Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When the deadline for entries

A: Sunday 30th September at 5 pm

Q: When will the films be screened?

A: The Festival Screening is on Halloween Wednesday 31st October 2019.

Q: Will my entry be screened at the Festival?

A: If your film meets all the terms and conditions (please see terms and conditions) there is a very good chance it will be screened. However, because of the number of entries, we can only screen a certain number of entries.

Films are shortlisted based on:

  • You have followed all our rules and regulations with particular attention to:
    • length of film (has to be under 5 minutes including title and credits
    • has to have a title screen and an end credit screen
    • has to have copyright clearance on all previously published material – particularly music
    • has a good audio quality (and, yes of course, good visuals) but inexperienced filmmakers too often don’t pay enough attention to sound

And of course, it helps if you have a good story, good acting and look after your lighting and editing.

Q: Does my film have to address the theme of the festival

A: The short answer is yes, it does. However, we take a very creative approach to the theme and encourage you to do the same. Your film doesn’t have to be entirely about the theme. It could have the slightest reference to the theme.

This year, when you register your film, you will be asked if and how the film addresses the theme. If you make something believable, we are happy to believe you. But it is so much more fun to use the theme. It will help with your story.

Q: Do I have to pay to enter?

A: No. Registration and submission are free for you.

Q: What is the required video format for entering?

A: We ask for PAL format 720x576 16:9 Widescreen @ 25 FPS. If you are shooting high definition then it would be 1280x720 or 1920x1080 @ 25 FPS.

Q: How strict is the 5-minute maximum duration policy?

A: Unfortunately we have to be very strict about the 5 minute limit on films. Anything over the 5-minute length will have the film disqualified.

Q: "What is the minimum length of an entry?

A: There is no minimum duration.

Q: What do the different categories of entry mean?

A: We have three categories that you can enter your film into for the festival

  • The Primary School category is for films that are made for a primary school audience and/or that that feature primary school children involved in key creative roles in the production (script, conception, production).
  • The Secondary School Category is for films that made by students currently in secondary schools The students can be supervised by an adult but have to be the key creatives in the production.
  • The Open Category is for everyone else.

Q: Can I submit more than one film to the festival

A: Yes, you can. You just can’t submit one film into more than one category.

Q: How is selection and judging conducted?

A: The selection and judging is done in three phases

  1. The SSFF staff first shortlist films from all the entries culling those that have violated any of the terms and conditions or have technical issues that would preclude screening. We then pick the strongest films to fill a one hour and thirty-minute Festival screening ensuring we have a strong and diverse program to entertain a paying audience.
  2. The shortlist of films is then sent to a small panel of film industry experts and community leaders to select what they think is the best film based on professional film production values. This film is then awarded the Best Film Prize of $5,000.
  3. There is an audience vote at the Festival screening for all films. Based on popular vote, prizes are awarded for the First, Second, Third most popular films in each of the categories. Prize pool TBC.