Shakti Society is a non profit society committed to empowering women, families and children through community forums, Shakti Awards, annual wellness days, women’s luncheons and healing circles. Our mandate is to support all members of society, especially women, in finding their power and voice to become strong leaders and advocates for themselves and the community. We have introduced various initiatives that help ‘awaken the power within’ and create dialogue around feminism and gender equality. The Shakti Film Festival is our latest undertaking in our mission to increase and acknowledge women’s contribution to our society and their representation in film.

Through the Shakti Film Festival, we aim to promote women filmmakers, including directors, producers, writers, production crew and films that portray women as strong, empowered, and realistic characters. As a predominantly women driven non-profit, Shakti Society has addressed the influence of media and films on violence against women and we will be focussing and promoting films that showcase women in strong roles as well as filmmakers who are often marginalized due to various barriers, like race, colour, finances, language, disability, sexual orientation and various health issues including mental health.

Due to the current pandemic we will be hosting our inaugural film festival on a digital format where films will be screened over two days, October 10th and 11th, in honour of the International Day of the Girl Child. We will be inviting local film and media personalities as well as community leaders to engage in action oriented discussions about the role that media plays in shaping society and how we as consumers of media also play a big part in creating our culture.

This year’s program is set for October 10-11, 2020 and will consist of Canadian films that will include:

October 10th, 2020

ARAB BLUES: ​​In this sophisticated comedy, filmmaker Manele Labidi opens a fascinating window into modern Tunisia at a crossroads, with a story of contrasts, contradictions and culture clashes, full of vitality and humour.

MIRROR O MIRROR: Short film about whose version of reality is real.

October 11th, 2020

CONVICTION: Three filmmakers collaborate with women on the inside to imagine what they would have needed in their lives to avoid incarceration. They paint, draw, photograph and film, envisioning a more ideal world, authoring their own narratives through art.

KUNO SINGS: Kuno invites her grandmother to celebrate her deceased mother’s birthday. What she really wants is to know why her mother died, and why her family never speaks about her Japanese father. Is it racism, and is there more? In her exploration of popular Ninja lore, Kuno finds the courage to reckon with her past. 'Kuno Sings', Canadian Premiere at the Shakti Film Festival for United Nations: International Day of the Girl Child.

Vanilla at night: This short film tells the story of Sarah, a mother who is a victim of domestic abuse.

Best Film – $100
Best Student Film – $100
Best Documentary Film – $100
Best Short Film – $100

Agreeing to participate in the Shakti Film Festival means that you agree to the following mandatory conditions:

· You agree to participate in the Shakti Film Festival
· Your submission is a final cut and includes no advertisements.
· The official language of the Festival is English. Non-English language films must have English subtitles.
· Uploading a digital, high-resolution screening copy of your film to FilmFreeway. Your submission is INCOMPLETE unless your film is downloadable in high resolution in your FilmFreeway submission. Shakti Film Festival will not replicate, duplicate, sell, or make a profit off of your film.
· Provide 3 high-quality film stills and a film poster with your FilmFreeway submission.
· Provide a trailer if you have one.
· If your film is selected, you agree to allow your film to be screened October 10 and 11.

People of all genders are welcome to submit their films as long as a woman holds one of the following positions within the filmmaking team: Director, Writer, Cinematographer or Producer.


Applicants must have full rights to the films submitted including all people, images, and music therein. By submitting to the Festival, the filmmaker confirms that (i) they have obtained authorization from persons appearing in the film or otherwise have the right to film them; (ii) all content is their own work, (iii) the filmmaker has the right to use all content.

There is no time limit by which the film must have been completed, but preference will be given to relevant and salient subject matter.

The official language of the Festival is English. Non-English language films must have English subtitles.


1 feature film- 60 mins or longer
1 documentary film - 45 min or longer
1 short film - up to 20 mins
1 student film - up to 8 mins


Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: (i) relevance of subject matter; (ii) storytelling - use of structure and image to communicate a compelling story; (iii) technical aspects of filmmaking.

The winning films will be selected by a panel of expert judges involved in film, women’s rights, and/or issues relating to culture and women’s rights. Winning filmmakers will be announced online.

Overall Rating
  • shael medina

    A wonderful Film Festival!!! They talk about real problematics and support you in every aspect. I love it. It was a beautiful experience that inspired me so much. Congratulations!

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your feedback, Shael. We hope to continue inspiring others and working with them to showcase films that will change the world in a positive way.

  • We thank you for selecting 'Kuno Sings' for the 1st Shakti Film Festival and for the Honourable Mention for a Short Film. The panel you hosted to engage filmmakers in a discussion of our works, and the important themes of the festival, is definitely a valuable aspect of the festival.

    October 2020