St Kilda Film Festival's Live Events Announced

Friday 23 April, 2021

The 38th St Kilda Film Festival will return to hosting the much-loved Opening Night IRL this year. A highlight on the cultural calendar, the Opening Night of the 2021 St Kilda Film Festival, presented in partnership with Mandala Wines, will take place at St Kilda’s iconic Astor Theatre on Thursday 20 May.

The St Kilda Film Festival will feature 10 in person, live events plus a jam-packed Big Picture industry networking day co-presented by Adobe and JMC Academy. Following on from a highly successful online festival in 2020, which won an award for digital resiliency, the 2021 program will continue to host a number of online sessions so that people far and wide can still be part of the short film feast. Screenings will take place at the Astor, the Alex Theatre and at other venues across the City of Port Phillip as well as online.


A red-carpet Opening Night event presented in partnership with Mandala Wines, hosted by Gyton Grantley and featuring a curated selection of the Top 100 films.  This textured and diverse collection of shorts ranges from sublime animation, sci-fi agitprop and First Peoples’ horror to subtle and subversive social commentary, poetic documentary and much more.

Thursday 20 May 2021, 7pm - The Astor
Tickets: $40

Two specially curated Made in Victoria programs will prove that even a pandemic isn’t going to stop Victorian filmmakers. Gleaned from the fest’s Top 100 short films, the session will showcase deeply moving personal stories, hidden histories, LGBTQIA+ reflections and bravely realised cinematic other worlds. The second session will see a collection of shorts including post-apocalyptic thrillers, comedy, horror, subversive social comment, LGBTQIA+ comedy, lovely coming of age tales and way more.

Sunday 23 May 2021 3pm and 5.30pm, The Astor
Tickets: $15

A Bob Maza Retrospective will see screen and stage artists Lisa Maza and Rachael Maza pay tribute to the life and work of their late father— performer, activist, playwright and Meriam/Yidinji man Bob Maza.
Saturday 29 May 2021, 3pm - Alex Theatre
Tickets $15

The VCE Screening, presented by JMC, is a curated collection of films with simple but powerful messages, distinctive styles and unique approaches to their subjects. With a mix of drama, animation, documentary and experimental work, this program showcases diversity and authentic voices designed for viewers in their VCE years.

Thursday 27 May 2021, 10am - The Astor
Free event, registration is required.

The Under the Radar competition is dedicated to showcasing, encouraging and rewarding young filmmakers under 21 years of age in an internationally recognised film festival. This program of finalists is always an impressive preview of up-and-coming talent.

Thursday 27 May 2021, 6.30pm - The Astor
Free event, registration is required.

There will also be a special session of Family Animations presented by Indomie, a Student Animations screening, and of course the Closing Night Awards event which recognises achievement in short form filmmaking from around the country – giving a platform to unique voices, creative ambition and authentic Australian voices across the moving image.

St Kilda Film Festival Director Richard Sowada said it was great to see the festival program step back out of the virtual world. “We're very excited to be able to present a number of sessions in person this year – and as always, there is an impressive line-up of Australian talent both behind the camera and on screen. The last year has been challenging, but if this year’s program is anything to go by, there is a lot to celebrate. We hope you’ll join us, in person or online, to celebrate Australian short film.”

The 2021 St Kilda Film Festival runs 20 May to 29 May.

Australia’s Top 100 Short Films and The Big Picture free filmmaker development program will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information and bookings, visit

COVIDSafe Plan

The St Kilda Film Festival will provide a socially distanced environment across all its live experiences including increased cleaning, check-in and a reduced capacity at all venues.

The St Kilda Film Festival is proudly produced and presented by the City of Port Phillip and supported by Government Partners Screen Australia and Film Victoria.

Stay up to date with St Kilda Film Festival news, visit and keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for more information, @stkildafilmfest.


Sarah Finney   | 0400 197 558 |
Asha Holmes  | 0403 274 299 |