Applications open for TEDxSydney 2020 Film Program

Invitation for filmmakers and creatives

Invitation for Filmmakers and Creatives

TEDxSydney is looking for proposals for (very) short films, to be produced especially for TEDxSydney and screened at our flagship event on Friday, 22 May 2020. 

TEDxSydney is the leading platform for Australian Ideas Worth Spreading. With a crowd of 5000 in the room on event day, it’s the ideal forum to screen your film to a large and very appreciative audience. 

The brief: Filmmakers are invited to interpret the theme “REAL”, as loosely or as closely as they like. 

What is real and truthful in today’s world, and how do we find it amid the noise?  

The rules: There are almost no rules, except… 

Films must be between 30 seconds and 3 minutes’ duration. 

We are looking for films that offer unique and interesting perspectives by way of the form they take, subject they tackle or concept they explore. 

Films that are designed to fit this micro-sized format, rather than being squeezed into it. 

Think BIG and keep it short.


Read the FAQ’S following and use the form below to submit your proposal.

Entries close 12 December 2019. 

Finalists will be announced late January 2020.

Submission Form - Film Program 2020

Fields marked with an * are required

A one-liner that captures the core story of the film.

A short description of what the film is about. 500 words or less

A short written description of your visual treatment for the film. 150 words or less. You may also wish to include visual references, a rough storyboard or sketches – whatever you feel helps pitch your idea in the strongest, clearest way. The purpose is to clearly convey your creative and stylistic vision for the piece to TEDx. If you wish to include these visual references, please upload them as a single PDF document to your preferred cloud storage (eg Dropbox / Google Drive etc) and paste the URL in the text field below, ensuring you include a password if required.

A short description of who you are including relevant screen credits (or other works)

The Details:  TEDxSydney connects people through ideas. One of the world’s largest TEDx events, we use talks, performances, films and debate to stimulate conversations. The film program is curated to complement the talks and performances, and is a vital pillar of programming. 

TEDxSydney films are viewed by a vast number of like-minded creatives online, are programmed in other prestigious film festivals and have even been known to win major international awards. 


Q: Tell me more about TEDxSydney’s film program?

  • TEDxSydney’s film program is about showcasing the best in film and screen art in Australia.
  • The majority of our films are made especially for the TEDxSydney audience and are premiered during the event.
  • Short but poignant, the films offer a chance for the audience to take pause, offering moments of reflection, intrigue, laughter and delight within the TEDxSydney program.

Q: When will selections be announced?

Late January 2020. 

Q: When will my film be screened?

TEDxSydney takes place on Friday 22 May 2020. A preview night for filmmakers, their guests, as well as film industry guests will take place in the lead up to the main event.

Q: Do the films need to adhere to the theme?

Film proposals are to be based on this theme, as closely or as loosely as the filmmakers wish – up for interpretation. All we ask is that whatever is proposed, it sparks our imaginations / provokes us / makes us laugh or think/delights us. In other words, it’s an idea worth sharing. 

Q: Does my film have to premiere at TEDxSydney 2020

Yes. We prefer all works to have their world premiere at the event, but we would still love you to contact us if you have something that is already made that suits.

Q: Does my film have to be created exclusively for TEDxSydney 2020?

Not necessarily. If you have already created a work that you would like to submit we would be happy to look at it.

Q: What about genre and duration?

Your film can be described as any genre, from comedy to conceptual art, drama to dramatically different. Don’t be limited by traditional forms of filmmaking – so long as it is designed to be played on screen it fits the bill.

Duration: anywhere between 30 seconds and 3 minutes. 

Q: What are the technical requirements for the films?

Your films must be able to be projected large scale. More tech specs will be provided if your proposal is selected.

Q: Can I produce a multi-screen work that utilises the three screens?

The short answer is yes. We will discuss your proposal with you and see what we can do to facilitate a multi-screen work. For an example of how this might work, watch Nardilmuk | 2018 Film Program.

Q: Can I produce a performance that screens live on the day

Potentially, yes. We will discuss your proposal with you and see how we can make it work.

Q: What’s in it for the filmmaker(s) if selected for TEDxSydney 2020?

  • Australian premiere of your short film at TEDxSydney 2020 – in front of a dedicated live audience of 5000 people plus 100,000+ international eyeballs via the TEDxSydney Live Stream and Satellite events.
  • An exclusive invite-only film preview night hosted by TEDxSydney, in the lead up to the main event.
  • Two complimentary tickets to TEDxSydney 2020.
  • A mention in the Film Program in TEDxSydney 2020 program including a filmmaker credit.
  • Your film may also be selected to be screened at our next TEDxYouth@Sydney event or at one of TEDxSydney’s Salons.
  • Your film will be placed on the TEDxSydney website and our youtube channel and promoted via TEDxSydney.

Q: Can I submit more than one proposal?

Yes, absolutely. You are welcome to submit up to 3 proposals.

Q: I am a young creative and I want to make a film for TEDxYouth@Sydney.
That’s great – and we want to talk to you, let us know in your proposal that you’re keen to premiere your film on the youth stage.

Q: Any further questions?
Please email Deputy Head of Curation Kirsty de Garis: