2023 Film Submissions
Reelworld Film Festival in its 23rd year exclusively accepts Canadian films by Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, North African, and Latin American Canadian artists. We look for stories that break free of the negative stereotypes found in mainstream media.
We look for filmmakers pushing boundaries with innovative media art experiences including abstract media art and a wide variety of genres in narrative and documentary features, narrative and documentary shorts, music videos, animation and episodic content.
Our festival this year runs from November 1st-7th, we will continue with an online format along with in-person screenings and industry events. All films will be available to stream on a secure online portal available via web browser and Roku TV.
We accept narrative films, documentaries, animation, webisodes, episodic content, and music videos by Canadian Black, Indigenous and People of Colour filmmakers that explore current issues and ideas or themes with social impact. All programs are carefully curated and submissions are fully considered by Reelworld’s programming team.
Selection & Notification Process
Accepted applicants will be notified of programming decisions by email before September 5th, 2023. If applicants do not hear by that date, they have not been selected for the festival.
Final programming, categorization and slotting of films will be determined by the Reelworld programming team, their decision is final. Successful applicants will receive this information in their official invitation.
Selected applicants must send in a film trailer and 1 one-minute scene of their choice. Other requirements, such as social media handles, press information, and additional requested information will be outlined in your selection letter.
Acceptance of your invitation into the festival indicates an understanding that this will be an online festival screening, geo-blocked to Ontario. Selected Applicants will receive passes to the Festival and complimentary tickets to surrounding events. These details will be outlined in your selection letter.
Accepted Exhibition Formats
For this year's digital online festival, a direct FTP upload link to our secure online streaming platform CineSend is the required method for uploading film assets from selected filmmakers, as well as critical film info like credits, premiere status, synopses, etc. Selected applicants must provide a high quality digital file that meets the source file technical requirements for upload. Details about this will be outlined following your selection letter.
All film assets, as well as film stills, director bios, and other relevant marketing information that will be outlined in the acceptance letter must be received by the deadline of listed in the acceptance letter. All assets should be sent with-in two weeks of acceptance unless stated otherwise.
Selected applicants must provide a digital or physical DCP format, digital file in .MP4 format and or digital file in .MOV formats of their digital film or video work. The exact requirement will be detailed in the acceptance letter. For the purpose of the online festival, complete source file requirements/upload specifications to our CineSend streaming platform will be sent to selected applicants. Please contact the festival directly if you have other formats for consideration. DVD is not accepted at Reelworld
Reelworld is committed to paying artist fees to directors in selection and follows standard rates set by the Independent Media Arts Alliance (http://www.imaa.ca/). Artist fees will be paid via e-transfer a week after the festival.
Works selected for the festival will be screened and considered for awards by an independent jury of professional filmmakers and industry executives. Films in competition, which are Canadian or Ontario premieres, will be eligible for the cash awards of $25,000 for Outstanding Feature Film and $10,000 for Outstanding Short Film. We are giving recipients over $45,000 in cash prizes this year. Reelworld Film Festival is the only film festival in Canada with a mission and mandate that continues to support only Canadian filmmakers who are Indigenous, Black, Asian and People of Colour. It is also a Canadian Screen Award-qualifying festival.
Awards are dependent on programming. Suggested Awards in 2023 are:
Audience Choice Award for a feature film award
Outstanding Actress in a feature film award
Outstanding Actor in a feature film award
Outstanding Director for a Feature Film award
Outstanding Writer for a feature film award
Outstanding Cinematographer for feature film award
Outstanding Feature Film Producer award
Outstanding Feature Film award
Outstanding Actress in a Short film award
Outstanding Actor for a Short Film Award
Outstanding Director for short film award
Outstanding Writer for short film award
Outstanding Cinematographer for a Short Film award
Outstanding Producer for Short film award
Outstanding Short film award
I can only see the Pre-Roll, the film won’t load. Why?"Are you using a VPN? Because our films are geo blocked to Ontario, it could be a location block. Please try to view the film from a non-private browser, and with a VPN turned off. Please ensure you are using an updated version of Chrome, Safari, or your choice of browser. If you still cannot access the movie, please email email@example.com with your first and last name.
Nothing is loading for me! I have my pass, and in Cinesend, but I cant see anything.Please ensure you selected "All Access Festival Pass" when you first get your ticket. If you accidentally selected "Free Fall Festival Pass" please let us know and we will ensure your pass is updated. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your first and last name, and the email that you purchased your pass.
Can I watch the films outside of Ontario?All films screened online at our festival are geo-blocked to Ontario. You must be within the province to stream our digital programming.
How do I redeem my discount code for a pass?1. Visit our ticketing portal at https://www.goelevent.com/Reelworld/Pass/Sale (you can also access this through our website, www.reelworld.ca/festival); 2. Select ”All-Access Festival Pass”, and select ‘Add to Cart’; 3. Click on the Shopping Cart icon in the top, right hand corner, and select ‘Checkout’; 4. The website will them prompt you to create an account profile if you have not already, and after that, it will automatically send you back to the checkout page 5. There will be a box labelled ‘Discount Code’ - fill in your code. (Can't find your code? Check your inbox, and if you still cant find it, email us at email@example.com 6. Select ‘Complete Purchase’ You now are a certified Reelworld Film Festival pass-holder!
When can I start streaming films?At 10:00 PM EST on opening night, all our films will become available to stream. Each film, including the opening and closing night selections, will be available for the entire duration of the festival until closing night at 11:59 pm.
How can I access the films?Step 1: Set yourself up Upon purchase of your pass You will be able to gain access to online screenings, in-person screenings or both, depending on the type of pass you have purchased. All festival films will be available online for the entire duration of the festival and in-person screenings will be held at select Toronto theatres. A Super Pass enables you to watch all the films screened online and in-person at the festival (excluding opening night). Once your pass has been purchased, you will be sent a confirmation email and a link inviting you to join our CineSend/Reelworld online portal to ‘redeem your pass'. All films will be available starting the opening night of the festival at 10 pm. To watch films online, follow the link sent to you and create an account and set a password. Enter the same email that is tied to the account used to purchase or claim your festival pass, then you can use your member login to access all of the films at your convenience and do not need to reserve tickets in advance. Roku users can access Festival Films on the “Reelworld” channel. Access to in-person screenings requires a ticket to be selected and downloaded after the purchase of a pass. Once you purchase your pass you will be emailed a link to select the films you are attending. A pass alone does not guarantee access to in-person screenings, availability is first come first serve and you must bring your film ticket to access the screening venue. Step 2: Viewing You can watch films at your own pace, or follow our Suggested Screening Times. We recommend following this schedule to get the most out of your festival experience, with time factored in to catch our exclusive Q&As, industry panels, filmmaker mixers and awards celebrations. Shorts are available to stream as a part of a themed, curated program. Films will be capped at a viewing capacity of 500 views. If you have a technical problem that isn't solved here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To watch festival films on your Roku TV you will first create an account through our viewing portal, Cinesend, mentioned above. Once you have created your login, search for and add the “Reelworld” festival channel on your Roku TV. The channel will not be available until the opening night of the film festival at 10 pm. Use the login you created to access films. Once a film has been selected and started, you will have access to view the film until the last day of the festival at 11:59 pm. Once this time has passed, the film will not be available to stream to your account.
I'm trying to watch an online film but it is listed as unavailable, why?"Just like our in-person festival, each screening is subject to capacity. There is a finite amount of tickets available for each film. Our films are currently capped at a set amount for viewers agreed upon between filmmakers, distributors and festival staff. If you have an issue accessing a film, please contact us at email@example.com.
Can I watch films on ROKU?Yes, you can! If you have the ROKU app, you can easily stream onto your SmartTV. In order to access, you will first create an account through our viewing portal, Cinesend, mentioned above. Once you have created your login, on your ROKU homepage, search for and add the “Reelworld” festival channel on your Roku TV. The channel will not be available until the festival begins, on opening night at 10 pm. Use the login you created on Cinesend to access films. Please see this visual guide for a step-by-step view:
Is the festival family friendly?It is! Overall, our themes don't exactly cater to a younger audience, but we believe there is so much for everyone to enjoy this year! Any films dealing with mature content are preceded with a Trigger Warning message. For further clarity, if a film is appropriate for your little one, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there more to the Reelworld Film Festival than online and in-person screenings?We are excited to be able to reach more viewers online, we have many events occurring over the course of the festival to allow you to engage with all things Reelworld! Our industry panels (please see program guide) will be occuring live and pre-recorded. Access is available worldwide. Our staff will monitor Q&A sections through the links provided to ensure your questions reach our moderators and panellists. We will be presenting our awards live via an online presentation, date/time to be announced. This will include film awards, as well as our Trailblazer, Visionary and Excellence Awards. This is going to be a night to remember with presenters that include some of Canada’s top talent. Follow us on social media, and use the hashtags #reelworld, and #reelworldfilmfestival.
I'm trying to load the opening night film, but the subtitles aren't working."We apologize for the opening night tech issues! In order to access subtitles, please hover over the bottom right corner of the screen. There will be a small white square and when you click on it you will see 'Subtitles'. Click on that, and select "English CC". if you have already started the film, please refresh, and after the pre-rolls, you will find this option available to you. Thanks so much for your patience, and hope you enjoy the festival!
How do I access the films after purchasing my pass?Visit www.reelworld.ca/festival to purchase a pass or ticket. *Digital screenings are geo-blocked to Ontario only Once a Pass or Ticket has been purchased, you will be sent a confirmation email. If you purchased a Pass, please follow the instructions below for next steps to access all films on the Cinesend/Reelworld platform (available at your convenience for the duration of the festival), and/or register for the in-person film screenings on Elevent. A super pass or in-person pass alone does not guarantee access to in-person screenings, you must follow the instructions on the email sent to you after purchasing your pass to secure your tickets to In-Person Screenings. A Film Ticket with a QR code is required to access the screening venue, seats are available on a first-come, first served basis. If you purchased the Opening Night Film Ticket or a single In-Person Ticket, your Ticket will be provided with the confirmation email. To access the virtual screening portal, click on the link below and log in using your Elevent email address and password (the same credentials you used to purchase this pass).Log In to the Screening Portal Here Once you've logged into the portal, be sure to bookmark https://watch.reelworld.ca/ in your browser and save your password for quick access. Alternatively, you can navigate to the screening portal by logging into your Elevent account at goelevent.com and clicking the blue Log In button under Virtual Subscriptions. To all complimentary pass holders, please register at www.goelevent.com/SignIn in order to access the screening portal, as above. Please refer to the Reelworld Film Festival website for details on all films and events, including start and end dates How to register for in-person screenings Step 1: Once you have purchased your pass the next step is to register for one or more films that you would like to see. Step 2: You will receive an email with the link to access the in-person films associated with your pass. You will also receive a discount code to use when registering for the in-person screenings. You must register for the specific films you will be attending in-person, you will be sent a ticket which is required to access the venue. Step 3: Once you’ve selected the ticket(s) for your selected film(s), add it to your cart and click checkout. Step 4: The screen to follow is “Donate To Reelworld!”. We appreciate any donations to our organization, every bit helps in supporting our filmmakers. If you are not able to make a contribution we understand and appreciate your support by purchasing a pass or ticket to the films. To continue completing the purchase select “Not today”. Step 5: You will be prompted to sign in. Sign In with your Elevent email address or Register to create an account. You can also sign in with “Facebook” or “Google”. Step 6: You’re almost done! You will be taken to the checkout screen. Fill in the required information under the billing address section. Step 7: Apply the discount code to the delivery method section. You received the code in a confirmation email after purchasing your pass . Step 8: Click the ‘Complete Purchase’ button. Step 9: Congratulations you have successfully registered for a screening. You should receive a confirmation email confirming your spot with a unique ticket ID for the selected film that you have selected. Please bring your ticket with you to any in-person screenings you are attending. Opening Night Film Ticket: $15 (+ HST) Admission to the In-Person Screening of Reelworld’s Opening Night Film, “Golden Delicious”. In-Person: October 12 at 7PM at The Royal Theatre (608 College St., Toronto) On Demand: 10:00PM, October 12 until 11:59PM, October 18, 2022 on the Cinesend/Reelworld online portal Super Pass: $39.90 (+ HST) A Super Pass includes Tickets to all In-Person Screenings (excluding the Opening Night Film) and provides On Demand online access to all films for the duration of the festival, starting 10:00PM, October 12 until 11:59PM, October 18, 2022 on the Cinesend/Reelworld online portal. An In-Person Ticket admits one person to the purchased film. Digital Pass: $33.90 (+ HST) On Demand online access to all films for the duration of the festival, starting 10:00PM, October 12 until 11:59PM, October 18, 2022 on the Cinesend/Reelworld online portal. In-Person Pass: $24.90 (+ HST) / In-Person Ticket, $10 (+ HST) An In-Person Pass includes one Ticket to all In-Person Film Screenings (excluding the Opening Night Film). An In-Person Ticket admits one person to the purchased film. Films will be screening In-Person at the Paradise Theatre on October 13th and the Royal Ontario Museum on October 15th and 16th. See the schedule below. In-Person Screening Schedule at Paradise Theatre 1006 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1M2 Thursday, October 13 12:05 PM - Shorts Program: Identity (60 mins) followed by a 20-min Q&A 2:00 PM - Shorts Program: Choices (69 mins) followed by a 20-min Q&A 5:40 PM - Shorts Program: Home (65 mins) followed by a 20-min Q&A 8:10 PM - Shorts Program: Alternate Worlds (71 mins) followed by a 20-min Q&A In-Person Screening Schedule at the Royal Ontario Museum 100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C6 Saturday, October 15 11:00 AM - Pattern (75 mins) followed by a 15-min Q&A 1:25 PM - Tzouhalem (92 mins) followed by a 15-min Q&A 3:45 PM - The Myth of the Black Woman (90 mins) followed by a 15-min Q&A 6:15 PM - Bite of Mango (94 mins) followed by a 15-min Q&A 8:45 PM - Kite Zo A (67 mins) followed by a 15-min Q&A Sunday, October 16 11:35 PM - Dear Jackie (90 mins) followed by a 15-min Q&A 1:55 PM - Reset (90 mins) followed by a 15-min Q&A 4:25 PM - Exegesis: Lovecraft (120 mins) followed by a 15-min Q&A 7:25 PM - Summer With Hope (100 mins) followed by a 15-min Q&A Live and Virtual Panel Discussions, Q&As & Industry Webinars These programs are FREE and virtual events are available worldwide. You must register online to attend. For more details, please go to the Industry Panels section of the program guide and our website. Reelworld Film Festival 2022 Awards Presentation Join in the celebration with this year’s festival award recipients! Tune in Tuesday, October 18 at 3:00 PM EST to watch our awards presentation on YouTube. Covid-19 Protocol Symptom-Free Policy Reelworld is committed to keeping our guests safe with a Symptom-Free Policy. Employees are required to stay home if they are not feeling well. Guests who experience symptoms of COVID-19, the flu or a cold should stay home and can contact email@example.com for a full refund of their Passes. We look forward to welcoming you back once you’re feeling better. Mask-Friendly Environment Following Canada’s public health guidelines, masks are not required in Ontario at indoor public spaces. We do encourage the use of masks and ask that guests respect the choices of others who continue to wear a mask.