We are currently planning to hold a hybrid IN PERSON and ONLINE event for 2022. Full details to be determined closer to the date, dependent on local Covid case counts, vaccination status, etc.

At NorthwestFest International Documentary Festival, our motto is: "Nothing but the Truth". Held each May, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada NorthwestFest is looking for the best new independent documentaries & docudramas.

NorthwestFest is the unofficial 'kick-off' to Edmonton's renowned summer festival season. We are proud to present programming from around the world, and we're always looking for a healthy representation of Canadian and Alberta artists and filmmakers. In 2020 & 2021, we had to "pause" our in-person editions, but we look forward to seeing everyone LIVE and in person in May of 2022!

Submit your film in one of the following categories:
- PERSPECTIVE Alberta (Alberta films - ZERO submission fee for Alberta filmmakers),
- MADE IN CANADA (Canadian films),
- GLOBAL Visions (International films),
- MUSIC Docs (Music-themed films),
- RAINBOW Visions (LGBTQ films), and
- DOC SHORTS (anything 29 minutes and under).

As we have done throughout the festival's 30+-year history, we are pleased to waive submission fees for Alberta filmmakers. **WAIVER CODE REQUIRED**

Audience Awards for...
- Best Canadian Doc
- Best Global Doc
- Best Music Doc
- Best Alberta Doc
- Best Short Doc
- NorthwestFirst (Best First Feature)


We accept ONLINE submissions ONLY.

2022 NorthwestFest Submission Regulations and Guidelines

Participation in NorthwestFest implies understanding and acceptance of the following Guidelines and Regulations. Filmmakers are responsible for the accuracy of all submitted materials.

Important Dates

Early Submissions OPEN October 21, 2021

Submissions December 5, 2021: Earlybird pricing deadline

Regular Submission Deadline: January 15, 2022

Extended Submission Deadline: January 31, 2022

March 14, 2022 Notification of Official Selections

April 25, 2022 Deadline for receipt of exhibition prints (unless otherwise arranged with programming)

May 5, 2022: NorthwestFest Opening Night

May 15, 2022: NorthwestFest Closing Day

*Please note The Festival will not view entries received after the Submission Deadline.


NorthwestFest accepts submissions of documentaries and docudramas of all lengths for inclusion in the festival. ALL topics and subject matter is welcome, especially music-themed films.

Requirements for eligibility for 2022 selection:

The film was completed after January 1, 2020, and was not previously submitted to NWF
All applicable licenses and waivers of copyrights, moral rights, trademarks and other such intellectual property rights have been secured by the filmmaker(s)
All applicable legal waivers have been obtained from all participants
Exhibition print(s) will be complete and available for screening in Edmonton between May 5 - 15, 2022
Exhibition print must be available on DCP, Blu-Ray, or via Digital File.
Feature length preview screeners WILL ONLY be accepted as secure online links
Short film preview screeners are accepted as secure online links ONLY
Films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English
Shipping/mailing costs must be pre-paid, and insurance is recommended
Submission packages must be post-marked with all applicable fees and enclosures by the deadline
PRIORITY will be given to films that have not screened in Edmonton before NWF, either theatrically or broadcast, and not available online for public viewing.

Early bird Deadline of December 5, 2021:

Feature length films 30min and up – $40

Short films 29:59min and under – $15

Regular Deadline January 15, 2022:

Feature length films 30min and up – $65

Short films 29:59min and under – $25

EXTENDED Late Deadline January 31, 2022:

Feature length films 30min and up – $80

Short films 29:59min and under – $40

NorthwestFest is pleased to WAIVE FEES FOR ALL ALBERTA submissions. Proof must be provided for the following criteria used to determine eligibility:

Albertan location, resident Albertan Writer, resident Albertan Producer, resident Albertan Director, Albertan funding source (with supporting documentation/letter)

*Pre entry submission fees are non-refundable.

Preference will be given to submissions that have not been distributed/screened theatrically or broadcast on television in Alberta prior to the 2022 Festival. All submissions are screened and evaluated by the NWF Programming Committee. Designation of a selected film’s exhibition date(s), time(s), and location(s) is at the sole discretion of the Festival. The decisions of the Programmers are final. In addition, the entrant grants NWF the right to exhibit the selected film up to three times during the Festival, in addition to Press screenings (closed to the public).

Upon notification of selection, the entrant agrees to immediately supply NWF with publicity materials and grants the Festival the right to utilize such materials for promotional purposes and to broadcast and/or screen clips.

The following is a list of materials required for each film once accepted at the Festival:

• Electronic press kit

• Film poster(s), hand bills, or associated collateral for Box Office & Venue

• Select promotional clips and/or film trailer

• Additional promo screeners for Publicity

• (1) BLU-RAY (or DVD) backup, clean of watermarks and warnings, for projection backup

• (min. 3) High resolution promo image (min 300 dpi)

• Film website or trailer URL

Applicants will be notified by email regarding the results of the Festival’s selection process by March 14, 2022. Please do not contact the Programming Department regarding the status of your submission before that date.

Upon selection, participants will be contacted via email by the Programming director with specific shipping instructions. Exhibition prints must arrive at the Festival office by April 25, 2022. Incoming shipping costs are the sole responsibility of the participant unless otherwise negotiated. Invited films must be shipped pre-paid, with all the necessary commercial invoices and customs paid, with return (or next festival) shipping information including the name of your preferred courier company and your account number.

Shipping of Exhibition Prints

Limitation of Liability and Indemnity Provisions

Although NWF will take every reasonable precaution for the safekeeping and proper handling of entry and exhibition materials, including the Exhibition Print(s), from the time of receipt to the time of release to the Applicant’s courier company or shipping agent, NWF shall not be liable to Applicant, his or her heirs, legal representatives, or dependents, or their respective assignees, for loss or damage to entry and exhibition materials arising out of the transportation to and from the Festival or the operations of NWF, its officers, directors, agents, successors and assigns.

Notwithstanding the above, NWF’s liability for claims, costs, losses, damages of any kind or any other cause, including but not limited to liability for any fundamental breach of this agreement or for patent or copyright infringement and regardless of the form of action, shall not exceed the fees paid hereunder for the submission to the Festival. The fees charged by NWF reflect the allocation of risk herein and the limited recourse to the Applicant provided for in this Agreement.

In addition, International participants should note that NWF will not assume responsibility for, nor will it accept shipments incurring expenses for terminal charges, duties, taxes or customs brokerage.

Finally, Applicant shall indemnify and hold NWF harmless of and from any and all claims, losses, liabilities (including negligence, tort and strict liability), damages, judgments, suits or legal proceedings, including court costs, expenses and reasonable attorneys’ fees, related to the use by NWF of the entry and exhibition materials, including but not limited to any claim that the Applicant’s entry and exhibition materials violates the intellectual property rights of another party.

Accepted formats for exhibition:
35mm (*by request*), DCP, Blu-Ray, Digital Download.

For more information on submissions please contact: info@northwestfest.ca

Overall Rating
  • Peter Findlay

    Northwest Fest is a great festival! Unfortunately our film landed in Year II of virtual festivals, but I bet you it's a normally a great chance to meet and schmooze Alberta-style! Thanks for selecting "Company Town" and a big shout out to Christian Z for a great director's interview!

    May 2021
  • Colin Sytsma

    Wish I could've attended. Thank you for showing my film!

    May 2021
  • gavin guerra

    The only thing worse than running a film festival during a global pandemic is being the filmmaker that worked several years on a project only to have it run in online festivals. With that said, Northwestfest did an AMAZING job. They were attentive, generous and professional. I greatly appreciated all of their efforts and felt that my film was given a great chance at getting seen. There is a great sense of disconnect in living online, Northwestfest did their absolute best to vanquish that feeling. Thank you very much for making the most of a difficult situation!
    ~Gavin Guerra
    Let the People Decide (2021)

    May 2021
  • Proud to be the part of the longest running documentary film festival in Canada!

    May 2021
  • Was an honor to be a part of this excellent festival - I'm just sorry we couldn't go in person to meet everyone!

    May 2021