Melbourne's St Kilda Film Festival will next year quadruple the cash prize for Best Australian Short Film to $5,650 (A$10,000), making it the most lucrative award for short films in the country. This is in addition to the $11,300 (A$20,000) already awarded at the festival.

Festival director Malcolm Blaylock told the opening night audience that the increase recognises the importance of the genre in Australia, brings the award into line with similar global prizes, and reaffirms the festival's place as one of the leading short film festivals in the world.

The competitive section of this year's event includes 156 Australian films chosen from almost 500 entries. The festival wraps on Sunday.