Now in its 18th year, The Nickel Independent Film Festival is an annual summer celebration of independent film in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador. Named after Newfoundland’s first moving picture cinema, the Nickel was founded in 2001 by local filmmaker Roger Maunder. He was inspired by a need for local independent filmmakers to showcase their work to audiences alongside films made nationally and internationally.

Along with five nights of screenings of features and shorts, the Nickel provides industry related workshops aimed at the professional development of local and visiting filmmakers. It offers a variety of sessions that appeal to emerging filmmakers, the general public, including information sessions, Q&A's, panels, introductory workshops, as well as Master Classes. All workshops are hands on and the range of costs ensure that they are accessible to those that want to participate. There are industry galas, mixers, and luncheons that allow filmmakers to network with industry peers, learn, and have fun.

Awards & Prizes

Winners of the Emerging Filmmaker Award will receive an InkTip Script Listing to promote themselves and their scripts to InkTip’s entire network of producers, managers, and agents.

Companies who are InkTip members include: ABC, Anonymous Content, APA, CBS Films, HBO Films, ICM, Paradigm, Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Channel, FX, Universal, WME, Echo Lake, Zero Gravity, Bad Robot, 20th Century Fox, and many more.

Producers have made more than 315 films from scripts and writers found through InkTip.

InkTip: Where producers go for scripts and writers.

Rules & Terms



(1) The following terms and conditions (the “Terms”) govern the submission of a film (the “Film”) to The Nickel Independent Film Festival (NIFF), through (FilmFreeway) for consideration for the 2018 Nickel Independent Film Festival (the “Festival”). To the extent that this document is inconsistent with any other document prepared by NIFF or anyone else, this document will take precedence. Any questions about these Terms should be directed to the Festival Director via email at


(1) By submitting a Film to NIFF for Festival consideration, the submitter (the “Applicant”) 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 NIFF (the “Film Owners”), and has read, understood and agreed to the Terms.

(2) NIFF may disqualify or reject, but is not required to do so, any submission that it determines in its sole discretion, is not in compliance, in whole or in part, with these Terms, and may do so without refunding any or all submission fees paid by the Applicant or returning the Applicant’s thumb-drive, should they choose not to submit online, through FilmFreeway.


(1) Films submitted to for Festival consideration under these Terms must be submitted in one of the categories provided in FilmFreeway.

(2) Films that do not meet the eligibility requirements for any of the provided categories should not be submitted and will not be considered by NIFF.

(3) For the purpose of the below categories, “Canadian” films are Films that were directed by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and at least one of the countries of production is Canada. All other films are considered “International” films.

(4) Submitted films must have a completion date on or after January 1, 2016.

(5) The Festival is organized into a series of programmes, subject to change from year to year, but may include, for example: Horror Screenings, Gala Presentations, etc. NIFF may slot selected films into programmes at its sole and absolute discretion.

(7) A Film will not be eligible for consideration and should not be submitted if the Film was previously submitted to NIFF for Festival consideration.

(8) All Films must be submitted online as a high-resolution .MOV or other digital form screener (as described below), by the final submissions deadline.


(1) All Films submitted under these Terms must be submitted in accordance with the procedure outlined herein. NIFF may disqualify or reject any Film that is not submitted in this way.

(2) To submit a film for Festival consideration, an Applicant must: (a) complete the registration process at Festival Freeway and pay the required fee as outlined in article V.2 below and (b) provide to NIFF a digital screener for review by NIFF programming staff. NIFF DOES NOT ACCEPT submissions in any other manner or format, including: content burned to Read/Write (RW) discs, blu-ray discs or trailers.

(3) Submitted films must:

a. Contain one version only of the Film, in the original language of production, with English subtitles if the original language is not English;

b. Format in .MOV or as a data thumb-drive containing Quicktime or other similar file formats);

c. Label the submissions with the following: (i) title, (ii) production company name, phone number and address, (iii) director’s name, (iv) length in minutes, and (v) FilmFreeway tracking number; (vi) email address of the main representative for the film.

d. Ship in accordance with the shipping instructions set out below in sections 8 through 12.

(4) Applicants should test their screeners thoroughly before submitting them. It is the Applicant’s sole responsibility to ensure that the submitted screener plays in its entirety on an industry-standard player. If NIFF is unable to view the digital file, NIFF will attempt, but is under no obligation, to contact the Applicant in order to obtain a replacement copy.

(5) NIFF will not review multiple versions of a submitted Film. Only one version of the Film may be submitted. If multiple versions are submitted, NIFF will view only the version that was received first.

(6) If the film being sent is not a final cut of the film, please be advised that the NIFF programming staff will view based on what they have seen. If you do not have your final cut completed before the final submission date, the film will automatically be removed from consideration.

(7) Screeners submitted via a thumb-drive will not be returned.

Shipping Instructions for file thumb-drive screeners

(8) All Films must be sent by way of prepaid shipping. NIFF will not accept collect shipments.

(9) 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 NIFF will be billed back to the Applicant.

(10) Films should not be shipped in excessive packaging or with any materials other than those requested by NIFF. There is no programming value for any submissions arriving in unusual or unorthodox containers.

(11) NIFF is not responsible and bears no liability with respect to clearance of shipments through Canadian customs. However, NIFF recommends that Applicants sending submissions from outside of Canada take the following steps to increase the chance of successful review by Canadian customs:

a. Include three copies of a commercial invoice (declaration of contents) containing the following:

i. Sender’s name, address and telephone number

ii. Recipient’s address

iii. Title of film and format

iv. Length of film

v. Fair market value (standard is CAD $20)

vi. Country of manufacture

vii. Declaration “Goods on loan for Festival purposes only. No commercial value. Non-pornographic”

viii. Sender’s signature

b. The commercial invoice should be included with the courier waybill. Applicants shipping via international post should affix a customs declaration label to the outside of the package.

(12) NIFF does not confirm receipt of shipment, and is not responsible for lost or misdirected packages. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the submission procedure is complete, and that the screener has been received by NIFF.


(1) In order to be eligible for consideration, file thumb-drives must be post-marked, FilmFreeway registration completed, and all fees paid, by the deadlines outlined below.

(2) Submission fees for the 2018 Festival are as follows:

Nov 17, 2017
Early Bird Deadline Regular
Standard Fee 15.00

Jan 19, 2018
Regular Deadline Regular
Standard Fee 25.00

NOTE: all fees are denoted in US dollars.

(3) NIFF may accept late submissions in its discretion, but an additional submission fee will apply

Feb 16, 2018
Late Deadline Regular
Standard Fee 40.00

Mar 2, 2018
Extended Deadline Regular
Standard Fee 45.00


(1) NIFF will consider for inclusion in the Festival all eligible films that have been submitted by the above deadline and in accordance with these Terms. NIFF reserves the right to consider for inclusion in the Festival, and include in the Festival, films received at any time and through any means, channel or process, including means, channels or processes other than those outlined in these Terms. Nothing in these Terms or otherwise requires NIFF to select for Festival inclusion any of the Films submitted through the process outlined in these Terms.

(2) All selection decisions are at the sole and absolute discretion of NIFF, and are final and not reviewable. NIFF is not required to provide any feedback, comments or reasons, or any other information, regarding the selection or non-selection of any submitted Film or the process by which Films are or have been selected. NIFF is not responsible or liable for its selection decisions; for the contents of any internal comments or feedback regarding the Film that are or may be obtained from the Applicant or anyone else; for any communications by any representative of NIFF relating to the Film or the Festival selection process; for the manner in which the Film shall be, is or was considered and reviewed; or for any failure on the part of the Festival to provide the Applicant or anyone else with information concerning NIFF’s consideration and/or review of the Film.

(3) NIFF will notify by April 6, 2018 all Applicants who have been selected to participate in the Festival. All Applicants who are not selected to participate in the Festival will be contacted by email on or around April 6, 2018. NIFF will contact Applicants using the contact information provided in the Festival Freeway registration form. Applicants are responsible to provide correct and functional contact information. NIFF is not responsible for any failed attempts to contact Applicants using the contact information provided.


(1) By submitting the film to NIFF, the Applicant and Film Owners (the “Submitting Parties”) hereby warrant and represent that: (i) the film is wholly original and is not copied from and does not include any other work that is the subject of copyright or other protection, unless such work is in the public domain or the Submitting Parties have obtained any and all consents, releases, licenses, and other authorizations or waivers of any kind necessary for the inclusion or reproduction of any person, character, location, thing, trade-mark, sound recording, musical composition or other work in the film; (ii) the film does not defame any person or violate the common law or statutory rights, including, without limitation, the rights of privacy and publicity or any other right of any person; (iii) the film is not the subject of litigation; (iv) there are no agreements, nor will there be any agreements made subsequent to the date of this Film submission that would or could have the effect of impairing the Submitting Parties’ ability to provide the film as contemplated herein, or otherwise conflict with any provision of these Terms; and (iv) the Submitting Parties have the full right, power and authority to submit the film to NIFF for Festival consideration, and to grant all of the rights granted hereunder and in the Festival Freeway registration form, and there is no obligation or disability which would in any way impair, restrict or impede the Submitting Parties from fully performing all obligations pursuant to the submission and these Terms.

(2) The Submitting Parties agree to indemnify and hold harmless NIFF, its licensees, successors and assigns, and its and their members, officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, associates and affiliates (each, a “Releasee”), from any claim, suit, action or other proceeding brought against a Releasee and from any losses, costs, or damages, including the Releasee’s full legal costs, which it may have suffered or incurred or may suffer or incur, directly or indirectly based on, in connection with, or arising from the use and exhibition of the Film submitted by the Applicant or the breach or alleged breach of any representation, warranty or other agreement made by the Applicant in these Terms, or in the Applicant’s FilmFreeway registration form.

(3) NIFF takes all reasonable anti-piracy precautions. While in NIFF’s possession, all Films are securely stored and regularly inventoried. Access to Films is limited to NIFF staff requiring access in order to screen and consider submissions. Duplication and loaning of Films is not permitted. By submitting a Film to NIFF, the Submitting Parties hereby release NIFF from any and all liability in the event of theft, unauthorized access or copying, or any breach of copyright of the submitted Film while it is in NIFF’s possession.

VIII. Other

(1) NIFF reserves the right to rule, in its sole discretion, on cases and situations not foreseen by these Terms.


The Nickel Independent Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional and screening purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless The Nickel Independent Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

By submitting to the festival, the undersigned agrees to accept the screening fee in CND$ as determined by and equivalent to the 2018 CARFAC schedule. The Nickel agrees to pay a screening fee to each selected film that is submitted via the regular submission process (does not include films admitted via fee waivers) according to the CARFAC schedule for film festivals.

Following best practices in presenting standards for artists, we:
-Invite filmmakers to introduce their films and offer Q&A's
-Encourage attendance by offering full passes to filmmakers, assist with accommodations, etc, where possible
-Ensure high quality screenings by hiring an experienced reel editor and technical director
-Own/rent the best digital HD equipment available and present screenings in a professional theatre
-Conduct pre-screenings each day.

5 Reviews

Overall Rating
  • false
    John Yost

    One of the best festivals I've ever been to!

    July 2017
  • false
    Wanda Nolan

    Go to this festival if you can. It's small but mighty with a great line-up of films and workshops.

    Also, thanks so much for the award for Best Newfoundland and Labrador Short! So thrilled!

    July 2017
  • false
    Kenneth J. Harvey

    2017 was a sensational year for the Nickel Independent Film Festival.

    July 2017
  • false
    virginie vinet

    high quality and friendly festival

    June 2016
  • false
    Stuart McBratney

    Nickel is a fantastic festival, run by wonderful people in a beautiful part of the planet. Highly recommended!

    June 2016