Launched in 2022, NorthwestFEARFest is one of 3 annual film festivals put on by the Edmonton, Alberta-based Global Visions Festival Society. Other festivals put on by the Society include our 2 flagship spring festivals: the NorthwestFest International Documentary Festival (which is Canada's longest-running documentary film fest), and the Rainbow Visions Queer Film Festival (launched in 2015).

To be held each October, the goal of NWFEARFest is to celebrate the best in new and retro genre filmmaking, which is a huge passion of our Programming team. In our first year, this meant 40th Anniversary retrospective screenings of films like THE THING and PIECES, programmed alongside bold new works of terror such as PIGGY, CHRISTMAS BLOODY CHRISTMAS, and FINAL CUT.

In 2023, NWFEARFest will take place over 5 days, at the city's historic Metro Cinema at the Garneau (which just happens to be Edmonton's last remaining independent arthouse cinema). Screenings will be accompanied by Q&A's (*where possible), lobby activations, happy hour conversations, and panels.

There will also be an emphasis on short films, with a "Best of Shorts" package planned alongside shorts before features.

Audience Awards for:
- Best Narrative Feature
- Best Documentary Feature
- Best Narrative Short
- Best Documentary Short
- Best Alberta Film


We accept ONLINE submissions ONLY.

2023 NorthwestFEARFest Submission Regulations and Guidelines

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

Important Dates

Earlybird Submissions OPEN June 1, 2023

Earlybird Submission Deadline: July 3, 2023

Regular Submission Deadline: August 7, 2023

Extended Submission Deadline: August 27, 2023

September 13, 2023 Notification of Official Selections

October 2, 2023 Deadline for receipt of exhibition prints (unless otherwise arranged with programming)

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


NorthwestFEARFest accepts submissions of narrative or documentary films of all lengths for inclusion in the festival. This is a GENRE festival, so emphasis is placed on horror, thriller, suspense, cult, experimental, sci-fi.

Requirements for eligibility for 2023 selection:

The film was completed after January 1, 2021, and was not previously submitted to NWFF
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 October 18-22, 2023
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.

Submissions Open June 1, 2023

Earlybird Submissions:

Feature length films 60min and up – $25

Short films 59:59min and under – $10

Regular Submissions:

Feature length films 60min and up – $40

Short films 59:59min and under – $20

Late Submissions:

Feature length films 60min and up – $75

Short films 59:59min and under – $40

NorthwestFEARFest 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 2023 Festival. All submissions are screened and evaluated by the NWFF 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 NWFF 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 NWFF 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 September 13, 2023. 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 Print Traffic with specific shipping instructions. Exhibition prints must arrive at the Festival office by October 2, 2023. 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 NWFF 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, NWFF 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 NWFF, its officers, directors, agents, successors and assigns.

Notwithstanding the above, NWFF’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 NWFF 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 NWFF 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 NWFF 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 NWFF 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: