20th edition of Reelworld Film FESTIVAL Submissions are Open


Reelworld Film Festival - 20th year and going strong!

The Reelworld Film Festival showcases a wide variety of genres in narrative and documentary features, narrative and documentary shorts, music videos, animation, episodic content for web and television, and VR/360 works. From dramatic storytelling, to hard-hitting documentaries, to witty comedies, to thoughtful abstractions, Reelworld 2020 selections will reflect the strong and authentic voice of BIPOC Canadians.

Our focus is on Canadian BIPOC talent - not just BIPOC content. We showcase and support Canadian BIPOC producers, directors, screenwriters, actors and all on and off screen talent. We connect with agents, casting directors, broadcasters and distributors, invite them to the festival, and help them find new BIPOC talent. The Reelworld Film Festival features 100% BIPOC talent from Canada, and has become the country’s largest socially impactful film festival, reaching a diverse audience of over 350,000 engaged individuals to-date.



*HST taxes (13%) are not included in the above fees. Submission fees are non-refundable.

*Earlybird Deadline extended from April 17th to May 6th.



  • Submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2018

  • All submissions and exhibitions must be in English, subtitled in English or English versioned

  • Must not be available online, via any home device (blu-ray, DVD, etc.) or released theatrically in Canada at the time of the festival exhibition

  • Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry; Entrant hereby grants Reelworld permission to screen and otherwise the entry in connection with the 2020 festival. Your film festival acceptance also grants Reelworld permission to use stills and excerpts from the entry for promotional and publicity use.

  • Rough cuts and works-in-progress will not be considered





We accept narrative films, documentaries, animation, webisodes, episodic content, music videos, and VR/360 films by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) Canadian filmmakers that explore current issues, and ideas or themes with social impact.

All programs are carefully curated and submissions will be fully considered by Reelworld’s programming team.


For the purposes of eligibility and awards consideration, Reelworld uses the following definitions:


Film Length

  • Feature-Length: 45 minutes or longer 

  • Short: up to 44 minutes

  • Episodic: up to 45 minutes (must be part of/intended to be part of a 3+ part series)

  • Virtual Reality (VR/360): up to 12 minutes in length

  • Music Video: up to 6 minutes


Country of Production and Submission Categories

  • Canadian Submissions: All films produced in Canada or directed by Indigenous or racially diverse Canadian filmmakers 



Accepted applicants will be notified of programming decisions by email before August 31st, 2020. If applicants do not hear by that date, then 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 3 one-minute scenes of their choosing. Other requirements, such as social media handles, press information, etc will be outlined in your selection letter.

Selected Applicants will receive passes and complimentary tickets to the festival and surrounding events. These details will be outlined in your selection letter.




Selected applicants must provide a DCP format of their film or video work. In some cases (especially short films), filmmakers may be required to provide a high quality Pro Res file for exhibition. Please contact the festival directly if you have other formats for consideration. DVD is not accepted at Reelworld.

VR/360 Projects, must be accessible on a GearVR or Oculus Headset

The participant agrees to pay print shipping costs to the festival. Shipping information must be settled upon confirmation of participation. The work must arrive at the festival one month prior to the festival.


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 on the last day of the festival.


Over $30,000 in cash and prizes!

Works selected for the festival will be screened and considered for award by an independent jury of professional filmmakers and industry executives.

Awards are dependent on programming. Suggested Awards in 2020 are:

Outstanding Narrative Feature Film

Outstanding Documentary Feature Film

Outstanding Short Film

Outstanding Animated Film

Outstanding Webisode

Outstanding Episode

Outstanding Music Video

Outstanding VR/ AR Work

Outstanding Director

Outstanding Producer

Outstanding Actor/Actress

Audience Choice Award: Highest rated film by the audience




Reelworld accepts submissions through FilmFreeway. All screeners must be submitted via FilmFreeway’s online upload platform (links to Vimeo and YouTube are available). No DVD submissions will be accepted. Please note: The password to your film link must not change during our program

Reelworld is a registered Canadian charity: Charitable #873045611RR0001


Address: 20 Richmond St. E., Suite #600, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 2R9

Tel:  416-598-7933​.

Email: contact@reelworld.ca.  you!


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