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NOTE: ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS APPLY TO THE DENDY AWARDS FOR AUSTRALIAN SHORT FILMS, AUSTRALIAN DOCUMENTARY AWARD AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURE AWARD.
See below for guidelines.
1. Conditions of Entry
1.1. Films are only eligible for selection in SFF if they submit a Preselection Entry as detailed in clause 3.1 and meet the following criteria:
1.1.1. Entries must be in English or with English subtitles.
1.1.2. Films must have been completed since 24 February 2023. SFF reserves the right to make exceptions, by invitation only.
1.1.3. To be eligible for the 2023 Sydney Film Festival any film over 40 minutes in length must be a NSW premiere, e.g. it must not have screened* in the State of New South Wales (includes Sydney) to a public audience, of any size, prior to the festival’s Closing Night (19 June 2022).
1.1.4. For films under 40 minutes, to be eligible for the 2023 Sydney Film Festival any film under 40 minutes in length must not have screened* in Sydney to a public audience, of any size, prior to the festival’s Closing Night (5 June 2023). **
* A screening being the public presentation of the film either; in a cinema or other space; online (such as YouTube); on a streaming service (like Netflix or SBS on Demand); or broadcast (e.g., on a television channel such as ABC).
** The only exception to Clause 1.1.4. being films submitted to and selected for the 2022 Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films for which no premiere status is required (e.g. they can have screened anywhere in Australia in any format).
1.2. A Preselection Entry must be received at the SFF office by the official closing date, 25 February 2022, and must include:
1.2.1. A completed online Preselection Entry Form.
1.2.2. An uploaded film file of appropriate quality, with English subtitles (if the original language is not English).
1.2.3. A synopsis, a director's statement, and biography and filmography of the director and producer.
1.2.4. Entries will not be accepted without payment of the entry fee.
1.2.5. A film may be entered for selection in only one SFF festival. SFF reserves the right to make exceptions, by invitation only.
1.3. Works that are solely promotional, educational, or scientific in nature, including music videos, are not eligible for selection for the SFF.
1.4. Australian premiere status is required for Official Competition (see Clause 2), and preferred for Opening and Closing Nights.
2. Official Competition
2.1. The Official Competition has been established to reward new directions in film. The SFF will be seeking films that have emotional power and resonance, are audacious, cutting edge and courageous, and go beyond the usual treatment of a subject matter.
2.2. Films may only submit to the 2022 Official Competition by invitation from the SFF.
2.3. A maximum of 12 films will be presented to the Jury of the Official Competition.
2.4. The Jury, appointed by the SFF, will comprise five members and a maximum of two members will be of Australian nationality, and will be in alignment with FIAPF guidelines.
2.5. Selected films must meet the following criteria:
2.5.1. Films must be fictional and feature length (defined as over 70 minutes). The SFF reserves the right to invite non-fiction features if they clearly meet all other criteria.
2.5.2. Films must have been completed after 1 June 2023 and must not have been released theatrically outside their country of origin more than 12 months before the start date of the 2023 Sydney Film Festival (5 June 2023). The date of completion is the date of the delivery or availability of a locked-off print, tape, or final digital format. SFF reserves the right to make exceptions, by invitation only.
2.5.3. Films must not have screened publicly (see clause 3.5) in Australia prior to 16 June 2023. SFF reserves the right to make exceptions, by invitation only.***
2.5.4. Priority will be given to films that are world premieres provided all the criteria are met.***
*** See Clause 1.4. Australian premiere status is required for Official Competition, and preferred for Opening and Closing Nights.
2.5.5. Films must have provided the SFF with the information and materials specified in Clause 3.
2.6. The Jury will determine the winner of the award based on a simple majority of votes. The Jury President will exercise a casting vote in the event the Jury is unable to determine a winner. The results will be known only by the Jury and SFF and will be embargoed until the announcement at the 2022 Official Competition Award Ceremony.
2.7. An SFF representative may attend Jury deliberations as an observer but will take no part in the voting or proceedings.
2.8. The director(s), or his/her nominee(s), of the winning film of the 2022 Official Competition will receive a cash prize of $AUD60,000.
2.9. Any person, including as determined by SFF, who has taken part in, or to have or perceived to have an interest in relation to, the production or distribution of a film in the 2023 Official Competition will declare that interest and will not participate in the selection or judging process.
2.10. Jury decisions will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
3. Films invited to participate - General
3.1. Once a film has been selected to participate in the 2023 Sydney Film Festival, the entrant must complete an official SFF Entry Form (a more detailed version of the Preselection Entry Form) and forward it to the SFF office no later than 1 April 2023, accompanied by (at a minimum) the following materials:
3.1.1. at least four high resolution stills (by email) from the selected film;
3.1.2. a one paragraph synopsis and a one-page synopsis (in English);
3.1.3. director's statement about the film;
3.1.4. the director's photo, biography and filmography;
3.1.5. an online copy of the film; as well as any other documentation that might contribute to the promotion of the work.
3.1.6. in the case of films over 40 minutes in length, two sets of at least four different excerpts of maximum three minutes in length, the film's trailer and an electronic press kit with scene clips and interviews. Excerpts must be provided in broadcast quality full resolution Quicktime file (preferably ProRes).
3.1.7. in the case of films under 40 minutes in length, two sets of at least four different excerpts of maximum two minutes in length, the film's trailer and an electronic press kit with scene clips and interviews. Excerpts must be provided in broadcast quality full resolution Quicktime file (preferably ProRes).
3.2. By submitting the SFF Entry Form and the above materials, the entrant(s) grant to SFF a non-exclusive licence to publicly screen the selected film in the 2023 Sydney Film Festival (8-19 June) in theatres used by the festival.
3.3. By submitting the SFF Entry Form and the above materials, the entrant(s) grant to SFF a non-exclusive licence to:
3.3.1. publicly screen any submitted excerpts - or any selected excerpts as specified under the rights holder's agreement in the SFF Entry Form - from the submitted film on screen (cinema screen and monitors);
3.3.2. use stills from the submitted materials and descriptive material about the selected film in the marketing and promotion of the 2023 Sydney Film Festival, the official festival program and on the official festival website;
3.3.3. make information extracted from the submitted materials available to the press.
3.4. By submitting the SFF Entry Form the entrant accepts the Rules and Regulations for participation.
3.5. The entrant may not withdraw the film from the SFF once it has been selected for participation and the entrant has confirmed its agreement.
3.6. By entering in the SFF the entrant warrants that the rights to their films are cleared to allow the SFF to use the film for the purposes specified in paragraph 3.3 and 4.2.
4. Films invited to participate - Official Competition
4.1. Films selected for the Official Competition must comply with the criteria in clauses 3 and 4. In the event of inconsistency between clauses 3 and 4, clause 4 prevails.
4.2. By submitting the SFF Entry Form and the materials specified in clause 3.1 the entrant(s) in the Official Competition grant(s) to SFF a non-exclusive licence throughout the world in perpetuity (and at no cost to SFF) to:
4.2.1. screen the submitted Film to the Jury or members of the Jury for the purposes of determining the winner of the 2022 Official Competition;
4.2.2. publicly screen any submitted excerpts - or any selected excerpts as specified under the rights holder's agreement in the SFF Entry Form - from the submitted film on screen (cinema screen and monitors) at any SFF Awards Ceremony and at any pre- and post- SFF Awards functions;
4.2.3. use stills from the submitted materials at any SFF Awards Ceremony and any pre- and post- SFF Awards functions;
4.2.4. use stills from the submitted materials and descriptive material about the submitted film in the official program for any SFF Awards Ceremony and on the SFF's Official Website;
4.2.5. make information extracted from the submitted materials available to the press.
4.3. The licence specified in clause 3.2 is in addition to that granted under clause 4.2.
4.4. It is a condition of participation in the Official Competition that the winner of the Official Competition will use the name and logo of the SFF and the Official Competition in all their publicity in the most prominent position on all publicity material as agreed with the SFF.
5. Transportation of Selected Prints & Digital format
5.1. SFF requires all selected films to provide screening copies in a DCP format. SFF reserves the right and decision to screen selected films in a non-DCP format, if agreed to by the entrant(s).
5.2. SFF encourages filmmakers to deliver DCPs digitally. In the event digital delivery is not possible, the SFF will cover the cost of shipping the digital copy or print of the film to and from Australia. However, if the print/digital copy is to be forwarded to another festival the outward costs from Sydney must be covered by the festival receiving the print/digital copy, as is the usual arrangement between festivals recommended by FIAPF.
5.3. Digital presentation materials of films invited to screen in the SFF must arrive in Sydney no later than 14 days before the Festival’s Opening Night (8 June 2023) unless special arrangements are made with the SFF organisers.
5.4. SFF is committed to delivering an inclusive festival experience. In case of selection, we encourage you to (also for English spoken films) provide English subtitles, Open Captioning, Closed Captioning and/or Audio Description where possible.
5.5. The DCP, or other screening format, sent to the festival prior to its start is the version that will be screened at the Festival. SFF does not allow changes of the version unless in exceptional circumstances, and then only with the express permission of the Festival Director/CEO. If these exceptional circumstances involve a matter of content, then that change will be announced prior to the screening of the film, and along with the film’s synopsis on the website.
5.6. Films will be returned to participants within two weeks following the end of the SFF. DCPs will be deleted from the festival’s servers after the festival.
5.7. The SFF will insure works for all sections of the festival for the entire time the material (of whatever format) is in the SFF's custody, either before, during, or after the festival, against any loss or damage.
5.8. The liability of the SFF is limited to reimbursement of the replacement costs of a new drive or print (in the case of retrospective works supplied on such formats), as per the prices declared by the entrant. All other costs or liabilities are specifically excluded.
5.9. The SFF may refuse to allow the participation of any film where the print or digital format of that film fails to meet the technical requirements for a public screening of good quality.
Sydney Film Festival (SFF) (Level 2, 10 Hickson Road, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia. ABN 84 000 233 741) is organised by the Board and Staff of the Sydney Film Festival. The SFF is a non-commercial organisation, incorporated in New South Wales (NSW) as a non-profit-making company under the Corporations Act 2001.
In keeping with its mission and values, SFF recognises the importance of equal opportunity and diversity in creating a healthy team environment and promotes a culture that is free from discrimination. SFF welcomes submissions from First Nation’s people, people who identify as having a disability and those who come from culturally diverse backgrounds.
The SFF is recognised by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) as a competitive specialised festival and is subject to its regulations.
Should the Sydney Film Festival announce a cancellation due to restrictions associated with COVID-19 before 1 May 2022, submission entry fees will be refunded, less any credit card or other associated transaction fees. After 1 May 2023, only films which have been formally notified of their selection for the 2022 festival, will be entitled to a refund.
The Sydney Film Festival reserves the right to alter the regulations and/or terms and conditions without notice.
ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS FOR SUBMITTING ENTRIES IN THE SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL’S 2023 DENDY AWARDS FOR AUSTRALIAN SHORT FILMS
NOTE: ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS APPLY TO THE AUSTRALIAN DOCUMENTARY AWARD AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURE AWARD.
1. The aim of the competition is to publicise and promote Australian short films (for the purposes of this competition, the term 'film' refers to works completed on film or digitally).
2. Entries must be Australian productions, with a maximum running time of 40 minutes at 25 frames per second, completed since 28 March 2022.
3. To qualify as Australian, the film MUST have at least 51% Australian sourced funding, or MUST significantly meet at least two of the following criteria:
3.1. The subject matter of the film;
3.2. The place where the film was made;
3.3. The nationalities and places of residence of the persons who took part in the making of the film;
3.4. The details of production expenditure incurred in respect of the film, and;
3.5. Any other relevant factors (see Screen Australia's Significant Australian Content policy for guidance.)
4. Films produced by TV stations or made for a television series are ineligible. This does not exclude films commissioned by TV stations from independent producers which, in the opinion of the judges, are not episodes in a series with a continuing narrative.
5. All entrants must pay a flat fee of $40.00 (includes GST) per film entered. There is no additional charge for films which qualify for the supplementary categories (Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director, or Best Screenplay). The fee cannot be waived.
6. Films that are submitted to the Yoram Gross Animation Award category (see point 13 for category definitions) may also be eligible for the Australian Documentary Award, no additional submission fee will be charged.
7. Entries may have been previously screened on television, festivals, websites or commercially in theatres. This is no bar to entry.
8. Films which have previously screened in, or submitted to, the Sydney Film Festival, in or out of competition, are not eligible for this competition.
9. Entrants must make clear on the official entry form which of the two categories they wish to enter: Dendy Award for Best Live Action Short [fiction only] or Yoram Gross Animation Award (see point 13 for category definitions). Each film is eligible for only one category.
9.1. Entrants must make clear on the official entry form for the Yoram Gross Animation Award category if they wish for their film to be also submitted to the Australian Documentary award.
10. The last date for entries is 25 February 2023. The festival reserves the right to accept late entries, subject to the jury's progress and programming deadlines. Under no circumstances will an entry be presented to the judges if it is not the final finished work, including title credits, final sound, and image.
11. Uploaded film files will be used for the sole purpose of considering the suitability of the film for the festival program and will not be used for any other purpose, including marketing or festival screenings, without the permission of the rights holder.
12. There will be one award in each category. Therefore, under no circumstances, will a prize in any category be split between more than one film.
13. The categories are defined as follows:
13.1 DENDY AWARD FOR BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT Dramatic films whose substance is invented by the imagination;
13.2 YORAM GROSS ANIMATION AWARD Films are eligible for the Yoram Gross Animation Award if at least 50% of the film’s total runtime, not including credits, is animated. Entrants for this award should detail in the space provided whether the film is totally animated or contains a substantial proportion of animated sequences (other than in its title or credit sequences).
13.3 THE ROUBEN MAMOULIAN AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR: A jury of film industry representatives will select one film from the 10 finalists to be awarded the overall prize for Best Director, The Rouben Mamoulian Award.
14. PRE-SELECTION AND JUDGING: A total of 10 finalists will be nominated by May 2023 and announced prior to the festival (around early May). A jury of film industry representatives will select one film from the 10 finalists to be awarded the Dendy Award for Best Live Action Short, which carries a cash prize of $7,000; one film to be awarded the Yoram Gross Animation Award, which carries a cash prize of $5,000; and one film to be awarded The Rouben Mamoulian Award, which carries a cash prize of $7,000. The winners will be announced at the festival's award ceremony. The director(s), or his/her nominee(s), of the winning film(s) will receive the relevant cash prize.
15. For each film selected as a finalist, the person nominated as the film's contact person will receive four complimentary tickets to the public screening of their film and 10 general tickets to be used for other festival screenings. These tickets are to be shared between the film's producer(s) and director(s). An invitation to the awards presentation will be extended to the director(s) and producer(s).
16. The judges' decision will be final.
17. Films in any way connected with Dendy Cinemas, Yoram Gross Film Studios, or their associated companies or made by board members or full-time staff of the Sydney Film Festival or their families are ineligible.
ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS FOR SUBMITTING ENTRIES IN THE SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2023 DOCUMENTARY AUSTRALIA FOUNDATION AWARD FOR AUSTRALIAN DOCUMENTARY
NOTE: ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS APPLY TO THE DENDY AWARDS FOR AUSTRALIAN SHORT FILMS AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURE AWARD.