/about SWFF

Jim Jarmusch, Quentin Tarantino, John Cassavetes, Michel Gondry, Charlie Kaufman, Sofia Coppola are just a few names of established filmmakers who blew up on the indie scene. True artists who focus on the art of filmmaking rather than on the box office.

 

The Sydney World Film Festival aims to introduce exactly these type of quality, non-mainstream films from global filmmakers as well as local talent. 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!

Sydney World Film Festival

Sydney World Film Festival takes pride in its astute selection process. It is known for discovering hidden gems that later go on to thrive successfully at A-list festivals, with some films even catching the eye of the Academy Awards. In 2021 for example, the festival selected and awarded 'Ala Kachuu – Take and Run', directed by Maria Brendle, which was nominated in 2022 for an Oscar in the Best Live Action Short Film category.

 

Inspired by the grand screening rooms of the past and born of today’s interconnected world, the Sydney World Film Festival has succeeded in finding its unique voice within the already bustling film festival scene in Australia's largest city. It attracts young independent filmmakers not only for its selection of films, but also its networking opportunities.

The festival discovers, supports and develops new talent in filmmaking, providing a platform for emerging and established filmmakers from around the world. Recognising the important role independent films have in the history of filmmaking, storytelling, and culture, SWFF wants to help empower the next generation of artists. The Sydney World Film Festival is an annual event showcasing independent films with an edge.

‘OFF ON’ SELECTION

As of 2023 our festival will enter an exciting new phase in its existence. Next to our physical screenings we’ll also be screening online with the special OFF ON SELECTION. The OFF ON Selection will go online one week prior to the opening of the physical part of the festival and will stay online until the last day of the festival. Viewers will be able to watch, but not download your film. If needed we can geo-block your film to our region.

We’re open to any genre (narrative, web series, made for tv, documentary, experimental …) and especially any duration (which is always an issue for the physical part of the festival). Selected filmmakers will receive all official selection perks (The Tarkovski Grant, The Producer’s Night nomination, …) and are in the running for any of the award titles. When you submit your film for consideration to both a physical section and the Off On Selection it is possible to be selected for both, but this is of course not guaranteed. Filmmakers that submit their film only to any of the other sections (so any other than the Off On Selection) will not be selected for an online screening.

/proud partner of The Bigger Screen

Sydney World Film Festival is a proud partner of The Bigger Screen, an organization that aims to make film as an art form more accessible and more inclusive. We support their different programs on both sides of the screen: behind the screen, encouraging and supporting filmmakers in their quest to spread their work through grants and opportunity, as well as in front of the screen, by welcoming audiences to enjoy this art form, no matter what their social or financial status is. A short overview:

 

Connecting Cultures Program: Each year, The Bigger Screen selects ten countries and grants filmmakers from those areas the ability to submit their work free of charge to partner festivals all over the world. This opens the door of film exposure to those who may not otherwise be able to enter. As we support inclusivity and shareable films, this program exemplifies our mission. 

Local Filmmakers Program: We understand that the cost of making a film can be taxing, so to encourage rising talent, we waive the festival submission fee to local talent. With numerous worldwide locations for festivals, this provides great opportunity for filmmakers around the world to enter the international film scene. This opportunity opens the world of film. Think global, act local, right?

Inclusive Audience Program: Our screenings are always low or even free of charge to provide opportunity for interested film goers to view up and coming, challenging, and inspiring pieces of art, encouraging students, seniors, and those in underprivileged environments to share the experience of film and cinema. We welcome film goers, regardless of income and financial status.

The Tarkovski Grant: All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $250. This not only saves you a lot of money, but it also recognizes your work as something to watch for during the selection procedure, making a selection with another partner film festival more likely - but of course, never guaranteed. The Tarkovski Grant supports hundreds of filmmakers each year in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers, by promoting existing films, no matter the genre, style or length.

/previous editions

Find out all about the previous editions of the Sydney World Film Festival: