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Award Categories

Changes to 2019 Awards Categories and Terms & Conditions.

Please take note that there are changes to the 2019 Categories effective from July 1st, 2019. Please read them carefully to decide which one you should enter and how to enter.

The Terms & Conditions for entry into the ACS State & Territory Awards for Cinematography have also changed. See link below to view the T&C's.

There is a separate CineKids Entry Form with its own rules, see Category 1.

Important Notes.
* Joint entries will not be accepted. If a project has more than one cinematographer who work independently of one another, then only the cinematographer who has filmed a minimum of 70% of the project may enter it, i.e. the Principal Cinematographer. The cinematography of others and details of their involvement must be provided, clearly highlighting their work by stating the relevant time codes or using on screen text/watermarks. In Cat 12: Ron Taylor AM ACS Wildlife and Nature, entrants may enter specialised sections of cinematography even if it constitutes less than 70% of the complete projects, e.g. underwater cinematography, aerial cinematography, wildlife sequence, etc. In Cat 16: Serial TV and Comedy Series, cinematographers who have shot either the location or studio component ONLY may enter episodes provided they have shot 100% of either the location or studio component and state clearly which components those are.

*Collab Cinematography entries are now accepted. NB. Collab(orative) Cinematography entries are not the same as Joint Cinematography and must meet strict eligibility criteria to enter. Check with your branch if in doubt to avoid disappointment. Two people, from the outset of the project, equally share the role of cinematographer in a totally collaborative way. Each cinematographer must contribute knowledgably to the work, without requiring supervision or instruction from the other. Creative and open discussions must be prevalent throughout the entire project resulting in cinematography from the minds of two as though from the mind of one. The cinematographers must NOT work independently of one another. Each shot, scene and/or sequence must have the dual authorship of both cinematographers. Each cinematographer must be involved in pre-production, principal photography, any substantial pick ups or 2nd Unit and any post production which involves cinematographic input. ONLY Accredited and Cinematographer level ACS members may enter Collabs. Follow the link below to read the very important information relating to Collab Cinematography.

* In every category, entrants must state any CGI or computer manipulation and work by other cinematographers.
* Preferred method of delivery of entries is by uploading your files online. Check with your branch for any file size limits. You may also send USB or portable hard drives or DVD and BluRay disks. DCP may be permitted but check with your branch first and read the ACS Awards Terms and Conditions document.
* It is the sole responsibility of the entrant to obtain any required permissions to screen the entry and to ensure the entry does not breach any copyright or embargo by the producer. Clips may be publicly screened at ACS functions from your entry.
* Entry fees include GST.
* State & Territory Gold winners are automatically entered into the ACS National Awards for Cinematography the following year. Only Gold Tripod winners at the National Awards are eligible for the ACS Milli Award for Australian Cinematographer of the Year.

Awards Allocation per category

Please Note: Judges scores may not result in giving the maximum number of possible awards in each category.
State/Territory Awards:
Cat 1. CineKids. 1 Gold, 1 Encouragement Award (possible in both age groups)
Cat 2. Student. 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
Cat 3 – Cat 19. 3 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze

National Awards:
Cat 1. CineKids. 1 Gold Award, 1 Award of Distinction (possible in both age groups)
Cat 2. Student. 1 Gold Award, 1 Award of Distinction
Cat 3 – Cat 19. 1 Gold Tripod, 1 Award of Distinction
Cinematographer of the Year: 1 Milli Award

Category 1: CineKids

This category is for CineKids members of the Society who were aged between 10 and 15 years old at the time of filming their entry. CineKids may enter in 1 of 2 groups being either 10 - 12 Years or 13 - 15 Years, based on their age at the time of filming. On the entry form entrants must state their Date of Birth and the date of filming the entry. A Gold Award certificate and an Encouragement Award certificate may be presented in both age groups. A maximum of 2 entries per CineKid is allowed. CineKids entries are free.

Free Entry

Category 2: Student Cinematography

This category is for Student members of the Society who were students at time of filming the entry or CineKids who turned 16 years old before filming their entry. A maximum of 2 entries per student is allowed. On the entry form entrants must state which cinematography / film course or secondary school they were attending at the time of filming their entry.

Entry Fee: $44

Category 3: John Bowring ACS Station Breaks & Promos

This category is for Station Breaks and Promos, Openers, Closers, Teasers and Station ID’s made for free to air, SVOD or online streaming networks. Entries must have been specifically filmed for this purpose and not just cut down material from a program.

Entry Fee: $70

Category 4: Music Videos

This category is for Music Video productions filmed for the purpose of entertainment & / or promotion of the performers for a single track or song. Musical shows such as concerts should be entered in Category 8: Entertainment & TV Magazine. Entrants must state whether they were totally responsible for all lighting.

Entry Fee: $70

Where did Experimental & Specialised Cinematography go?

The ACS Awards have a limited number of available Awards Categories. We appraise the type and number of entries into each category each year. ACS has found in recent years the E&S Cinematography entries were quite low in numbers and have often been placed incorrectly in that category. For example a project about penguins shot underwater should be in Wildlife and Nature, not E&S Cinematography as underwater cinematography these days has become far more commonplace like using drones or shooting time lapse. Specialised or innovative ways of shooting can quickly become simply another method of filming. Not that long ago something you shot using Steadicam could have been entered into E&S.
If you have an entry that you feel is very much about Experimental or Specialised Cinematography then you should enter that into the most appropriate category such as Wildlife and Nature, or Short Films, or Corporate and make a note on your entry form (Relevant Information) about the experimental or specialised aspect you brought to this work. (Cat 12. Wildlife and Nature does allow for specific specialities to be entered). The judges will be made aware of theses notes and earnestly take into account your contribution and how it may have required very special skills.
In your Relevant Information note it is best to preface it with the words "Experimental and Specialised Cinematography:"

Category 5: Syd Wood ACS Local / National News

This category is for news segments or stories filmed within Australia and screened on free-to-air TV, web or SVOD. Stories filmed by more than one cinematographer must clearly state the time codes for the entrant’s work. The entrant must be responsible for at least 70% of the content in the story. Maximum duration 7 minutes.

Entry Fee: $70

Category 6: Neil Davis International News

This category is for news segments or stories filmed Internationally and screened on free-to-air TV, web or SVOD. Stories filmed by more than one cinematographer must clearly state the time codes for the entrant’s work. The entrant must be responsible for at least 70% of the content in the story. Maximum duration 7 minutes.

Entry Fee: $70

Category 7: Current Affairs

This category is for segments or stories broadcast on daily or weekly free-to-air TV current affairs programs, web and SVOD (e.g. '7.30 Report', 'A Current Affair', 'Today Tonight', 'Sunday Night', 'Four Corners', 'Australian Story' & 'Foreign Correspondent'). Stories filmed by more than one cinematographer must state the time codes for the entrant's work. The entrant must be responsible for at least 70% of the content in the story. Note: Entries which are more documentary in nature and which run for the entire duration of the program have the option of entering in either Category 7: Current Affairs or Category 10: Documentaries.

Entry Fee: $70

Category 8: Entertainment & TV Magazine

This category is for programs or segments which are of 'human interest', covering for example, travel, leisure, gardening, property, cooking, entertainment, science, sports, arts and reality shows. Recording of live productions such as concerts and theatre should be entered under this category. Entries must be of a light nature & not hard news or current affairs. Only one episode per entrant from a particular production will be eligible for an award.

Entry Fee: $70

Corporate or Commercials Category? Not sure where to enter?

Due to the changing landscape of our industry it may be difficult to know which category some work fits into, therefore we have made up a guide to help entrants work out where commercial / corporate works may be entered. Please ask yourself this list of questions via the link below. If the majority of your answers are in one column then that is most likely your category for that particular entry.

Category 9: Corporate & Educational

This category is for productions for the corporate or educational market designed to showcase a business, inform or teach. Entries can include Corporate videos, real estate sales videos, OHS, Training or “How to Operate” films. Branded content with a company name, logo or URL which is streamed online should be entered here. (Entries that are clearly commercials should be entered in Category 12 or 13.)

Entry Fee: $70

Category 10: Documentaries

This category is for documentary productions that deal with people in relation to their environment. Entries can include Feature Documentary, Documentary Series and documentary subjects within current affairs programs that constitute the entire program. (E.G. 'Australian Story' and 'Four Corners'). Only one episode per entrant from a particular production will be eligible for an award.

Entry Fee: $80

Category 11: Ron Taylor AM ACS Wildlife & Nature

This category is for productions primarily about animals, plants or the natural environment. Please Note NEW Changes to this category: Segments or sequences of productions may be entered - the wildlife or nature content may be less than the minimum of the 70% of an entry required in other categories. Entrants must state the time codes relevant to their work and describe the sequences or segments. e.g. “I filmed the Polar Bear sequences”. It is preferable to watermark shots that are not yours - such as "Not Entrants", but you must NOT use your name on the watermark.

Entry Fee: $80

Category 12: Commercials - Local / Regional

This category is for commercials made for Local and Regional areas in Australia and not shown Nationally on television. Commercials released online and targeted at a local/regional audience should be entered here. (e.g. Brisbane = Local, Townsville = Regional, *National = 2 or more States) Note: Corporates should be entered in Category 9: Corporate & Educational and *National should be entered under Category 13: Advertising - National / International. Entrants must state any CGI or computer manipulation.

Entry Fee: $80

Category 13: Commercials - National / International

This category is for commercials for National or International television and cinema. Commercials released online and targeted at a national/international audience should be entered here. (National = release in 2 or more States) Note: Corporates should be entered in Category 9: Corporate & Educational. Entrants must state any CGI or computer manipulation.

Entry Fee: $90

Category 14: Dramatised Documentaries

This category is for documentaries based on real life situations or re-enactments of actual events that involve professional actors under Direction. These productions may have theatrical or non-theatrical (TV or streamed online) release.

Entry Fee: $90

Category 15: Short Films

This category is for stand-alone short, dramatised productions with a duration of 49 minutes or shorter, intended for film festivals, cinema, television, online or DVD / BluRay release and which do not qualify for Category 16: Serial TV & Comedy Series or for Category 17: Drama Series & Telefeatures.

Entry Fee: $80

Category 16: Serial TV & Comedy Series

This category is for Serial TV shows or comedy productions intended for television, web or SVOD. Entries can include commercial made-for-TV Comedy series, web and SVOD Comedy Series or Comedy Webisodes or long-term, ongoing Serial TV shows. An entrant is permitted to enter several episodes from a series season but only one episode or webisode per entrant from that season will be eligible for an award. Note: Cinematographers who have shot either ONLY the location or studio component may enter episodes provided they have shot 100% of EITHER the location or studio component and state clearly which components those are. Live recordings of Stand-Up or Comedy Festival acts should be entered in Cat 8. Entertainment & TV Magazine.

Entry Fee: $100

Category 17: Drama Series & Telefeatures

This category is for drama productions intended for television, web or SVOD. Entries can include commercial made-for-TV Drama Series, Dramatic Mini-Series, Drama Pilot, web and SVOD Drama Series and Webisodes and feature length drama productions (Telefeatures) that are made-for-TV or Web TV. An entrant is permitted to enter several episodes from a series season but only one episode or webisode per entrant from that season will be eligible for an award.

Entry Fee: $100

Category 18: Feature Films (Budget under $2m)

This category is for feature film productions made with a production budget of LESS than AUD$2 million. This amount excludes “P&A” expenditure for publicity, advertising or promotion of the film. Entrants will be required to provide verification of the budget. Entrants who shot a Feature Film with a budget under AUD$2m may choose to enter into Cat. 19 if they so wish (rather than Cat 18) but they may not enter both categories. A feature film must have a 50 minute duration or longer.

Entry Fee: $110

Category 19: Feature Films (Budget $2m and over)

This category is for feature film productions made with a production budget of AUD$2 million or more. This amount excludes “P&A” expenditure for publicity, advertising or promotion of the film. A feature film must have a 50 minute duration or longer.

Entry Fee: $110

 
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