Understory Film Festival

Moving into its fifth year, the Understory Film Festival has become a mainstay of the cultural landscape of Cairns. The festival focuses on locally produced short films and is gaining significant ground for the local industry by providing a development and presentation platform for both emerging and established filmmakers.

Local independent, student, emerging and professional filmmakers in the Cairns and Far North Queensland region are encouraged to create a short film to be in the running for awards and cash prizes.

Entries can be across all genres, suitable for a 15+ audience.

The deadline for submissions is 4pm on Friday 31 August 2018. High School students will need to submit their films to their teachers one week earlier, by 4pm on Friday 24 August 2018.

All films submitted will be judged by an industry panel against the criteria of narrative, production, cinematography, sound and editing. Awards and prizes supplied by Council departments and sponsors are on offer once again.

Winning films will be screened at other Cultural Services’ events throughout the year, including the Cairns Festival. The winner of the Best Documentary category will have the opportunity for their film to be utilised for environmental promotion and education, with full credits attributed to the film’s Producer.

The submissions will culminate in a free screening of selected films at the festival event, hosted by the Tanks Arts Centre on the evening of Saturday 13 October 2018.

The success of the 2017 event saw eighteen locally produced short films screened and nine prizes awarded.

See the official 2017 awards list below:

Understory Film Festival is presented by Cairns Regional Council’s, Cultural Services.

Read the Guidelines & Download the Application form ( DOC, 0.4 MB )


WHEN: Applications are open now and will close on 31 August 2018 and 24 August 2018 for High School students.

THE EVENT: Saturday 13 October, Tanks Arts Centre


Understory Film Festival, Cultural Services

P (07) 4032 6656

E cp@cairns.qld.gov.au


Rose Calvert, Cultural Services

P (07) 4050 7769

E publicity@cairns.qld.gov.au

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Last updated: 17 April 2018