23rd Annual

Canberra Short Film Festival

September 09, 2018 to September 16, 2018

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Film Market
Submit Online
PO BOX 7131
Watson ACT 2602
Phone: 02 61625172

OPEN CALL FOR ENTRIES • Select a Category of Entry to continue.

National is for any film from Australia in any genre that runs under 20 minutes. An independent judging panel appointed by CSFF will choose the most interesting, or most touching, or the most exciting films produced in the past 18 months. We encourage high quality films with even shorter running times - Our program includes films as short as 2 minutes and we like a variety of lengths.
The Documentary category is open to any Documentary produced anywhere in the world that runs under 20 minutes. An independant judging panel selected by CSFF will select the most intriguing stories produced in the past 18 months. We are especially interested in innovative approaches to this important category.
International is for any film made outside Australia that runs under 20 minutes. An independent judging panel will select the films with the highest production quality, the best stories, and the best look into another culture that have been produced in the past 18 months. this category includes craft awards for Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Directing, Best Screenplay, Best Sound/Score, Best Acting.
Canberra Local is for any film produced and directed in the Australian Capital Territory that runs under 20 minutes. The CSFF is looking for the best storytelling, and best production quality made in the past 18 months.
This category includes awards for Best Director, Best Cinematographer, Best Screenplay, Best Sound/Score, Best Editing, Best Acting
Under 18s
For films made by student filmmakers or teams who are under 18. We encourage short, sharp, visual storytelling and bold personal visions. Running time cannot be more than 10 mins - but (hint) our judges are looking for visually strong work that can blow them away! So 3-5 minutes of strong, stylish storytelling is recommended.
We are looking for strong technical work, innovative use of the animation and of course a good story which moves an audience. We would expect animated shorts to be less than 10 minutes in length and they may well be a lot shorter than that. We are more interested in high quality work which is short and sharp than work which is overly long.
Music Video
This category is open to music videos from anywhere in the world. We are seeking, innovative, thought provoking and visually interesting productions that add value and entertainment to the song they are based around.
2 Minute Film
The 2 Minute Film is experimental, surprising, quick, sharp and quirky. We encourage first time film makers as well as experienced practitioners to tell a story in 2 minutes or less. We value innovation, good story telling, the ability to move an audience and clever use of non traditional film making technology.
Indigenous Film
This category is specifically for indigenous film makers and their teams. We welcome indigenous film makers from around Australia and indigenous film makers from around the world. We are seeking stories made by indigenous people, about indigenous people and their culture(s). The only guidelines are they must be no longer than 20 minutes and that the majority of Writers, Directors and Producers for the film are indigenous.


The Canberra Short Film Festival showcases the best films from around Australia and around the world. It is a competition based festival with awards and prizes in a variety of categories. We are interested in any genre, style and length up to 20 minutes (Some categories have shorter length requirements) so long as it includes at least one of the following; high production values, innovation, thought provoking themes, great use of the medium and high entertainment value.

The judges want to see something beautiful, or strange, or scary, or happy. We want our audiences to be taken on a ride to be affected by your films in any BIG way possible.


Now in its 23rd year, the Canberra Short Film Festival has a strong reputation for quality and respectability and is recognised as one of Australia’s oldest and best film competitions. It attracts an audience from all over Australia and is known for selling out every session. The CSFF represents the boundless talent of Australia's film industry as well as exposing our patrons to the best of short cinema from all over the world. If you are interested in showcasing your talent in a festival that gets bigger every year, the Canberra Short Film Festival is your opportunity.
This year the festival recently introduced an Indigenous Film category to help support and promote indigenous filmmakers from Australia and around the world.

We are also running the 2 Minute Film category for its fourth year which may be of interest to new and emerging film makers. This category is also an opportunity for films made on phones and tablets to be showcased.

The festival will also run Music Video and Animation categories once again this year after their successful introduction in 2016.

The 2018 CSFF will run from Sunday 16 September until Sunday 22 September.

Trophies and laurels are awarded to Best Film in each category and also either a Runner Up certificate or specific craft awards such as; writing, editing, cinematography, sound, directing etc depending on category.

Prizes for Best Film will be awarded in these categories;
International - AUS$750
National - AUS$500
Documentary - Packaged prize worth AU$500
Canberra Local - Packaged prize worth AU$300 for first prize and category prizes for Best Editor and Best Cinematographer of $200 and $300
Animation - Packaged prize worth AU$500
Music Video - AU$300
U/18 - packaged prize worth AU$200
2 Minute Film - packaged prize worth AU$200
Indigenous Film - Prizes to the value of $500 for first, $300 for second and $200 for third


John Frohlich; Monica Penders; Zoe Kooyman



- CSFF stands for Canberra Short Film Festival.

- SUBMISSIONS: All submissions in to the festival must be made online through the 'Withoutabox' website by 11:59pm Pacific Time on 30/6/18.

- ENTERING THE RIGHT CATEGORY: Entrants to the festival must enter their film in the category or categories that they rightfully fit in to. Entrants must provide supporting evidence of age and residency if requested by CSFF to support their category entry. Please refer to the category details above for more information.

- OFFICIAL SELECTION: Once the official selection has been announced, successful applicants will be notified via email. Once official selection has been announced the decision is final and no discussions will be entered in to thereafter.

- SCREENING COPY: Required 15 days after official selection notification, if this is not received within 15 days of official selection notification CSFF has the right to cancel your screening and official selection.

- AWARDS: 'Best Film' will be announced and made out to the producer.

- EXCERPTS: By entering this festival, entrants reserve the right for CSFF to screen excerpts from their film/s for promotion of the festival of the current year.

- RIGHTS: The producer and/or director must have the rights to the material (e.g music) used in the film and can provide written evidence of this if requested by CSFF.

- FILM REQUIREMENTS: Films entered in to the festival must be made from January 2016 or later and run for no longer than 20 minutes including opening titles and credits (this varies for some categories). Entrants must be able to provide proof of the date of creation of the film to CSFF if requested.

- SUBTITLES: All foreign language films must be subtitled/dubbed in English to be eligible for judging.

- ENTRY FEES: Upon submitting a film, entrants will be required to pay a fee for EACH category entered before uploading their film. Entry fees cannot be refunded.

- TOURING OF FILMS: By entering the CSFF, entrants reserve the right for CSFF to screen their film without re-numeration for 12 months after the festival.

- JUDGING: All films will viewed by a judging panel appointed by CSFF. All judging decisions are final and no discussions will be entered in to thereafter. Once the winner of this award has been announced, the decision is final and no discussions will be entered in to thereafter.



1/ THE PRODUCER and any AUTHORISED PERSON entering this film has obtained from each contributor the authorisations to use of image, sound, performance and the reproduction of said image, sound, performance.

2/ THE PRODUCER/S and any AUTHORISED PERSON is the owner, has authorisation or license from the owner of the copyright in the sound recordings comprising the soundtrack to the film.

3/ COMPLETION DATE: On or after January 1st 2016.

4/ LENGTH: Films for the Canberra Short Film Festival for each category must be 20 minutes or less. Time must include all titles and credits.

5/ DEADLINE: Any films submitted after the 15/07/2018 deadline will not be considered for the festival.

6/ SUBTITLES: All non-English language films must be subtitled/dubbed in English.

7/ ENTRY FEES: Are not refundable.

8/ TOURING: All films entered MUST be available to tour for 12 months after the festival without renumeration.

9/ PLEASE NOTE: While we will make EVERY EFFORT to stick to screening times once printed, CSFF cannot be held accountable for changes to the schedule after schedule is announced.

10/ EXCERPTS/COPIES: By entering the Canberra Short Film Festival you agree that the festival may use your film/s for promotional and publicity purposes pertaining to the current years festival. CSFF may also make a copy of films that are selected to screen for exhibition, and may also be used for media review purposes.