The Charles Taylor Theatre and Media Arts Association is a not for profit cultural association that produces The Emerging Lens Cultural Film Festival. The mandate of the Charles Taylor Theatre and Media Arts Association is to educate, empower and inspire by honouring the influence of African Canadian and other cultural filmmakers and to bring recognition to their work. To acknowledge the educational power of video, media arts and theatre that is rich in wonder, honest compassion and wisdom. To present the unique work of our cultural filmmakers and to create a larger appreciation for their cultural stories. To be a training ground for our youth storytellers, filmmakers and performers.

The Emerging Lens Independent Cultural Film Festival runs 4 days in mid April each year. Every night the screenings begin with a cultural performance as it is important for us to culturally locate what we do within our community by shaping our festival within our own culture. This is then followed with the screening of the films, an in-depth question and answer session with the filmmakers with the audience and lastly a networking reception with the filmmakers.

Our theme is "Through Our Eyes". We chose this theme for several reasons as we believe every year we come together for the festival, creates greater opportunities and possibilities for our filmmakers and artisans in this medium to tell their stories through their eyes.

Youth Inspiration Award
Honorable Mention Awards
Inspirational Griot (Story teller in Swahili) Award
Emerging Lens Festival Fav
Best Music Video
Audience Choice Awards

We also conduct a Pitch Session where the winner gets a membership to produce their next digital work through one of our partners, Centre for Art Tapes

Films should be submitted on DVD or digital media file. We accept submissions via mail and email

Films must be 1 min to 35 mins in length

Films must reflect the African Canadian / Nova Scotian / Multicultural experience or be created by a African Canadian / Nova Scotian / Multicultural filmmaker

Films being sent should be clearly labeled on the package: "NO COMMERCIAL VALUE - CULTURAL PURPOSES ONLY".

Awards and Official Selections are based on overall merits of the films and are at the sole discretion of the jury and programming committee.

DVDs and entry materials will not be returned, please send copies.

Entries should be clearly labeled with the entrant's contact information and project's running time.

Works in progress are accepted.

More than one entry may be submitted. Each must be submitted separately.

Filmmaker will assume shipping costs of material and print to The Emerging Lens Film Festival.

ELFF reserves the right to make any necessary changes in event scheduling or programming.

The selection committee' and jury's decisions are final.

Please do not send press kits with your entry. We will contact you should we need press materials after your film is selected.

Entrants agree to indemnify and hold us, including our volunteers, our directors, and our sponsors and affiliates harmless against all claims arising out of entry or participation in The Emerging Lens Film Festival.

All responses by ELFF will be made by email.

Official Selections will be contacted approximately one month prior to the festival.

By submitting your film to The Emerging Lens Film Festival you agree that you have read, understood, and agree to all the aforementioned festival rules and guidelines.

Overall Rating
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    Robert Misovic

    Great festival with a good eye for programming--not to mention, a very important concept/philosophy.

    July 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so very much Robert! That is truly appreciated! We work very hard and plan to continue even when times get rough! Good luck with your future films!!

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    Vinay Pujara

    Thanks for the opportunity & platform. Looking forward to submit to the next year.

    May 2017
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    Response from festival:

    So very welcome!! Such a talented team!!

  • Wish I had screened but am very honoured to have been a semi-finalist in this festival. Fingers crossed for next year.

    May 2017
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    Response from festival:

    I am sure your work will continue to be recognized!! What a fabulous body of work!

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    Helen Dean

    I got a notification that I was a finalist, but never saw my film on any of the viewing lists and never heard a word from the festival itself. Overall pretty confusing.

    May 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Helen, our sincere apologies as this was our teams first time using this platform and they did not fully understand the level of voting. What actually happened was two of our venues had to shorten screening time due to new fire regulations so that meant the awful thing of having to chose which films had to be cut to fit in the time frame. We can assure this will not happen again as we have discussed with those venues ways to better it on both sides. I truly apologize, it was not fair at all to the filmmaker.

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    Sarah (Piper) King

    Needs to expand more to accept other locales for submission

    May 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Sara, thank you for your suggestion. Expanding is a future desire for our team for certain. Could you be more clear what you mean by locale? Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada? If it means Halifax, our funders actually require us to include a certain high percentage of Canadian filmmakers as a whole, not just Halifax.