Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival
Celebrating Indigenous Arts in Algonquin Territory
Ottawa • Canada • Sept. 15-19, 2021 • Online

Asinabka Festival is a registered non-profit organization, and was first organized by an ad-hoc collective of Indigenous artists and arts professionals who came together in 2012 to launch the first edition of the festival. We began this project out of a strong need for a space in Ottawa to showcase film, video, and media arts created by Indigenous peoples. Our curatorial focus is to centre the programming of work by Indigenous peoples, as well as the work of local artists, and emerging artists.

The mandate of the Asinabka Festival is to hold an annual Indigenous film and media arts festival in Ottawa, Canada, that allows independent artists, national, international, Indigenous, and non-Indigenous, to share, present, and disseminate their work. In addition to the annual festival, Asinabka Festival offers year round programming, such as our winter "Snow-screening" in an outdoor theatre made of snow, as well as other one-time screenings and art events.

The Asinabka Festival's goals are:

• to highlight works that examine Indigenous issues and topics
• to support media artists and filmmakers
• to promote Indigenous cultures and languages
• to educate people about First Nations, Métis, and Inuit issues in Canada, and about Indigenous issues internationally
• to provide a space where Indigenous peoples can tell their own stories and see their own cultures reflected back at them
• to entertain, to be innovative, and to present the best in Indigenous film and arts.

Asinabka Festival is non-competitive and does not offer any Awards or Prizes, although we do pay Screening Fee's for all films presented at our festival. Artist fees are determined by following IMAA guidelines. Asinabka Festival is mostly volunteer-run, and does not charge submission fees for artists (with the exception of the $1 charge through FilmFreeway to limit the high volume of ineligible submissions). Please contact us via email if you would like to have this $1 fee waived for your eligible submission.

The 10th annual Asinabka Festival will most likely be be taking place online due to the ongoing global pandemic, it will run from Sept. 15-19, 2021. The Festival is currently seeking works from independent filmmakers, any film or video that tells First Nations, Métis, or Inuit stories, or focuses on international Indigenous issues, is eligible. Preference is given to films made by Indigenous filmmakers, and to recent films produced within the last two years. Submissions can be in any genre (documentary, drama, animation, experimental etc.) or any length, and must be finished works. Multiple submissions from the same filmmaker are permitted. All submissions are peer-reviewed by a Selection Jury comprised of Artists, Curators, and Indigenous filmmakers. Applicants will be notified of programming decisions via email by June 2021.


Film and video submissions made through FilmFreeway must be online screeners or an internet link to the works online location. Submissions must include a brief description, still images from the film being submitted, and a bio of the Filmmaker(s)/Director(s).

Submissions must explain very clearly the Indigenous affiliation (First Nation/Tribe) of a Key Creator (Writer/Director/Producer), or explain clearly how the work is eligible (How is the subject matter Indigenous?).

DEADLINE: Monday May 31, 2021

Overall Rating
  • Davide Marino

    I love these amazing people! Thank you guys for appreciating and showing my film. And so many thanks for the screening fee which so encouraging and so welcomed!

    October 2020
  • Edgar R. Hernandez

    Loved the performance and music

    September 2019
  • Excellent festival and such a great opportunity

    August 2019
  • Nicole Emmons

    The festival organizers/ curators are very professional, and very good at communicating. I was so honored to be included in this year's festival! Very exciting to see Native film being represented across all genres. They are doing really important work!

    September 2018
  • Excellent festival with excellent communication. I would highly recommend other filmmakers to also send their films to this festival.

    September 2018