October 28 – November 5, 2023
Banff, Alberta, Canada

After 47 years, the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival has a proven track record as one of the most prestigious and largest mountain culture festivals in the world. Located in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Festival is a programming-driven, competitive event bringing together the best films and books on mountains and the spirit of adventure from around the world. The 2023 festival will be a combination of in-person theatre events and virtual online screenings.

The festival in Banff offers you the chance to meet other filmmakers and industry professionals to exchange ideas and collaborate in a highly creative and inspiring atmosphere. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with leaders in the outdoor adventure field, including climbers, mountaineers, gear manufacturers, potential sponsors, and journalists.

Film finalists are invited to join us at the Festival and as special guests, you will receive:
• An opportunity to introduce your film on stage and represent your film
• Access to our guest-only screening theatre
• Invitations to networking and social events
• One hotel room for three nights during the festival

Films entered into competition will also be considered for inclusion in our World Tour programs that reach a global audience of over half a million people through screenings in approximately 50 countries. Short films are particularly popular for the programming flexibility they provide so if you are submitting a longer film, you may wish to also enter a shorter version in competition for both Festival and World Tour consideration (World Tour programs are typically 2 hours long and contain 5-9 mixed films). If your film is selected for the World Tour, our team will contact you to arrange a separate licensing agreement.

Grand Prize: $5,000
Best Film, Adventure: $3,000
Best Film, Climbing: $3,000
Best Film, Environment: $3,000
Best Film, Mountain Culture: $3,000
Best Film, Mountain Sports: $3,000
Best Film, Snow Sports: $3,000
Best Short Film: $3,000 – Under 20 minutes in length
Best Feature Film: $3,000 – Over 70 minutes in length
Creative Excellence: $3,000 – showcasing creativity and the arts in exploring the spirit of adventure.
Audience Choice Award: $3,000 - chosen by the festival audience.

• Entries are not limited to one award.
• Awards may be presented to the director or the producer of the film.
• In the spirit of being a true Audience Choice award, votes are cast by virtual and in person festival ticket holders only. If person(s) in connection to your film are found to be sharing information on how to vote (via social media or otherwise), your film will be disqualified from receiving this award.
• All prize amounts listed in Canadian dollars

Winners will be announced during the film awards ceremony on Sunday, November 5th 2023. The jury reserves the right to not present an award, and its decisions will be final.

The competition closes at 11:59pm (PDT) on August 2nd 2023. Before entering, please ensure you read the Rules and Terms in their entirety as the dispatching of any entry to the Mountain Film Competition implies acceptance of these procedures and regulations by the Entrant:

1. Completed films need to be uploaded at the time of entry. We do not accept rough cuts, trailers or unfinished projects and are unable to consider new versions of films once they’re entered. Please refer to the late entry application process in the section below.
2. Films produced in the year 2021, 2022 and 2023 are eligible for competition.
3. If English is not the original language of the film, it MUST be entered into competition with English subtitles, or be dubbed in English.
4. Films must be entered into one category only. Do not submit the same film to multiple categories.
5. Any film submitted must fit the criteria of one or more of the subject-based categories. The Mountain Film Competition reserves the right to make the final decision on the category of any film entered.
6. The same film may only be entered once in the Mountain Film Competition.
7. All entries will be viewed prior to the Festival by a pre-selection committee chaired by the Director – Festival and World Tour. Finalists chosen by this committee will be screened by an international jury and viewed by the public at the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival.
8. All Banff Centre staff are excluded from submitting entries.
9. Film finalists agree to have their film screened on our online streaming platform in Canada and the USA and locally at multiple live venues and on multiple dates within the festival period, October 28 – November 8, 2023.
10. Award winners agree to have their film screened on our online streaming platform and locally in theatres after the Festival dates as part of an award winners series. A separate licensing agreement with an agreed fee will be made directly with the film entrant.
11. All submissions may be retained by the Festival for adjudication, on-demand and archival purposes.
12. All film entries submitted via FilmFreeway, along with available film overview, credits, specifications and distributor information may be made accessible for viewing during the Festival to filmmakers, distributors, festival directors, Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour hosts, and media.
13. Film finalists will be made available to the public post-Festival in Banff Centre’s Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives (restricted viewing on site for research purposes only).
14. The Entrant grants the Festival and its successors, licensees and assigns the right to copy and version the entry in its entirety to facilitate technical operations of the Festival, in and through any and all media formats now known or hereafter devised.
15. The Entrant grants the Festival and its successors, licensees and assigns the right to use up to three minutes from the entry AND accompanying photos submitted to the Festival for promotional purposes of the Festival and its activities in or through any and all media formats now known or hereafter devised, including, but not limited to, the Internet throughout the universe.
16. An admission charge will be made to the public for online and live festival events in order to defray the costs of the Festival.
17. The Entrant acknowledges and agrees that all matters will be decided by Festival organizers or the Festival jury at their sole discretion.

We usually cannot accept late film entries into competition due to the timing of our programming logistics. However, if you feel strongly that your project is a worthy candidate and that the final version of your film will be completed by August 23rd, 2023, you may apply for a late entry, and we will consider your application. To request details and an application form, please email banffmountainfilms@banffcentre.ca. Enquiries made after August 2nd 2023 will not be considered.
In the meantime, do not enter unfinished films, rough cuts or trailers into competition as we only accept completed films.


Filmmakers are required to submit their completed film for pre-screening at the time of entry via FilmFreeway. If you are using a secured link, keep your project updated with any changes to passwords. If English is not the original language of the film, it MUST be entered into competition with English subtitles or be dubbed in English. Your FilmFreeway entry must remain active for viewing until November 6, 2023.

If your film is selected as a finalist, you will be required to provide a high resolution master via Signiant Media Shuttle. We accept finalist masters as either Avid DNxHD or Apple ProRes 422 codecs at 1920x1080i/p in a .mov or .mxf wrapper and our preference is to use the 10bit codecs (example: ProRes 422 (HQ) or Avid DNxHD HQX). We request finalists to submit their master film with the frame rate that it was edited in, to a maximum of 30 frames per second. Audio should be uncompressed PCM, .wav or .aif at 24bit, 48kHz. All films require a full stereo audio mix. If you’re also including 5.1 surround tracks, in addition to the stereo full mix, please include a track listing. If your film is not in English, the master MUST have burned-in English subtitles or be dubbed in English. Finalists will be contacted by the festival with instructions on how to upload.
Note: The Festival Producer will have the option to conform the content to broadcast-quality standardization or, alternatively, to charge a fee (in consultation with entrant) for Banff Centre in-house corrections in the event of substandard submission.

If applicable, thoroughly check subtitles for quality (translation and typos) and readability. We recommend a sans-serif font using white text on a black background, and make sure the font size is accessible.
If selected as a finalist, we will request a caption file (SRT) and an audio descriptive track (if available). We strongly encourage you to include caption and audio description files as a standard piece of your post-production and have them ready to provide festivals.

If your film is selected as a finalist, you will be asked to provide a variety of formats and sizes of images from the film to be reproduced, published and/or exhibited for promotional purposes as they pertain to the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival, World Tour, and the associated Mountain Film Competition at the Banff Centre. Details of requirements will be sent to film finalists.

The Entrant agrees to indemnify Banff Centre and the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival, their respective successors, assigns, licensees, and their respective officers, directors, members, agents and employees and hold them harmless from and against any and all claims, liability, losses, damages, costs, expenses (including reasonable legal fees) and penalties arising out of, resulting from, based upon or incurred because of a breach by the Entrant of any statement, representation or warranty made by the Entrant in this entry form.

By entering the film competition, the Entrant represents and warrants that:
a) The Entrant hereby grants Banff Centre the rights to use the film as outlined in this entry form.
b) It owns all right, title and interest, including the copyright and all intellectual property rights, in and to the film being submitted to the Festival and has the right to distribute, exhibit and promote the film in or through all media formats now known or hereafter devised, including, but not limited to, the Internet throughout the universe.
c) All music licenses including, without limitation, all synchronization, mechanical and master use licenses, as applicable, have been obtained and all required payments to all artists and to any applicable performing rights organization (such as SOCAN and BMI) have been made that are required for the public performance of the music incorporated in the film.
d) No material in the film being submitted by the Entrant to the Festival is libelous or is slanderous or defamatory or violates any right of privacy or publicity of any person, and the full use of the rights in such film will not violate any rights, including copyright or moral rights, of any person, firm or corporation.
e) To the extent that the Film Producer may now or in the future be entitled to any so-called moral, author’s or similar rights in the film pursuant to the Copyright Act (Canada) or otherwise, the Producer hereby irrevocably waives and relinquishes all such rights in favor of Banff Centre and its assignees and licensees to the fullest extent permitted by law.
f) By entering the Mountain Film Competition, the entrant acknowledges and agrees to all entry Rules and Terms.

Overall Rating
  • Steep Motion

    We were thrilled to screen our short documentary Frontline at Banff. An incredible line up of films, beautiful location, fantastic networking events, friendly and extremely helpful team. Thank you for having us!

    November 2023
  • Jessica Baker

    Banff Film Festival is world class for a reason. Great communication from the organizers, welcoming, beautiful accommodations, and professional. It was a pleasure to attend in person and show our film Going Greenland for our Canadian premiere!

    November 2023
  • Wes Overvold

    What an amazing experience! Left feeling very inspired not just by the surrounding landscape, but also getting to meet other filmmakers and watching their films. Great hospitality by the staff, awesome campus; overall a really great festival. Highly recommended!

    November 2022
  • I had an awesome time in Banff for the festival. The team is very welcoming!

    November 2022
  • Sean O'Connor

    Sincerely one of the best experiences of my life! Festival communication and accommodations were top notch, films were expertly selected and the level of talent to network with is unmatched. Loved hosting the World Premiere of our film at BANFF ‘22 and can’t wait to return in years to come!

    November 2022