We believe that the world is filled with individuals and communities practicing skillful actions that benefit others in kind and loving ways. As we turn our attention to the love and compassion that surround us, we can become inspired to nurture these qualities within ourselves.

In a world where media is highlighting many challenges, we believe that a path to healthy and helpful actions starts with clearly highlighting examples of compassion in action. Everything we do matters, and if we are to make positive changes in the world, we will need to learn about the power of compassion as a force that each of us can cultivate and draw upon as fuel for skillful actions.

The Compassion Film Festival is accepting:

- Feature-length and short films
- Films celebrating our 2021 theme of 'Compassionate Communities'
- Films celebrating compassionate actions
- Films highlighting acts of kindness
- Films celebrating people taking action to alleviate suffering
- Films illustrating how the smallest acts of kindness inspire others to be compassionate

In the interest of welcoming our Latino community, we encourage Spanish language films (with English subtitles, please).

Compassion Film Festival expands on the films with other events and workshops to offer practices and tools for attendees to engage in life in more compassionate ways. Our 2020 festival was held online due to the pandemic. Here are some highlights from Compassion Film Festival® 2020:

- 5 screenings of compassionate films
- 4 Online workshops
- 2 Filmmaker Q&A sessions
- Attendees from 3 continents, 21 states, and 4 Canadian provinces

During our fourth year, we are building on the momentum and inspiration and inviting in the theme of Communities of Compassion! What is the story of compassion in action through the lens of your camera?

To find out more about Compassion Film Festival and see last year's line up visit www.compassionfest.world

Peoples Choice Awards for each short film collection (at least 2)

The winners for each of the categories will receive a gift package after the festival.

All accepted submissions will receive an all-access pass and meal tickets (if we have an in-person festival) to the Compassion Film Festival®.

Accepted films receive 1 free entry for next year's festival.

The Compassion Film Festival will have at least 5 film screenings equaling over 6 hours of screen time in 2021. We thematically develop the screenings and provide an opportunity for festival attendees to vote for their personal favorite movie from the short-length film screenings. We will be providing special laurels and accolades for those films that win the People’s Choice Awards.

- Acceptance of all regulations.
- A guarantee that a screening copy in the format specified will be made available for the dates of the event.
- Authorization to publicly exhibit the work at Compassion Film Festival 2021
- Authorization to show film for in-person event 1 screening with a maximum audience of 300 people
- Authorization to show film in online film festival from August 16 - August 22 of 2021 with a maximum cap of 500 views.
- Authorization to show film online with no geo-blocking.

- Compassion Film Festival accepts experimental, narrative, documentary, and animated films.
- We are delighted to accept short and feature-length films for 2019.
- Works must be in English or with English subtitles.
- We encourage dual language films (Spanish and English)
- Productions must have been completed after January 1, 2016.
- If screening copy is to be provided by a distributor or agent,entry must be submitted by that distributor/agent, along with any criteria or conditions.
- If film is accepted, final content needs to be submitted no later than June 15th, 2020.
- If a film is accepted, Compassion Film Festival is granted permission to utilize an excerpt and stills from the film for promotional purposes.

- We do offer discounted fees for current students. Please email aaron@wocompassion.org to receive an application. You will be asked to provide a student ID.

- We prefer online screeners and entrees uploaded to the FilmFreeway website.
- Please provide passwords for online screeners.
- If you do not have an online screener, contact us to investigate possible accommodations.

- Final content needs to be submitted no later than June 15th, 2021.
- We will not accept streaming from internet sites.
- The file should start with the first frame of content and end in black.

Acceptable Formats for In-person festival:
- ProRes 422 files
- HD 1920 x 1080 container
- We prefer .mov or .mp4 files
- Format audio to 2 channel output: L/R or Stereo
- No slate, pops, bars or tones.

File requirements for online festival:
- 1920 x 1080p h.264 @ 10Mbps
- mp4 and .mov formats are accepted
- Recommended size under 10GB (90 Minute film is approximately 5GB)
- Two-channel stereo with optional Matrix embedded surround

- We cannot accept: streaming from internet sites, DCP content, and we are unable to accept ProRes files for online film festival.

If your film is accepted we will be requesting:
- High-resolution promotional images (4 x 6 at 300dpi)
- Press Package with production credits and biographies
- HD trailer and HD clips
- Hard copy materials such as: postcards, posters, shirts, hats, cards, etc...
- Logline and synopsis

We will not be offering any fee discounts or waivers until our early bird deadline on April 2nd. Filmmakers who want to be considered for a fee waiver or discount need to fill out a scholarship application. To apply for a scholarship please email Aaron Taylor at aaron@wocompassion.org.

Thank you for considering submitting to the Compassion Film Festival. Sending you much love and kindness!

Overall Rating
  • 1000 Days We were honoured to be included in such an amazing line-up of films in the 2021 Compassion Film festival. The only reason we haven’t scored Networking, is because the festival was on-line and we didn’t get the opportunity to meet. Whilst we never met Aaron Taylor the Festival Director in person, he was always so warm and welcoming, in his email comminutions and certainly embodied the spirit of the 2021 festival - Compassion and Healing Together
    We would definitely, recommend this festival - thank you so much! from Jeanette Rourke and Ron Bambridge (Directors/Producers)

    August 2021
    Response from festival:

    Dearest Jeanette and Ron! Your words bring a smile to our hearts! We are grateful for the chance to screen your award-winning film '1000 Days' at this year's online celebration. May compassion continue to inspire your efforts to highlight these deeply meaningful aspects of human love and kindness!

  • Jake Price

    This was a lovely and big hearted festival. But it was also an important festival. We spoke about the elements and strength of compassion and how it can bring about tangible change in society. With all that's going on right now compassion is truly needed. This festival brought a little bit of that into our world.

    August 2021
    Response from festival:

    Dearest Jake! Thank you for your participation in this year's film festival. We felt honored to screen your short film 'The Seeds of an Uncertain Land' and have you join us for a filmmaker Q&A. Keep up the inspiring work!

  • Moira Simpson

    The wonderful team at Compassion Film Festival bring such depth and humanity to their work and their film selections. It was an honour for us to be included. Your festival was such an inspiration. Thank-you always.

    August 2021
    Response from festival:

    Dearest Moira! Thank you for your kind words and enthusiasm for our heart's work. It was a delight to have your impactful feature-length film 'The Least We Can Do' in this year's festival. May you flourish in all ways and continue to bring the powerful healing force of compassion into the films you create!

  • I never imagined that I would find a film festival so aligned with my heartfelt desire to create a more creative and compassionate world through courageous storytelling. The Compassion Film Festival has affirmed that yes, we can overcome divisions, differences and difficulties by coming together with common purpose, respect and understanding. This festival is a very special platform for films about important issues and forward thinking ideas. I am honored and proud to have been a filmmaker in the 2020 edition and hope to return again in the future! Thank you!

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Oh sweet Elizabeth! It is so delightful to hear your kind and loving words. We were so delighted to have your film 'Survivor! 98 Second Stories' in our 2020 festival. Your work is so important in the world! We Rejoice!

  • Thank you so much for the incredible opportunity to share our passion, love, and hearts with the Compassion Film Festival. It was humbling to have been selected among other films that promote compassion and love for humanity. It was also humbling to have been featured as a speaker and to have been interviewed by Gylaten Samten (formerly known as Barkha Madan). The world needs this festival now more than ever and we are so honoured to have been part of this celebration of life.

    September 2020
    Response from festival:

    Dearest Jon Jon! What an amazing opportunity to meet you during the Filmmaker Q&A in our 2020 festival. To have your film 'Balikbayan' in the festival was a true treat. So many found your message of love and compassion so needed and inspiring. May you continue to flourish and spread love throughout the world!