For the filmmaker:
Submit on Withoutabox

This film festival seeks to award filmmakers who monitor society and expose matters of social and public significance.

We are the first and only film festival that will screen investigative films that dive into worlds otherwise unknown. We will shortlist films that cover matters of social importance and public significance and that ask us to question our own individual world or our systems within society. These can be documentaries, fictional films, narratives, journalism-style segments, and so on, as long as the film has an important message for society, be well researched, and based on fact. For example, the movie Okja explains the complexity of the meat industry to viewers in a very skilled, entertaining and tactful way drawing parallels to all of the meat industry including the dog meat trade. Okja is explaining our corporate meat culture back to itself and thus is a “watchdog” style fiction film. Another great example is Blood Diamond (film) and Blood Diamonds (documentary) which both explain the consequences of the real diamond trade in parts of Africa. These movies expose socio-political and economic systems so viewers can question the diamond industry and whether they want to support it.

Other examples of films with a watchdog message using a watchdog style are…..

Fiction:
Crash
V for Vendetta
Nightcrawler
Click
Pay It Forward
Happy Feet
The Big Short
Dear White People
Shattered Glass
War Dogs

Documentaries:
Food, Inc.
Bowling for Columbine
Super Size Me
Who Killed the Electric Car?
Inside Job
Citizenfour
The Story of Aaron Swartz, The Man Who Could Change the World

Even though the above films have a high budget, we are happy to accept no or low budget films especially those financed via crowdfunding.

The program for this festival will be announced early 2018 and we seek to screen several investigative exposés, several smartphone made films, a few feature length films, and several short films.

Attendance at the event will be free for cast and crew of submitted films. Shortlisted nominees will be contacted early 2018 and prizes will be awarded on the night.

Winners will be featured on our Facebook page, on our website, and on twitter.

Key media professionals and filmmakers will be invited to the event as VIP guests and you will be able to mingle with them and discuss your projects.

This will be a great event!

Submit on Withoutabox

For the audience:

Anyone attending this film festival will learn a lot from the content of the screened films as well as network with other filmmakers and media industry professionals.

Tickets will be available through Eventbrite late 2017.

Those who have submitted to this festival as well as short listed cast, crew, and media professionals will be able to attend this event free of charge.

The event will take place February 24 in Brisbane Australia from 5pm to 9pm with VIPs and award winners able to meet after for drinks.

Stay tuned for more details.

Advertisements

About

The Watchdog Film Festival is all about celebrating quality film-making on topics of social and societal importance.

This festival accepts submissions from all over the world with a particular focus on investigative documentaries, exposés, journalism-related fiction films, and films that make the viewer question the traditions, practices, systems, and hierarchies within the contemporary world.

The festival event will be held in Brisbane, Australia and will screen around 40 films including smartphone films, documentaries, fiction films, student films, charity (not-for-profit company) made films, and corporation made films.

Filmmakers will have a great opportunity to network with industry professionals at this event and see some of the best investigations done in 2017 by filmmakers around the world.

RATIONALE FOR THIS FESTIVAL:

Investigative journalism is dying with massive redundancies across the media landscape. In some cases, citizens are filling some of that void by doing their own investigations into wrongdoings in society (i.e., see Dark Justice on YouTube for an example). However, in many cases, citizens are filming basic first-hand events and sharing these videos on social media without giving a wider context of the issue at hand. This film festival encourages citizens, filmmakers, and journalists to take the next step beyond filming the witnessed event on their mobile phone and turn it into a documentary or film that provides greater context of the issues that we face in our society. This can be done via documentary or fiction film as there are many ways to address the same issues. Once individuals start conceptualising societal issues through the lens or pen they become watchdogs over society, a very important role in a world where “alternative facts” (i.e., lies) are spread as news. We aim to celebrate excellence in watchdog-style films in the hope that citizen filmmakers and journalists aspire to improve their work and society.

While there will be many award categories at this festival that celebrate quality investigative exposés, documentary, corporate and social responsibility, local talent, students and so on, we also aim to highlight the importance of witness and citizen filmmaking. We often see short clips on social media that people have filmed using their mobile phones. They have an eye-witness account of events and provide a first-person-view (FPV). Most of these videos go online without context and nothing usually eventuates aside from online discussions. With a little tweaking, interviews, fact checking, and narration, some of these clips can be transformed into powerful documentaries. Think films of racist tirades on a train transformed into a short documentary on racism versus inclusivity (eg., https://youtu.be/ZBdYvN49eRU?t=122) (https://youtu.be/Dkm9CWiphWU?t=129) and moving into inclusive multiculturalism.

These smartphone films should have an important message or investigative framework but most don’t. We invite the average citizen to transform their smartphone clip into a short film and submit it to the Watchdog Film Festival.

 

 

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact us and we will reply as soon as possible.