Submissions opened 1 March for the 2021 Festival
Festival Submission Rules 2021
Please READ all of the festival rules on this page before submitting your film. By submitting your film, you warrant that you have read, understood, and will abide by the rules on this page and any additional rules indicated on the online submission form.
- Submissions open Monday 1 March 2021
- Early bird deadline 11.59pm AEST Monday 19 April 2021
- Final deadline 11.59pm AEST Monday 17 May 2021
- Last Date to Withdraw Entry Tuesday 18 May 2021
- Finalist Notification Monday 24 May 2021
- Festival Weekend Friday 20 to Sunday 22 August 2021
- Late submissions cannot be accepted. Submit your film early to avoid disappointment!
- You should receive an email confirming receipt of your submission within 24 hours. If you have not received confirmation in that time, please contact us.
- Submissions are open to filmmakers living in regional Australia.
- At least two of the key creatives (Writer/Director/Producer) must reside in a regional area of Australia as defined here.
- If one person does all three of those roles, or if the film is a solo work, that person must reside in a regional area of Australia as defined here.
- You may be asked to provide documentary evidence of regional residence by email once your submission has been received. You will be advised in an email of the kind of documents you can submit to show your eligibility – we will not ask for photo IDs.
- Films must be under 40 minutes in length, including titles and credits.
- Films must have been completed since 20 August 2019 (no more than 2 years before festival).
- Films must not be freely publicly accessible online via another platform in the 2 weeks leading to and including the festival period – see Film Publication below.
- The major prize for Best Film will be $1000. Other prizes including their sponsors will be announced in the month leading up to the festival weekend.
- Final award categories will be determined based on the number, genre and quality of entries received. Judges reserve the right not to make an award for a given category, or to add additional categories.
- Awards are proposed for Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Performance, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Use of a Regional Location, Best Technical Achievement, Best Youth Film, Diversity Award.
- The People’s Choice Award is voted on by audience members during the festival and will be announced no later than 1 week following the festival.
- Prizes may be in the form of cash, filmmaking equipment or in-kind opportunities such as workshops accessible from regional areas.
- Winners not present in person at the Awards Ceremony will be contacted directly to arrange transfer of prizes.
- Awards will be announced live at the festival venue and available to view on demand via the festival website. A brief clip of your film may be shown during the awards ceremony.
- Winners will also be published on the festival website and Facebook page and announced in the media.
What You Need Submit
- Your film file (see Film Format) OR a private link to a password-protected file on Vimeo or YouTube.
If your film is shortlisted, you will receive a download request for the high quality version of your film for screening.
(see Film Publication)
- Separate subtitle file(s) in .srt format for each language if your film dialogue is not in English
All films submitted must be accessible to an English-speaking audience and, optionally, to other language groups.
Subtitles should NOT be hard-coded into your film. Please include the title of your film and the language in each subtitle file name:
Examples: myfabulousfilm_english.srt, myfabulousfilm_italian.srt
- Submission Form Details
You’ll need to enter the following details on the online submission form on FilmFreeway. To avoid Internet glitches, we recommend you prepare the answers in a document so you can easily copy/paste them into the online form.
Click here for DOCX version of submission form details
- Town and State of Residence of Key Regional Creatives (Writer, Director and Producer)
- OFFICIAL rating (if any) from the Australian Classification Board: G, PG, M, MA+
- If your film has NOT already received an official rating, the LIKELY rating based on the Australian Classification Board guidelines: G, PG, M, MA+
- 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
Refer to https://www.classification.gov.au/classification-ratings/what-do-ratings-mean
- What aspects of your film reflect regionality and/or diversity
- How did you find out about the Far South Film Festival
- Title (original language)
- Synopsis (original language)
Digital Press Kit
- Production Photos (minimum 1920 x 1080 pixels in landscape format 600dpi – JPG or PNG)
- Trailer if possible
- Poster (A4 portrait format including film title)
- Director / Writer Headshot
- Director / Writer Biography
- Director / Writer Statement
- Production Credits
- Project Type
- Run Time – including titles and credits. Note: if you are submitting an episodic work (eg web series) the total length must not exceed 40 minutes and the whole series must be submitted as a single file
- Completion Date – must be after 20 August 2019 to be eligible for 2021 Festival
- Production Budget
- Country of Origin
- Country of Filming
- Film Language
- Shooting Format
- Aspect Ratio
- Film Colour
- Student Project (Yes/No)
- First-Time Filmmaker (Yes/No)
- Past Screenings / Awards
- Distribution Information
- FilmFreeway and our streaming platform accept 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. Contact us well before submission closing dates if you are not sure if your film meets the specifications or if you are having difficulties uploading your video file.
- Recommended video bitrate: 15500 Kbps
- H.264, mp4
- Audio: 128 Kbps, AAC, 2 channel stereo
- Aspect ratio preserved
- PAL 24 or 25 frames per second (required for cinema screening)
How to Submit Your Film
- Have you read ALL the rules on this page first? Seriously, this will save you time in the long run 🙂
- Far South Film Festival 2021 proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.
Sign up for a FilmFreeway login if you don’t already have one. When you sign up you’ll be directed to the Add Project page. Fill out the one-page form and save. You’re now ready to begin submitting your film to our festival, and other festivals too if you wish.
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 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.
If your film is already on Vimeo or YouTube you can 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 and communicate this to us.
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.
Submission Fees and Entry Categories
- Our festival Submission Fees go towards prizemoney for award winners, less costs of our film submission platform. You’ll be prompted to pay your submission fee when you submit online.
- Current financial Far South Film Inc Members receive a discount on entry – contact us if you have not received your Promo Code by email.
- FilmFreeway does not charge any additional fees to filmmakers. Once you upload your film to FilmFreeway you can choose to enter it into other film festivals that use the same platform.
Likely film rating limitation
G / PG
G / PG / M / MA15+
- Films will be screened at the festival venue in Merimbula NSW as well as online as video-on-demand to ticket holders over the festival weekend 20-22 August 2021
- Geoblocking applies to viewing online content (ie only viewable within Australia). If you use a VPN to connect to the online festival you may not be able to access films.
- Youth films will be screened together at a special Youth Screening G & PG rated films session.
- Q&As and the awards ceremony will be recorded live at the festival venue and be made available to view on demand via the festival website.
- Should the organisers decide to tour the festival films, your film may also be selected to exhibit or screen in other regional areas of Australia at a later date.
- Festival films are generally unclassified before screening. However, we do need to submit a likely classification for your film to the Classification Board for permission to screen it.
- Your film’s likely rating must conform to the Australian Government classification guidelines for G, PG, M or MA15+ ratings. 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 a 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.
- For the Youth Film category we accept films with a likely G or PG rating only as these films are screened to a younger audience. Films must not contain 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, the Producer may be contacted to edit and resubmit the film (if submitted early enough) or the film will be deemed not eligible for entry in the Youth Category. Provided the filmmaker is 15+ years, a film with a likely M or MA+ rating can be entered into the Open Category instead.
- Films likely to be classified M or MA 15+ must not be screened to anyone under 15 years unless they are accompanied during the viewing by an adult. As this is a hybrid festival, such films will be screened as separate sessions and ticket purchasers will be warned and asked to certify that these conditions will be adhered to when they watch the session online. 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 session.
- Unclassified material with the following likely classifications, or material that has these classifications, will NOT be accepted for the festival: X 18+ or RC, R 18+
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.
- 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 permission, or seek material from royalty free sources instead. Ensure that all sources are correctly attributed in your credits and submission documentation. Check all licensing agreements carefully, as some restrict use of material to specific platforms and are not suitable for festival screenings or online distribution.
- For further details see our article on copyright:
- 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 music, sound, recorded voice, video and literary material. You are advised to obtain signed location and talent release forms and keep these on file. You may be asked to produce these on request.
- The film’s producer grants Far South Film Inc the rights to:
- Exhibit or screen your film at the festival venue and online during the period of the Far South Film Festival, and for a period not exceeding 10 days later (in the case of unforeseen delays or postponements).
- Non-exclusively exhibit or screen the film in any subsequent tour 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. Please note that all online festival film content screening/streaming will be under a DRM/geo-blocked restriction, limited to viewing within Australia only.
If selected for screening, the film must not be publicly freely accessible on the Internet in the two week period leading up to and during the Festival, otherwise it may be disqualified from awards. 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 freely available elsewhere. If your video is online, but is protected by a password or can only be accessed via a private link, this does not count as publicly freely accessible.
- If your film is selected for screening, we will send you a download request.
- If you have provided a link only to a Vimeo or YouTube password protected video, you will need to enable downloading and embedding within the settings. Your video will still be password protected. Embedding allows the Vimeo video 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’.
Compliance With Conditions
- The producer shall:
- Lodge a completed Entry Form through the Festival submission platform. Incomplete Entry Forms will not be accepted.
- Comply with State, Territory and Australian law in relation to all matters associated with making a film 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 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 and or its agents.
Withdrawal of Entry
Entries may only be withdrawn in writing/email by the Producer. Entries cannot be withdrawn after 18 May 2021 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.
- The decision of the judges will be 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 selected for the judging panel and may not take part in any aspect of the awards process.
The personal information requested on the entry form is being collected by the Far South Film Inc for the delivery of the Far South Film Festival. Personal information will be used by Far South Film Inc for that primary purpose or directly related purposes. If this information is not collected you may not be eligible to enter your film in the Far South Film Festival. The applicant understands that the personal information provided is for administration and promotional purposes and that they may apply to Far South Film Inc for access to and/or amendment of the information. Requests for access to data and/or corrections should be made by contacting Far South Film Inc.
Stay in Touch
Help Us to Promote the Festival and Your Film!
- We encourage filmmakers to promote their entry into the Far South Film Festival in their local media and to encourage other filmmakers from your region to enter.
- Media outlets can be directed to the following link to find up to date information about the festival, including information about closing dates, finalist films and winning entries: