Canberra International Film Festival

Festivals, Events & Exhibitions

Canberra International Film Festival 2020

Annual film events focussing on our cinema heritage, with all screenings contextualised by historians.

Days Left

For over two decades the Canberra International Film Festival has provided annual film events in Australia’s national capital, and in recent years has evolved into one of Australia’s few retrospective film festivals. Our focus is on our cinema heritage, both international and Australian.

We aim to show archival 35mm prints where possible as well as new digital restorations. All screenings are contextualised by historians with specialist introductions and where possible panel discussions after screenings.

We are seeking funds for a 6-day event in October 2020 that will give us the opportunity to inter-weave several curated strands of programs from cinema’s past. We need to have funds in place by the end of March 2020 to give us time to organise films and presenters, and to promote our work to local and national audiences.

For too many people, cinema is an art form with a very limited past – a past determined by commercial interests focussing on the “new” in platforms for streaming and broadcast. Our mission is to expand our cultural life with narratives from the deep past of cinema around the world, and especially celebrating the work of Australians either in their home land or working overseas. We hope to stimulate an enrichment of present-day film culture by showing methodologies and ideas from the past, too often forgotten and over-looked, and too often difficult to access. We are seeking funds to help us curate an exciting program of re-discovery of an important part of our cultural history. All screenings are contextualised by experts and enthusiasts, and all programs are thematically curated.

Donations will be used to secure access to a state-of-the-art venue – the Arc cinema at the National Film and Sound Archive – and to cover the costs of sourcing film prints and digital restorations from archives around the world. The Festival engages an experienced film historian as its principal programmer, and invites participation from national and international film historians and enthusiasts to contextualise each screening. The end result will be a 6 day event, presenting some 16 or more screenings, in October 2020.

Information about the event as it develops will be found on the Festival website:

Live Projects


Projects Funded


The Canberra International Film Festival (CIFF) is now in its 23rd year. In recent years, the Festival has been held at the National Film and Sound Archive. The Festival is a not-for-profit association with a board of volunteer community members who appoint a professional programmer and event manager. In 2017, the programming and event management were out-sourced to Ronin Films, a Canberra-based company run by Dr Andrew Pike, OAM.

In 2017, the CIFF Board endorsed the concept of developing the Festival into a “Retrospective” film event, to distinguish it from the large number of film festivals now screening year-round in Canberra’s commercial cinemas. As a fully retrospective Film Festival, CIFF will be unique in Canberra and rare nationally.

Due to changes in ACT Government arts policy, funding for CIFF from the local government has come to an end. With support from enthusiastic audiences and philanthropists, the Motion Picture Association and the Friends of the NFSA, we will present a short event, 25 to 27 October 2019, at the NFSA’s beautiful Arc cinema, as a prelude to a larger event in October 2020 and beyond.



Therese Faulkner


Gary James


little universe films


Andrew Blanckensee


Alexandra Donald


Townsville Classic Films



Artists Website