Calling all Aussie and Kiwi creatives! The Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge is back

Do you dream of getting your film or television idea funded? What about pitching it to a major content producer? Now’s your chance to do both—the Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge is back!

Now open to industry creatives across Australia and New Zealand, this year’s challenge will give participants just eight weeks to form teams and create an animated short film using Unreal Engine 5. Epic Games will provide live online training for real-time animation. This free training is open to everyone, regardless of their eligibility for the challenge.

Successful applicants will have their projects funded, and the final films will be watched by content development executives at several major studios— this challenge might just be career-changing. Learn more about the challenge and sign up below.

Challenge Timeline

  • April 19 – May 2, 2022: Start your free online Unreal Engine training for real-time animation, courtesy of Epic Games. 
  • May 9, 2022: Deadline for applications to your screen funding agency. If your pitch is successful, your film will be funded!
  • June 2022: Now you have eight weeks to produce your animated short. No pressure…
  •  August 2022: Your film will be privately showcased to content development executives at major studios—and if they like your work, who knows where it will take you?


Who is eligible to apply for the challenge?
To be eligible for the challenge, you need to be an industry practitioner in either Australia or New Zealand and meet your participating local screen agency’s eligibility criteria. 

Not eligible for the challenge? Don’t worry, you can still take part in the same free online training if you want to supercharge your real-time animation skills. Start your journey here.

What if I’ve never used Unreal Engine?
No problem! Epic Games is providing three weeks of free online training for anyone participating in the challenge. The training will give you a solid foundation in the fundamentals of real-time animation. These introductory tutorials assume participants have basic 3D understanding, but no prior experience with Unreal Engine.

Do I need to create my whole short in Unreal Engine?
Think of Unreal Engine as the final point of content development. We fully expect third party DCCs such as Blender, 3ds Max and Maya will be used to develop raw content. While developers are encouraged to have their final pixel output from Unreal Engine, we understand circumstances can call for leveraging other tools for composition and colour grading. In this situation, the final composition plates must be exported from Unreal Engine.

    Sign up for the challenge!

    We’ve created a page with everything you need to know if you want to participate in this year’s Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge. We can’t wait to see your submission!