Cinéfest Sudbury’s programming initiatives continue to fulfill and redefine the organization’s mandate, objectives and vision, which are built upon the Festival’s ability to attract audiences for the best in Canadian and International cinema. Cinéfest Sudbury is continually searching for films that challenge and inspire the Festival’s audience and is constantly working to introduce up-and-coming film artists to receptive and critical film enthusiasts. Programming highlights from the 2017 edition of the Festival included Long Time Running (Jennifer Baichwal & Nicholas de Pencier), The Breadwinner (Nora Twomey), Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino), and Indian Horse (Stephen Campanelli). In 2017, Cinéfest screened 134 films to an audience that exceeded 33, 000.

Northern Ontario boasts a booming film industry that has attracted major film and television productions in recent years and Cinéfest has been thrilled to lead promotion of the efforts of its region’s crew and industry stakeholders. These promotional efforts extend to informing Canadian and International filmmakers about the incentives and infrastructure available for their future production efforts. New resources (full service film studios) and infrastructure (equipment houses), along with training opportunities and tax credits are making Northern Ontario an enticing shooting location for many producers. Recent films that have been shot in Northern Ontario include Remember (Atom Egoyan), Mean Dreams (Nathan Morlando), Born to Be Blue (Robert Budreau), Two Lovers and a Bear (Kim Nguyen), and Indian Horse (Stephen Campanelli).
For over 29 years, Cinéfest Sudbury has presented the most exciting independent cinema from around the world to local and visiting audiences. Through partnership with the Film Circuit, an initiative that was developed by Cinéfest and is now housed by the Toronto International Film Festival Group, Cinéfest Sudbury provides filmmakers with a chance to reach a wider audience, as Film Circuit programmers attend Cinéfest to consider Festival selections and submissions to screen in their home community.

Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival was established in 1989. Each year since, the Festival has continued to mature and expand. By 1993, Cinéfest Sudbury evolved into a full-service film organization, with the Festival growing to include upwards of 60 films over five days. Currently screening approximately 135 films, including full-length features, shorts, documentaries and animation, Cinéfest Sudbury provides cinephiles with first-class film works and industry discourse each September.

Cinéfest Sudbury has a long history of promoting Canadian cinema and supporting its domestic industry. One of the organization’s most ambitious projects was the establishment of the Northern Film Circuit (NFC) in 1992. An attempt to build audiences in Northern Ontario for Canadian and international film, the NFC began with only four members. The NFC was eventually used as a model for The Film Circuit, which was developed in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival Group and now operates in over 110 communities. Still a partner of the Festival, Film Circuit groups flock to Cinéfest each year to preview the best in Canadian and international films.

While the Festival has a long history of presenting and supporting films that represent the output of Canada’s independent film artists, Cinéfest Sudbury has also extended significant support to its regional talent. The Festival has introduced film programmes titled Northern Connections and #TheNorthStarsNow which highlight Northern Ontario’s best and brightest film artists and productions. The Festival has served as a place for emerging regional artists to have their work seen and celebrated. The CTV Best in Shorts Competition, a short film competition taking place within the Festival, has provided many of Northern Ontario's emerging and student filmmakers with a platform to present their work to a Festival audience. Filmmakers from, or residing in Northern Ontario may visit the Festival's official website's submission section for CTV Best in Shorts submission rules and entry application.

In 2010, Cinéfest Sudbury introduced The Cinema Summit, a presentation, exchange and development series, devoted to the celebration, promotion and advancement of Canada’s new and emerging filmmaking talent. Cinema Summit represents Cinéfest’s next efforts to inspire audiences, talent, students and industry.

In 2013, Cinéfest Sudbury unveiled its 25th Anniversary edition — a celebration that represented for audiences the biggest incarnation of the event in Festival history. With more film screenings than ever before and featuring a large contingent of industry guests and filmmaking talent, the 25th edition of Cinéfest also occurred alongside a booming regional film production industry.

2018 will represent the largest iteration of the Festival to date. September 15 to 23, 2018 will see Cinéfest Sudbury celebrate its 30th Anniversary edition!

Each film submission will be considered by Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival’s programming committee to determine which films will be screened during the Festival. Not all submissions will be programmed. The Festival presentation format is DCP only.

***If a person involved in the production has or currently resides in Northern Ontario, please include a brief description of their role within the production, and the location and length of their residency in Northern Ontario. If the film was shot in whole or in part in Northern Ontario, please provide information regarding the location and duration of the shoot.

***Cinéfest Sudbury recently introduced The Northern Film Network (NFN), an online portal of films accessible to film buyers, programmers and NFN subscribers. Filmmakers submitting to Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival may also have their film included in a searchable database for approximately 1 year, and will be provided a membership to the NFN. This will enable them to upload their film production and promotional materials, connect with other subscribers, and upload additional films.

SUBMISSION FORMATS: For programming consideration, Cinéfest Sudbury accepts secure online screener links, digital files such as .Mp4 or .MOV on thumb drives, or physical submissions such as DVD (Region 0 or 1) or Blu-Ray. Submission material will be returned only if sender includes a self-addressed stamped envelope. Physical submissions must be labelled with the title, running time, FilmFreeway entry number, format and return address.


1. Films are selected on the basis of achievement in form and content.

2. Films must have been completed in 2017 or 2018.

3. Works that have been previously submitted, but not programmed, are permitted to re-submit (should the work fit completion requirement).

4. For submission purposes, films may be works-in-progress.

Submissions that have been made available widely to the public over the; Internet (YouTube, iTunes, Vimeo, etc.), or television, or that have screened publicly within a 100 kilometre radius of the City of Greater Sudbury are not eligible. Filmmakers are encouraged to contact the Festival if they are unsure if these eligibility rules apply to them.

5. All films must be made available to screen by September 1st, 2018.

6. Films must be submitted in their original language, with English subtitles (if the film’s original language is not English).

7. Available press materials must be shipped to Cinéfest Sudbury upon notification of selection.

8. Upon selection, the entrant grants permission for the use of all publicity materials (including digital clips) to be used for promotional purposes.

9. If the film was shot in part or in whole in Northern Ontario, or if a member of the cast and/or crew resides or is from Northern Ontario, please provide details relating to the location and duration of the shoot, or of the individual’s connection to Northern Ontario and their role in the production.

SCHEDULING: Upon acceptance into the Festival, the scheduling of screening dates, times and locations is made at the sole discretion of Cinéfest Sudbury.

PRINT LIABILITY: In the instance of a lost or damaged exhibition copy, Cinéfest Sudbury will compensate only for the cost of striking a new exhibition copy. Cinéfest Sudbury assumes responsibility for the exhibition copy from the time of delivery to the time at which an exhibition copy is rendered to a shipping agent.

RELEASE: Cinéfest Sudbury is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Cinéfest Sudbury from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.