Now in its 19th 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 opens on March 8 (International Women’s Day) and will 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 2024 festival will be a hybrid of in-person screenings and events as well as a virtual festival portion.

Films completed after March 2022 are 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
• Artist talks
• 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, with each awardee receiving a small cash award.

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 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival 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.
• In the event that any of the three eligible roles are shared (such as between two co-directors), they must be shared by women or gender diverse creatives, with the exception of the producer role, where 50% of the producers must be women or gender diverse.
• Films must reflect these credits in their submitted material including 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 on the basis of your own gender expression, please feel free to contact us for clarification.

Should the submitted film not adhere to this eligibility requirement or to the following rules and terms, GEMS retains the right to disqualify said film and is under no obligation to contact the submitting party and/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 2024. 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 2024 become the property of GEMFest 2024 and can be used to promote GEMFest 2024 in all media, including film, television, radio, print, and the Internet

Overall Rating
  • 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
  • Justine Prince

    Great festival who celebrates the importance of women cinema! Good selection of films and communication with the staff. :) Thank you so much!

    March 2022
  • Diana Chiawen Lee

    Thank you #VIWFF for supporting our film MICKEY ON THE ROAD and Taiwanese cinema! although we were unable to attend in person, and weren't able to take advantage of the online programming/networking, we're still super happy and grateful that we can share MOTR with Vancouver audiences!

    March 2022
  • Rosie Choo Pidcock

    well organized festival with standout programming. well rounded perspectives of the female and gender diverse experience, really appreciate the social justice lens this festival brings to their work and engagement with all filmmakers. great panels and networking too. will definitely be back in the future!

    March 2022