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SUBMIT

Submissions closed for 2023

The following rules are for information only – submissions are now closed for 2023.

To be reminded about key dates for the festival, make sure you subscribe to our e-news or Like our Facebook page.

By submitting your film, you warrant that you have read, understood, and will abide by the rules on this page and any additional requirements indicated on the Film Freeway online submission form.

1. Key Dates – 2023 Festival

  • Film Submissions opened 7:00pm AEDT Wednesday 1 March 2023

  • Early bird submission deadline (lowest fees) 11.59pm AEST Monday 17 April 2023 CLOSED

  • Normal submission deadline (regular fees) 11.59pm AEST Monday 8 May 2023 CLOSED

  • Late submission deadline (highest fees) 11.59pm AEST Monday 29 May 2023 CLOSED

Submissions are not accepted after the Late deadline. Submit early next year to avoid disappointment.

You should receive an email from Film Freeway/Far South Film Festival confirming receipt of your submission within 24 hours. If you have not received confirmation in that time, please contact us.

  • Last Date to Withdraw Entry Monday 29 May 2023 CLOSED

  • Finalists / Unsuccessful Entries Notified Saturday 10 June 2023 All selected and non-selected filmmakers have been notified via email. Check your spam folder if you have not received the email, or contact us if you have not received notification – the email will come via FilmFreeway.

  • Digital Press Kit submission deadline 11.59pm AEST Monday 12 June 2023

  • Far South Film Festival Saturday 19 August 2023, Merimbula NSW

  • Awards announced Saturday 19 August 2023

  • People’s Choice Voting deadline 11.59pm AEST Saturday 19 August 2023

  • People’s Choice Award winner announced 20 August 2023

Note: Unlike previous years that were affected by COVID, there is NO online festival this year. However, selected films may be invited to be part of a touring or online showcase of award winning films later in the year. If you are interested in arranging a screening in your region, please contact us.

2. Eligibility

2.1 Regional Residency

Submissions are open to filmmakers living in regional and remote Australia as defined here:
https://farsouthfilmfestival.com/regional/

At least 2 of the key creatives (Writer/Director/Producer/Cinematographer) must reside in one of the defined areas above. If the film is a solo work, the filmmaker must reside in the defined area. Actors do NOT count as key creatives. Films that do not meet this rule will not be selected for screening or awards.

Proof of residence may be requested if your film is selected. If you do not reside in Australia, you are not eligible to enter.

2.2 Film Length

  • Short films (or set of episodes) under 40 minutes in length in total, including titles and credits.

  • Feature films at least 40 minutes and no more than 150 minutes in length.

2.3 Completion Date

Films must have been completed since 19 August 2020 (ie within 3 years of the start of the festival)

2.4 Previous Entry

Your film must not have been entered into the Far South Film Festival previously. There is no “exclusive premiere” requirement for our festival however – you are free to enter your film into other festivals.

2.5 Online Visibility

Films must not be freely publicly accessible online via another free platform in the 2 weeks leading up to and including our festival date of 20 August 2023. If the film maker is unable to meet this rule, the film will not be eligible for awards but may still be screened.

3. Selection and Judging

3.1 Judging

The judging panel is appointed by the Festival Director and composed of film industry people living in regional Australia. Submissions are pre-screened to ensure they meet the rules, then assessed independently by each judge before a group meeting of all judges determines the films to be screened at the festival and the award winners. The Festival Director carries a casting vote if needed.

The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Far South Film Inc members may enter films into the Festival, however these members are excluded from being on the judging panel.

The People’s Choice Award is voted for by audience members during the festival and will be announced at the end of the festival.

3.2 Awards

Prizes may be in the form of cash, filmmaking equipment or in-kind opportunities such as workshops accessible from regional areas and the Festival seeks sponsors for these awards each year.

The major prize for Best Film is AUD$1000. Other cash prizes and sponsored in-kind prizes will be announced in the month leading up to the festival.

In past years, awards have been given for Best Performance, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Screenplay/Story, Best Use of a Regional Location, Best Environment Film, Best Technical Achievement, Best Youth Film, Best Environmental Youth Encouragement Award and the Diversity Award and the total prize pool is around AUD$4000.

Judges reserve the right to not to make an award for a given category, or to add additional award categories.

Awards will be announced at the festival and in the mainstream media, and published on the festival website and social media. Interviews with winning filmmakers may also be recorded by our media team.

Winners will be contacted directly following the Awards Ceremony to arrange delivery of cash and non-cash prizes.

4. Film Files

4.1 Format

FilmFreeway accepts all major video formats in full quality HD up to 10 GB. Videos are transcoded for playback compatibility and performance. We recommend you use the following settings for your screening version to ensure your film can be viewed in the festival cinema successfully.

Contact us well before submission closing dates if you are not sure if your film meets the specifications or if you have difficulties uploading your video file.

  • HD 1920x1080p, up to 10GB – If you submit in 4K it must still come under the 10GB limit.

  • Video bitrate: 15500 Kbps

  • H.264, mp4

  • Audio: 128 Kbps, AAC, 2 channel stereo

  • Aspect ratio preserved

  • PAL 24 or 25 frames per second, but frame rate must be consistent across your whole film or trailer.

4.2 Uploading Files

  1. Upload your film file direct to FilmFreeway 
    OR
    Provide a
    private link in FilmFreeway to a password-protected file stored on Vimeo or YouTube. If your film is shortlisted and you have not already provided a screening-ready version (in HD), you will receive a download request for the higher resolution version of your film via FilmFreeway, for screening in the cinema.

  2. Upload a trailer for your film to FilmFreeway in HD format – 10 seconds minimum, 1 minute maximum.

  3. Please include subtitles for your film if the film dialogue is not in English. You can either hard code these in your film, or create a separate subtitle file(s) in .srt format. If you‘re not sure how to create an srt file, read: https://www.3playmedia.com/blog/create-srt-file/

5. Information to provide with your Submission
We recommend you prepare the following details in a document well in advance of the submission date so you can easily copy/paste them into the online form on Film Freeway when you upload your film. Do not leave this until the last minute or you may miss the deadline. Some of the information is required by FilmFreeway to submit your entry, some is required by our festival to meet our rules.

5.1 Film Details

  • Film Title (in original language and/or English)

  • Synopsis (in English)

  • Your (or your film’s) Website if applicable

  • Your (or your film’s) Facebook page if applicable

  • Your (or your film’s) Instagram page if applicable

5.2 Film Submitter Information

  • Full Name

  • Email

  • Phone

  • Residential Address

  • Birth date (* required for Youth Category only)

  • Gender (male/female/other/prefer not to say)

5.3 Project Information

Address – including Town and State – of the Key Regional Creatives (Writer/Director/Producer/Cinematographer) – at least 2 must reside in our defined regional areas. This must match proof of residency documents if requested if your film is selected as a finalist.

5.4 Classification
OFFICIAL rating (if already obtained) from the Australian Classification Board: G, PG, M, MA15+

If your film has NOT already received an official rating, the LIKELY rating based on the Australian Classification Board guidelines: G, PG, M, MA15+

If your film is likely to have an M or MA15+ classification, list any classifiable elements and their position in the film. Example: fight with blood evident at 2:30
For more information refer to
https://www.classification.gov.au/classification-ratings/what-do-ratings-mean

5.5 Regionality/Diversity

Include a short statement on which aspects of your film (if any) reflect regionality and which aspects of your film, cast, crew or storyline reflect diversity.

5.6 Promotion

Select how you found out about the Far South Film Festival from the options provided.

5.7 Digital Press Kit

A digital press kit will be required to promote your film. This must be provided to us as soon as you are notified that your film has been selected, in order to meet our print media and other deadlines. As you can use the same material for other festivals as well, it’s a good idea to prepare this for any film you have listed on Film Freeway at the time of submission.

    • A4 poster in PDF or JPG portrait format at minimum 300dpi resolution including at least the Film Title (other details such as cast/crew and awards may also be included. The poster is used for our festival on our website, in venues, in print and online and cinema marketing. A4 dimensions: 21 cm wide x 29.7 cm high.

    • Hero images from your film in high resolution JPG or PNG format in the following ratios:

      • Landscape 1920px wide x 1080px high @ 600dpi

      • Square 1080px wide x 1080px high @ 600dpi

    • Film Maker Headshot (usually Director) in portrait format 300px wide x 450px high @ minimum 150dpi

    • Film Maker Biography (usually Director)

    • Film Maker Statement (usually Director’s) about the film

    • Trailer (min 15 seconds) – upload to your Project in Film Freeway and enable download when requested

 

5.8 Film Specifications

  • Production Credits

  • Project Type

  • Genre(s)

  • Run Time – including titles and credits. Note: if you are submitting an episodic work (eg web series) the total length must not exceed our maximum limit and the whole series must be submitted as a single file

  • Completion Date (must be after 21 August 2020 to be eligible for the 2023 Festival)

  • Production Budget

  • Country of Origin

  • Country of Filming

  • Film Language(s)

  • Shooting Format

  • Aspect Ratio (note: will be screened in cinema in HD)

  • Film Colour

  • Student Project (Yes/No)

  • First-Time Filmmaker (Yes/No)

  • Past Screenings / Awards

  • Distribution Information if applicable

6. Ready to Submit

Have you read ALL the rules on this page and collated all the details above? Seriously, this will save you and us time and hassle!

The Far South Film Festival proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.

SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED FOR 2023 – SEE YOU IN 2024!

FilmFreeway logo

  • If you don’t already have one, sign up for a FilmFreeway login.
  • When you sign up you’ll be directed to the Add Project page.

  • Fill out the form using the Submission Details you prepared earlier and save. You’re now ready to begin submitting your film to our festival, and other festivals too if you wish. You can add further details later if need be.

  • Either:

Upload your film to your project file. We recommend uploading your screening quality video directly to FilmFreeway. FilmFreeway accepts full quality HD videos up to 10 GB. It will be automatically transcoded by FilmFreeway to enable lower quality viewing by the selection panel. This way, if your submission is selected as a finalist for our festival, we can send you a “enable download” request, which you may then authorise or deny, to download your full quality HD video for screening. We can’t download your film for screening purposes unless you expressly authorise this request
OR:
Alternatively, if your film is already on Vimeo or YouTube, link your video to your FilmFreeway project. To submit with Vimeo or YouTube, go to ‘My Projects’ > ‘Project File’, then enter your video URL and password. Festivals you submit to will be able to watch your Vimeo video in FilmFreeway. However, if your film is selected and we need to download your video for screening, you will need to enable downloading within Vimeo/YouTube and communicate download details/passwords to us when you have done so.

Important: If you are linking your video via Vimeo, be sure to update your settings in Vimeo to allow for embedding. Your video will still be password protected. Embedding allows the Vimeo video player to be displayed within the FilmFreeway interface for selection and judging purposes.

To allow embedding, go to your video in your Vimeo account, click Settings > Privacy > Where Can This Video be Embedded? > Anywhere.

Don’t forget to also upload your trailer, poster, hero images and production photos for your digital press kit.

7. Submission Fees and Entry Categories

Our festival Submission Fees go towards prize money for award winners, less costs of our film submission platform. You’ll be prompted to pay your submission fee when you submit online on Film Freeway.

The earlier you enter, the less you pay.

Current financial Far South Film Inc Members receive a $5 discount on the fees below – contact us if you are a member and have not received this year’s Promo Code by email already. Enter and apply your promo code when you get to the Film Freeway payment screen to get the discount.

FilmFreeway does not charge any additional fees to filmmakers. Once you upload your film to FilmFreeway you can then choose to enter it into other film festivals that use the same platform.

A Youth film with a likely rating of M or MA15+ may be screened in the Open category provided the filmmaker is aged 15+ (this is due to classification and screening requirements).

Our festival does not accept X or R or RC rated films.

Film Freeway GOLD members are entitled to a further 10% discount on submission fees.

Entry Category

Earlybird Fee
1 March –
17 April 2023

Standard Fee
18 April –
8 May 2023

Late Fee
9 May –
29 May 2023

Likely film classification limitation

Youth
(under 18 years)

AUD$10

AUD$15

AUD$20

G / PG only

Open
(15+ years)

AUD$20

AUD$30

AUD$40

G / PG / M / MA15+

8. Notification of Selection / Screener Download

You will be notified if your film has been selected for screening or not via a FilmFreeway notification or email. Make sure that your contact details are up to date on FilmFreeway at all times.

9. Film Download

If your film is selected for screening, we will send you a download request via FilmFreeway. This enables the Festival to download the high resolution version (minimum HD) of your film and trailer for cinema screening purposes.

If you have provided a link to a Vimeo or YouTube password-protected video, you must enable downloading and embedding within the video settings for us to download it. Your video will still be password protected.

Embedding allows the Vimeo trailer player to be displayed within the festival interface. To allow embedding, go to your video in your Vimeo account, click ‘Settings’ > ‘Privacy’ > ‘Where Can This Video be Embedded?’ > ‘Anywhere’.

You also need to provide us with your digital press kit within 7 days of notification Please ensure you have these ready to go when we contact you.

Note: You may not submit a different version of your film for screening, only a higher resolution (eg if you submit a 720K film for judging, you need to provide the HD equivalent of the same film for screening). Edits, titles, colour grading, sound etc must have already been completed when you first submitted – please do not attempt to submit a different version of your film for screening as our judging panel makes its decisions based on the initial submission version only.

10. Feedback

Judging panel general feedback notes are available to all film makers, regardless of whether they are selected or not. If you want detailed film-specific feedback, this can be provided on payment of $20 to the Festival.

11. Screening

  • Selected films will be screened at the in-person festival venue in Merimbula NSW on  19 August 2023.

  • DRM/Geoblocking is applied to film content including any online material (ie films will only be viewable within Australia).

  • Films with a 15+ rating will be screened together in one session.

  • Q&As and the awards ceremony will be recorded and be made available to view online after the festival.

  • Should the organisers decide to tour selected films from the Far South Film Festival or screen them online at a later date, you will be contacted to confirm your consent.

If your film is selected for screening, the film’s submitter will be offered one free in-person festival pass and you may also be offered a place on our filmmakers’ Q&A panel at the festival. Sponsors also receive one free festival pass. All other participants, cast and crew and festival goers will need to buy a ticket for the festival sessions.

12. Classification

Festival films are usually unclassified before screening. However, we still need to submit a likely classification for your film to the Classification Board for permission to screen it at the Festival.

Your film’s likely rating must conform to the Australian Government classification guidelines for G, PG (All Ages festival Likely Classification) or M, MA15+ (Ages 15+ Festival Likely Classification). Films that do not meet – or are unlikely to meet – these guidelines will not be eligible for screening or awards. You must tell us if your film has already received an official rating from the Australian classification board and what that rating is. Otherwise, you should include what you think your rating is likely to be in your submission form, based on the Australian Government classification guidelines and any reasons for that rating (eg mild cartoon violence, mature themes, drug references, etc).

For the Youth Film category, we generally accept films with a likely G or PG rating only, as these films are screened to a younger audience. Films must not contain nudity, violence or images, language or behaviour that is unlawful or offensive, or that make reference to drug use including smoking or alcohol. Where this requirement is not complied with, provided the filmmaker(s) are 15+ years, a film with a likely M or MA+ rating may be screened into the Open Category instead.

Films likely to be classified MA 15+ must not be screened to anyone under 15 years unless they are accompanied during the entire viewing by an adult. Proof of age may be required for unaccompanied audience members. 15+ films will be screened together in one session. If selected for an award, only a selected trailer of an M/MA+ film that meets G/PG requirements may be screened during the Awards Ceremony.

Unclassified material with the following likely classifications, or material that has these classifications, will NOT be accepted for the festival: X18+, R18+ or RC.

13. Copyright and Screening Rights

Films must not include any copyright material that you do not own nor have written permission to use. When you enter your film online, you will be asked to confirm this. If it appears your film could be in contravention of Australian copyright law, or to infringe others’ rights, you will be contacted to provide supporting documentation. If we do not receive adequate documentation prior to the final closing date, your film will not be eligible for selection.

Contrary to popular opinion, the concept of ‘fair use’ applies only in extremely limited cases in Australia. Filmmakers must ensure their film complies with all aspects of Australian copyright law for screening at the festival and online. In particular, re-distributing music, sound and video sourced from commercial or free-to-air sources must have the explicit permission of the original copyright owner(s).

As permission can take many weeks or months to obtain, we recommend you avoid using such material and instead engage material from local artists with written permission, or seek material from royalty free sources instead. Ensure that all sources are correctly attributed in your credits and submission documentation. Failure to do so may result in the Festival not accepting your submission. Check all licensing agreements carefully, as some restrict use of material to specific platforms and may not not suitable for festival screenings or online distribution.

For further details see our article on copyright:
https://farsouthfilm.org.au/2019/08/06/using-music-and-other-copyright-material-in-your-film/

The submitter warrants to the Far South Film Festival that they have obtained all the necessary permissions to enter this film and that the film does not infringe the rights of any third party. This includes the use of locations, music, sound, recorded voice, video and literary material. You are advised to obtain signed location releases and talent release forms and to keep these on file. You may be asked to produce these on request.

The film’s Producer grants Far South Film Inc the non-exclusive right to:

  • Exhibit or screen your film at the Far South Film Festival in August 2023 and for a period not exceeding 12 months after the scheduled festival date (in the event that the festival is delayed by unforeseen circumstances).

  • Exhibit or screen the film in any subsequent tour or online showcase of selected films within Australia for a period of 1 year from the date of the festival (Should the organiser wish to extend the touring period beyond 1 year, additional permission will be sought from the filmmaker).

  • Reproduce the film for inclusion as part of a compilation of films for Festival screening (eg Documentary Shorts).

  • Exhibit or screen clips from your film online or at the festival venue as part of a trailer for the festival or during the awards presentation. Please note that all online festival film content screening/streaming will be under a DRM/geo-blocked restriction, limited to viewing within Australia only.

14. Online Film Publication

If selected for screening, the film must not be publicly freely accessible on the Internet (eg on YouTube or Vimeo) in the two week period leading up to and during the Festival, otherwise it may be disqualified. This is because our Festival relies on ticket sales to be able to stage the Festival, and audiences may not be willing to pay to view content that is freely available elsewhere. If your video is online, but is hidden by a password or only accessible via a private link, the film can remain online.

15. Compliance With Conditions

The producer shall:

  • Lodge a completed Entry Form and submit the film through the Festival submission platform on FilmFreeway. Incomplete Entry Forms will not be accepted.

  • Comply with State, Territory and Australian law in relation to all matters associated with making a film including obtaining relevant rights and permissions and entering the Festival contest.

  • Warrant that COVID-19 regulations that may have been in force during the filmmaking period (if applicable) were adhered to.

  • Be solely liable for and indemnify and save harmless to Far South Film Inc’s committee, members, employees, volunteers and agents against all liability, claims, actions, proceedings, demands and penalties, to the extent that they are incurred by or brought against or made upon Far South Film Inc, or which Far South Film Inc may pay, sustain or be put to by reason of, or arising out of or in connection with the Producer entering the competition including but not limited to making the film, except where such liability, claims actions, proceedings, demands and penalties arises out of or in connection with a negligent or wilful act or default of Far South Film Inc, its committee, members, employees, volunteers and or its agents.

16. Withdrawal of Entry

Entries may only be withdrawn in writing/by email by the Submitter/Producer. Entries cannot be withdrawn after the withdrawal closing date except by the Festival Director. By submitting your film to the Far South Film Festival for consideration, you acknowledge this condition of entry and waive your right to withdraw your film from the Festival after this date. If you withdraw your film at any time, the film entry fee will not be refunded.

17. Data Privacy

We will endeavour at all times to keep your data safe, will not sell your data to any third party, and will not reveal your details to third parties except as stated below or as required by state law in NSW or by federal law in Australia.

The personal information requested on the entry form is collected by the Far South Film Inc for the delivery and promotion of the Far South Film Festival. If this information is not collected, you may not be eligible to enter or have your film screened at the Far South Film Festival. If you win a non-cash prize and need to be contacted by a prize sponsor to deliver that prize, we will pass your contact details to that sponsor for verification purposes. If we are contacted by media outlets to arrange interviews with a filmmaker, we will provide the filmmaker with the media person’s contact details.

You may contact Far South Film Inc for access to and/or deletion or amendment of any private information we may hold on you.

18. Help Us to Promote the Festival – and Your Film

We expect filmmakers to promote their entry in the Far South Film Festival by sharing Far South Film Festival’s social media posts regarding the festival and their film with the tags @farsouthfilmfestival and #farsouthfilmfestival. We also encourage you to promote your film’s inclusion in our festival through your local media and film networks and to encourage other filmmakers from your region to enter. Contact our media team at media@farsouthfilmfestival.com if you need ideas on how to connect in your region.

Media outlets can be directed to the following link to find up to date information about the festival, including media releases and images and information about closing dates, finalist films and winning entries:
https://farsouthfilmfestival.com/media

Still have questions? Contact us