Inspired by the Past, Inspiration for an Industry's Future.

A showcase for the work of cinema masters and rising talents.

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Inspired by the Past,
Inspiration for an Industry's Future

The 1940s were the peak of the Golden Era of Cinema. Iconic films like Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon and It’s a Wonderful Life filled theaters with larger than life characters created by legendary filmmakers.

In Sydney, tucked inside the art deco Paramount House building that served as Paramount Pictures’ 1940 Oceania headquarters, was a basement screening room where executives got their first glimpse of many of these groundbreaking films. It is this venue so rich in cinematic history that will once again showcase cutting-edge films as The Sydney World Film Festival begins a new era in 2018.

The Sydney World Film Festival was launched in 2015 as an online film festival. The online environment and the technology that made it possible was critical to the success of myriad filmmakers whose works would probably never have been screened at conventional festivals.

Having a film selected at Sydney Festival was about industry prestige since the format only allowed private screenings for an international jury. Beginning in 2018, this distinguished festival enters a new era as its first brick-and-mortar event is held at the Golden Age Cinema. Free and open to the public for the first time, this venue will allow filmmakers to witness the impact their films on a live audience.

The festival aims to introduce quality, non-mainstream films from global filmmakers. Previous highlights include filmmakers such as Marina Stepanska, Sona Moghaddam, Dimitris Katsimiris, Luca Leoni, Yoav Tal, Asa Eitan, Or Kan tor, Pia Lauritz, Lemuel Lorca, Juan Sebastián Martínez Mora, Zheng Laizhi, Abbas Sendi, Rosa von Praunheim, Elvis Lu, Latifa Said, Lourdes Sandoval, Vladimir Beldian, Sugandha Garg, Tamara Vittoz, Lucia Lalor, André Marques, Cristina Lladosa, Joaquín Vallet, Levente Kölcsey, Christian Calon, Darko Vukić, Vojtěch Domlátil, Magda Fernandez, and more!

Inspired by the grand screening rooms of the past and born of today’s interconnected world, the 2018 Sydney World Film Festival will serve as a showcase for the work of cinema masters as well as rising talents. We are thrilled to offer filmmakers this fantastic opportunity.


Official Selection
and screening schedule

We accept short and feature films, drama, experimental, animation, documentary, ... Go to our FilmFreeway listing to enter your film.

The Sydney World Film Festival accept all forms and genres. All non-English language films must be subtitled in English. Entry does not guarantee acceptance into the festival. Submissions WILL NOT be returned. We also accept submissions that have premiered elsewhere and that may have distribution agreements already in place. However, TV, theatrical, online video, other festival, or other distribution outlets that run concurrently or in the same month of the festival may not be eligible for screening. Rough cuts and incomplete projects are not accepted. Multiple entries are allowed, however a separate entry form must be submitted for each. The festival has the capability to screen BluRay and DVD.

Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of the Sydney World Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Sydney World Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Sydney World Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling. No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection. If chosen as an official selection, Sydney World Film Festival is granted the permission to exhibit the film at the Sydney World Film Festival and all associated screenings. Location and timing of any screenings of the film shall be the sole decision of the organizers of the Sydney World Film Festival. Filmmakers will be solely responsible for all costs resulting from the submission of the film to the Festival including but not limited to postage or insurance of the film, and expenses of your staff or any representatives of the film. Producer will indemnify the organizers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.

Although every precaution will be taken to prevent loss or damage to materials while in the possession of the festival, The Sydney World Film Festival is not responsible should any materials be damaged while in transit to or from, or while in the possession of the festival.

The filmmaker holds the Sydney World Film Festival, its management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from entry. The filmmaker certifies to have full rights. Producer will indemnify the organizers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.

The festival does not offer screening fees for its films. By submitting through FilmFreeway you are agreeing to NOT request a screening fee as a requirement for your film's participation in the festival, should your film get selected for the program.

Since the festival only requires a nominal entry fee, we will NOT accept requests for other entry fee waivers.

2017 Fall Edition:
Best Narrative Feature Film
Falling (Ukraine) by Marina Stepanska

A story about the post-revolutionary generation of young Ukrainian people looking for their place in a modern Ukraine. The story is set exactly one year after the Maidan Square revolt and expresses feelings of a generation who have no idea who they are anymore or what their identity is, so the only way is to be right here, right now.

Best Documentary Feature Film
Masoumeh (Iran, Islamic Republic of) by Sona

Moghaddam Masoumeh Atae is attacked brutally by acid by her ex-husband's father 1.5 years after divorce. Despite losing her sight and severe burning, she tries to obtain the custody of her son. As the representative of some victims, she goes to other victims and writes letters. To change the penal laws and to better the victims' social conditions . With her resolute efforts during the making of the film . She creates a form of painting by using Braille, and eagerly plays music and does pottery at the same time. She tries to make beautiful life with her son. She has become strong and hopeful to a better future after her tragic accident.

Best Narrative Short Film
Mum, I'm back (Greece) by Dimitris Katsimiris

A woman returns, after 40 years, to the village where she was born. The cause is the death of her mother. She keeps an old photograph in her hands: a mother with her two sons. Arriving at the cemetery, she encounters the faces of all those she left behind.

Best Documentary Short Film
Outside (Switzerland) by Luca Leoni

"This documentary tell the story of my life. A young man who is struggling with depression since years. But my story could be anybody's story. We are all different and we all suffer in different ways. If an audience could find something helpful in this movie I would be more than glad. Mental illnesses are a huge problem. So,there is no sense in trying to hide them by not speaking anywhere about that theme. I hope that my experience may be useful for other people (Luca Leoni)".

Best Experimental Film
Savage the man (Israel) by Yoav Tal, Asa Eitan

A man climbs a tree and is peeping through the window of his own apartment at his wife playing sex gamesthat he solicited her to play with other men. These are Habshushand Dalia and this is how they spice their sex life.Dalia picks up men, they fondle, she cuts out and the man is clearing. One day Habshush climbs the tree and discovers to his surprise that Dahlia brought home a young black refugee, and this time she does not stop but rather make love with Nicholas. Erotic passion becomes a pathological obsession. Amanda and Hamduel, the former girlfriend of Nicholas and the dubious contractor that fell in love with her desperately, are sucked into the vortex.

Best Animated Short Film
Little Thing (Israel) by Or Kan tor

a tiny creature searches for companionship in an empty city.

Best Australian Cinema Now
Banana Blue (Australia) by Pia Lauritz

A short dance film exploring ideas of symmetry and duality // music by Miro Lauritz

Narrative Feature Film
An Educator (Philippines) by Lemuel Lorca

Three generations of courageous women will teach you the most important lessons in life. A poor dreamer who reaches the top, an Aeta teacher who dreams of passing the licensure exam, a veteran educator who believes a teacher never quits. They all meet in a place where the dreamers and the dream become one.

Narrative Feature Film
The Couple (Colombia) by Juan Sebastián Martínez Mora

At the twilight of their thirties and with eight years of marriage, Oscar and Natalia buy an apartment in hopes of beginning a more numerous family. Already accommodated and to celebrate their newest acquisition, they decide to throw an inauguration dinner, inviting parents and brothers alike and for which they have great expectations. When the day finally comes, the party arrangements are ruined by months of betrayal, abruptly unveiled. Oscar discovers that Natalia has been involved with another man for the last couple of months. She, while Óscar expresses his indignations, reveals that her infidelity has been fuelled by vengeance for he has also been involved in a marital infidelity for a long time. After a violent confrontation, the guests finally arrive. The marriage faces the aftermath; the two of them are pushed to make a decision regarding their future, which will drastically compromise their present as a couple.

Narrative Feature Film
Songjiang (China) by Zheng Laizhi

a man from countryside. The man met many difficulties when he came to the city by himself. How he could make up his mind and have courage to overcome all these difficulties?

Documentary Feature Film
The Shelter (Iran, Islamic Republic of) by Abbas Sendi

In outskirts of Rasht city in IRAN, a woman has established a shelter for curing and supporting wild and domestic animals. She has done this with the help of her family and friends.

Documentary Feature Film
Survival in Neukölln (Germany) by Rosa von Praunheim

Stefan Stricker, who calls himself Juwelia, runs a gallery in Berlin's Neukölln district. Every weekend he invites people over to tell them stories about his life and to sing the lyrical songs he has written with a friend from Hollywood. Along with Juwelia, we meet other residents of Neukölln: Androgynous Cuban singer-dancer Joaquin la Habana, who lives with his husband. Syrian singer Enana, who hopes for a liberal full life as a lesbian after fleeing to Berlin. Over the past five years, large areas of Neukölln have been gentrified and hipster-fied - but will its real people survive the process?

Documentary Feature Film
The Shepherds (Taiwan) by Elvis Lu

Defiant towards massive condemnation and denunciation in the society, a heterosexual female pastor founded Taiwan’s first LGBT-affirming church in May 1996. For LGBT Christians, who had been rejected by the Christian community for a long time, this church finally provided them with a safe haven. Today, while the founder has passed away, the church members continue to struggle in the conflicts of the religion. As Taiwan’s LGBT marriage equality bill is being put forward, opposition from conventional Christian churches has also become increasingly fierce and explicit. Therefore, the church members decide to make their voice heard. Despite the price paid, they strive to make a difference in others’ lives with their own life stories, hoping that someday…love will eventually eliminate hostility and misunderstanding.

Narrative Short Film
Wasteland (France) by Latifa Said

Suburbs of a big city. One worker from Maghreb feels uncomfortable with women. Ambivalent, either he’s fascinated by them, or they make him afraid. When he meets a hooker, he tries to surpass his complex, discovering his own sexuality.

Narrative Short Film
Delirio Azul (El Salvador) by Lourdes Sandoval

The surrealistic story of a cuple who are in a crutial moment. Filled with Blue, The feelings beggin to emerge and to fade in the immensity of loneliness.

Narrative Short Film
The Buzzing of a Bumblebee (Russian Federation) by Vladimir Beldian

Once an old woman in a nursing home made three wishes in case of her death: to eat pudding, to listen a little chorus and ... bumblebee buzzing outside the window. It will be difficult to arrange all this but she wants it so much...

Narrative Short Film
Kashmir (India) by Sugandha Garg

Kashmir is the story of Vicky, who is dealing with the sudden loss of his father by retreating into the disjointed memory scape of his own mind. The two men are reunited in a place outside of time and space, where they are able to escape the passing of time and the finality of death. But Vicky soon realizes that for his father, the safe haven of their memories conceals a deeper loss, and the pain of never returning to the only place that felt like home. This is a story of loss, it’s transference, and of being lost.

Narrative Short Film
Not daddy (France) by Tamara Vittoz

Anna doesn’t feel like an ordinary child. She does not have a daddy. The violent man’s been gone for long and Anna’s mum pushes her to forget he exists. But she dreams of meeting him.

Narrative Short Film
Paulina (Argentina) by Lucia Lalor

By Three different rooms, three different moments of a complicated relationship. Paulina and Luis get together and discuss about future, Bioy Casares, and the arrival of the man on the moon; behind it all they will realize what happens to each other.

Narrative Short Film
New Camera (Portugal) by André Marques

Rafa is making a test with his new camera, Rui and Ana are picking him up.

Narrative Short Film
In the park (Spain) by Cristina Lladosa, Joaquín Vallet

In a park, a girl sends a message to her boyfriend. Something interrupts her.

Narrative Short Film
Come by Chance (Hungary) by Levente Kölcsey

Adam lives with his mom in a small village at the edge of the country. Adam's duty to put everything in order what is asked by his mother. He is an obedient child. Puppies are borned which makes him happy but when he tells it to his mother, she ask's him to tuck them away. Adam hesitates.

Experimental Film
The grandeur of things (Canada) by Christian Calon

A materiological diving into the complexity of the forest. Through a unique outlook this film-installation is a sound and visual experience of the infinite assemblages and the improbable and concrete characters whose forest is populated.

Experimental Film
Glitch Hotel (Serbia) by Darko Vukić

By compressing and editing processes the video gained new intriguing narration through mixture of glitch transitions and other clean image cuts. This experiment investigates the narration possibilities and contingencies of exploiting the unexpected glitch effects.

Experimental Film
Life in Patterns (Czech Republic) by Vojtěch Domlátil

Growing up from perfect patterns. Tenderness, poorness and kitsch. Life in 12 frames per second.

Experimental Film
Desert (United States) by Magda Fernandez

A meditation on the wonders of a virtual landscape

Experimental Film
Passenger (United States) by Jamie Naqvi

A nocturnal road trip through thought and memory, time and place.

Experimental Film
Self-Scape (Serbia) by Irena Ristic

SELF-SCAPE is a postdramatic experiment by Irena Ristic, conceived as a journey to axiological and political selfawareness. Looking for the spots of particular statements about the position in the world, about friends, about ownership and possession, about marriage, about humor, about hope and revolution - the author tries to respond to few questions, that have never posed to her. The boundaries between what is hers and what is considered general have been shifted. The question remains whether it is her personal view authentically hers, or common, generic far more than she assume or she wish it to be.

Experimental Film
The Fall of the Golden Mirror of Identity (Philippines) by Tricia Sotaso

Ang pagkalaglag ng ginintuang salamin ng pagkakilanlan (The fall of the golden mirror of identity) tackles the erroneous perception of beauty by the society through time and space. The society’s judgement, together with the passive narcissistic character of the woman creates a delusional truth, where the identity of one has taken over. Thus, creating a rhetorical statement, “what is beauty?”

Experimental Film
Story 2: Scenes 1-9 (United States) by Zlatko Cosic

A multi-narrative experience in nine scenes.

Australian Cinema Now
Double A (Australia) by Evguenia Men

Double A- AA- Anxiety Attack. The camera lens is able to give a visible expression of feelings that are often impossible to articulate. This short film is an attempt to use sensory imagery to explore and reflect the world of distorted reality brought on by an anxiety attack. A crippling bout of anxiety can strike at any time and without warning, and can change the way one views the world in profound ways. Anxiety alters attention and consciousness, twisting reality into a grotesque, emotionally charged image. To the anxious, the world is an unhappy place of stifling emptiness and persistent disorientation were ordinary things no longer make sense, and the universe is governed by some hostile alien logic. This is a bleak chronicle of an inward journey into that disquieting world.

Australian Cinema Now
Till Death Do Us Part (Australia) by Jeremy Heddle

A man is left to care for his ailing wife.

Australian Cinema Now
iRony (Australia) by Radheya Jegatheva

A film that explores the relationship between man and technology...told from the perspective of a phone. This hand drawn animated film is based on the poem 'Seven Billion'

Australian Cinema Now
Drifting Away (Australia) by Morteza Halimi

What it takes to let go and drift away.

Australian Cinema Now
Hers and His otherness together (Australia) by Hugo Egan

This work is a journey through a metropolitan landscape, which is morphed with a sense of 'the other' depicted in an alternate reality.

Australian Cinema Now
Shoulder (Australia) by Riley Blakeway

Told through a collection of non-linear memories over the last 6 months of a failing relationship, the film is a sensitive and personal depiction of first love in the face of mental instability.

Documentary Short Film
Sisterly (United States ) by Nina Vallado

Nina and Lisa are two sisters destined to be the best of friends, but with a diagnosis autism at the age of 2, Lisa’s voice disappears. Without communication, Nina and Lisa set out to find connection and sisterhood.

Documentary Short Film
The Trumpet of Endeavor’s Commend Speech (China) by Wang Meiyu

At the trumpet of endeavor’s commend speech, they used artificial intelligence to represent the contemporary education.

Documentary Short Film
Tory Z Starbuck (United States) by Megan Griesenauer, Andrea Williams

Over 100 albums and 37 years later, Tory Z Starbuck has been composing, recording, and performing experimental rock music in St. Louis since the 80's. The sound is a fusion of electronic sounds influenced by Asian folk and eclectic new wave. Tory still performs all around St. Louis at different venues with his band or solo.

Documentary Short Film
In your shoes (Mexico) by Elizabeth de Jesús Torres Pérez

Claudio has been working all his life in all kind of jobs so he can survive and because his fear and unsteadiness he has forgotten his dreams. Now he and his father Gustavo share the desiree to improve their economic situation, they leave everything behind and start Atelier Amareto, a bussines of handcrafted shoes.

Documentary Short Film
TGAS (Philippines) by Tricia Sotaso

TGAS depicts the mundane life of a woman who has different roles: a butch, a businesswoman, and the head of the family. The documentary shows the cycle of her life including how she manages to do her roles every single day alongside with other duties and responsibilities.

Animated Short Film
MS. Belly (Taiwan) by Lin, Chih-Yu

Ms. Belly is a young lady, a fantasy girl with a round belly. Round belly is big and fat, rolling up and down. Ms. Belly loves her belly, even if people do not like it. In Ms. Belly 's world, the girls' coming-of-age ceremony is to join the transformation for the perfect body. And their ultimate dream is to enter the perfect temple. Ms. Belly was waiting in the clinic, then accidentally saw the operation of the transformation. The girls were in a coma in the factory and forced cutting limbs, face, liposuction. Ms. Belly is frightened and escaped, fleeing into a mysterious world, began a fantastic journey ...

Animated Short Film
Sh! (United States) by Samantha Maurer

Public library are awkward.

Animated Short Film
Curse of the Flesh (France) by Yannick Lecoeur, Leslie Lavielle

Invisible men aboard a pirate ship land on an exotic island, where they hope to find a stone that will free them from their invisibility. But this island is inhabited by a tribe of warrior women who worships the mysterious stone…

Animated Short Film
Diffrerent (United Kingdom) by Tom Fisher

'Diffrerent' is an animation that explores neurodiversity learning disabilities such as dyslexia. The film follows an ant’s journey, as it breaks from its chain-like system, as a metaphor for those who are unable to fit in. There’s always been this feeling of without Dyslexia who would I be? As it’s such a large part of me as a person and in everyday life. This film explores this area of my life by looking back at a childhood hobby, the collection of insects, and the problems I experienced when I was younger and still as an adult today.

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