In Competition

DRAMATIC COMPETITION Presented by Showtime

With a focus on new voices and new visions, our In Competition collection of dramatic features highlights early to mid career innovators from all corners of the globe, including our own backyard. Reflecting a broad cross section of cultures, current events and creative inspiration, the dramatic competition presents 15 of the most exciting new works in cinema today.


From the personal to the universal, social issues to pop culture, the delicate to the extreme, these 15 long form documentaries will explore the subjects that define contemporary life. Take a journey around the globe with these marvellous, brave and sometimes baffling obsevational adventures. Our Doc Comp promises eye-opening, mind-blowing and life changing cinema.


Driven by innovation and experimentation, short films transcend the rules of conventional storytelling and are one of the most popular screen programs. This competitive category celebrates and awards Australian and International filmmakers alongside each other in a diverse selection of programs that will absorb and amuse, charm and challenge.

Out of Competition



Including some of the most highly anticipated dramatic films of the coming year, audiences will enjoy the unique experience of watching a world premiere film, often screened in one of the outdoor cinemas and presented by the key cast and crew, before becoming box office hits at local cinemas.


Highlighting the growing impact, relevance and popularity of documentary today, Documentary Premieres present new films tackling big subjects by master filmmakers that illustrate the power of the form.


Screening out of competition, these Indie films stretch limited resources to create new and intriguing works. Unveiling the next generation of filmmakers, these works are endearing in their raw form and ambitious scope. They illustrate how much can be achieved with an iron will, a microscopic budget and an ever handy credit card.


Rediscover classic Australian works that have shaped our culture today, as we present films from the National Film and Sound Archive vaults including historic footage from Cockatoo Island’s fascinating history.


Raucous, rowdy, and rebellious. Eclectic, eccentric and experimental- Cockatoo Midnight Screenings are not for the faint hearted! Presented in a more informal, social atmosphere, patrons will catch the most colourful flicks of the Festival in these special late night programs for the true hardcore festival followers.


Film festivals should be for everyone including the little people in our lives. This special program brings together Australian and International film and television works for children and young people in a fun, entertaining and educational atmosphere.


Leadership Partner

Strategic Partners

Cockatoo Island | Sydney Harbour Federation Trust NSW Mining Oovie