The Best International Film Festivals in Australia

International film festivals in Australia are the perfect way to catch a curated selection of the best of world cinema. Through international films, we are offered a unique glimpse into different societies, histories and landscapes around the globe. These films are our doorway into understanding different cultures, and in a time where we can’t physically travel, they have never been more important. These are some of the best international film festivals in Australia in 2021.

Alliance Française French Film Festival 

March – April 2021

Melbourne, Syndey, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Byron Bay

This year, the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival enters it’s 32nd year and brings with it a carefully selected curation of 37 diverse films. This year’s line-up features a global backdrop, with the films set across different French-speaking locations around the world. #I Am Here follows a couple’s comedic journey to Seoul, in the marital thriller, Appearances, we travel to Vienna, and in the Skies of Lebanon, we follow a wartime love story through Lebanon. We go back to France in the opening night film, Eiffel, following the love story behind the country’s most iconic structure. The festival runs between March and April in cinemas all around Australia. You can find your local festival program on the official website.

Jewish International Film Festival

March 2021

Melbourne, Syndey

The Jewish International Film Festival has been running for the last 23 years and presents a collection of Israeli and Jewish-themed films to audiences in Australia. The films represent the global Jewish diaspora, coming from over 19 countries from around the world, including the USA, Russia, Germany, France, Italy and Australia. This year’s festival highlights include Incitement’s mesmerising account of the radicalisation of a political assassin, Breaking Bread’s mouthwatering story about Jewish and Palestinian chefs, as well as a collection of Holocaust-era films. The festival is currently screening around Australia until the 24th March 2021. 

The Moro Spanish Film Festival

April – May 2021

Melbourne, Syndey, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Byron Bay

The Moro Spanish Film Festival brings Spanish and Latin American cinema to Australia in a celebration of Hispanic culture. Presented by Palace Cinemas, the festival returns with a new selection of spectacular dramas, romances, comedies and thrillers. This year’s festival will also include some of the films that were missed last year due to the pandemic. Highlights include The Europeans, a romantic holiday adventure set in 1950s Ibiza, Heroic Losers, an Argentinian comedy heist, and While at War, a historical piece about the 1936 Spanish Coup. 

The German Film Festival 

Dates and locations to be confirmed

The German Film Festival is a celebration of German culture, creativity and filmmaking. The festival is presented by German Films and collaborates with the Goethe-Institut to present the best of German cinema overseas. The festival also usually features a number of Swiss and Austrian films to showcase the diversity of the Germanic region. While this year’s program has not yet been released, you can expect a diverse collection of dramas, comedies, thrillers and other award-winning films straight from the Berlinale (also known as the Berlin International Film Festival). The German Film Festival returns later this year and you can keep up to date with the festival on their Facebook page

Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival

Dates and locations to be confirmed

The Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival presents the best of contemporary Nordic cinema from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. The films are curated from a selection of prestigious European film festivals, including Cannes, Berlinale and the Goteborg Film Festival, before being brought to audiences in Australia. The festival usually features a selection of Scandinavian noir, as well as box-office comedies, dramas and romances. The festival is presented by Palace Cinemas and returns later this year. You can register for updates on this year’s festival on the Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival website or follow their Facebook page