Just an AACTA!

THE 2018 AACTA AWARDS: At top: Actor Bryan Brown and his wife, actress Rachel Ward. The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) honoured BRYAN BROWN, one of Australia’s most admired and respected actors, with the Australian Academy’s most prestigious award – the LONGFORD LYELL AWARD. The Award was presented to Bryan at the 2018 AACTA Awards Ceremony presented by Foxtel on Wednesday 5 December at The Star Event Centre in Sydney. First presented in 1968, the Longford Lyell Award honours Australian film pioneer RAYMOND LONGFORD and his partner in filmmaking and life, LOTTIE LYELL. The Award is the highest honour that the Australian Academy can bestow upon an individual and recognises a person who has made a truly outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Australia’s screen environment and culture. ‘It's an honour - thank you to the Academy,’ said Bryan Brown. ‘I'm an Australian telling Australian stories and I love it.’ (Photo by L.J. May S/S)


On these pages you will find competitions and other opportunities for authors, performance writers for stage and screen, illustrators and filmmakers. See entries below the quick list for more detailed information.

In this section we list competitions open to performance writers for theatre, film and television, plus cross-over opportunities for filmmakers. Detailed information is listed below in date order. Those entries with deadlines looming are highlighted in red.   

  • The 2019 ST KILDA FILM FESTIVAL will run from Friday, 21 June to Sunday, 30 June 2019. Enter the open SHORT FILM COMPETITION and/or the ‘Under the Radar’ YOUTH SHORT FILM COMPETITION for young filmmakers under 21 in Australia. Submissions are now open with an Early Bird deadline of Friday, 4 January, 2019 and submissions closing on Friday, 22 February, 2019. (SEE RADIO, FILM AND TELEVISION SECTION BELOW FOR DETAILS)
  • Don’t miss your chance to be part of the 66th Sydney Film Festival. Feature films, documentaries, and short films can now be submitted for consideration. The 2019 SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL will run from Wednesday, 5 June to Sunday, 16 June 2019. The deadline for International productions (any length) is 31 January 2019. Deadline for Australian productions in the various categories is 28 February 2019 – see the listing for details. (SEE RADIO, FILM AND TELEVISION SECTION BELOW FOR DETAILS)
  • The Australian Writers’ Guild sponsors events, festivals, awards and programs that recognise, promote, reward and celebrate the work of screen and stage writers. See who’s eligible.
  • The Brisbane City Council is seeking public event visionaries for its CREATIVE EVENTS REGISTER. If you’ve got a bright idea, register now. 
  • Playwrights from regional or remote areas may apply for travel costs to attend events and opportunities through the newly established ERIN THOMAS PLAYWRIGHT FUND. There is no deadline for applications.
  • Submit your complete screenplay with a treatment, or a comprehensive concept proposal (1–3 pages) to WriteMe Australia, a national screenwriting initiative program which aims to develop exceptional material into production-ready screenwriting to be produced by the LaRoda Films network. There is no closing date for submissions. All ideas and material exchanged between all parties constitute intellectual property that shall remain the exclusive property of the originator.



Who: Playwriting Australia.


Entries close: No deadline for applications. 

Contact: For guidelines visit the website at

Cost: No cost to apply.

What’s happening: The Rules. It can be tough getting your playwriting career going if you live outside of the capital cities – opportunities to engage with the theatre industry are rare and expensive. The newly established Erin Thomas Playwright Fund has been created to support emerging playwrights from regional or remote areas to attend opportunities or events that would help them develop their careers. 

To be eligible, playwrights need to: reside in a regional, remote or rural area of Australia; and be at an early stage of their career and have had no more than two professional productions.

The Opportunities: Funded travel costs can include airfares, accommodation, per diems or other relevant expenses. Playwrights may apply to attend events and opportunities.

Here is an opportunity to submit and sell your script, choreography and artistic concepts for students of the performing arts.

Who: Free Range Theatrix


Entries close: Ongoing.

Contact: Go to their website at for more information about the company, and contact Creative Director, Sally Hardy on about your submissions if you have questions.


What’s happening: Opportunity: Free Range Theatrix is a new company that sells scripts, choreography and artistic concepts for students of the performing arts. They are currently seeking submissions of plays, monologues and musical theatre, and are interested in anything from light-hearted pantomimes through to highly artistic and challenging works. For more information and go to their website at and contact Sally Hardy as above if you have any further questions. 



Who: The Australian Writers Guild (AWG)


Entries close: Ongoing opportunity.

Contact: Go go to the AWG sponsorship page for more information and email if you have any further queries.

Cost: Talk to AWG about your idea.

What’s happening: The Rules. The Australian Writers’ Guild is proud to sponsor events, festivals, awards and programs that recognise, promote, reward and celebrate the work of screen and stage writers. They are also the proud sponsor of Best Screenplay Awards for a number of festivals and competitions. 

If your organisation would like to get in touch with the Guild regarding sponsorship, head to their AWG sponsorship page to find out what types of events and awards they sponsor, how they show their support, and what they expect from the events they sponsor. You can then download and fill out the AWG sponsorship form before sending it to


Who: The Brisbane City Council


Entries close: Ongoing opportunity.

Contact: For more information, email or call (07) 3403 8888.

Cost: NIL.

What’s happening: The Rules. The Brisbane City Council is seeking public event visionaries. Help imagine events, learn more about creative development opportunities and hear about ways to work with Council on the Creative Events Register. Receive email updates about expression of interest opportunities through the year. To register, visit



Who: St Kilda Film Festival.


Entries close: Early Bird Deadline: Friday, 4 January, 2019; Submissions Close: Friday, 22 February, 2019.

Contact: For guidelines and the application form visit the website at Submit your film here Accepted Filmmakers will be notified Friday, 26 April, 2019.

Submission Fees*: $26.00 USD (Early Bird Price); $29.00 USD (Regular Pricing); $7.00 USD (no Early Bird)Under the Radar Submissions’ (filmmakers aged under 21 only).

*Please note entry is charged in US Dollars through FilmFreeway. General entry costs are equivalent to AUD $40 (AUD $36 for early bird entries) and AUD $10 for ‘Under the Radar’.

What’s happening:The Rules. Submissions for the 2019 ST KILDA FILM FESTIVAL are now open. Now’s the time to polish up your masterpiece and enter either or both of these competitions.

THE SHORT FILM COMPETITION: The Festival has screened films that went on to be Oscar winners and nominees, and Palme d’Or winners at Cannes. A short roll call of filmmakers whose earliest works found a home at St Kilda Film Festival includes Adam Elliot (Harvey Crumpet), Matt Saville (Noise), Kriv Stenders (Red Dog), Cate Shortland (Somersault), Jane Campion (The Piano, Bright Star) and Richard Lowenstein (Dogs In Space).

Celebrating Australian short film, the annual Festival culminates in an Awards Ceremony rewarding outstanding achievements by Short Filmmakers. Winners of the Best Short Film and Best Documentary prizes are eligible to be nominated for the Academy Awards.

THE YOUTH SHORT FILM COMPETITION:Under the Radar’ is a competition dedicated to young filmmakers, showcasing their work in an internationally recognised film festival. The program encourages young filmmakers to pursue their craft and supports the future stars of cinema – both in front of and behind the camera.

Although the St Kilda Film Festival is an open entry competition, it is often difficult for young people to compete against more experienced filmmakers of an older age. This category is solely dedicated to the outstanding work that is being produced by young filmmakers under 21 in Australia.

The Prize: Kudos – plus see the website for details.


Who: Sydney Film Festival.


Submission deadlines: International productions (any length): 31 January 2019; Australian productions (any length): 28 February 2019; Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films: 28 February 2019; Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Best Documentary: 28 February 2019; Screenability: 28 February 2019.

PLEASE NOTE that this is the date by which your online submission should be completed, fee paid, and link uploaded. This is especially important if you are submitting to the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films, because entries are submitted to the jury immediately after the closing date.

Contact: Visit the Festival website at For guidelines and the submission form visit the website at For all FAQs on submitting a film, visit Full eligibility criteria and submission details, including premiere and production requirements for each section of the festival program are available at FilmFestivalLife.

Please email if you’ve missed the deadline – they do their best to be flexible wherever possible, however, with entries to competitive sections they do not accept further submissions once the jury or selection panel has commenced viewing.

Entry Fees: What are the submission fees? Sydney Film Festival 2019 features (over 40 minutes): $80.00; Sydney Film Festival 2019 shorts (under 40 minutes): $50.00; Documentary Australia Foundation for Australian Documentary Prize: $45.00; Dendy Awards Live Action Short Film (under 40 minutes): $40.00;  $40.00; Yoram Gross Animation Award (under 40 minutes): $40.00.

Details of how to submit your film, along with SFF regulations and entry fee requirements are available at All fees are in Australian dollars and include appropriate taxes. Once you have completed your online form, you will be provided with payment details: FilmFestivalLife. Note: they only accept payment by credit card (MasterCard and Visa). Please do not send cheques, money orders or cash.

What’s happening: The Rules. The SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL is open for submissions. Don’t miss your chance to be part of the 66th Sydney Film Festival. Feature films, documentaries, and short films can now be submitted for consideration for the next edition of the Festival, which will take place from Wednesday, 5 June to Sunday, 16 June 2019.

For 66 years, the Sydney Film Festival has been bringing the best new films from around the world to audiences in Australia. As well as new features from over 55 countries, SFF screens … FULL TEXT  

  • FESTIVAL TYPE: Real Venue Festival
  • TYPES OF FILMS: Animation, Children, Docu-feature, Documentary, Experimental, Hybrids, Narrative fiction
  • FILM LENGTH: Full length, Mid-length, Short
  • GENRE: Action, Adventure, Alternative, Art, Avant-garde, B-Movie, Biography, Burlesque, Classics, Comedy, Comedy drama, Crime, Culture, Dance, Dark comedy, Drama, Dramedy, Environmental, Family, Fantastic, Fantasy, Film noir, Foreign, Health, Hip Hop, History, Horror, Human rights, Independent, Kids, LGBT, Live Action, Melodrama, Mockumentary, Music, Musical, Mystery, Parody, Post modern, Realism, Reality, Road Trip, Romance, Romantic comedy, Satire, Science, Science fiction, Social issues, Spiritual, Surreal, Thriller, Transgender, Underground, Urban, War, Western.

If your film screens publicly in Sydney prior to 17 June 2019, it is not eligible for submission to SFF, the only exception being Australian productions under 40 minutes in length completed in last year, which may be eligible to enter the Dendy

NOTE: a public screening is any screening open to the public, this includes festivals, previews, broadcast, theatrical screenings and online. Cast & crew screenings, which are invitation only and not open to the public, are not considered to be public screenings.

The Prizes: Kudos – plus see the website for details. THE EVENT CINEMAS AUSTRALIAN SHORT SCREENPLAY AWARD, sponsored by Event Cinemas, provides is $5,000 cash prize for best short screenwriting. All Australian short fiction films selected for the Festival are eligible for this Award, and are automatically in the running for the prize.

A jury of film industry representatives will select one film from the 10 finalists (selected by the Festival’s programming team) to be awarded THE DOCUMENTARY AUSTRALIA FOUNDATION FOR AUSTRALIAN DOCUMENTARY PRIZE, which carries a cash prize of $10,000. The prize money cannot be shared between more than one finalist.


Who: LaRoda Films


Entries close: No closing date for submissions.

Contact: Visit and spread the word among writers of screen and print fiction.

Cost: Nil to submit.

What’s happening: The Rules. WriteMe Australia is a national program established to identify and select writers, and develop their exemplary written material with a Director, to a stage primed for screen production. The initiative aims to identify and select talented writers with extraordinary written material, and to develop that work into production-ready screenwriting to be produced by the LaRoda Films network.

WriteMe was established by Australian Director and Producer Blake Borcich, after identifying a frustratingly low volume of archetypal writing to explore and advance in his home nation. Good writing affects everybody on a film production. It is a collaborative art form through and through, and there is nothing more reassuring that one is arriving each day to work on a truly worthy filmic venture, than the strength of that core foundational brilliance – the script.

They accept complete screenplays with a treatment, as well as comprehensive concept proposals (1–3 pages). All ideas and material exchanged between all parties, from the moment of first engagement with each other, constitute intellectual property that shall remain the exclusive property of the originator.

The Opportunity: WriteMe ultimately guarantees that successful screenplays are headed right through to post-production and release by LaRoda Films. The WriteMe process involves an appointed entertainment lawyer and active liaising with the Australian Copyright Council. 


Are your credits accurately preserved for posterity? The Film & Broadcast Industries Oral History Group sends all filmmakers this important message.

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia – Audiovisual History Needs You

Have you worked on an Australian screen production? Do you want your correct credits to be part of Australia's historical record? If so, the Film & Broadcast Industries Oral History group encourages you to have your credits updated on the national audiovisual collection records. 

Here's how in 5 easy steps:

1. Go to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia website and click Collection.
2. Search for the production title using Easy Search, select Film or Television and click on Search
3. From the Results page, click on the entry that appears for that title searched. Once you click on the entry, you will get a page which includes ‘Title Details’
4. If you see anything incorrect or missing in the credits listed there, click on the data corrections link at the bottom of the page to send an email with your suggested corrections
5. The NFSA Collection Information Staff will respond to your email and validate the suggested corrections. For any contradictory information received, the NFSA will retain the right to determine the authorised credits for the production.


‘CLICK FOR FESTIVALS is a new tool connecting creators and festivals. The website says: 'For creators and distributors CLICK signifies the best way to reach any festival throughout the world, offering the possibility of showing their work easily, practically and economically. In the case of festivals, this is a free tool that will enable them to manage submitted films efficiently and to set optimal communication channels with both creators and juries.

'The first step is to create your account as a Director or Distributor. Next, you will receive an account verification email and from that moment, you can start uploading your films, consulting our Platform's list of Associated Festivals and submitting your work to the festivals that interest you...Film schools will enjoy the same promotions as distributors.

'CLICK FOR FESTIVALS gives the opportunity to submit a short to many festivals, or many shorts to one festival. We want you to have your submissions only one click away.’

This seems worth checking out. For more information on how it all works go to the CLICK FOR FESTIVALS website at




THE 2018 AACTA AWARDS: BRYAN BROWN accepted the AACTA Longford Lyell Award, Australia’s highest screen accolade. The Award was presented to Brown by SIMON BAKER, with touching tributes from (at top) BRUCE BERESFORD and SIGOURNEY WEAVER and (at bottom) ROSE BYRNE and WARWICK THORNTON, as well as Sam Neil, Tom Cruise, Baz Luhrmann, Ben Mendelsohn and many others. BRYAN BROWN first debuted on screen in 1975 as a policeman in SCOBIE MALONE, delivering just two lines. He went on to cut his teeth with some of Australia’s leading directors, with supporting roles throughout 1978 in films such as Fred Schepisi’s THE CHANT OF JIMMIE BLACKSMITH, Bruce Beresford’s MONEY MOVERS and Phillip Noyce’s NEWSFRONT, before taking on leading roles in Donald Crombie’s CATHY’S CHILD (1979) and Albie Thoms’ PALM BEACH (1980). In 1980, Brown received his first AFI Award nominations, becoming the first male actor to be nominated for both Best Lead and Best Supporting Actor in the same year. Nominated for Best Lead Actor in STIR, Brown won his first AFI Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Lt. Peter Handcock in Bruce Beresford’s BREAKER MORANT; a performance that garnered international attention. During the next decade, Brown found huge success in the US, with roles including: television mini series A TOWN LIKE ALICE (1981); Paul McCartney’s Golden Globe nominated GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROAD STREET (1984); Golden Globe nominated rom-com COCKTAIL (1988) opposite Tom Cruise; Oscar®, and the rest is history. Thanks to the Academy for this information. (Photo montage by L.J. May)