BMO IFFSA Toronto is THE LARGEST SOUTH ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL IN NORTH AMERICA, and a pioneer organization devoted to advancing the development, promotion and celebration of cinematic arts. IFFSA is a year-round platform with various sub-festivals and initiatives, which culminates in BMO IFFSA Toronto Fortnight each May. In its 10th year now, the festival has become an international icon and the voice of South Asian cinema in Canada.

This extravaganza showcases a diverse, language independent, selection of the best films from around the world, on themes of South Asian cultures and identities. In the spirit of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the world is one family”, a select number of foreign films are considered under Beyond South Asia segment.

In addition, the festival also features gala dinners, red carpet premiers, concerts, lounge parties, exhibitions, seminars, discussions, workshops, pitching sessions and networking opportunities with government representatives, business leaders, local organizations that support film development, film stars, producers, directors, members of the media and more.

IFFSA Toronto 2021 will be held from May 13 to 24 as part of South Asian Heritage Month celebrations. Various launch events and buzz activities will take place during the month of April 2021.

Exciting and glamorous events have been planned at various pristine and prestigious venues across GTA including cities of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, Scarborough, Richmond Hill, Milton, and Oakville.

Over the years, IFFSA Toronto has grown to become a festival of festivals and transformed into an institution with year round operations. Other IFFSA Toronto initiatives include IFFSA Vancouver, PIFF, BIFF, SAFF, IFFSA Social Impact and IFFSA YOUTHlens.


IFFSA Toronto is a pioneer organization devoted to advancing the development, promotion, and celebration of South Asian cinematic arts in Canada, and making a positive cultural, social and economic impact.

It is dedicated to presenting cinema that is intriguing, poetic, soulful and intellectual, and committed to act as a catalyst for creation that offers transformational experience. It strives to recognize new and original voices throughout the world and channel the excitement of cinema into our local communities.

IFFSA aims to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the South Asian experience by offering unique insights and new perspectives through the medium of film and music. Festival has showcased hundreds of award-winning films while playing host to filmmakers, actors, industry professionals, and press from around the globe.

The vision and mission of IFFSA Toronto is guided by an advisory board composed of respected political, business, film, arts, community and media leaders.

Best Feature Film

Best Director - Feature Film

Best Actor Male - Feature Film

Best Actor Female - Feature Film

Best Short Film / Featurette [International] / [Canadian]

Best Director - Short Film / Featurette [International] / [Canadian]

Best Actor Male - Short Film / Featurette [International] / [Canadian]

Best Actor Female - Short Film / Featurette [International] / [Canadian]


Films must be completed after May 1, 2019.

FILMS MUST BE AT LEAST A CANADIAN PREMIERE. If the film has been screened at any other film festival in Canada, had a ticketed public theatrical exhibition anywhere in Canada, or been released on DVD, broadcasted on television or internet, its not eligible under competition section.

All films not in English language should be supported by English language subtitles

Films screeners should be made available online along with submission. DCPs or BLUE RAY DVDs should be sent to the following address:

International Film Festival of South Asia [IFFSA] - Toronto
Brampton Business Centre
7900 Hurontario Street, Suite 303
Brampton, ON
L6Y 0P6

The shipping package must be clearly marked with the tracking number, film title, run time and contact information. Submission DVD’s will not be returned.

Film submission must be accompanied with a digital press kit which should include:

- Short Film Synopsis (Max 50 words)

- Medium Film Synopsis (Short paragraph)

- Film Stills (Multiple sizes) JPEG

- Trailer full HD (1920 x 1080) (MP4 or Mov) : ONLINE LINK

- 12” x 18” posters (Vertical) JPEG

- 12” x 18” posters (Horizontal) JPEG

- Directors statement (max 100 words), film awards and appearances, cast and crew bios and other promotional and marketing material.

IFFSA Toronto may accept late submissions in its sole and absolute discretion, but an additional submission fee may apply.

All submission fees are non-refundable.

All Films must be sent by way of prepaid shipping. IFFSA Toronto will not accept collect/cash-on- delivery shipments. The Festival is not responsible for and will not accept shipments incurring expenses for terminal charges, duties, taxes or customs brokerage. Applicants should clearly indicate on all waybills that transportation and customs charges are to be billed to the sender. Any shipping charges incurred by IFFSA Toronto will be billed back to the submitter.

All selection decisions are at the sole and absolute discretion of IFFSA Toronto, and are final and unreviewable.

IFFSA Toronto will appoint a panel (“Panel”) that shall be composed of judges who in their sole discretion have the appropriate qualifications to judge the work (which may include representatives of any sponsor). Films will be considered in accordance with the Competition’s selection criteria. These are:
- An excellent creative idea
- Excellent craft or execution
- True to the Brief

The Panel is not limited in the number of prizes it can award and similarly there is no guarantee that the Panel will award a prize if they do not feel that work is of the standard required.

Any cash award will be shared equally between producer and director.

If IFFSA Toronto is made aware of any concerns that a film does not constitute the original work of the entrant then IFFSA Toronto has the right to contact the entrant and will ask for evidence of the entrant’s assertion to be the creator of the work. Where possible IFFSA Toronto will consider the evidence gathered and decide whether to allow the film to remain within the contest or to remove it. IFFSA Toronto’s decision is in its sole discretion and is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

IFFSA Toronto reserves the right to rule, in its sole discretion, on cases and situations not foreseen by these Terms.


Once a film is selected to be screened at the IFFSA Toronto, producers or distributors agree not to hold a screening of the film in Canada prior to the festival screening.

By submitting a Film, the submitter represents that he or she has obtained consent from any and all owners, creators, writers, producers and/or other authorized representatives of the Film whose consent is required to submit the Film to IFFSA Toronto and screen the Film at the Festival, and has read, understood and agreed to the Terms.

IFFSA Toronto is organized into a series of programs, which are subject to change from year to year. IFFSA Toronto may slot selected films into programs at its sole and absolute discretion.

All participants acknowledge that the festival / competition may be sponsored by one or more commercial partners (“sponsors”), as designated by IFFSA Toronto. By entering the festival / competition the entrant agrees for IFFSA Toronto and any sponsor to have rights to use its film, in particular in the event that it is a winning film, for commercial and/or promotional purposes relating to IFFSA Toronto 2020 or a future IFFSA Toronto event.

All participants agree that they shall not feature any sponsor branding whatsoever without prior written consent of the sponsor.

All participants release IFFSA Toronto, sponsors and their affiliates, partners and employees from any and all liability, claims, demands, and causes of action for third party claims (including intellectual property claims) personal injury and or damage, theft, or loss suffered in connection with this Competition or the use or acceptance of the prize or any portion thereof.

IFFSA Toronto reserve the right to suspend, cancel or amend the promotion and/or review and revise these rules at any time without giving prior notice and by continuing to take part in the Competition subsequent to any revision of these rules, entrants shall be deemed to have agreed to any such new or amended terms. Additionally, festival management reserves the right to decide all questions not specifically provided for in the regulations.

If any provision of these rules is held invalid by any court of law or similar, such invalidity shall not affect the enforceability of any other provisions not held to be invalid.

Participation in the IFFSA Toronto implies understanding and acceptance of all rules and regulations. IFFSA Toronto advises all entrants to obtain independent legal advice in respect of any conditions / agreements being discussed.

The rules and regulations are subject to Canadian law and any dispute that is not resolved by consultation between the parties shall be referred to the courts of Ontario, Canada.

For any enquiries please contact IFFSA Toronto via emailing at or calling 416 639 0764