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2020 ACS Awards Entry Information and Terms and Conditions

Effective July 1st, 2020
ONLY current financial members of the Australian Cinematographers Society may enter these Awards.
Please take note that Terms & Conditions and Categories for the 2020 ACS State & Territory Awards for Cinematography have changed. These Terms & Conditions also apply, where applicable, to the ACS National Awards for Cinematography.

The 2020 ACS Award Entry window is open from August 1st (09:00) to August 25th (18:00) via our website. The Entry Form is only open at these times. No late entries will be accepted.

Entry Submission and Identification Requirements

You will receive your Unique File Name that includes your Entry Number via the awards dashboard upon completion of the online entry form where you will name your entry and provide details. This will contain instructions on how to submit your entry. You will need to do this for every entry you make. If the entry is an episode from a particular season be sure to write the Episode number and the Season Number under “Episode/Campaign” details.

FILE NAMING: IMPORTANT: Data file entries must be named correctly before submitting. After completing the online entry form, a unique file name will be generated for you on the ACS Awards Dashboard. Use this new file name EXACTLY as it is written to rename your file before uploading, posting or delivering it.
The new generated file name will look something like this example:
When your file is named with the file type extension it will look like:
cat7_1548_islandparadise.mp4 (
(See below for DVD/BD entries)

NOTE: If the file name or label does not meet these requirements your entry may not be judged.

PHYSICAL LABELLING. All physical entries must have the Awards entry label attached on the outside of media whether it be USB Flash Drive, portable Hard Drive, DVD/BD or DCP (this file name is supplied on the awards dashboard and also with the confirmation email that the entrant will receive after submission of the online entry form).
Entrants may place multiple entries on USB drives or portable Hard Drives with each file name labeled, though an online entry form must be submitted for EACH individual entry.
If you submit a DVD/BD and it contains an episode of a Series, please be sure to note the season number/episode number and/or title you are entering on the online entry form.
If the File Name is not clearly visible on the outside of the media, it may be misplaced and not judged.
Physical entries must be received via mail, courier or hand delivery to the address listed on the entry form, by the due date and time. LATE ENTRIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Please wrap your physical media in bubble wrap then place it in a labelled sealed envelope or mailing box.

RECAP: Rename your file with the new Unique File Name AND physically label your media if applicable.

Entry Quality Requirements

Always submit the highest quality file and media (following the Entry Format Requirements listed below) for every entry so they can be judged accurately and winner’s work screened in the best possible form at the Awards.

Poor quality entries impede the ability to accurately judge the work, which may result in a low score or in the disqualification of your entry, and if this is the case, entry fees are non-refundable.

The ACS reserves the right to reject entries with sub-standard quality.

Entry Format Requirements

Note that entry formats have changed and ProRes and DNxHD files are no longer an accepted entry format. This is due to the difficulty in managing and storing the vast amounts of data that they entail.

Entries will only be accepted in the following formats:

• Data files: h.264 (x264) codec at a data rate of 5000kbps (HD minimum) up to 15,000kbps, MP4 or MOV file container if possible. Resolution must be 1920x1080 (HD) or 720x576 (SD). Higher resolution projects in 3.2k, 4k or above must be transcoded to 1920x1080 for submission. Delivery can be uploaded to the website via the Entry Form Link or sent physically on USB Flash Drive or Portable Hard Drives

• Commercially produced DVD’s. PAL Standard. Australian Region. NO SELF- AUTHORED DISCS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

• Commercially produced BluRay Discs. Australian Region. NO SELF- AUTHORED DISCS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

• • DCP entries are permitted by some ACS State and Territory Branches. Disappointingly as much as we love watching work from DCP, ACS has had regular problems screening from DCP due to issues with encryption keys, insufficient time for ingesting the DCP, faulty DCP drives or DCP authoring errors. This results in lost time that impacts the rest of the judging process. To help avoid these problems, ACS now require a data file version of the project to be provided as a back up along with the DCP (unless absolutely impossible to obtain). Alternatively, a DVD or BluRay disk of the entry should be provided as back up. Check with your branch if you wish to enter a DCP. Note that all responsibility for the supplied DCP playing correctly falls upon the entrant. The entrant must arrange the encryption keys, delivery and return of the DCP at their expense. DCP’s must be available to be ingested at least 48 hours prior to the judging weekend. The entrant has no right to refund should the DCP fail to play and the entry not be judged by other means

Entry Delivery Methods

The preferred method of delivery of entries is by uploading your files online. Your branch may have file size limitations that will be stated on the Entry Form online. You may also send USB or portable hard drives or commercial DVD and BluRay disks.

Hard Drive entries are required to have a USB 2.0, USB 3.0 or USB-C connector. They must be a USB Flash drive or a portable hard drive with a supplied USB cable. Other hard drive connection types are not acceptable.

Internet video links that require streaming the entry at the judging sessions are NOT a standard acceptable delivery method. If the entry is only accessible by video link contact your branch beforehand to discuss if it may be possible. The branch is not obligated to permit link entry. Any delays caused by failure in the streaming schedule may result in the entry not being judged. If the quality of the streamed video is inferior, it may adversely affect the score or the judges may choose to disqualify the entry. The entry may need to be viewed on different screens that are capable of accepting the video stream. The entrant should understand this might affect the image quality for the judges.

Formatting for the screen

16:9 (1.78:1) ratio monitors or projectors are used at the awards judges’ screening and awards nights. All entries should be submitted 16:9 full height anamorphic. 4:3 entries should be pillar boxed. 1.85 & 2.40 or other wide screen ratios entries should be letterboxed.


2020 ACS State and Territory Awards TERMS and CONDITIONS

1. ONLY current financial members of the Australian Cinematographers Society may enter these Awards. Only Accredited, Cinematographer, Camera Crew, Student & CineKids members may enter. You must have been totally responsible for the visual content and lighting of the entry except in categories where specific exceptions are made. (CineKids may have had assistance or mentorship with their work.) You may only enter into the awards of the state or territory branch of which you are a member.
If you are in arrears you will not be able to login to your account. Annual fees will be credited to your account once funds have cleared.

2. Direct entry into the ACS National Awards is not possible. Gold Award Winners from each of the current State and Territory branch awards are the only entries eligible into the ACS National Awards. Branches will automatically enter State Gold Award winning entries into the National Awards and pay the entry fees. The branch will retain physical Gold winning entries for National judging unless the entrant makes a return request.

3. Each entry must be submitted separately using the online form. The ACS must receive full payment for all of the entries submitted. Payment is accepted only by Visa or Mastercard in Australian dollars.

4. An “entry” constitutes a single body of work in its entirety. The entrant must have shot at least 70% of the final edit of the project. (See Joint Cinematography below for exceptions).

In the case of episodic work, each episode (or webisode) of a *Series in each Season is classed as a single entry. Only one episode (or webisode) of a series per season by an entrant from a particular production is eligible for an award. Entrants may enter multiple episodes from more than one Season. One episode per Season is eligible for an award.
If more than one cinematographer has shot episodes within the same season of a series, each cinematographer is permitted to enter their episode(s) and one episode is eligible for an award for each cinematographer within the same season. The entry must be from a Season completed within the last 2 years.

If more than one cinematographer has shot episodes within the same season of a series, each cinematographer is permitted to enter their episode(s) and one episode is eligible for an award for each cinematographer within the same season. The entry must be from a Season completed within the last 2 years.

.*IMPORTANT: A “Series” refers to a show that has a continuous storyline or theme such as “Wentworth” or “Gardening Australia”. Series programs such as “Foreign Correspondent” in which the stories and episodes are stand-alone and very different in style and content are exempt from this ruling. Multiple episodes may be awarded from the same series if they significantly differ from one another.

5. Each entry may be submitted in only one category. Identical or duplicated media may not be entered in more than one category, however different edits using some of the same footage or sequence may be entered in other categories if it is intended for an alternative release and looks distinctly different from the other entry, for example, footage from a Documentary is re-cut and used in a Commercial. Entries that are simply longer or shorter versions of one another are considered the same entry and only one may be entered.

6. An entry must be submitted in its entirety, unedited and unaltered from the original release edit, except for the addition of required ‘watermarks’ or text for the judges. Entries must not be cut down versions of the original.

7. Poor quality entries impede the ability to accurately judge the work, which may result in the disqualification of your entry, and if this is the case, entry fees are non-refundable. The ACS reserves the right to reject entries of sub-standard quality.

8. All entries must have been completed within 2 years of the current awards and must not have been previously entered into any other ACS awards. A variation on the time limit may possibly be granted in extenuating circumstances.

9. A "non-commissioned" work may be entered into ANY category which best depicts the type of entry it emulates, that is, it must be entered into the same category as similar types of commissioned or commercially paid work. Examples of non-commissioned works are Spec Ads and/or corporates, fashion films, music videos not commissioned by the artist or label, or 'passion' projects. CineKids and Student Categories, by default, are considered non-commissioned works.
Montages or Showreels are not defined as non-commissioned works and may NOT be entered into the ACS Awards unless a specific exemption is granted by ACS.

10. CineKids may enter only the CineKids Category and entrants must have been between 10 and 15 years old at the time of filming the entry. There are two age groups for CineKids entrants: (a) 10 - 12 Years and (b) 13 - 15 Years. Entrants must state their Date of Birth and date of filming the entry on the entry form. At State and Territory level there may be one Gold Award certificate and one Encouragement Award certificate awarded in both age groups. A maximum of 2 entries per CineKids member is allowed. At the National Awards there may be one Gold and one Award of Distinction Award presented.

11. Student Category entrants may only submit a maximum of two entries. You must state the name of your Film School, Cinematography Course or Secondary School that you were attending at the time of filming your entry in the ‘Relevant Information’ field on the online Entry form.

12. All entries containing computer generated images (CGI) or CGI manipulation must include a description of such CGI and a time code reference of where it occurs. This rule applies to any portion of the image that was not created “in camera” other than standard post-produced colour grading. You must also detail a description of your role in the production of the CGI component. Judges reserve the right to reject an entry considered to be CGI manipulated that does not include a written explanation in the online entry form.

13. Joint Cinematography entries will not be accepted. If a project has more than one cinematographer contributing jointly to the cinematography, 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 watermarks on screen. NB. See Item 14 "Collab Cinematography" below regarding collaborative cinematography entries.

70% rule EXCEPTIONS.
In Cat 9: Art, Innovation and Specialised Cinematography. Entrants may submit either:
1. Extracted segments or sequences (unedited, in their entirety) of their work taken from a project if the project runs 15 minutes or longer, or,
2. The whole project may be submitted even if the entrant’s work constitutes less than 70% of the complete project duration. If submitting the whole project, the entrant must note their work by timecode, on-screen text or a description in the entry form such as “The stop-motion sequence at sunset” or “All the shots of the storm”. Any images not created in-camera must be disclosed including CGI and computer animation.
In Cat 15: Ron Taylor AM ACS Wildlife & Nature. Entrants may enter specialised sections if less than 70% of complete projects where it may be just the “Polar Bear” segment for example. Any work not shot by the entrant should identified, preferably by watermarks, e.g. “Not Entrants”.
In Cat 19: Serial TV and Comedy Series. Entrants 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. Their contribution to the episode should be at least 30% of the total screen time.

14. 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.

15. 2nd Unit Cinematography. A cinematographer who was wholly responsible for the 2nd Unit cinematography on a project may enter their work for judging in Cat 16: 2nd Unit Cinematography. The entrant must be credited as 2nd Unit DP or Cinematographer. The entry must be a substantial contribution to the entire project. For example, it may be all the action and stunt sequences from a feature film or TV series; or all the scenes on board a ship; or the sequences filmed in Antarctica. 2nd Unit may also consist of major dialog scenes and sequences that Main Unit could not contain within their schedule. ‘Splinter’ Units or minor pickup scenes such as Establishers and car-pasts are unlikely to constitute a ‘substantial contribution’ and ACS advises against entering. As a guideline, around 10% – 20% of the total running time of the entry would be the minimum expected by the judges.
*IMPORTANT: All shots, sequences or scenes must be clearly identified as the entrant’s work. This should be done by use of on-screen watermarks or text, either using the word “Entrant” or using a coloured line on the bottom of the screen. (Alternatively, the entrant can mark the work NOT done by the entrant if it is lesser). For longer, continuous segments (at least one minute), time code can be provided or a description provided such as “All the scenes on the ship”.

16. News stories shot by multiple cinematographers. In Cat 5: Syd Wood ACS Local/National News, and Cat 6: Neil Davis International News, entries may be submitted by multiple cinematographers who all contributed to the story. At least two of the entrants must have been ACS members at the time of filming. Just one ACS member should be the entrant and submit the story on behalf of the other ACS member(s). The story may only be entered once. Other edits of the same story cannot be entered. Only the ACS members will be acknowledged for an award, however the presentation and award will note the number of contributors.

17. Each entry must be provided as a correctly named (see above), separate data file. An entrant can supply multiple data file entries on a USB drive or a portable hard drive. Other media may only contain one entry each. Entries will only be accepted on the formats listed in these Terms & Conditions.

18. Only commercially produced DVD/BD entries will be accepted due to the unreliable quality of “self authored” DVD/BD’s. It is however preferred that you provide a digital file (H264) if possible.

19. In the interests of anonymity, wherever possible an entrant’s name should not appear in the opening vision or on DVD/BD menus, excluding final production credits. The entrant's name must not appear in text or as a watermark on the media being viewed for judging. This will result in disqualification. Do not put entrant's name in data file names.

20. At each of the State/Territory and National Awards, the adjudication panel consists of five Accredited ACS members (a minimum of two from interstate) who will follow the ACS Judging Guidelines. At the State/Territory Awards, the panel may award a maximum of three Gold awards, two Silver awards and one Bronze award except in the Student Category where one Gold, one Silver and one Bronze may be awarded. In the CineKids Category, one Gold Certificate and one Encouragement Award certificate may be awarded for each age bracket. At the National Awards, a Gold Tripod and an Award of Distinction may be given. In CineKids and Student, one Gold and one Award of Distinction may be given. If, in a particular category, none of the entries score within the score range to the appropriate Award, then no award at that level will be given in that category. If no entry in a particular category reaches the minimum score requirement for an award, then no awards will be presented in that category. The decisions of the panel will be final and binding and no correspondence or discussion whatsoever will be entered into.

21. The adjudication panel may re-categorise any entry that it considers has been entered into the incorrect category. There will be no reduction of fees as a result of this action. Entries moved to a category with a higher fee may result in a charge to the entrant.

22. All online entries must be completed, any physical media must be received and any uploads completed by the host State or Territory’s deadline. Late entries will not be considered for judging. Allow time for shipping or uploading.


24. Entries and uncollected awards will be held for collection for up to 3 months, after which time they will be discarded. You may collect or request return of your entry or award at your expense. Please contact your Branch within 2 months of the Awards.

25. Copyright clearance and all related permissions and clearances from the relevant Producer(s) to screen an entry are entirely the entrant’s responsibility. The Society accepts no responsibility for any copyright infringement or screening of an embargoed entry. Excerpts from the entry may be screened publicly at ACS events or online.

26. DVD and BluRay discs can be heavily protected. Winning DVD or BluRay entrants may be requested to supply an excerpt of their entry on another format for screening at award ceremonies.

27. By submitting each online entry form all entrants agree to or declare the following:
*They have disclosed all CGI work to the judges.
*They have listed all other cinematographers who contributed in any way to the entry and detailed their work by timecode or on-screen watermark/text.
*They have arranged all clearances and permissions with the producers and/or distributors or appropriate authority to submit the entry and take full responsibility for any copyright or release infringement.
*They give the ACS permission to Live Stream and /or project excerpts of their entry during the awards presentations. It is the entrant’s responsibility to notify ACS if there is a restriction on this point.
*They will make full payment for the entry to the ACS immediately upon submission.
*They will submit their entry only in an approved format before the submission deadline.

Good Luck!

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