Responding to criticism about the cost of submitting films for the AACTA Awards, the AFI has cut the entry fee for shorts – but the fees for features are unchanged.
In another initiative to widen the eligibility of titles that can compete in the features categories, films that did not have a conventional cinema release can be submitted for pre-selection.
The AFI believes this concession could apply to as many as 10 films that have had or are planning a less traditional release strategy, including Sarah Spillane’s Around the Block, Mark Grentell’s Backyard Ashes, Aaron Wilson’s Canopy and David Field and George Basha’s Convict.
Features that have been released on VOD platforms and on DVD and had at least one festival or event screening in at least three Sates can be submitted for pre-selection.
However in a change from previous years, entries will only be accepted from AACTA members.
The entry fee for shorts is reduced to $100 from $240 or $396 for the previous awards in a move the AFI says will make entering the awards more accessible to a wider cross section of filmmakers.
The fees for features remain at $1,350 for films budgeted at less than $2 million and $2,016 for those above that budget.
Also announced was a new AFI/ AACTA online Social Shorts program. Short films that are entered but not nominated for an award will be eligible for the new program, which will be curated into comedy, drama and independent (self-funded) categories by the public and AFI/AACTA members.
CEO Damian Trewhella said, “The revitalisation of the Excellence in Short Filmmaking program is designed to identify and shine the spotlight on Australia’s next generation of talented filmmakers who create content in the short film.”
Last week there was a call to AACTA members for jurors, who should complete an expression of interest form and lodge by June 13.
Entries for the features and shorts categories are now open. Entries for the documentary and TV categories will be invited in the coming months.
Information on entry details and eligibility can be accessed at: www.aacta.org
The 4th annual awards will be held in Sydney in January.