A film festival centred 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. For 2018 and 2019 we're also holding a traditional festival during May, with a great opportunity to meet other film-makers and chat with friendly audiences.

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 DRAMA – Cash Prize of $200
BEST COMEDY – Cash Prize of $200
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 2018/19 Festival competitions.

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7) In the event of a film being withdrawn, Sunrise Film Festival will not be liable to refund the fee or return the materials entered.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

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

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

Overall Rating
  • Had an unfortunate correspondence problem with the festival, but when they found out about the issue they offered to set things right. As a filmmaker, that's very much appreciated.

    Knowing that considerate people are working to do their best is reassuring, even if things don't work out perfectly.

    Good luck to the SRFF during the current and future seasons!

    June 2018
  • The Nova Scotia hospitality is second to none.

    June 2017
  • Frances Barth

    I had a great time there--saw so many terrific films. The site in Nova Scotia was amazing. And everyone involved with the festival was wonderful. I've made friends with filmmakers from Norway to....

    January 2017
  • Ian Evans

    Sunrise was a wonderful experience, one that I can recommend to any film maker / film subject wanting to attend! Fantastic location on the shores of Nova Scotia with great food and opportunities to socialize and meet everyone.

    The festival is intimate enough that it is easy yo network and meet a lot of talented people.

    Thumbs up!

    November 2016
  • Päivi Kapiainen-Heiskanen

    Sunrise Film Festival 2016 in Pictou was a small, friendly event with a great venue in an increadibly beautiful location. Interesting films. Sharing experiences with other directors was a valuable experience. Making a schedule and sticking to it makes things easy for everyone. Panel discussions are great especially when they are not all male panels:-)

    November 2016