Entry information and terms and conditions

Effective July 1st, 2023

ACS Members entering the Awards must ensure each entry complies with these Terms & Conditions.
An entry which does not comply will not be judged nor fees refunded. ACS may not contact the member to advise non-compliance. PLEASE be sure to read and follow these instructions carefully.

ONLY current financial members of the Australian Cinematographers Society may enter these Awards.
Please take note that Terms & Conditions for the ACS State & Territory Awards for Cinematography changed in 2022. These Terms & Conditions also apply, where applicable, to the ACS National Awards for Cinematography.

The 2023 ACS Award Entry window is open from August 1st (7am local time) to August 21st (11.59pm local time) via our website. The Entry Form is only open at these times. No late entries will be accepted.

By entering into the ACS Awards For Cinematography, it is implied you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions as laid out below

Enter the Awards. Login required. Open August 1st to 21st only »

View the Special Terms & Conditions for Collab Cinematography awards entry »

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 (or.mov)

In the above example, 1548 is the unique entry number pertaining to that entry only. Every entry will have its own unique number which MUST be in the file name for identification.

NOTE: If the file name 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 label is supplied 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, though an online entry form must be submitted for EACH individual entry. Each entry file name must follow the naming protocol and USB drives or portable Hard Drives require a label listing EACH file on the drive/s.

If you submit a DVD/BD and it contains an episode of a Series, please be sure to list the episode number/name you are entering.

Entries will not be accepted without the entry number clearly visible on the outside of the media.
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.


Entrant’s name
category#_ entrynumber_ projectname.file-type

“Dale Johnson ACS Cat12_143_ birdsofsuva.mov”

OR for episodes on DVD/BD

Entrant’s name category#_entrynumber_projectname_Episodenumber

“Dale Johnson ACS Cat12__143_birdsofsuva_Ep4”

If there is more than one season of the series on the disk also state the Season Number or Name.
“Dale Johnson ACS

Cat12__143_birdsofsuva_Season 6_Ep4″ 


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 and Delivery Options

Preferred method of delivery of entries is by uploading your files online. Maximum file size is 15gb. If it is impossible to upload your file, you may also send USB or portable hard drives or DVD and BluRay disks to your Branch’s postal address. ACS recommends against physical media unless essential. Members must arrange their own collection of physical media from the branch. DCP may be permitted but check with your branch first and read the ACS Awards Terms and Conditions document.

Entries will only be accepted in the following formats:

• Accepted Video Data file specifications:

h.264 (x264) codec at a data rate of 5000kbps HD minimum, (10,000kbps recommended) up to 15,000kbps.
HEVC (aka h.265) codec at a data rate of 2500kbps HD minimum.
ProRes422 or DNxHD HQ (HQX) , Chroma Ratio 4:2:2 (4:4:4 or 4:4:4:4 is NOT accepted). 8-bit or 10-bit.

Must be either 2048×1080 (2k),1920×1080 (HD), 1280×720, 720×576 (SD, 4:3) or 1024×576 (SD, 16:9) pixels. Pixel Aspect Ratio must be square pixels. Higher resolution projects such as 3.2k, 4k or above must be transcoded or rendered to 1920×1080 for submission. Delivery can be uploaded to the website via the Entry Form Link.

Accepted: .mov, .mp4, .mxf, .m4v, .m4p, .mkv (Matroska), .avi.
VOB files must be converted (mp4 recommended). Camera file formats such as AVCHD and Image Sequence files such as TIFF and JPEG2000 are not accepted. DCP may be accepted with branch approval. Portable device (smartphone) video formats such as .3GP must be converted. MPEG2 and MPEG 1 are not accepted.

• Streamed VOD : In exceptional circumstances ACS will accept entries from VOD services such as Netflix and Stan if they are Australian based platforms. This is ONLY permitted when the file is not available by any other means, not due to convenience. Please be aware it is disruptive and slow for the judges to view entries from streaming platforms and may be only used as a last resort at this time. (See below under Entry Delivery Methods)

• Though NOT a preferred delivery option, if you cannot upload a file, then Commercially produced DVD’s and BluRay Disks will be accepted. PAL Standard. Australian Region. NO SELF- AUTHORED DISCS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

• DCP entries are permitted by some ACS State and Territory Branches. Obtain permission from your branch first.

Internet video links or SVOD platforms that require streaming an entry at the judging sessions are NOT a standard acceptable delivery method. However, if the entry is only accessible by video link/streaming service due to restrictions by the producer or distributor, contact your branch beforehand to discuss if it may be possible. The branch is not obligated to permit a video link/streaming service as a valid delivery method. 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 which may not be at the same resolution as the streamed video (e.g., 4k). The entrant should understand this might affect the image quality for the judges. Links to VOD platforms such as Netflix or Stan must be for Australian region platforms only, identified by an Australian IP address. Reminder: The entrant will bear the responsibility of the availability of the program to stream on demand. If at the moment the judges wish to view the stream it is NOT available or the platform is down, it may not be judged.

Links to videos on YouTube, Vimeo Channels and the like managed by the entrant are not permissible for judging. These videos must be uploaded by the entrant to the ACS site via the entry form.

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, 1:1, 9:16 and other vertical entries should be pillar boxed. 1.85, 2.0 & 2.40 or other wide screen ratios entries should be letterboxed.


2023 ACS State and Territory Awards TERMS and CONDITIONS

1. ONLY current financial members of the Australian Cinematographers Society may enter these Awards. Only Life, Accredited, Full, Camera Crew (formerly Active), 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.
MULTIPLE EPISODES. Entrants may enter multiple episodes, but only ONE episode (or webisode) of a series per season by an entrant from a particular production is eligible for an award. If entering episodes from more than one season, one episode per Season is eligible for an award.
Multiple episodes or clips must not be edited together to form a single video clip and entered as a single entry.
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. On the entry form, entrants must select their Age Group, that is, the age they were at the date of filming the entry. 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 in both age groups.

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. Entries must have been shot within 2 years of the Awards submission dates. Only Student Members may enter into the Student category. Other ACS members who shot works while attending a course may enter into other appropriate categories, but NOT Student

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. ‘Joint cinematography’ is defined as having been shot by multiple cinematographers where two or more cinematographers who worked at separate times and/or places on the project may have shot the entry. They may have also shot together at the same time and location in a Multi-cam scenario. One may have replaced the other, stepped in for part of the shoot, or shot specific scenes or sequences. This may also refer to the 2nd Unit DP. Although the multiple cinematographers may have been sympathetic to the look of the film to create a coherent style, it is not a ‘collaboration’ per se. Multi-cam shooting is also considered joint cinematography in this instance. 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. This should be done by providing time code indicating the start and finish of ALL the scenes or section(s) to be screened and judged. Shots within the section(s) that are NOT shot by the entrant must be marked on screen using large text: NOT ENTRANT.
In Cat 16: 2nd Unit Cinematography. Entrants are not required to have shot 70% of the entire project. (See below)
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 knowledgeably 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. It is most likely that a single camera was used by the two cinematographers. Use of multiple cameras, especially at the same time, probably indicates Joint Cinematography. 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 Full (formerly Cinematographer) level ACS members at the time of filming may enter Collabs. Follow the link below to read the very important information relating to Collab Cinematography.

READ the important Collab Cinematography T&C’s »

15. 2nd Unit Cinematography. A cinematographer who was wholly responsible for the 2nd Unit cinematography on a Feature Film, Drama or Comedy Series or Serial TV may enter their work for judging in Cat 16: 2nd Unit Cinematography. The entrant must be credited as 2nd Unit DP or Cinematographer. The complete film should be entered. The 2nd Unit must be a substantial contribution to the entire project. For example, it may be all the action and stunt sequences, 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 shots such as ‘establishing’ shots, car-pasts or cutaways are unlikely to constitute a ‘substantial contribution’ and ACS advises against entering. As a guideline, at least 10 % – 15% of the total running time of the entry would be expected by the judges. Also, an eligible 2nd Unit would involve at a minimum, a 3-person camera crew, grip and/or gaffer support, AD’s and a Director (who may be the 2nd Unit DP).
*IMPORTANT: It is essential that all shots, sequences or scenes must be clearly identifiable as the entrant’s work by the judges. This should be done by providing time code indicating the start and finish of ALL the scenes or section(s) to be screened and judged. Shots within the section(s) that are NOT shot by the entrant must be marked on screen using large red text: NOT ENTRANT. (Another colour may be used if RED does not stand out). 2nd Unit by nature is often rapidly intercut with Main Unit especially in action scenes and it must be made clear and simple for the judges to instantly see which work was shot by 2nd Unit, or not. Additionally, a description can be provided to help, such as “All the scenes on the ship” or “The entire car chase scene starting at 00:18:30 and ending at 00:21:45” or “The dawn sequences of the wandering dog during the first 10 minutes and opening title sequence”.
ACS appreciates this can entail some effort to achieve but it is a necessity to ensure accurate judging of the entry. Contact ACS with any questions.

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. In the interests of anonymity, the entrant’s name must not be disclosed to the judges. Wherever possible an entrant’s name should not appear (or should be blurred/masked) in the opening titles. Final production credits are OK as the video can be paused. The entrant’s name must not appear in text or as a watermark during the vision being viewed for judging, or by audio reference. This will result in immediate disqualification. Do not put the entrant’s name in data file names.

19. Additional Cinematography disclosure. On the entry form, if adding information about additional cinematographers who worked on the entry, please do NOT identify the cinematographer by their name. We need to know if there was additional cinematography, but not who shot it.

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. IMPORTANT: By submitting each online entry form, all entrants agree to or declare the following:
*They have read and agree to these Terms and Conditions.
*That all information provided is true, complete and accurate and not misleading in any way.
*They have disclosed all CGI work to the judges.
*They are entirely responsible for the cinematography of each entry in the role of Cinematographer or Director of Photography, except as described in the follow point (if applicable).
*They have disclosed other contribution and listed all other cinematographers who contributed in any way to the entry and detailed their work by timecode or on-screen watermark/text and written disclosure.This includes Collaborative entries.
*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.
*They understand the ACS Awards For Cinematography are administered by the Executive Committee and all decisions made by the committee are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Good Luck!

2024 ACS State & Territory Awards for Cinematography

Entry into the ACS Awards for Cinematography is by online form. Login to your ACS profile and follow the link to the Awards. The awards entry window is only open August 1st (7am local time) to 21st 11.59pm local time).

Read the new Collab Cinematography entry information

The ACS is now allowing entry into the ACS Awards for Cinematography for Collab Cinematography projects. Special Terms and Conditions apply and must be strictly followed. Click below to read more or contact your branch.

View the special Terms and Conditions for Collab Cinematography awards entry »