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New Short Documentary Award Announced, and Reduced Entry Fees for Low-Budget Features

AACTA today announced the new AACTA Award for Best Short Documentary, as well as announcing reduced entry fees for low-budget feature films and feature documentaries.

Introduced following industry consultation and in line with the Oscars® Best Documentary (Short Subject) category, the AACTA Award for Best Short Documentary will recognise the growing community of Australian documentary filmmakers who are tackling important and unique subjects using short form.

The rise of YouTube, streaming networks and social media has seen a surge in short form documentary and factual storytelling as filmmakers find new platforms to share their voices and tell their stories and the stories of others. These ‘micro-docs’ are not only reaching a wider audience, who are increasingly searching out non-fiction content, but are also seeing greater levels of engagement and social impact as a result of online distribution, social media marketing and audience interest in easily shareable content.

“As we see the popularity of short form factual content continue to rise, we are proud to recognise the exciting new Australian voices working in this space via the AACTA Award for Best Short Documentary,” said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella. “In recent years we have seen Australian short documentary filmmakers receiving critical acclaim. Earlier this year, BE YOU T. FOOL became the first documentary short to win Tropfest in 23 years, and last week, Stefan Bugryn’s follow-up to his 2017 award-winning short documentary WAR MOTHERS, WAR MOTHERS: UBREAKABLE premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. The AACTA Awards can generate huge exposure for Australian filmmakers, and this Award will not only see these filmmakers share in these outcomes, but will also shine a light on this exciting area of growth within our industry.”

Following the more inclusive feature film eligibility criteria introduced in 2017 and the introduction of the AACTA Award for Best Indie Film in 2018, AACTA has introduced reduced entry fees for low-budget feature films and feature documentaries. Films and documentaries with budgets under $500,000 will now have a lower entry fees of $780 and $500, respectively.

The reduced fees further build on AACTA’s commitment to inclusivity, continuing to open the pathway for a broader diversity of films and filmmakers to enter the AACTA Awards.

AACTA also today called for entries across the following categories:


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