A film festival centered on the beautiful seaside village of River John, but taking in venues along the north shore of Nova Scotia - Canada's Ocean Playground.
Enjoy a range of screenings and events, industry panels, workshops and parties with films from all over the world.

The festival now runs events and hosts screenings throughout the year in the beautiful communities of north shore Nova Scotia. This year we held a screening at the Lobster Factory, Pugwash and are holding a screening event in River John in July 2019 with other dates planned for later in the year. Our BIG event for 2019 is at The Pictou Lodge Beach Resort 4th and 5th September. A great range of films, film maker gatherings, great food and a great location. Visit www.pictoulodge.com to take advantage of special rates for film makers.

Films selected in this call for entries may screen at The Pictou Lodge event 4th-5th September, or during other events into 2020. We will inform you of the dates your film will screen if selected.

Apart from the fantastic Pictou Lodge Resort, join us to experience the many communities and beaches, hiking trails and much more. Enjoy award-winning wineries, luxury golf resorts, historic Pictou town - the home of the Ship Hector and The Thinker's Lodge in Pugwash.
Great Films - Wonderful Communities - Stunning Scenery

BEST OF FESTIVAL – Cash Prize of $500
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM - Cash Prize of $350 (Sponsored by Skye Larke Productions - award-winning international co-productions - www.skye-larke.com)
BEST DRAMA – Cash Prize of $200
BEST COMEDY – Cash Prize of $200 (Sponsored by Only Me Productions - www.onlygameintownfilm.com)
BEST DOCUMENTARY – Cash Prize of $200
BEST SHORT FILM (Under 15 minutes) – Cash Prize of $100

Other awards throughout the year including free stay in waterfront writer's retreat, consultation with producers and directors, and more.

Festival Rules & Regulations

1) Entries should may be any length except entries under the SHORT FILM CATEGORY, which must not exceed 15 minutes in duration excluding titles provided the titles don’t last for more than 1 extra minute.

2) Only films completed on or after 1st January 2017 are eligible for entry into the 2019/20 Festival competitions although films from earlier dates may be screened.

3) Films previously entered into and screened at our festival are not eligible for re-entry in subsequent years.

4) If the film is not in English, then it must have hard coded English subtitles, and in the case of DVD entrants, on both copies.

5) Sunrise Film Festival reserves the right to refuse to screen any submission deemed by the Festival to be inappropriate. Should you wish to question Sunrise Film Festival about the decision not to screen your film, you can contact us by email on info@sunrisefilmfestival.com

6) All submissions are screened and evaluated by the Sunrise Film Festival Preview and Selection Committees, appointed by the festival steering committee. Their reports are final and confidential. Submitters will be advised via email and the event program will also be announced on our website and on our Facebook page.

7) In the event of a film being withdrawn, Sunrise Film Festival will not be liable to refund the fee or return the materials entered.

8) Sunrise Film Festival will determine the date and time when submissions will be screened, and cannot be held accountable for changes to the schedule after the festival line-up is announced. The festival runs events year round and film makers should wait to hear directly from the festival team about the date and venue of the screening of their film.

9) Participation in Sunrise Film Festival grants us the authorization to show elements of the entered film for promotional purposes if required.

10) A fee is required upon submission. For payment structures, see elsewhere on submission sites. Please ensure your film is ready to send to us at the time of entry.

11) One entry fee per category. The same film can be entered into one or more categories, but each category requires an entry fee. If the filmmaker chooses to enter more than one category with the same film, please add an incremental numerical addendum in brackets after the title; i.e. “Film Title” (1), “Film Title” (2) etc as the system requires this differentiation in the case of multiple entries with the same title.

12) Exclusively the participant shall pay all fees in relation to the uploading or transportation of submissions from their place of origin to the address of Sunrise Film Festival. The Festival will not be responsible for the cost of receiving any additional materials i.e. DVDs, posters, photos, etc. This includes import fees, brokerage and courier fees.

13) If music or additional film material used in your film is not original, then permission from source must be obtained. The responsibility for this rests entirely with the filmmaker. Failure to obtain clearance could result in your film being withdrawn from the Festival. In this event, Sunrise Film Festival will not be liable to refund the fee or return the materials entered.

14) The submission of a film to the Sunrise Film Festival will be considered to be an acknowledgement of the festival rules.

15) Entrants should submit their film as a screener through upload to FilmFreeway or on DVD formatted as NTSC and region free. Please include your press kit including still photos. Please write a 10-15 word (ONLY) synopsis for use in our festival programme – should your film be selected. WE WOULD LIKE TO ENSURE THAT THE JUDGES VIEW YOUR FILM IN THE HIGHEST QUALITY POSSIBLE. IF YOU HAVE A SCREENING COPY READY AT THE TIME OF ENTRY THEN PLEASE SEND US THAT VERSION.

16) Sunrise Film Festival will contact you if there are any technical problems.

17) Insurance of DVD/USB entries is the responsibility of the sender. While all accepted films are treated professionally and with care, the Festival will not take responsibility for any loss or damage to DVDs.

18) Sunrise Film Festival will attempt to resolve any technical matter related to submission. For more information and queries, contact info@sunrisefilmfestival.com

19) We prefer to receive all short films selected via download link to an HD version of the film, in .MP4 or .MOV formats. Films longer than 15 minutes should be provided as a Blu-Ray disc, DVD (both formatted Region 1 NTSC) or on a data drive in .MP4 or .MOV format.

The Organizers do not have to award prizes for any category where insufficient entries of quality are received.

Overall Rating
  • Beverley Reid

    The festival has not yet happened but I am so impressed with the communication by staff and the very positive attitude to me as a filmmaker. I'm sure the event itself will be wonderful! All of us who worked on "The Boat" are thrilled to be included.

    March 2020
  • Adam O'Keeffe

    Lovely people and a privilege to have been programmed.

    March 2020
  • Morgan Blackbyrne

    Sunrise was awesome! The organizers, Stuart and Josephine, were kind hospitable hosts for their cozy and intimate festival by the sea!
    Oh, and we also won Best Drama, for Reliving Marilyn, which was a huge honour!
    We recommend this festival to anyone!

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your review Morgan. It was great to meet you and Nadine!

  • Was very happy to be a part of this festival. Great films, great people.

    July 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your positive review John!

  • Unfortunately we could not make it to the festival. But all contact with them were really friendly and easy.
    Thank you again for screening us.

    June 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your very positive review. It means a lot to us!