Films will be judged and the finalist/winners announced on the website prior to the festival starting.

Films must be no longer than 12 minutes from opening to closing credits. Films made from the 1st December 2014 can be entered until midnight 31st January, 2017. Films cannot be entered after this date. For more information please check terms and conditions.

There are three main categories for films to be entered. Filmmakers can enter films in more than one category.

  • western suburbs:  films must have been shot here or made by filmmakers living in the western suburbs. (or were living in the western suburbs at the time the film was made).
  • metropolitan (non western suburbs) : comprising films not shot in the west and are not by filmmakers living in the western suburbs.
  • open: for all entrants no restrictions on location
  • People’s Choice: chosen from a film playing on Opening Night

Films will be evaluated for the following:

  • story – well told, fluent, good theme or subject, good structure, good dialogue;
  • engaging and entertaining for audience;
  • production values – camera technique, special effects, lighting and sound;
  • creativity and originality.

Awards will be given for the following categories:

Main Awards

  • Best Film Overall (sponsored by The Sun Theatre Yarraville)
  • Best Film Cultural Diversity (sponsored by Maribyrnong City Council)
  • People’s Choice

Western suburbs

  • Best Short Feature (sponsored by Victoria University)
  • Best Documentary (sponsored by Open Channel)
  • Best Director
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Film by a Tertiary Student


  • Best Short Feature Category 
  • Best Documentary Category 


  • Best Film Overall 
  • The Rouge Program – The Dressmaker Award For Best Film by A Female Filmmaker sponsored by Sue Maslin and Rosalie Ham..
  • Best Secondary – sponsored by Victoria University
  • Best Animation 
  • Best Acting Performance Overall
  • People’s Choice

Best Cultural Diversity will be determined by the judges.  The Cultural Diversity Award seeks to recognise a film that through its use of subject, actors, story, or themes, directly or indirectly explores or promotes cultural diversity. For example, race, age, religion, gender or sexuality. The judges are a small group of media and film teachers, and industry professionals experienced in judging and making films. Judges will shortlist films individually before choosing the finalists and the winner in each category.  Judges will watch the shortlisted films separately and rate them out of ten. The film with the highest points in its category wins. The Finalists in each category will listed on the website.

People’s Choice

Voting for the People’s Choice award will occur on the Opening Night when all of the finalists are shown.