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Bond University Film and Television Awards (BUFTA) is THE short film competition for aspiring filmmakers from Year 11 and 12 secondary schools across Australia. Originally started in 1996 and offering a grand prize of a full fee paid scholarship to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond University, BUFTA has grown to become one of the most well-respected competitions in the Southern Hemisphere! There are no themes to adhere to, no objects you must use, no-one else’s message to relay, simply let your imagination and ambition be your guide.

BUFTA categories

Students can enter a film made as part of a school assessment, or one made as an independent project, into one of the competition categories listed here. There are eight categories available to choose from, so check them out below, grab your camera and go!


Fictional film which wholly uses drawn or created 2D or 3D artwork or static physical models filmed in such a manner as to create the illusion of physical movement.


Neither a documentary, drama, nor, experimental film, the Art Film is none of these, yet, somehow, all of them. In this unique category, filmmakers explore media aesthetics, structures, concepts, and themes in a creative way. Through the representation of conventions, manipulation of codes, and application of technology, they investigate emotional and intellectual responses, communicate tone, mood, and meaning in a very personal form of cinematic artistic expression.


Fictional film in which dramatic storytelling uses humour as a central device.


Nonfictional film which is a creative treatment of actuality involving investigation and research presented in a logically unfolding sequence.


Fictional film in which dramatic storytelling develops realistic, identifiable characters dealing with a range of contemporary social and human issues.


Experimental films are often characterised by the absence of linear narrative, the use of abstracting techniques such as out-of-focus, painting or scratching on film, rapid editing and repetition. The goal is often to place the viewer in a more active and thoughtful relationship to the film. Often student experimental films are too long which lessens their impact.


The creative exploration of the unity between song, performance, representation and imagery.


A chance to tell the Story of Sports! This could mean coverage of one of your school’s sports teams, or swimming or athletic carnival. It could feature one of your school’s sports stars - showcasing their dreams, achievements, and personal journey. It could be your local sports community hero, or someone in your family who competes at state, national or international sports level. Create a short sports story and include the technique of multi-camera live-action, that you have created, within the story. 


Introduced in 2023: International Category

Open to international students from pre-approved international schools from selected regions, in Year 11 or Year 12 (Australian equivalent). Films entered into the International Category must fall into one of the following genres: Animation, Comedy, Drama, Documentary, Experimental, Music Video, Art Film or Sports Film. International students entered into the International Category are not eligible for any scholarship awards.