Issue date: 
Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Epic Games today announced the return of the Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge in Australia and New Zealand, providing the opportunity for rising animators to have their work seen by some of the industry’s top experts.

Following the success of the inaugural Short Film Challenge in 2020, with over 1,800 registrants, this year’s challenge is expanding to include applicants from New Zealand, and to offer more free training resources. To learn more about the challenge, visit:

“The interest in the inaugural Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge far exceeded our expectations, so we’re thrilled to bring it back this year on an even more ‘epic’ scale so that more people can get involved and further develop their real-time skills,” said Karen Dufilho, Executive Producer, Epic Games. “Animation is a wonderful medium for telling stories and we are so excited to see the work of this year’s participants.”

As part of this initiative, Epic Games is offering three weeks of free Unreal Engine online training for real-time animation, from April 11-29. The free courses are suitable for all skill levels, and are open to anyone – whether or not they go on to participate in the challenge.

The application deadline for eligible creatives is 9 May, and a shortlist of top pitches will be selected by participating screen agencies. In addition to Australian screen agencies VicScreen, Screen NSW, Screen Tasmania, Screen Queensland, Screen Canberra, Screenwest, and the South Australian Film Corporation, Epic is also partnering with Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) to broaden access to this year’s challenge. Epic and its industry partners will then select up to ten projects, who will receive $50,000 AUD/NZD in funding and have eight weeks to bring their ideas to life using Unreal Engine 5. These projects will then be reviewed by industry experts and showcased internationally.

Epic Games and representatives from participating screen agencies will be hosting an online information session on 4 April at 5:30pm AEST to answer questions on training and the application process. Register here.

Finalists will retain all rights to their projects. Check out the finalists’ films from the 2020 Short Film Challenge here.

Epic is also supporting the region’s top public universities by providing student access to the three weeks of Unreal Engine online training in real-time animation, in order to encourage real-time skills in arts curricula and to grow the local talent pool. Partner institutions include the University of Melbourne, New Zealand’s Massey University, University of Technology Sydney, University of South Australia, Griffith Film School, Curtin University, and the Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS).


About Unreal Engine

Epic Games’ Unreal Engine is the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D tool. Creators across games, film and television, architecture, automotive, manufacturing, live events, simulation and other industries choose Unreal to deliver cutting-edge content, interactive experiences, and immersive virtual worlds. Follow @UnrealEngine and download Unreal for free at

Last updated: 
Wednesday, 30 March 2022