violations.
14. Every single submitted project is watched/listened to, which is a promise we're proud to keep. All decisions made by Sydney Web Fest are final.
15. Sydney Web Fest reserves the right to amend or change submission/festival criteria.
16. Sydney Web fest reserves the right to screen or not screen programmed works, or works announced in the Official Selection section of the festival. There are limitations to how many projects can be screened during our one-day festival, and will depend upon time constraints, and if submission time limits are adhered to.
17. All festival ticket sales are final, and non-refundable.
18 . Any physical material sent to Sydney Web Fest will not be returned, unless a post-paid, self-addressed, return envelope is enclosed in the package.
19. We strongly advise that all official submissions/submission material (and questions regarding submissions) should come through FilmFreeway, or our official email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. We do our very best to keep across our socials, however we can’t guarantee that your project, and/or your important questions, will get to us! To ensure that we can keep in touch reliably, please use our email address.
20. New South Wales and Australian state and federal laws apply.
Discounts: we do not offer entry fee waivers. For all SWF alumni, please email email@example.com for a special discount code!
Fiction & Non-Fiction Podcasts, Actual Play audio or video projects, and Audio Fiction standalones submission details:
1. Creators of Fiction & Non-Fiction Podcasts, Actual Play audio or video projects, and Audio Fiction standalones: Please submit a MAXIMUM of 30 minutes from your series for our judges. This can be a straight 30 minute excerpt, it could be a highlight reel of sorts, or anything in between. It is entirely up to you to decide what gets included in your submission, but know that is the primary thing our judges will use for acceptances, nominations, and awards. If your submission is longer than 30 minutes, initial judging will be just on that first 30 minutes.
For audio-only submissions, when you join FilmFreeway, you can upload your audio file by categorizing your work as Music/Songwriting, or the VR/XR immersive option - that will allow you submit audio links without a video component. Our partner festival NJ Web Fest has a post with detailed instructions, and a comprehensive overview of the submission process: newjerseywebfest.com/FilmFreeway-podcasts
2. If your project is selected, we may ask for a truncated version of your project for screening purposes, depending on the length of your episodes.
3. Actual Play video projects that have a spoken language other than English must be subtitled in English. If your podcast is in a language other than English and you wish to be considered for selection, please email us an English transcript after submitting (our email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your project name and tracking number in the subject line). Scripts must be in English.
4. Actual Play creators: all audio-only projects should submit as Actual Play (Podcast) and all livestreams and pre-recorded/edited video projects should submit as Actual Play (Video). Your submission must be a maximum of 30 minutes - you could submit an excerpt of an episode, or create a highlight reel of sorts.
If you have any questions at all, send through an email to our team at email@example.com