Flickerfest 2023: uplifting, inspiring, and provocative shorts

Australia's largest short film festival (and the only one where entries can qualify for the Oscars) is on again this weekend.

FLiCKERFEST film festival is on again this weekend at the newly revamped Bondi Pavilion, Bondi Beach.

Now in its 32nd year, Flickerfest is Australia’s largest short film competition, dedicated to ‘showcasing the very best short films from Australia and around the world’, from live action to documentary and animation. 

Tomorrow’s launch begins a 10 day festival of new Australian short films, and it runs from 20-29 January 2023.

Read: Australian Film Festivals Guide 2023

This year Flickerfest screens 114 ‘inspiring, creative and beautifully crafted’ shorts from Australia and the world in its Academy Qualifying competitions, handpicked from over 3200 entries. 

64 Australian films were officially selected for the Best of Australian Competition, along with 37 International films in the Best of International Competition, and 13 Documentaries in the Best of Documentary Competition. 

A further 80 films will feature across Flickerfest showcase sessions. 


This year’s festival is host to the world premieres of Six of One starring Isobel Lucas (Transformers, Bosch & Rocket), and Waves starring Susie Porter, filmed locally at Tamarama Beach. Also included is The Fritzstarring Trevor Jamieson (Storm Boy), plus Too Many Ethnics by award winning writer Vonne Patiag, (Here Out West, The Usual Suspects), The Overthrow the writing and directorial debut of Sydney actress Phoebe Wolfe, and White Lies by FLiCKERFEST alum Greg Moran.

Highlights Of The International Programme include Man to Man by UK director Sheroze Khan, and Spinning by Sam Spruell (Snow White and the Huntsman).

Read: Weekend cinema & streaming guide January 20-22

The prizes

The shorts in competition at Flickerfest are vying for a number of prestigious prizes including: 

  • The Flickerfest Award for Best International Short Film
  • The Yoram Gross Award for Best International Animation
  • The Panasonic Lumix Award for Best Australian Short Film
  • The Flickerfest Award for Best Documentary

The prizes recognise the various craft areas in making a great short film, including the SAE FlickerUp National School Student and Youth competition for filmmakers under 18, and the Rainbow Shorts Competition that features the best LGBTQI+ films from at home and around the world. 

Read: Where to submit your short film (and get it seen)


There’ll be a number of showcases at Flickerfest this year, including:

  • FLiCKERKIDS, short films suitable for children aged 6-12 years (and the young at heart)
  • SHORT LAUGHS, the comedy programme
  • LOVE BITES, films about love and relationships 
  • BEST OF INDIGENOUS SHORTS, screening on Survival Day and shining a spotlight on indigenous talent.

Following the Bondi season, Flickerfest hits the road for a massive 8-month national tour of the best films from the festival. The tour will reach 50+ venues across all states.

‘Over the past 32 years Flickerfest has been honoured to be the platform for so many incredible filmmakers to share their films with audiences and for our audiences to discover and be delighted with these amazing short films and their most talented makers,’ said Bronwyn Kidd, Festival Director.

‘We are thrilled that Flickerfest can continue to shine a light in the darkness and bring audiences and storytellers together  through our festival of  insightful, uplifting, joyous  and creative short films from at home and across the world. I can’t wait to share our 2023 celebration of cinema on the big screen back at our long term home The Bondi Pavilion next January.’ 

For tickets and more information, head to the Flickerfest website.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports