The Religious Short Film Prize
“Bringing the religious spirit alive through film”
The Religious Short Film Prize is an opportunity for film-makers to explore the religious quest through a powerful contemporary medium.
The Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture has initiated this venture as part of its commitment to promoting the lively interaction between the arts, religion, faith and culture. The Centre believes that there is wisdom to be found in such an interaction which can contribute to a vision of hope and the common good for Australia. A prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the winning entry.
The prize is especially designed to explore the relationship between religion, faith and the ‘hot button’ issues of Australian society.
Film and religion belong together. The reason is simple; they both explore, in different ways, what it means to be a human being in the universe.
Film is a medium through which we encounter the whole range of human life: its power, tragedy, excitement, boredom and challenge. Film plays an important role in shaping culture. The stories of our lives are open before us in film. The best films touch the depths of human existence, and leave us with a hunger and curiosity to know more about each other and the world. Sometimes films disturb us, and sometimes they incite us to positive action.
Religion concerns a quest for meaning, for what is sacred about our lives. It is in religions that we find guidance as to how we should live and understanding of our place in the world. Religion touches the depths of human experience and reveals what lies beyond our grasp; that dimension of the transcendent; the invisible in the visible. Religious traditions offer hope that the pains, compromises and injustices of this world have a resolution. The religious quest is never ending because the desire for understanding, meaning, transcendence, ethics and salvation seems irrepresible.
The religious quest can be observed across cultures, through time and space, in the incredible variety of religious traditions and secular alternatives. Religion can confront us; it can be misused; but at its best it inspires us to action and new hope.
Religious themes are as varied as human beings are in the world.
Some key questions for potential entrants for the film prize are: what impact and influence does religion have for contemporary life in Australia? How might religion illuminate many of the challenges we face today as individuals, as nations and people of planet earth? Can religion be a force for good in the world? How might religious faith help people to respond, for example, to cultural and ethnic diversity, and violent extremism?
Film-makers are invited from all religions or no religions. Buddhists, Mormons, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Atheists, Christadelphians, Scientologists … all welcome.
We will accept all forms of film: documentary, docu-drama, scripted or animated. We expect the film-maker to provide all clearances of talent and an assurance that the film is free of copyright restraints or defamation.
We recognise that the world of religion attracts strong emotions and sensitivities. Notwithstanding this we will accept films which are critical of contemporary religious practice. We will not accept films which in the opinion of the judges are egregiously blasphemous, designed primarily to provoke anger or grossly offend.
The winner and runners-up will be archived on this site.
The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000.
The founding committee consists of Rev. Dr David Millikan (Chairman), Uniting Church Minister, former Head of Religious Broadcasting ABC and freelance film-maker with Channel 7; Dr Susan Murphy, Zen Roshi and recent organiser of the Buddhist Film Festival; Teresa Charchalis, past organiser of the Short Black Film Festival and creator of the ArtsConnect website.
The Religious Short Film Prize falls under the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture’s (ACC&C) pillar dedicated to the Arts, Sciences and Culture.
The judging panel will consist of the Founding Committee. Films chosen as finalists for the Prize will be shown at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Canberra. The winner will be announced on the same night.
Every effort will be taken to promote the Prize widely in Australia. The Religious Short Film Prize will hold copies of finalists and other selected films and will promote them through the ACC&C and ArtsConnect websites. ArtsConnect is Australia’s largest arts portal.
- Films will not exceed 8 minutes in length.
- Where applicable, entrants must provide a signed copy of the release form. Where clearances for the use of talent, images or music are necessary, those forms must accompany the film.
- The Prize entrance fee is $50. Films will only be eligible for judging when payment has been received.
- Entries close at 5pm 30 April 2018.
- Films will not be returned.
- All commercial and broadcast copyright to the film will belong to the film-maker except where the Religious Short Film Prize wishes to use it for purposes of promotion.
- The ACC&C holds the educational rights to screenings of selected films.