If you’re looking for something different and inspiring to do, why not go to a film festival? If you’re into arthouse, film noire, anime, asian drama, french film, or just curious about what Australian film actually has to offer, then there is no better place to do so. Below are a list of Film festivals around Australia for 2015 and what to expect.

Brisbane Underground Film Festival ( Jan 8-10) : Screening all things strange and wonderful, modern, low-budget and oft overlooked films. Choose from video art and experimental film, or sleaze and blood – there is no in-between. Hosted at none other than the Brisbane powerhouse. Surround yourself in a dark room with strangers and an odd film…What could possibly go wrong?

Brisbane Queer Film Festival: Showcasing a selection of the most captivating, inspiring, outlandish and entertaining LGBTIQ films from across the globe, the annual Brisbane Queer Film Festival also holds fundraising events, Q&A’s and other fun activities.

Westend Film Festival (official date to be released): Showcasing local film including indigenous Australian film and animated film. The Westend Film Festival is much like Sydney’s tropfest, acknowledging short films and rewarding filmmakers with cash prizes. The festival recognises the talent of local artists whilst also granting their films exposure into the local community at the Rumpus Cinema.

Alliance Francais French Film Festival (March 3- April 21): Held in locations across Australia, including Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and Byron Bay, the Alliance Francais French Film Festival is arguable the most anticipated and highly popular cultural event in Australia. Not only is it the biggest foreign film festival in Australia, it is also the grandest celebration of french film outside of France. Alliance Francais also holds a short film competition for local artists to try their luck at winning tickets to Paris, meeting with industry professionals and having their film presented at the festival itself, with one requirement: that they possess ‘motion and emotion’. Motion being what Peugeot Australia presents to its authors and Emotion referring to the ‘French touch’in cinematic works.

Reelise Film Festival (February 2nd): Held in Sydney, the Reelise Film Festival gives voice to young people in the community by allowing them to take a stand against cyber-bullying through the use of mobile phones as positive tools of change. Young filmmakers aged between 12-18 or in years 7-12 at school are encouraged to enter short films captured on their mobile devices. Prizes include Canon cameras, and a  “day on set”  with Australian film and television productions. Release also holds a free filmmaking program with mentoring by renown Australian filmmakers.

Mardi Gras Film Festival (February 9 – March 3): One of Australia’s largest film festivals and rated as one of the top five queer film festivals around the world, the Mardi Gras Film Festival is regarded highly by both local and international film makers. Run by the LGBTIQ society, this film festival is used to promote gay and lesbian titles to Australian exhibitors and distributors.

Sydney Surf Film Festival (January 20 – Feb 1): Smack-bang in the middle of the Australian summer, the Sydney Surf Film Fest serves up two weeks of  awesome surf culture, including surf film, art,  music,  an international surf film competition and other cultural events. The festival extends from the city to every beachside community along the coast.

Women Media and Arts Film Festival (March 7 -8): The first event of its type in Australia. Women Media and Arts Film Festival presents both traditionally formatted film and modern, contemporary format film in a combined event. Targeting women, societies, groups and individuals, this film festival enables a link between a variety of time-based mediums with historical and contemporary outlooks in a collection of artistic, social, political and economical perspectives. Held in Western Sydney, the intended audience is from around the area and beyond, into the general public.