Since its formation at the beginning of 2011, Canton Film has strived to recognize and support the ever-growing creative community of Northeast Ohio. By providing educational resources, networking, and opportunities to showcase the work of independent artists and filmmakers, Canton Film empowers the Creative Arts in this post-industrial region. Canton Film brings filmmakers, writers, actors, and artists together throughout the Canton-Akron and Greater Cleveland areas through a combination of special events, as well as web-based social-networking and the Canton Film website.

Above all, Canton Film shows people that even in these uncertain times, Creative Arts are alive with the Canton Film Fest is proud to enter its fifth year. This three-day event brings independent filmmakers together with special guest speakers to provide an educational and entertaining celebration of the arts.

Past featured guests have included:
• Producer/Writer- Brannon Braga (24, Salem Mission Impossible 2, Star Trek [Enterprise, Voyager, TNG], Cosmos)
• Actor- Bruno Gunn (Hunger Games,
• Director- Drew Daywalt (MTV’s Death Valley)
• Director- William Victor Schotten (Silver Cell),
• Make-up effects artist (and Syfy Network’s Face-Off contestant)- Megan Areford
• Screenwriter- Nick Pustay (Ramona and Beezus),
• Documentarians- Stuck In Ohio, and writer/director Paul Solet (Grace)

Canton Film Fest 2017 also celebrates dozens of local and international filmmakers, giving them an opportunity to screen their films before an audience, and for audiences to celebrate the visual arts.

New Special Category for 2017 Film Festival
Reelate Stark Color Picture Prize

Reelate is proud to announce a new award - the STARK COLOR PICTURE PRIZE - which will be awarded at the 2017 Canton Film Fest to the maker of a short documentary film focused on an individual who brings "color" to Stark County.

Reelate partnered with the Stark County District Library and Coming Together Stark County to award this prize. The Stark County District Library and Coming Together Stark County have long been leaders in enabling, promoting and developing Diversity initiatives here in Stark County.

Our hope is that the short documentary films submitted to the 2017 Canton Film Fest will reflect some of the richness and difference that defines who WE are here in Stark County. These films will be screened here on and will be archived at the Stark County District Library.
Our national dialogue about equality and difference has been difficult during 2016. Many have realized that they haven't been paying attention to the realities and issues that racial, ethnic and social minorities facef. #oscarsowhite made a link between some of these sad news stories about violence and inequality and the lack of diverse stories that emerge from Hollywood each year.
In order to be eligible for the Stark Color Picture Prize, short documentary films must focus on an individual in Stark County that contributes to COLOR in our world. Films should invite us to hear the voices of people ethnic and racial diversity to Stark County, people out of the mainstream and people whose life experience pushes the boundaries here in Stark County. COLOR is all the ways that diversity improves our general public well-being.

All films must meet the criteria set forth by the Canton Film Festival and all submissions will be evaluated by a jury that will include leaders in Diversity Initiatives here in Stark County.

First Prize winner will receive a $500 prize.

Second Prize winner will receive a $200 prize.

Best Student Film will receive a $200 prize.

Best film shot on a phone will receive $200 prize.

Awards & Prizes

Each category will consist of a trophy and a prize of a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $500, depending upon the amount of submissions per category. A panel of judges will be chosen to vote on the award winning films in each category.

Additional sponsored awards & prizes will be announced in the future and posted on There may be additional awards given at the prerogative of the staff of the Canton Film Festival. If we see something that stands out to us, we will give it the recognition we think it deserves. All awards, regardless of category will be paid to the person who submitted that winning entry. Dissemination will be the responsibility of that person as he/she sees fit.

Rules & Terms


• Documentary
• Horror
• Action/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
• Music Video
• Fictional Film

• Reelate Stark Color Picture Prize

General Rules
1. Entries must be submitted by the deadline date. Entries post-marked after the deadline date will not be considered for the program, no exceptions.
2. All works must be submitted online or on DVD for pre-screening. Please do not send film reels or original material.
3. Screeners will not be returned. Please do not send self-addressed stamped envelopes.
4. Films must not have had any commercial theatrical or television play in the US.
5. Music Videos must use original songs that you have been granted written permission to use. No use of or remake of professional works will be considered.
6. If you want to replace your original submission with an upgraded version, you must submit a new DVD or get a Digital file to clearly labeled with the entry number and “Replacement Copy”. Any judging that was done with the original submission will not be discarded. Any future judging will be done with the new copy.
7. The Canton Film Festival does not present sponsored works (such as training films or commercials produced for a client). Only independently produced films and videos are appropriate for this competition. Artists must have final creative control over their work to be eligible.
8. Works must have been produced within the past three years.
9. All works selected must be available in finished form by April 1st, 2016 for inclusion in the festival.
10. You will not receive style points for fancy packaging. It is wasteful and costly to send DVDs in hard plastic covers. We encourage you to ship everything in paper sleeves.
11. Any prizes or awards due to any entry will be presented to the person or entity who submitted that entry.
*Please make sure to read all of the terms and conditions.

Screening Requirements:
If your film or music video is selected for exhibition, please be advised that the Festival will require:
• An uncompressed High Quality Digital Video Format (For example, QuickTime Files on DVD DATA Disc or Hard Drive) or on a Blu-Ray Disc.
• Press kits with photo stills (color and black & white)
• Headshots of Director(s) and Writer(s)
• Biographies of Director(s) and Writer(s)
• Film trailers, clip reels, posters, postcards, and EPKs, if available. (Needs to be Delivered 2 weeks prior to the festival).

Entry Fees:
Payment in US dollars may be made by check or money order. Checks or money orders (from a US bank in US Dollars only) should be made payable to Canton Palace Theatre/Canton Film Festival. The film title must be clearly printed on all checks/money orders. Do not send cash.

Submission Deadlines:
Early Deadline March 1st, 2016 $25.00 per submission Regular & Final Deadline Final Deadline April 1st, 2016 $30.00 per submission

For all submissions, include the title and running time on the DVD.

Multiple Entries:
You may submit more than one film or music video, but each one must be on a separate DVD and must be accompanied by its own submission form and entry fee. Shipping All costs for shipping materials to and from the Canton Film Festival are the responsibility of the sender. Ship your DVD in a protective envelope. The Festival recommends bubble-pack envelopes over fiber-pack envelopes as the fiber type can lead to damaged DVD’s and DVD players. The Festival is not responsible for damage to submitted materials incurred in shipping.

Receipt of Entries:
Email James

Note: Films submitted to the festival may be used in a promotional DVD or future promotional materials.

Entry Form & Film Release
By submitting this form the submitter states that he or she:
• Is authorized to submit the film as the Maker or as the Agent of the Maker
• Has accepted the Rules & Regulations of the Canton Film Festival.
• Agrees that the submitted DVD will not be returned.
• Allows the Canton Film Festival the right to promote, through all media outlets, the film submitted and to allow the film to be screened at the Canton Film Festival.

I have read and filled out this form (as required) and I understand Canton Film Festival is not responsible for damages or losses resulting from the festival review, exhibition or any other possible or unforeseen circumstance.

Name: ___________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________________________________ City: ________________ State: ________________ Zip: ________________ Phone: ________________ Email: ________________
Date: __________________ Application Fee: _________________

• Documentary
• Horror
• Action/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
• Music Video
• Fictional Film

Make Checks Payable to Canton Palace Theatre/Canton Film Festival Mail Submissions to 605 Market Avenue North, Canton, Ohio 44702

4 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Brian Leitten

    We were honored to be a part of this festival. Communication with the staff was smooth. Nice venue and great audience. Hope to make it back next year.

    May 2017
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    Jeffrey Madzia

    Overall, another great experience this year at the Canton Film Festival! I plan to submit my work again next year. The Place Theater is a great venue in a downtown area with lots to explore. The only issue I had this year was a fairly minor one: identifying the people in charge at the event itself. I had some questions and had a hard time finding someone "in charge" to answer them for me. Eventually, all of my questions were answered. Perhaps some name tags would help?

    May 2017
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    Eddie Shieh

    Wonderful festival that's growing in size and stature. I'm honored to have screened here and hope to be back sooner than later!

    May 2017
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    Jeff Seemann

    CFF did an excellent job with promotion, and they opened up extra locations so they could accommodate more films by young filmmakers.

    Canton, Ohio has made excellent strides in their downtown area over the past decade, thanks to the local art community - and the Canton Film Festival is a huge part of that progress.

    I'm proud to have been part of this festival, and I intend to return as both a filmmaker and a film lover.

    May 2017