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Contest Rules

Only entries that have complied with the below terms and conditions will be considered for the contest. Due to the number of entries, we are unable to contact applicants to ask them to makes changes after submission. Before you submit, please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.


Entrants must be residents of Australia or New Zealand, and currently enrolled at a primary, secondary, or tertiary educational institution in one of these two countries.

Time Limit

Videos must be no longer than 3 minutes, including credits. Entries that exceed this limit will not be considered as winning entries for the contest.


The short film must contain Japanese language script. Some English may be acceptable but the script should be mostly Japanese.  Please see ‘Judges’ Tips‘ for some hints about the use of Japanese.

Contest Item

This year, the signature item is ‘mug’ (マグカップ/まぐかっぷ/magukappu). Each entry wanting to be judged for prizes must include this item somewhere in their video.


Entries must be received by Friday, September 28, 2018. Late entries will not be accepted.


Select from the 4 divisions listed below:

Junior Secondary (Years 7 – 10)
Senior Secondary (Years 11 – 12)


By completing the application form, you acknowledge that you have received consent from all visually identifiable people who appear in the video.

In obtaining consent, identifiable people must be made aware that the video may be made available to the general public.

Entries involving minors

Applicants under 18 years of age must have the form submitted on their behalf by a teacher, parent or guardian. Teachers may only complete the form on the condition that they have sought consent from the parent or guardian of any student appearing in the video.


There are no restrictions on style or theme, but all works must include Japanese language content.

Number of Submissions

Schools may enter the contest as many times as they like. Entries from previous years will not be accepted.


Under Australian law, copyright material can be used for research or study purposes, as long as it is not used excessively.

Licensed music is covered for this use in all government schools in Australia by an agreement with APRA (Australasian Performing Rights Association).

This right does not extend to uploading videos to the internet. Videos that use copyright material without permission will not be accepted in this contest.

As such, we strongly encourage participants to use music from the Creative Commons, where music is available for public use. See our handy hints for more information.

All entrants must ensure there are no corporate logos shown during the video. This includes anyone wearing and/or displaying corporate logos. Entrants are advised to remove or obscure labels/brand names from any commercial products used in their videos. (School uniforms are exempt from this condition.)

The entrant retains copyright over their work, but by entering the Video Matsuri Contest, the entrant grants permission to The Japan Foundation, Sydney to reproduce the video on any Japan Foundation websites and social media channels, to use the video for instructional purposes, and to screen entries for public viewing and promotional purposes.

All music and images used must be:

  • accompanied with the appropriate permissions and clearances.
  • original, permitted or copyright-free.
  • credited/acknowledged when filling out the registration form.

The entrant is responsible for ensuring that the film does not infringe the rights, including but not limited to, copyright or intellectual property etc. of another person, group or entity.

The Japan Foundation, Sydney cannot provide any legal advice on copyright issues.

More information about copyright.


Winners will be announced in November 2018.


All winning entries will receive a trophy for their educational institution. Prizes also include $100 Madman gift vouchers for division winners and DVDs for special award recipients – courtesy of Madman Entertainment.

Submitting your entry

Entries are accepted via our online application form. Applicants under 18 years of age must have the form submitted on their behalf by a teacher, parent or guardian. Teachers may only complete the form on the condition that they have sought consent from the parent or guardian of any student appearing in the video.

Videos must be submitted as an “unlisted” YouTube video link through the Video Matsuri online application form. “Unlisted” means the video cannot be searched for or viewed on YouTube without this specific link.  At the end of the contest after winners have been decided, all videos will be made available on the Video Matsuri website as an unlisted playlist.

Uploading your video on YouTube

See this simple video on how to upload YouTube videos.

Important – when uploading:
  • Name the video as:

Video Matsuri 2018: Film title – School name(State/Territory)

E.g. Video Matsuri 2018:  Severus Snape’s Weekend – Hogwarts School of Witchcraft (NSW)

  • In the description, include your film inspiration and any background information you’d like to add
  • You don’t need to add any tags
  • Set the video privacy settings to unlisted.

Once the Video is uploaded you will received a web link.  Enter this link on the contest application form.

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