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Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge Open for Entries in Australia and New Zealand

30 March 2022
Eggs Cannot Fly, image courtesy LateNite Films

Epic Games today announced the return of the Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge in Australia and New Zealand, supported by the SAFC, providing the opportunity for rising animators to have their work seen by some of the industry’s top experts.

Following the success of the inaugural Short Film Challenge in 2020, with over 1,800 registrants, this year’s challenge is expanding to include applicants from New Zealand, and to offer more free training resources.

“The interest in the inaugural Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge far exceeded our expectations, so we’re thrilled to bring it back this year on an even more ‘epic’ scale so that more people can get involved and further develop their real-time skills,” said Epic Games Executive Producer Karen Dufilho.

“Animation is a wonderful medium for telling stories and we are so excited to see the work of this year’s participants.”

As part of this initiative, Epic Games is offering three weeks of free Unreal Engine online training for real-time animation, from 11 to 29 April, 2022. The free courses are suitable for all skill levels, and are open to anyone – whether or not they go on to participate in the challenge.

The application deadline for eligible creatives is 9 May, 2022 and a shortlist of top pitches will be selected by participating screen agencies. In addition to Australian screen agencies SAFC, VicScreen, Screen NSW, Screen Tasmania, Screen Queensland, Screen Canberra and Screenwest, Epic is also partnering with Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) to broaden access to this year’s challenge. Epic and its industry partners will then select up to 10 projects, who will receive $50,000 AUD/NZD in funding and have eight weeks to bring their ideas to life using Unreal Engine 5. These projects will then be reviewed by industry experts and showcased internationally.

Finalists will retain all rights to their projects. Check out the finalists’ films from the 2020 Short Film Challenge here.

Epic Games and representatives from participating screen agencies will be hosting an online information session on 4 April, 2022 at 5.00pm ACST via Zoom to answer questions on training and the application process. To register for this session, click here.

Epic is also supporting the region’s top public universities by providing student access to the three weeks of Unreal Engine online training in real-time animation, in order to encourage real-time skills in arts curricula and to grow the local talent pool. Partner institutions include the University of Melbourne, New Zealand’s Massey University, University of Technology Sydney, University of South Australia, Griffith Film School, Curtin University, and the Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS).

Epic Games’ Unreal Engine is the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D tool. Creators across games, film and television, architecture, automotive, manufacturing, live events, simulation and other industries choose Unreal to deliver cutting-edge content, interactive experiences, and immersive virtual worlds. Follow @UnrealEngine and download Unreal for free at

To learn more about the Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge, and how you can enter, click here.

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