The Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF) features films made by, for, and about the world of work and those who do it, in Canada and internationally. The films we showcase are about unionized workers, as well as those not represented by unions. We encourage projects regarding any and every aspect of work, as well as issues affecting work or workers. The festival draws trade unionists, community members, youth, activists, students, educators, artists, and allies from across North America and elsewhere around the world.
CLiFF is a free national film festival which first started in 2009. The founding committee, composed of social justice, community and trade union activists, took two years to plan the festival before it made its debut across Canada. In its inaugural year, more than 40 locations across the country participated in CLiFF.
CLiFF is held across Canada every year in November, which is Labour Film Month. The 2023 Call for Submissions starts on March 13, 2023 and ends on May 31, 2023.
*Artist Fees and Screening Fees*
CLiFF pays artist fees for the right to screen films according to the 2023 CARFAC Minimum Copyright and Professional Fees schedule. We will pay the flat rate for multiple screenings:
- Films up to and including 15 minutes, multiple presentations: $530 CAD
- Films up to and including 30 minutes, multiple presentations: $690 CAD
- Films up to and including 60 minutes, multiple presentations: $743 CAD
The CLiFF Board selects programs of 60- to 120-minute, consisting of films accepted into the festival to be a part of screenings in diverse communities around Canada.
CLiFF tells the stories of workers (both paid and unpaid) and is the stage and the voice of those who seek justice on the job and dignity in the workplace.
Our festival provides a national platform to showcase those stories which have been made into films, but cannot find an audience beyond the filmmakers’ own circle of influence. We give filmmakers exposure across Canada and also help to direct community attention towards labour films that represent stories that deserve a wider and current audience.
*History and Young Workers*
CLiFF also provides workers with examples of what other workers have done or are doing, whether in Canada or around the world, to deal with challenges they have had in their workplaces, and more broadly in their lives as a result of being workers.
The trade union movement and individual workers have played an important role in shaping the Canada we know today. Many of our films show struggles of the past, as well as details of what is happening today. Furthermore, giving workers, especially young workers, an opportunity to learn some of the history of the trade union movement is crucial in continuing to fight for working class justice.
*The CLiFF Best-in-Festival Award goes to the film judged to be the best in the festival by the CLiFF Board of Directors. This prize has a cash value of $100.00 CAD.
*The Miguel Cifuentes Radical Change Award has been created in memory of CLiFF’s late board member and a longtime labour activist, Miguel Cifuentes, who passed away in 2014. The award goes to the film that best reflects his passion for social justice and commitment to social change. The winning film is chosen by Miguel’s family and is announced after the final screening in November. This prize has a cash value of $100.00 CAD.
*The Best Canadian Film award is to recognize the Canadian film which best meets CLiFF's purpose of telling stories of workers, unionized and non-unionized, through film by sharing the voice of those who seek justice on the job and dignity in the workplace. The prize has a cash value of $100.00 CAD.
*The Beating Heart Award recognizes a filmmaker from an equity-seeking group to help support these important voices in film. Women, non-binary, LGBTQ, persons of colour or Indigenous filmmakers are eligible for this award. It was instituted in 2019. The prize has a cash value of $100.00 CAD.
*The LabourStart Award is for Working Class Solidarity which recognizes the festival film that speaks the most to building worker-to-worker global solidarity. This award is funded by LabourStart and the recipient is voted on by the global executive of LabourStart. It was instituted in 2020. The award includes a $100 CAD prize.
*Please be advised that if films do not meet the criteria for entry into our festival, they will immediately be DISQUALIFIED.*
We are looking for films on a wide spectrum of labour and worker issues, including films about: privatization, youth, people of colour, Indigenous peoples, immigrants, refugees, detainees, health & safety, resistance, art, poetry, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, taxi drivers, truck drivers, rickshaw drivers – anyone who does anything considered work.
We also encourage the widest possible variety of films: from documentaries to drama to poetry/poetic treatments to comedy and animation.
- The Festival is open to all film and video makers.
- The Festival accepts films 60 minutes or shorter, exclusively.
- Films and videos must have English subtitles. French subtitles are also accepted (and encouraged). This is in line with providing greater accessibility to our audiences.
- Entries should be produced between 2020 and 2023.
- Films must be submitted through filmfreeway.com. There is a $1.36 CAD entry fee.
Preference will be given to films not yet widely distributed.
Please be advised that if films do not meet the criteria for entry into our festival, they will immediately be DISQUALIFIED.
Submissions will be accepted starting March 13, 2023.
Submissions must be received no later than May 31, 2023.
CLiFF screenings are free for audiences in order to ensure that the films are seen by and accessible to as many people as possible.
Please note that your film may be shown at one or more of our festival locations across Canada in the month of November.
CLiFF Board of Directors