Australian Film Festivals Guide 2022

Film festivals across the nation are gearing up for a jam packed program both physically and digitally. Here is a calendar list of what to watch out for.

With COVID safety plans in place, film festivals are gearing up for a stellar year with plenty of anniversary celebrations, inaugural programs and Australian premieres.

If you are interested in submitting your film project to a festival, Film Freeway lists the opportunities currently open in Australia, including the Melbourne International Film Festival (deadline January 31), Oz Indie Film Festival (31 January), Over the Fence & A World of Dark Comedy Film Festival (deadline February 26) and more.

JANUARY–MARCH

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APRIL–JUNE
JULY–SEPTEMBER
OCTOBER–DECEMBER

2022 Flickerfest is currently in full swing with a packed program wrapping up on Bondi Beach on January 30. See our hand-picked highlights on ScreenHub.

Antenna Documentary Festival runs February 2–3 in Sydney with a celebratory 10th anniversary lineup. Opening the festival is the Australian Premiere of Charm Circle by Nira Burstein, a cinéma vérité portrait of her eccentric New York family, alongside highlights including The Real Charlie Chaplin, Cannes Best Documentary A Night of Knowing Nothing, and Yael Bartana – Retrospective delivered in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).

From February 4–27, Australia’s newest film festival Europa! Europa will be screened across Sydney and Melbourne. The inaugural lineup features 43 films from 42 countries, including 35 Australians premieres. Cinematic gems from Cannes 2021 include The Innocents by Norwegian Director Eskimo Vogt, Grand Prix winning Compartment No. 6, and coming of age stories Marina (Best First Feature Film) and Libertad. Also included will be 13 Oscar submitted titles from across Europe.

Melbourne Women in Film Festival runs February 10–14 at ACMI and online with the theme Laugh Louder, focusing on all things funny through curated programming bringing together women and gender diverse filmmakers.

The Japanese Film Festival 2022 will deliver a free online program from February 14–27 after touring across cinemas. From a futuristic existential animation about androids (Time of EVE the Movie) to a culturally rich documentary delving into the art of ramen-making (The God of Ramen), 17 films will be available for a nation-wide audience.

Sticking to the digital format, the Transitions Film Festival can be streamed on demand from February 18–March 13 nationwide.

Queer Screen presents the 29th Mardi Gras Film Festival, The Queer Frontier from February 17–March 3 in cinemas and on demand. The PRIDE Queer Film Festival in Perth runs from March 2–9, then will travel to Geraldton, Busselton, Albany and Kalgoorlie in WA.

The 2022 Alliance Française French Film Festival runs from March 1–April 26 with the full program to be released on February 3. The Festival is set to feature Cannes highlights, a selection of Australian premieres and all the ‘amour’ and drama in celebration of French cinema.

This year the World Monologue Film Festival will welcome a physical screening on March 23 followed by livestreams for semi-finals and finals on March 25 and 26 respectively. Normal submissions are open to compete for the $500 main prize until February 10.

Also in March is the Australia Womens Film Festival for short film in Sydney, with 2022 dates to be announced and entries open until February 15.

The Geelong Pride Film Festival will return during March/April with dates to be announced, submissions are open until January 31.

APRIL–JUNE

From April 14–May 31, the Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival will deliver its online programming, to be followed by a ten day celebration in Launceston and the Tamar Valley, TAS from April 29–May 8.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary is the Gold Coast Film Festival returning from April 20–May 1, bringing a diverse range of films, panels, events and pop up cinemas across the Gold Coast.

Screenwave International Film Festival returns April 21–May 6 on Coffs Coast with unforgettable cinema experiences alongside live performance and the inaugural launch of Storyland, a one day event of music acts, art installations and storytelling headlined by Courtney Barnett and Hiatus Kaiyote. The 2022 festival will host ore than 120 feature screenings over 16 consecutive days of cinematic delight.

The Melbourne Short Film Festival is due to return April/May and has announced its 2022 award nominations across all categories including best Short Film, Documentary, Animation, Comedy, Drama and Best Experimental.

Entries for the 2022 Very Short Film Festival are open until April 25 with the signature theme ‘Spring’. The Festival’s Premier event will be held in Tasmania on May 20.

Submissions are closing on January 31 for the St Kilda Film Festival held over May, showcasing Australia’s top 100 short films from public submissions.

Delivering its fourth program this year, the South African Film Festival returns to showcase the breadth of South African talent, culture band diversity while supporting educational opportunities for disadvantaged children. Last year the on demand program also offered favourites from previous iterations of the festival.

Also returning in May/June is the German Film Festival with more details to be announced.

The Sydney Film Festival runs June 8–19 this year with submissions open until February 25 for the Denny Awards, the Australian Documentary competition and Australian and international categories of the program.

Set in Winton, Queensland, The Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival returns June 24–July 2, led by the passion of the Winton community.

JULY–SEPTEMBER

Revelation Perth International Film Festival returns in a hybrid format, with the festival screening July 7–17 in Perth and July 18–24 online. Entries to the independent Festival ends on April 1, especially inviting Made-In-WA Films.

Annually held in July, the Melbourne International Animation Festival features a nine-day celebratory feast of forums and animations from around the globe. Entries for Australian films are open until February 24.

The 70th Melbourne International Film Festival will be held from August 4–21, offering innovative and transformative experiences for audiences and filmmakers alike.

Presenting in both cinemas and online this year, the 13th Indian Film Festival of Melbourne runs August 12–20. Films from last year’s event are currently available on demand.

Cinefest Oz Film Festival WA returns August 24–28, including Indigifest Oz and Community Day to close the Festival. A Community Screening will be held on January 26 at Skyfest Australia Day, including a Welcome to Country followed by screenings of 100% World and H is for Happiness.

The Darwin International Film Festival is slated to return in September after delivering their postponed 2020 program in May last year.

OCTOBER–DECEMBER

The biennial Adelaide Film Festival returns from October 19–30 with a physical event. AFF Creative Director & CEO Mat Keating is excited to present the 2022 program ‘where once again lovers of film and screen arts more broadly and filmmakers themselves will be able to come together in Adelaide to enjoy the inimitable shared experience that cinema brings’.

Also held annually with 2022 dates yet to be announced are the Brisbane International Film Festival, the Korean Film Festival, the Moro Spanish Film Festival, and the German Film Festival.

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Celina Lei is an Arts Writer at ArtsHub. She acquired her masters in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Prior to joining ArtsHub, she was an editorial assistant at the Hong Kong based ArtAsiaPacific magazine and is an art host on independent Instagram platform Club Ambroise. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne, Victoria. Instagram: @lleizy_