The Guelph Film Festival started in the early 1980's, making it one of the oldest documentary focused film festivals in the world. We are located in Guelph, Ontario, Canada and our programming focuses on social justice, the environment, and community building. We have purposefully kept the festival small to help encourage participation in our post film discussions, which are lead by either the filmmaker, film subject, or someone from the community with knowledge that can connect international issues with local initiatives. Venues range in size from 80-300 seats, with most being around 80-100 seats. At the GFF we focus on inspiring community engagement and appreciation for the arts through connecting people with stories of global reach and local relevance. #LetsTalkDoc

The festival takes place over the first week of November in a variety of venues throughout downtown Guelph with a growing number of outreach sites in community centres, farms, and the University. Our downtown venues range from local galleries to coffee shops, large churches to small art studios, and a 300 seat theatre on camp.

Our 2018 festival opened with the fabulous social justice doc Warrior Women, and closed with the epic environmental doc Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, with both screenings including post film discussions with the directors.

In addition to offering screenings of well renowned films, we are passionate about discovering and supporting the hidden gems...the great docs that may not have made it into HotDocs, but that deserve a passionate audience to experience their stories.

The Guelph Film Festival is dedicated to expanding the proliferation of  voices and perspectives of all kinds, through presentation of stories from the margins: stories that explore themes of social justice, the environment, and community building (all broadly construed).

     Our long history of inspiring community engagement and an appreciation for the arts through connecting people with stories of global reach and local relevance is unique in the world of film festivals. There aren't many film festivals that do what we do. 

      As we continue to grow the festival, we will continue to present stories from the margins. In addition, we will focus on expanding opportunities for young filmmakers to participate in the festival and show their works, through extending the Tiny Docs by Tiny People series (docs by kids), and enhancing the Hidden Histories program (docs by local filmmakers about local subjects). 

We are serious about promoting gender parity and diversity in the film industry and every decision we make is guided by principles of inclusion.

GENERAL RULES
22nd Annual Guelph Film Festival
The Guelph Film Festival presents more than 30 features and shorts every year to a dedicated audience of documentary enthusiasts during it’s nine day celebration. Each screening gets the full focus of the festival, as each event has a dedicated time slot with no overlap, so that all films can be attended by the full community. Many of the screenings are accompanied by a post-film discussion focused on either the filmmaker, film subject, or someone from the community with knowledge that can connect broader issues with local initiatives.

Submissions

1. The GFF only accepts DOCUMENTARIES, with the acceptation of the children’s program, which focuses on short docs AND animations geared towards children between the ages of 4-11.
2. The content must fit within the festival themes of SOCIAL JUSTICE, the ENVIRONMENT, and/or COMMUNITY BUILDING (all broadly construed).
3. Films must be in English or have English subtitles.
Only films completed in after Jan 2018 will be considered (Ontario docs completed after May 2017 will be considered).
4. Films which have received screenings in Guelph, ON prior to the festival are ineligible.
5. Films available on the internet are ineligible.
6. Press Kits are required upon selection, including 3-5 film stills, a director's headshot, a short synopsis (50 words), and long (200 words) synopsis.
7. Promotional materials of selected films become the property of the GFF and can be used to promote the Festival and the programs of the Festival in all mediums.
8. All films must be submitted with a private online screener.
9. If selected for the festival, a high quality H264 QuickTime compliant file is the preferred exhibition format (15GB max). This format is chosen as we believe in saving filmmakers money (especially emerging filmmakers), and the quality of BluRay or DVD is not superior enough to warrant the costs, and comes with disc issues. Shorts will be compiled into programs for screening.
10. Short general submissions must be under 45 min in duration or under 30 min for Children's Program.
11. Feature submissions must be over 45 min in duration.
12. ALL SUBMISSION FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE

Screening Access

The Festival will provide two complimentary Festival passes for each feature (60+ minutes) presented. Short filmmakers will receive one complimentary Festival pass. Some support for travel to attend the festival may be available, but is subject to funding and is impacted by the volume of requests.

Program Selection

Entries will be reviewed by a Programming Committee appointed by/and including the Artistic Director. The programming committee is made up of local filmmakers, artists, and documentary enthusiasts.

Upon Acceptance

1. All digital screeners must be delivered to the GFF by September 1, 2019 and can provided either via a download link/instructions emailed to submissions@guelphfilmfestival.ca or mailed on a USB key at shipper’s expense to:
GUELPH FILM FESTIVAL
@ 10C Shared Space
42 Carden Street
Guelph, ON, N1H 3A2
CANADA
Note: USB keys will not be returned.
2. Press Kits including 3-5 film stills, a director's headshot, a short synopsis (~50 words) and long synopsis (<200 words), and social media handles/hashtags should be emailed to submissions@guelphfilmfestival.ca
3. Promotional materials of selected films become the property of the GFF and can be used to promote the Festival and the programs of the Festival in all mediums.