The main purpose of the New Zealand Deaf Short Film Festival is the short film competition.

Teams are invited to write, produce and direct a short film and enter it into the competition. It doesn’t matter if you are new to making films, or have done it before. Anyone is welcome to enter as long as they follow the rules 

The deadline for submitting a film is midnight, Sunday 29th March 2020 and is now locked. 

We have a team of judges that will judge the films, with winners being announced at the NZDSFF Awards Ceremony.

The judges for the 2020 Festival are:

Matthew Flynn

Rahera Turner-Fahey

Sam Bunkall

Susie Ovens

The Audience Choice is done by audience vote at the screenings.

Award categories for 2020 are:

  • Best Performer (this replaces a previous award for Best Actor and Best Actress)
  • Best Storyline
  • Best Emerging Filmmaker
  • Audience Choice
  • Fux (best twist in a film)
  • Bahbah (ahh bahbah Deaf Culture that!)
  • Best International Film
  • Best Film (New Zealand, and takes the traditional NZDSFF trophy for Best Film)

This year two of the Award categories reflect Deaf culture and New Zealand Sign Language – Fux and Bahbah. 

Check out previous award winners here:


If you have a short film that doesn’t meet competition guidelines, or you don’t want to enter it, why not apply to have it shown as a showcase film? To apply fill out this form. - This form is now closed for the showcase films.