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.

*****Canada Screen Awards Eligible Festival***

Youth Inspiration Award
Inspirational Griot (Story teller in Swahili) Award
Emerging Lens Festival Fav
Best Music Video
Best Short Film
Best Animation
Best Feature Length
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 20 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
  • An incredible festival, they are so supportive of film makers and audiences. Excellent communication with the staff, I recommend this festival to others!

    May 2023
  • Randon Wright

    This being my first film festival, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. However, this was an amazing experience and I am truly happy I decided to submit, and I am even more honoured that I was given the opportunity to share pieces of myself through the lens of my art. Thank you to everyone for your support and I hope to have the chance to share with you all again.

    April 2023
  • Kamran Mohammadi

    The best festival. It's great that you are. You are a true supporter. You are the best

    April 2023
  • Jody Xiong

    Very proud and excited to have had ‘The Bloom’ be a finalist at this world-class festival. For the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Paralympic held in Beijing, I was invited by Chief Director Zhang Yimou to create a technologically-powered art installation called ‘The Bloom’ , the short film really records the process of the experiment. Thanks!

    April 2023
  • Really honoured to have my animated short selected for this festival. I wish I could've been able to attend the event in person as the photos from the festival updates looked great. Next time I'll definitely be there in person.

    April 2023