About the competition

Entries for the 2021 Sony Film Festival are now closed, but register your interest to stay up to date with the winners' announcement on the 29th of September, and the opening of the 2022 festival.

In the meantime, view all the finalists and judges' selections on our festival site, streaming free from now until the end of January!



 

-------- More about the 2021 Competition --------

Commencing in 2021, the Sony Film Festival celebrates the best short-form filmmaking shot on Sony cameras across Australia and New Zealand. The Festival aims to encourage filmmakers at all levels, from passionate amateurs to industry veterans, showcasing the exceptional talent and abilities of cinematographers and filmmakers who are using the Sony system to capture their stories.

In its inaugural year, the Festival includes three categories; Fiction (scripted), Non-Fiction (documentary) and Music Video, embracing a broad swath of the filmmaking landscape. Building on Sony’s deep roots in the global film and television industry, and its technology leadership in digital imaging, the Sony Film Festival aims to support the vibrant and flourishing filmmaking community in Australia and New Zealand.

Competition Dates

Entries open at 09:00 AM AEDT on Tuesday, 2 February 2021 and close for submissions at 11:59PM AEST on Friday, 9 July 2021.

Judging will commence on Monday, 12 July 2021 with all finalists notified from Monday, 2 August 2021. If finalists cannot be contacted by Monday, 9 August 2021 their entry will be deemed invalid and another finalist will be selected in their place.

Screening of the Film Festival will take place in late August.

Prizes

In partnership with Sony Pictures and Sony Music, each category winning film will be awarded with a unique experience specific to that category as well as a prize package of Sony digital imaging products.

Fiction Winner
  • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
  • A film-maker’s prize package containing $6000 worth of Sony digital imaging products.
  • Up to 3 people from the production team will receive a Sony Pictures Professional Development/Mentoring Session with a Senior Executive at Sony Pictures Releasing and a prominent Australian Producer
  • A screening at a local theatre for you and up to 20 of your closest friends.
  • Your placement will be included in official Sony press-release/s and you will receive official graphics and trophy denoting your prize.
  • Some conditions apply, see T&Cs
Fiction Runner-Up
  • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
  • Your placement will be included in official Sony press-release/s and you will receive official graphics and trophy denoting your prize.
 
Non-Fiction Winner
  • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
  • A film-maker’s prize package containing $6000 worth of Sony digital imaging products.
  • Up to 3 people from the production team will receive a Professional Development Session with a panel of industry professionals including the category judge.
  • A screening at a local theatre for you and up to 20 of your closest friends.
  • Your placement will be included in official Sony press-release/s and you will receive official graphics and trophy denoting your prize.
  • Some conditions apply, see T&Cs
Non-Fiction Runner-Up
  • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
  • Your placement will be included in official Sony press-release/s and you will receive official graphics and trophy denoting your prize.
Music Video Winner
  • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
  • A film-maker’s prize package containing $6000 worth of Sony digital imaging products.
  • The opportunity for the credited Director to work with the Sony Music team to create a music video for a Sony Music emerging artist, subject to acceptance of terms. 
  • Your placement will be included in official Sony press-release/s and you will receive official graphics and trophy denoting your prize.
  • Some conditions apply, see T&Cs
Music Video Runner-Up
  • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
  • Your placement will be included in official Sony press-release/s and you will receive official graphics and trophy denoting your prize.

Fiction filmnarrative film, or fictional film is a film that tells an original (undocumented) fictional or fictionalized story, event or narrative.  A fictional film is wholly unique and is considered original by the production team. Lighting and camera movement, among other cinematic elements such sound and musical components, and visual editing, are deployed to create a cohesive fictional narrative and are considerations for judging in this category.

Any film content depicting real life people, events, or narratives, is considered Non-fiction and these films should be submitted into the Non-fiction category.

Non-fiction is any film that is presented as a depiction of real-life events, people, or narratives. Non-fiction (i.e documentary) content may be presented either objectively or subjectively, and can take the form of a story. Typical submissions for this category are documentary and mockumentary films.

Films that present information, events, or characters that are largely imaginary, or are fictionalisations of real events, are considered to be fiction and these films should be submitted into the Fiction category. 

music video is a short film which is shot and edited to a pre-existing piece of music. The use of cinematic elements such as camera movement, lighting, and editing, are deployed to support the piece of music.

There is no restriction on music genre, and purely instrumental work is also eligible for submission.

If the video is largely made of a narrative and only partially features an original song/musical score, consider submitting the film into the Fiction or Non-fiction categories.

Judges

Each category for the Sony Film Festival 2021 undergoes preliminary vetting by Sony staff, prior to final judging by a head judge.  The head judges for each category are as follows:

Head Judge Fiction - Will Gluck
Best known for his work on Easy A (2010), Friends with Benefits (2011), Annie (2014) and Peter Rabbit (2018), Will Gluck is an accomplished and successful LA-based director.

Head Judge Non-Fiction - Peter James
A hugely acclaimed and respected local cinematographer and director, Peter James is best known for his work on Alive (1993), Black Robe (1991) and Diabolique (1996).

Conditions of Entry

Please see below the conditions your film must meet to qualify for the Sony Film Festival. If any of these criteria is unmet, the submitted film will be disqualified and considered ineligible for the Sony Film Festival.

Shot on Sony
  • No less than eighty-percent (80%) of the submitted film must be shot (recorded) on a Sony camera. The remaining 20% is leniency, where applicable, for stock footage or drone footage. The film can be shot on multiple Sony cameras.
Who can enter
  • Entrants must be an Australian or New Zealand resident aged 18 years or older
  • Entrants must have read and understood the T&Cs for the Sony Film Festival
  • Entrants must hold all relevant rights for the film being submitted
  • Entrants must have a production credit on the film being submitted
Submission
To be eligible for consideration, the entrant must submit:
  • Main Film
    • Film duration should be 4-20 minutes for Fiction and Non-Fiction submissions
    • First round film entry should be no less than Full-HD (1920x1080) resolution at widescreen 16:9 ratio
    • The film to be uploaded via Vimeo. We recommend the film is password protected.
    • A high resolution 4K (3840x2160) in widescreen 16:9 ratio Master should be made available in the event the film is short-listed
  • Film Poster
    • Required: Film poster (Portrait 300 dpi @ 282x422)
    • Required: Background image (Landscape 300 dpi @ 1600x1100)
    • Optional: Film Poster (Landscape 300 dpi @585x330)
    • Optional: Carousel image (Landscape 300 dpi @ 1600x600)
  • 2 – 3 images (either frames from the feature or production stills) to represent your film
  • A short behind-the-scenes film
    • This content is for verification purposes only and will not be used by judges to select a winner
    • Video should show Sony camera/s in use and how the film set was run
    • Video must be between 2-3 minutes in length
    • Any legible format is accepted including mobile phone footage
It is recommended that you look at and familiarise yourself with the full submission process and requirements before submitting your film.
 

Terms and Conditions

Sony Film Festival 2021

NB: These T&Cs have been updated as of 17/05/2021 to reflect the extended submission deadline.
  1. Instructions on how to enter and the prizes form part of these Terms and Conditions. By participating in this promotion, entrants agree to accept and be bound by these Terms and Conditions. Entries must comply with these Terms and Conditions to be valid.
  2. Entries are open to individuals who are Australian and New Zealand residents, and:
    1. entrants must be over the age of 18 at time of entry.
    2. employees of the Promoter and their immediate families are ineligible to enter; and
    3. contractors of the Promoter in connection with digital imaging are ineligible to enter.
    4. a maximum of one entry per person per category will be accepted
  3. Promotion commences at 09:00 AM AEDT on Tuesday 2 February 2021 and closes for submissions at 11:59PM AEST on Friday, 9 July 2021. Judging will commence on Monday, 12 July 2021 with all finalists notified via email from Monday, 2 August 2021. Finalists and prize winners will be determined by the judges in their absolute discretion. If finalists cannot be contacted by Monday, 9 August 2021 their entry will be deemed invalid and the next best ranking entry or entries (as applicable) will be selected in their place, as determined by the judges or the Promoter in its absolute discretion. This is a game of skill and chance plays no part in determining the finalists and prize winners.
  4. All dollar values in these Terms and Conditions refer to Australian dollars.
  5. Prizes include:
    1. 3 x Category Prize Winners 
      • Fiction Winner
        • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
        • A film-maker’s prize package containing $6000 worth of Sony digital imaging products.
        • Up to 3 people from the production team will receive a Sony Pictures Professional Development/Mentoring Session with a Senior Executive at Sony Pictures Releasing and a prominent Australian Producer.
        • A screening at a local theatre for you and up to 20 of your closest friends.
        • Delivery of this prize is subject to acceptance of terms (See clause 12)
      • Fiction Runner-Up
        • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
      • Non-Fiction Winner
        • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
        • A film-maker’s prize package containing $6000 worth of Sony digital imaging products.
        • Up to 3 people from the production team will receive a Professional Development Session with a panel of industry professionals including the category judge.
        • A screening at a local theatre for you and up to 20 of your closest friends.
        • Delivery of this prize is subject to acceptance of terms (See clause 12)
      • Non-Fiction Runner-Up
        • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
      • Music Video Winner
        • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
        • A film-maker’s prize package containing $6000 worth of Sony digital imaging products.
        • The opportunity for the credited Director to work with the Sony Music team to create a music video for a Sony Music emerging artist, subject to acceptance of terms (see clause 13). 
      • Music Video Runner-Up
        • Screening & VIP tickets for the Sony Film Festival opening night in Sydney for up to 5 people from the production crew.
      Your placement will be included in official Sony press-release/s and you will receive official graphics and trophy denoting your prize.

      All winners will have a maximum period of 6 months to select their Sony product/s to the corresponding retail value offered for their prize.
  6. To enter, individuals must:
    1. Read, understand, and complete the online entry form located at www.sony.com.au/filmfestival
    2. Submit a link to the full entry, uploaded on Vimeo, along with any passwords required. 
      1. Own the rights and permissions to any sound & footage included in the work they submit and have obtained all necessary releases and express consent for identifiable persons featured in any footage. If it is found that the entrant has submitted any sound or footage that they do not own the rights to, their entry will be deemed invalid. The Promoter and/or its affiliates will not be liable for any legal action taken against such entrants by the rightful owner of the footage.
        1. Submissions for the Music Video category must confirm that they have explicit permission from the rights holder to submit its entry.
        2. No more than 20% of the total runtime of any submitted film should be stock footage.
    3. Give the Promoter and/or its affiliates permission to use the submitted film or any part of the submitted film, in any way to promote and exhibit at the Sony Film Festival. Where possible, such usage will include credit for director and cinematographer This includes:
      1. A non-exclusive license to use the content of an individual’s entry, or any part of the content of the entry, in all media, for marketing and promotional purposes relating to the Sony Film Festival, for 24 months from the close of submissions.  Usage of finalists’ and winners’ films may be used in advertisements for Sony Film Festival in (but not limited to) online, promotional materials, in-store point of sale materials, news media, and social media.
      2. A worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual license to publicly exhibit, the content of an individual’s entry, or any part of the content of the entry, at Sony Film Festival Exhibitions held domestically and internationally, as well as online.
  7.  Individuals whose submissions reach the final round of judging may be asked to provide:
    1.  a high quality file of their entry, with feature runtime between 4 and 20 minutes. Footage under 1080p resolution, or suffering from heavy compression, may not be accepted as high resolution. If the individual is unable to provide a high resolution version, their entry may be deemed invalid.
    2. A short behind the scenes video showing the Sony camera gear in use and how the shoot took place.  2-3 minutes maximum, minimal production value required.
  8. By entering the the promotion and accepting the terms and conditions, individuals are declaring that the entry submitted by them is their own original work, and they have legal authority to grant rights relating to that work. The Promoter reserves the right to require the entrant to verify that their entry is the entrant’s original work. If the Promoter is unable to verify that the entry is original work to its satisfaction, the entry will be deemed invalid. 
  9. Entrants warrant that their entry is not in breach of any third party intellectual property rights, and agree to indemnify the Promoter and its associated agencies against all losses, damages, claims and costs by third parties arising out of, connected to, or resulting from, a breach of the warranty as set out in this clause 9.
  10. Entrants consent to the Promoter using their name, likeness, image and/or voice in the event that they are a finalist or winner, in any media for an unlimited period of time without remuneration or compensation for the purpose of promoting the Sony Film Festival and this promotion (including any outcome) and/or promoting any products manufactured, distributed and/or supplied by the Promoter.
  11. At the time the Online Entry Form is submitted, individuals will receive an email from the Promoter, to confirm that their submission has been successful.
  12. The Fiction and Non-Fiction category prize winners are entitled to the prize as outlined in this document and are not entitled to any additional prizing or cash reimbursement to compensate for any difference in actual prize redemption cost and maximum value, or costs incurred in redeeming the prize. The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable and non-redeemable for cash. No compensation is payable if the Winner cannot receive any aspect of the prize for any reason.
    1. The screening includes a Sony Picture Releasing feature screening, which the prize winner can select from available films at the time of redemption.
    2. b) Exact date and cinema location of the private screening will be determined by the Promoter in agreement with the winner but in the event that agreement cannot be reached, the Promoter reserves the right to determine the exact date and location of the private screening.
  13. The Music Video category prize includes the opportunity to work with the Sony Music team to create a music video for a Sony Music emerging artist with a total production budget of $10,000. This opportunity is conditional on: (i) the Music Video Winner’s treatment of the music video being approved by Sony Music and the applicable artist; (ii) the Music Video Winner entering into a written agreement with Sony Music and complying with all terms and conditions set out in that agreement; and (iii) the Music Video Winner complying with all reasonable instructions and directions given by Sony Music in connection with the music video.
    1. The Music Video Winner is only entitled to the prize as outlined in this document and is not entitled to any additional prizing or cash reimbursement to compensate for any difference in actual prize redemption cost and maximum value. The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable and non-redeemable for cash. No compensation is payable if the Music Video Winner cannot receive any aspect of the prize for any reason.
    2. Each entrant fully releases the Promoter, Sony Music Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd and Sony Music Entertainment New Zealand Ltd (individually and collectively referred to herein as “Sony Music”) from any loss or liability suffered by the entrant in connection with the running of the promotion.
  14. Any entrants that are unable to complete the entry process online can contact the Promoter by sending an email to sonyfilmfestival.SANZ@sony.com to arrange an alternative method of entry submission.
  15. The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity of entries and individuals (including an entrant’s identity, age and place of residence) and reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who the Promoter has reason to believe has breached any of these Terms and Conditions, tampered with the entry process or engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise the fair and proper conduct of the promotion. Verification is at the discretion of the Promoter, whose decision is final.
  16. The Promoter’s decisions in relation to the Promotion (including but not limited to selection of finalists and prize winners) are final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for late, lost, or misdirected entries or other communications.
  17. The Promoter reserves the right to disqualify any entry in the event that the content of the film is gratuitous or is likely to bring Sony or the promotion into disrepute.
  18. Errors and omissions may be accepted at the Promoter's discretion. Failure by the Promoter to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights. The Promoter reserves its legal rights to recover damages or other compensation from such an offender.
  19. If there is a dispute as to the identity of an entrant, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to determine the identity of the entrant.
  20. If this Promotion is interfered with in any way or is not capable of being conducted as reasonably anticipated due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter, including but not limited to technical difficulties, unauthorised intervention or fraud, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to the fullest extent permitted by law to disqualify any entrant, modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the Promotion, as appropriate, or amend these terms and conditions, unless to do so would be prohibited by law.
  21. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions limits, excludes or modifies or purports to limit, exclude or modify the statutory consumer guarantees set out in the Australian Consumer Law of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), as well as any other implied warranties under the ASIC Act or similar consumer protection laws in the State and Territories of Australia or, where relevant, the statutory consumer guarantees set out in the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 and the Fair Trading Act 1986 in New Zealand (“Non-Excludable Guarantees”). Except for any liability that cannot by law be excluded, including the Non-Excludable Guarantees, the Promoter (including its respective officers, employees and agents) excludes all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of the promotion.

    Except for any liability that cannot by law be excluded, including the Non-Excludable Guarantees, the Promoter (including its respective officers, employees and agents) is not responsible for and excludes all liability (including negligence) including, but not limited to, in relation to any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of: (a) any technical difficulties or equipment malfunction (whether or not under the Promoter’s control); (b) any theft, unauthorised access or third party interference; (c) any entry that is late, lost, altered, damaged or misdirected (whether or not after their receipt by the Promoter) due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter; (d) any tax liability incurred by a entrant; or (e) taking/use of a prize.
  22. The Promoter collects personal information ("PI") in order to conduct the promotion and may, for this purpose, disclose such PI to third parties, including but not limited to agents, contractors, service providers and prize suppliers. Entry is conditional on providing this PI. The Promoter will also use and handle PI as set out in its Privacy Policy, which can be viewed at https://www.sony.com.au/section/contactusprivacypolicy. In addition to any use that may be outlined in the Promoter’s Privacy Policy, the Promoter may, for an indefinite period, unless otherwise advised, use the PI for promotional, marketing, publicity, research and profiling purposes, including sending electronic messages or telephoning the entrant. The Privacy Policy also contains information about how entrants may opt out, access, update or correct their PI, how entrants may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles, the New Zealand Information Privacy Principles, or any other applicable law and how those complaints will be dealt with. All entries become the property of the Promoter.
  23. The Promoter is Sony Australia Limited (ABN 59 001 215 354) of Level 3, 165 Walker Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060.

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to insert stock footage for a scene. Can I do this?
Yes, this is acceptable however you must observe the 80/20 usage as outlined in the conditions of entry.
I want to use footage shot on a drone. Can I do this?
Yes, this is acceptable however you must observe the 80/20 usage as outlined in the conditions of entry.
I have a stop-motion animation film shot on a Sony camera. Can I submit this?
Yes, you can submit this as your entry. We recommend that you enter this under the Fiction category.
Does the submitted footage need to be shot on Sony lenses?
The Sony Film Festival has no requirement for make-of-lens used.
Will there be a screening of finalists and winners?
There is a planned screening event to take place in late August 2021, however this is to be confirmed based on the pandemic situation at the time of judging.
Do I need to own a Sony camera, or can a I submit a film shot on a rented Sony camera?
You do not need to own a Sony camera to submit your film into the festival, but 80% or more of the film must be shot on Sony.

For the Behind the Scenes (BTS) footage, I have a combination of videos and still images, or predominantly stills. Can I use this for the BTS submission?
Yes, you can use a combination of stills and video for your BTS submission. Place your photos onto a video timeline and submit the exported video as a slideshow of your photos.
 
Can I submit footage that was shot on a Sony camera but recorded on an external recorder, such as the Atomos Ninja V?
Yes, footage shot on a Sony camera but recorded onto an external recorder can be submitted.
Are there any restrictions on the age of my film being submitted for the Sony Film Festival?
The Sony Film Festival is looking for films which have completed production within the last two (2) years, and new original films. Leniency may be given to older films at judges’ discretion, however the film must be made available in a 4K master if the film is successfully shortlisted.

Please contact the Sony Digital Imaging Team by emailing sonyfilmfestival.SANZ@sony.com if you have any questions about the Film Festival.