The St Kilda Film Festival returns for its 39th year

The St Kilda Film Festival returns for its 39th year

St Kilda Film Festival
Credit: Fiona Hamilton Photography
words by sidonie bird de la coeur

Presented by the City of Port Phillip, the St Kilda Film Festival is back for its 39th year of celebrating Australia’s best local short filmmakers and screen artists.

The longest running short film festival in Australia, the St Kilda Film Festival is back for another year of bringing local talent to the cinema screen. Each year the festival receives hundreds of submissions from around the country, with the best being handpicked for screening.

Films will be broadcast across 13 screening sessions in Port Phillip venues, including The Astor Theatre in St Kilda, where the much-anticipated opening night of the festival will take place on Friday May 27.

What you need to know

  • Now in its 39th year, the St Kilda Film Festival is back to celebrate local filmmaking and screen production talents
  • There’s so many in-person screenings to get to, but also an online program
  • The festival is running from May 27 – June 5 this year

Keep up with the latest Melbourne film and television news here.

The festival is an Academy Awards qualifying event, as a part of only four in Australia, it is one that recognises the genre of short film – including music videos, gaming and immersive media forms. Previous winners of the St Kilda Film Festival have gone on to win major prizes at international film festivals – such as past St Kilda Film Festival winner and Melbourne filmmaker Grieg Fraser who recently won an Oscar for Best Cinematography for his work on Dune.

The judging panel at the St Kilda Film Festival includes a jury of festival alumni and festival experts. On this year’s program is the Australian Top Short Film Competition, which includes Australia’s best new short film work. Under the Radar is also on again this year, the annual youth short film competition that also showcases the VCE student films. The St Kilda Festival’s annual filmmaker development program for emerging filmmakers and students, The Big Picture, is also running at this year’s festival.

“We’re pleased to host the St Kilda Film Festival in-person again,” states Port Phillip Acting Mayor, Tim Baxter. “I encourage film fanatics to make a day of it and enjoy dinner, drinks and St Kilda’s best offerings along with a screening of world-class short films from these talented filmmakers”

The festival this year is being held in hybrid format, with physical screenings returning alongside extensive online programming with the aim of reaching broader audiences. This decision comes from a result of the immense popularity of the festival online last year, with 32,000 people tuning into screenings from their home.

The festival includes a prize pool of $20,000, shared across multiple categories including Best Director, Best Achievement in Screenplay, Best Documentary and Best Achievement in Cinematography, with the winner of Best Short Film taking home $10,000. The St Kilda Film Festival is supported by major government partners Screen Australia and VicScreen.

Full program and ticket sales will be announced on Thursday April 28. For more information, head here.