The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts is raising full membership fees by 18%— but people can beat the price rise by joining or renewing their membership before July 1.

AFI|AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella justifies the increase by pointing to the added benefits of year-round events for members in Sydney and Melbourne as well as access to the AACTA Awards screenings and films streamed online on AACTA TV, and discounted cinema tickets.

Also, the organisation has just stipulated that only AACTA members can apply to sit on the juries. There was no fee increase last year.

“The value equation has increased enormously,” he tells IF, citing the 8 or 9 events that have been staged in Sydney this year at the AFI’s base at Event Cinemas Bondi Junction, with 15-20 planned for the full year.

The annual fee for members from July 1 goes up from $110 to $130 and for guild members from $80 to $100. The fee for concession members rises from $95 to $110.

“It’s a low membership fee relative to the benefits and a lot cheaper than BAFTA [which charges full members £420 or $A765 a year],” he says.

It’s no secret that AACTA is battling to attract commercial sponsors for the 4th annual awards to be presented in Sydney in January. “We are trying to create a more sustainable business,” Trewhella says. “The non-industry support has fallen away so we require a greater level of support from the industry.”

In consultation with industry guilds, AACTA has changed its chapter roles to reflect growth and movement in the industry, particularly in the fields of VFX and animation. A summary of chapter roles is available on its website.

The members’ event program last week featured screenings of Oscar-winning shorts, attended by 220 people in Sydney.

On June 2 US producer Bill Mechanic will give a Masterclass at Event Cinemas Bondi Junction, hosted by AFI | AACTA chair Alan Finney.

Mechanic, the chairman/CEO of Pandemonium Films, is in Melbourne filming The Moon and the Sun, a fantasy/adventure starring Pierce Brosnan and William Hurt, directed by Sean McNamara.

At the Masterclass he will discuss the challenges and opportunities of independent production and financing, the pathway to international distribution, and his experiences in working with Australian crews. The event, which will start at 6.30 pm, is free for AFI and AACTA members who can each bring a guest.

To view upcoming events visit: To view the list of benefits, join or to renew membership, go to

Join the Conversation


  1. AACTA have made no attempt to offer any benefits to people outside Melbourne or Sydney. Given modern technology that’s not even trying to appeal to the rest of Australia. Appalling behaviour. Why even bother to pretend to sponsors you have a national audience?

  2. Hi there. AACTA TV is great for me here in LA – love being able to see films from back home whenever I want. I also think the increased membership fee is still reasonable (and even lower compared to others). I’m looking forward to attending some events when I’m back in Australia!

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