Adelaide Film Festival

AFF // Adelaide Film Festival

10th edition

Oct 14 - Oct 25, 2022
Adelaide, Australia

Open Call Open to Public Competitive Market Special Fees

Festival type Real Venue Festival
Types of films Animation, Children, Commercial, Docu-feature, Documentary, Experimental, Hybrids, Mini-series, Multimedia, Narrative fiction, Series, Student, TV
Film length Full length, Mid-length, Short
Genre Action, Adventure, Alternative, Art, Avantgarde, B-Movie, Biography, Burlesque, Classics, Comedy, Comedy drama, Crime, Culture, Dance, Dark comedy, Drama, Dramedy, Environmental, Family, Fantastic, Fantasy, Film noir, Flash, Foreign, Health, Hip Hop, History, Horror, Human rights, Independent, Kids, LGBT, Live Action, Medical, Melodrama, Microcinema, Mockumentary, Music, Musical, Mystery, Nature, News, , Parody, Post modern, Realism, Reality, Religious, Road Trip, Romance, Romantic comedy, Satire, Science, Science fiction, Silent movie, Social issues, Spiritual, Sports, Surreal, Thriller, Transgender, Underground, Urban, War, Western

Mission / description Festival description:
The 2020 Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) will be presented 14 – 25 October.

AFF is a celebration of Australian and international screen culture with a distinctive curated program that includes premiere screenings, special events, awards and forums that attract industry and general public.

AFF is calling for feature films, feature documentary, series (single or multiple episodes), short and VR works (drama, documentary, hybrid, experimental and animation) made in Australia and internationally. These can be any length or genre. Films under 40 minutes are considered to be short films.

In 2020 AFF has joined forces with the Adelaide International Youth Film festival (AIYFF) and will present a significant youth program in October. Complimenting the main program with the same theme but adapted for a younger audience aged 5 to 18+ AFF – YOUTH is designed to showcase and screen the best professionally made, independently made films for a youth audience. The 2020 program will present screenings and workshops for students and teachers.

If you are submitting a film that is best suited for a youth audience (under 18) please submit your film via AFF - YOUTH on Film Freeway ( All other film projects can be submitted here on Film Festival Life.

About AFF

Established in 2003, AFF was the first film festival in Australia to invest in new work. Across nine festivals the Fund has invested in more than 100 projects of which around half were features and the others a mix of shorts, TV series, interactive projects and Art & The Moving Image works.

AFF Investment Fund-supported films have gone on to garner national and international acclaim, screening at major festivals and winning 100 international and almost 200 national prestigious awards. Amongst this swag of laurels are three at Cannes, one at Berlin and two Sundance Film Festivals wins. Highlights include Anthony Maras’ Hotel Mumbai, Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale, Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country and Samson & Delilah, Rolf de Heer’s Charlie’s Country and Ten Canoes, Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays and Rosemary Meyers’ Girl Asleep to name just a few.

Through the FUND, AFF has championed VR works, including Lynette Wallworth’s Emmy Award winning Collisions and Trent Parke, Narelle Autio and Matthew Bates’ The Summation of Force.

The Festival’s patrons are Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, who for 28 years entertained us on their weekly film review programs – The Movie Show and At The Movies.

Adelaide Film Festival is proud to recognize excellence in screen storytelling with a host of regarded awards which in previous years have included Juries awards across International Feature Fiction, International Documentary and International Virtual Reality. Previous festivals have also presented audience awards, the Don Dunstan Award and the INSITE Award for screenwriting.

Works submitted to the festival have previously won the festival competitions.

We’re proud to say AFF was the first Australian film festival to create a juried prize for best feature film. Our all-star jury values idiosyncratic voices, bold storytelling, creative risk-taking and overall fabulous films. In 2018 the winner was The Seen and Unseen, dir: Kamila Andini (Indonesia, 2018)

Previous winners:

I Am Not A Witch, dir: Rungano Nyoni (France / UK, 2017)
Neon Bull, dir: Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil, 2015)
Jîn, dir: Reha Erdem (Turkey, 2013)
Incendies, dir: Denis Villeneuve (Canada / France, 2009)
Treeless Mountain, dir: So-yong Kim (USA / South Korea, 2008)
Still Life, dir: Jia Zhangke (China, 2006)

In 2018, the International Feature Jury was Paolo Bertolin, Scott Hicks and Sarah Perks.

Past juries have included Marten Rabarts, Catherine Fitzgerald, Leena Alam, Joao Pedro Rodrigues Miranda Dear, Christian Jeune, Wayne Lewis, Maggie Lee, Tom Hajdu, Sophie Hyde, Lawrence Weschler, Maryanne Redpath, Pierre Rissient, J.M. Coetzee, Noah Cowan, Naomi Kawase and Al Clark among other distinguished practitioners and professionals.

Other previous awards:

The Flinders University International Documentary Award has celebrated distinctive factual filmmaking. In 2018 winner was Island Of The Hungry Ghosts, directed by Gabrielle Brady (USA).

Past winners include:

Taste of Cement, dir: Ziad Zalthoum (Syria, Qatar, Germany, Lebanon, UAE, 2017)
Speed Sisters, dir: Amber Fares (USA/Palestine, 2015)
Blush of Fruit, dir: Jakeb Anhvu (Australia / Vietnam, 2013).

The 2018 Jury was comprised of Larissa Behrendt, Tania Nehme and Madeleine Parry. Previous Jury members include Molly Reynolds, Eva Orner, Michael Loebenstein, Jane Schoettle, Beck Cole and Kristy Matheson along with other distinguished practitioners and professionals.

AFF was the first Australian film festival to create a juried VR Award. In 2018 the winner was The Unknown Patient, dir. Michael Beets (Australia) following on from inaugural winner Nothing Happens, dir. Michelle & Uri Kranot (Denmark, France).

In 2018, the VR Jury was Sue Austin, Mathew Tizard and Kim Batterham. Past juries have included Rachel Landers and Amanda Duthie.

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Festival website

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Class Founded: 2003
Festival category: B (international relevance, international player)
Dates Open call: Dec 10, 2019

Early bird deadline: May 04, 2020
Regular deadline: May 29, 2020
Late deadline: Jun 05, 2020

Notification date: Sep 15, 2020

Favorite this festival or add it to one of your lists to be alerted about open call, deadlines and notification date.
Fees Fees range from 40.00 to 110.00 AUD (0.00 to 0.00 USD) . See submission categories for details about fees.
Awards Total prize money: 20,000.00 USD
General rules All submissions open 10 December 2019
Early bird deadline 4 May 2020
Submissions close on 29 May 2020
Last Chance Deadline Friday 5 June 2020.

AFF accepts feature films, feature documentary, series, short and VR works (drama, documentary, hybrid, experimental and animation) made in Australia and internationally. These can be any length or genre.

Submissions must be received by the official FINAL closing date: FRIDAY 5 June at 5:00pm.

Entry fees (excluding Film Festival Life fees):

Early bird (deadline 4 May 2020)
Final Deadline (deadline 5 June 2020)

VR $40 (early) $65 (last chance)
SHORT $40 (early) $65 (last chance)
SERIES $40 (early) $65 (last chance)
FEATURE $80 (early) $110 (last chance)

We do not accept late submissions.

Notification date: 15 September 2020

All entries must be submitted via FilmFestivalLife.

Entry fees are not refunded if the film is not selected or is ineligible to screen at the festival.

Films under 40 minutes are considered to be short films.

If your film is selected to be screened at AFF 2020 then it must be delivered in DCP format, except in the case of VR submissions.

Any other digital formats will be subject to further discussion.

We cannot theatrically screen from DVD or Blu-Ray.

Works must have been completed after 1 October 2018.

We do not accept:
- works that are exclusively educational, scientific or for training or promotion
- music videos
- films that have been exhibited in South Australia, in any form, prior to 30 October 2020. Private cast and crew and graduation screenings are accepted but AFF must be notified about these screenings.
- films that have been broadcast on Australian television (cable or free-to-air) prior to 30 October 2020 or have been made available for sale or rent prior to 30 October 2020.
- films that have been broadcast on the internet or available for download in any capacity prior to 30 October 2020. However, films available online via secure password protected sites are eligible.
- VR films that are available online or have been previously broadcast ARE eligible for submission.

AFF reserves the right to program films that fall outside of the eligibility criteria under special circumstances.

AFF may agree to preview films that are not yet finished during the submission period, but will be finished in time for the festival. The film must be at picture lock stage. Work-in-progress films should only be submitted if AFF has agreed to accept them. You must first send details of the status of the film to to then have your film approved for submission as a work-in-progress/rough cut.

Festival programmers select and invite all films presented at AFF. All entrants will be notified of the Festival’s programming decisions by email by 15 September 2020. Please notify AFF if you change the contact email address provided when submitting your film.

AFF selection decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into. We do not provide critical analysis or feedback.

If after submitting to AFF your film becomes ineligible (screened at another South Australian festival, broadcast on television, available online etc), it will be automatically removed from consideration for AFF and submission fees will not be refunded.

AFF will only insure DCPs/tapes of films invited to the festival, for the duration of their stay in Australia and during transit to and from the entrant or to and from a following engagement.