Now in its 20th year, the Gender Equity in Media Festival (GEMFest), formerly Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWFF), showcases an impressive line-up of short and feature-length films (narrative, documentary, experimental and animation) by established and emerging women and gender diverse filmmakers from around the world.

GEMFest is organized by Gender Equity in Media Society (GEMS), a member-driven not-for-profit society based on the unceded, traditional, and ancestral territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, also known as Vancouver, BC.

GEMFest provides a platform for challenging gender inequity and the lack of diversity in the screen-based media industry through a combination of film screenings, discussions, and professional development and networking opportunities.

The festival will open on March 5, 2025, and screen films with women and gender-diverse filmmakers in at least three of the following eight key creative roles: Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer, Lead Performer and Production Designer.

The 2025 festival will be a hybrid of in-person screenings and events with a virtual festival following.

Films completed after March 2023 were eligible.

In addition to showcasing films from around the world, the festival offers a dynamic range of ancillary programming, including:

• Moderated Q&A sessions
• Panel discussions
• Networking events
• Workshops
• Pitch sessions
• An Awards Ceremony & Gala
• An international screenplay competition

We look forward to reviewing your submission to our festival!

If you have questions that are not addressed here please contact us at:

All official selection feature and short-length films with women and gender-diverse filmmakers in key creative categories are eligible to compete for awards.

Award categories are as follows:

Feature Awards
• Best Feature
• Best Documentary
• Best Direction
• Best Performance
• Best Cinematography
• Best Screenplay
• Best Editing
• Best Musical Score
• Impact Award

Shorts Awards
• Best Short
• Best Direction
• Best Performance
• Best Cinematography
• Best Editing
• Impact Award

The awards are selected by an independent jury.

To see past winners and award categories visit:

The festival also hosts an annual screenplay competition.
To submit to the GEMFest Screenplay Competition visit:

All films submitted must have a woman or gender-diverse creative in at least three of the following eight key creative roles: Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer, Lead Performer and Production Designer.

• The same creative may fill more than one role.
• If any of the three eligible roles are shared (such as between two co-directors), they must be shared by women or gender-diverse creatives, except for the producer role, where 50% of the producers must be women or gender diverse.
• Films must reflect these credits in their submitted material, including in the credits of the film.

Gender-diverse is an umbrella term used to encompass transgender, non-binary, two-spirit, gender non-conforming individuals. If you are not sure whether your film is eligible based on your gender expression, please feel free to contact us for clarification.

Should the submitted film not adhere to this eligibility requirement or the following rules and terms, GEMS retains the right to disqualify said film and is not obligated to contact the submitting party or refund the submission fee.

GEMFest accepts documentary, narrative, animated and experimental films (including music and dance films) in any genre and any length.

Please inform us if your film has had a theatrical release in Vancouver prior to the festival as this may affect your eligibility for screening.

Films that have received other forms of distribution, such as subscriber television or online platforms, are eligible.

GEMFest and our producing organization, Gender Equity in Media Society Vancouver, are committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our programming. Demographic questions are asked to help us understand and serve you, our filmmaking community, better.

We do not share your information with third parties.

Selection and Notification:

1. Submissions will be reviewed by a selection of judges appointed by the staff and Board of Directors of Gender Equity in Media Society Vancouver.

2. Filmmakers will be notified of the decision by the end of January 2025. Filmmakers will have to confirm or decline their participation in the festival after notification.

3. All communications will be sent electronically, including selection and notification letters. Please make sure the email address and phone number provided as the submission contact on the entry form are correct.

4. Promotional materials of films selected for GEMFest 2025 become the property of GEMFest 2025 and can be used to promote GEMFest 2025 in all media, including film, television, radio, print, and the Internet

Overall Rating
  • Leo Behrens

    GEMFest stands out as one of the best festivals we've had the pleasure of applying to. The standard of quality they uphold is exemplary, evident in their clear mission and intentions. Unlike some festivals driven solely by profit or industry acclaim, GEMFest is driven by a genuine desire to share meaningful stories, contribute to positive change, and make a tangible impact. Their communication is exceptional, and their team is not only friendly but also highly approachable. Without hesitation, I wholeheartedly recommend applying to GEMFest for a meaningful experience.

    March 2024
  • Jasmine Johnson

    Great festival! Really enjoyed having my short screen here. Very communicative and even allowed me to still take part virtually when I couldn't be there in person.

    March 2024
  • Burcu Melekoglu

    wonderful communication and the amazing feeling of being supported by your community. thanks a lot for making this experience so special for us.

    March 2024
  • Such an incredible festival! The curation is next level, the folks are kind and fun and know how to put on a solid event. Had the best time! It was such an honour to screen and to receive two wonderful awards. VIWFF has helped me to get my name out there more than ever before. And they throw a great after party, like a REALLY great party! Thank you to the whole VIWFF team and to GEMS (WIFTV).

    March 2023
  • Brave Space Media

    We were SO honored to be a part of this festival with EXPEDITION RECLAMATION. We felt so welcomed by everyone we met and learned so much from the workshops. These are the storytellers and filmmakers that we want to be connected with: people who are challenging the industry to be more inclusive and equitable and who are pushing the boundaries for how films can change the world we live in. We are so grateful to everyone who makes this festival happen! Thank you!

    March 2023