REAson d’etre dance produces the Contact Dance International Film Festival, which runs every two years and showcases films based on CONTACT IMPROVISATION and affiliated forms. The next Contact Dance International Film Festival is occurring June 8 to 10, 2023 online and in person.

REAson d’etre dance productions is a Canadian charitable dance company that believes in inspiring people through contact improvisation and dance/theatre. We create, produce and program dance works on stage and in film. We explore current themes in a manner that enables the public to benefit from the enlivening and thought-provoking powers of expression through movement. We tell inter-generational stories that represent the lives of people. We strive for a high level of community engagement through class jams and all-level performance opportunities. We believe that every “body” can dance, and we work to increase the accessibility of the dance arts. Alongside producing professional work, we encourage and support the everyday person in becoming artists.

Jury Selected Awards:

Audience Choice Awards:
First Place
Second Place
Third Place

Special Award from the Festival Director. This award is presented based on a theme of the Festival Director's choice.

Submission requirements:
We are looking for dance films based on contact improvisation and related dance forms that are also momentum, touch, or relationally based. Films need to focus on contact improvisation, momentum-based movement, and/or relationally-based dance. Momentum-based dance techniques include rolling point of contact, balancing over the center of gravity, friction-sliding, following momentum, lifting using momentum rather than muscle power, “listening” with one’s skin surface, etc. Momentum-based dance or partnering methods can include contact improvisation and compatible methods such as Axis Syllabus, Parkour or Kaeja Elevations Technique, Tango, etc. Relationally based dance films are dance films in which the dancers are in a deep state of communication with each other or their environment (nature or urban). Choreography in the dance film can be set (i.e. pre-choreographed) or created in the moment (i.e. improvised choreography). Dance films can be in the genre of narrative, theme-oriented, abstract, or documentary and must be sixty minutes or less (although we might be able to program an exceptional full-length film). There are no limitations on productions date although to be eligible for prizes films need to have been released within the last five years. All rights to the films must be held by the person or organization submitting them. We accept all levels of films. This means that if the jury feels your film adds value to the festival they will program it even if you are a first-time filmmaker, the film was shot on your cell phone camera, and/or you are new to contact improvisation or film.

Film submission fee:

Early-bird - $3

Regular - $4

Late-bird - $5

Please fees can be waived upon request for those in need.

What happens once I submit my film?

FILMMAKER - who submits or agrees to be curated

PRODUCER - Contact Dance International Film Festival (part of REAson d'etre dance productions a charitable dance company)

THE FILM - The film being submitted or curated

The FILMMAKER agrees to have their film screened at the 2023 Contact Dance International Film Festival (CDIFF) that occurs in 2023, and is produced by the PRODUCER under the following conditions:

a. FILMMAKER will receive 100% discount on one festival pass (all screenings, workshops, and Jams) for the festival their film is screening at. Please note in the case of a film with multiple Filmmakers, the PRODUCER is only able to give out one complimentary pass. However, an additional Filmmaker pass can be purchased however for 50% off or under certain circumstances provided for free if needed.

b. The FILMMAKER retains all rights to THE FILM and gives the PRODUCER permission to THE FILM only in the June 4 to 8 2021 Contact Dance International Film Festival.

c. The FILMMAKER will send to the PRODUCER one screenshot or press photo from THE FILM that the PRODUCER will use to promote THE FILM. In the event that a picture is not provided the PRODUCER will pull a film still from the film to use in the Online catalog.

d. The FILMMAKER understands that the release date of THE FILM must be no more than five years prior to the festival screening date to be eligible for festival prizes.

e. The FILMMAKER will be notified if THE FILM will be receiving an award prior to the Festival start date of June 4, 2021.

f. THE FILM will be shown to the public through the Eventive Online film festival platform in which each attendee buys a ticket or a pass and will have one opportunity to watch the program in which THE FILM is included in. After that time-viewing, THE FILM is no longer available to attendees.

g. Pending COVID restrictions at the time of the film festival, there may be an in-person screening in Toronto, Ontario, Canada of the program containing THE FILM.
h. THE FILM is not programmable by the PRODUCER for any future screenings or Online platform other than the above-specified screening at the 2023 Contact Dance International Film Festival.

h. CDIFF is committed to over the next four years working toward paying filmmakers for the screening of their films. For the 2023 festival, we will be offering all selected filmmakers an honorarium of $10 for each minute of film that is screened.

i. The FILMMAKER gives the PRODUCER permission to upload not more than 5 seconds of THE FILM Online through social media and/or other video media platforms (e.g., YouTube, Video, Facebook, REAson d’etre website, Contact Dance Film Fest website, etc.) as part of a film festival trailer created for promotional purposes. Other than this 5-second excerpt of THE FILM potentially appearing in the festival's promotional trailer, their film will not be uploaded by the PRODUCER onto any social media or video media platforms other than the Eventive Online festival platform.

j. The FILMMAKER will need to provide:
Country of origin
Release date:
Location of Filming:
Short Film Description (50 words or less)
Filmmaker Biography: (50 words or less)
Web site:
Other credits as needed:

k. Filmmakers will be notified of the jury and curating results within three months of the submission deadline.

l. All text-based films will be open captioned by The PRODUCER to increase accessibility. The FILMMAKER will be sent a copy of the open captions for their approval prior to screening.

Overall Rating
  • Itamar Baruch

    Great and unique festival!
    And mostly very friendly and communicative

    July 2021
  • Esther dganit Zimmerman

    Great curation
    Kathleen has a great eye!

    June 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for being involved Esther and so great to see people enjoy your film and to meet you at the creator chat.

  • Blas Payri

    A very nice festival with many activities focusing on contact dance, with film screenings. The director Kathleen Rea, the team and the participants create a sense of sharing and community throughout the days of the festival.

    July 2019