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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.

Programming Consideration

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

Artist Fees

Reelworld is committed to paying artist fees to directors in selection and follows standard rates set by the Independent Media Arts Alliance ( 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

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