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This Way Up!

What we do & don't accept...

No, this isn't a vertical or 9:16 film, it's 16:9 landscape! And even if you were to crop it 9:16 portrait you'd lose composition AND resolution.

No, this isn't a vertical or 9:16 film, it's 16:9 landscape! And even if you were to crop it 9:16 portrait you'd lose composition AND resolution.

Pillarboxing ... ugh! Again, you've lost resolution by editing it this way and we can't get rid of the black pillarboxes on the sides for the screening or upload.

Pillarboxing ... ugh! Again, you've lost resolution by editing it this way and we can't get rid of the black pillarboxes on the sides for the screening or upload.


This is fine. You've kept the video in HD or better, but sideways (tipped left or tipped right — it doesn't matter) throughout the shooting and editing. The selection panel will view the entry on a rotated monitor then we'll tip the projector 90º to screen your film if it's selected. We'll rotate and upload finalists to our webpage via Vimeo without loss of quality straight after the Festival. If you prefer to keep it on your own Vimeo channel, please rotate it yourself before upload — see our Tips & Tricks page for how to do it.


Well, aren't you a clever pants? So long as the video was originally vertical, and has been kept in HD (720x1280 or 1080x1920) or better throughout your editing process, this is great. Again, we'll make sure the film is projected correctly and that your film is embedded on our webpage if you're a finalist.



Films shown in the ⇧This Way Up⇧ Competition may be up to three (3) minutes, maximum.

Films in our curated, non-competitive Tall Shorts section will generally be less than 10 minutes, but we have a preference for shorter works.

ⓘ Yes, the 3’00” duration limit includes credits (if you want them).


We accept video of High Definition or better, shot or animated vertically (9:16, 'portrait' or 'tall format'), in any video codec acceptable to .

Your work must have originated in vertical format; in other words, you cannot simply crop a widescreen film! Not least because you will lose resolution but also because vertical filming has its own unique aesthetic.

The minimum resolution (width x height, in pixels) is 720x1280, and 1080x1920 is preferred. Please shoot, edit and upload your film in the highest quality that your equipment will allow.

Frame rate is unimportant as we will be screening from individual digital files, but we recommend 24, 25 or 30 frames per second (fps).

We may accept films that are tall-screen but in a non-standard aspect ratio, eg. DCI — but this decision is at our discretion.

Delivery & Projection: 

Delivery for the selection panel is via upload Vimeo. You may need to send us a password to view the video. Finalists' videos will be need to be downloaded from Vimeo or an online filesharing service and added to our SSD screening drive for projection. More details on the Submit Your Work page.

Remember: you don’t have to do any rotation if you don’t want to — we rotate the projector and the screen!  We will provide high quality HD projection and stereo playback to make your film look and sound its best.

Entry Fee & Sections

You must register your entry on our Submit Your Work page. Emailed links to films will not be considered.

There is no entry fee.

Remember to tell us on the entry form whether you want your film to be considered for the Competition section of the Festival, ⇧ This Way Up ⇧ — or the out-of-competition Tall Shorts section.

2018 Deadline

Deadline: 18 November 2018.

When you click the SUBMIT button a confirmation message will appear. If it doesn’t, let us know. We will check entries as they come in and contact you if we can’t view your film for any reason.

ⓘ Because we need to send the films off to our selectors no extensions are possible. The deadline is Sunday 18 November 2018 at 11:59pm according to your local time ... so if you live in Alaska or Samoa, you're lucky!


Selection of Competition Finalists, plus films for out-of-competition screening will be made 2 weeks before the screening.

All filmmakers will be notified of the outcome on or before 26 November 2018. If your preview video wasn’t your highest resolution video, we will need to receive it then by file-sharing so it can be appended to the screenings playlist.

ⓘ The main differences between films chosen for Competition (THIS WAY UP) and for Out of Competition (TALL SHORTS) are:

Three minutes maximum.
Finalists will be screened publicly then featured (embedded) on the Festival website.
Competitive and eligible for prizes.

Ten minutes maximum (the organisers may vary this under exceptional circumstances).
Will be screened publicly, and may be embedded on the Festival website only with filmmakers' agreement. Non-competitive.


There are NO restrictions (geographical, age or otherwise) on who may enter — it’s open to everyone.  And while we love world premieres, it's not a condition of entry.

Your film can be about anything you like, in any style you like.

Organisers of the Vertical Film Festival, selectors, sponsors, jury members and their families are not eligible to enter films in the Competition section of the Festiva, nor to receive any prizes.


Filmmakers must own (or have cleared) the legal rights for music and image rights used in their works for participation in the Festival.

We may (and do) ask for proof that you have the rights for both worldwide web and Festival screenings. If you don’t your work will be disqualified.

See our Tips & Tricks page if you're new to this area for suggestions on how to avoid music copyright problems.

You retain all rights to your film, but you grant the Festival a non-exclusive license to exhibit your film.

The boring legal stuff is in the Terms & Conditions.



The films, including finalists, will be screened on Saturday 8th of December 2018 at a venue in the centre of Katoomba, Australia.  All entrants will be reserved two seats if they advise us of their attendance in advance.

If your film is chosen as a competition Finalist, you agree that we may embed your video (using Vimeo or similar) on our website for at least 12 months from 9 December 2018. Credits, synopses and links to the webpage of your choice (eg. your homepage) will be provided.
If you need the video to be temporarily hidden (eg. to enter another competition), just let us know beforehand.


The winning filmmaker will receive $600 AUD. This year there is also a special category, ‘Best Cinematography’ $250 AUD.

Details of judges can be seen here.


If your business or brand would like to be involved in this unique event, please contact the Festival .


Finalists’ names & films will be publicised via the web and other media.

If your film/video is one of the competition winners, the Vertical Film Festival may ask you for further permission to feature your film, publicity stills, details and extracts as part of non-profit promotional purposes for the Festival.  We will never exploit your work for profit or commercial gain.