THIRD ACTion Film Festival celebrates aging and older adults (seniors) while helping to create an age-positive culture shift and encourage everyone to envision their best third act possible.

2021 will be our fourth festival and hope to become a touring festival by working with partners in cities and towns across Canada.

We look for full-length films, documentaries, animation and shorts that feature older adults in leading roles or address issues relevant to older adults.

Starting in late 2020, the Festival will also have online screenings outside of the festival dates. If the festival is interested in using a film submitted via FilmFreeway for these screenings, they will reach out to the contact listed in the submission.

Also, due to the nature of our programming, the Festival may sometimes approach past years' Entrants to seek permission to use film submitted for previous festivals in the current year.

Best Short - $1,000
Audience Favorite - $1,000
Resiliency in Aging - $1,000

1. Films must feature older adults in leading roles or deal with seniors’ issues. Films should dispel stereotypes about aging and educate viewers about aging in an entertaining and compelling manner. Intergenerational stories that include an older adult are welcome.
2. Sending an entry to THIRD ACTion Film Festival implies acceptance of the Rules and Regulations.
3. All films will be converted to DCP format for showing at the festival. Filmmakers can purchase DCP copies of their films for use at other festivals for a discounted rate.
4. English language films, if at all possible, should be subtitled for our deaf and hard of hearing patrons.
5. Foreign language films MUST provide a version with English subtitles.
6. Entries can be of any duration.
7. Filmmakers are responsible to securing ALL copyright clearance to film content.
8. All music rights must be cleared before films are submitted. Consent of performers and/or persons appearing in the film must be obtained before films are submitted.
9. Completed works only. If selected the festival will only accept the same film as was submitted and not an updated version.
10. Films should be completed after Jan 1, 2018.
11. THIRD ACTion has no premier status requirements. Films shown prior to the festival or films online are welcome to submit.
12. Absolutely NO pornographic or illegal content will be tolerated.
13. Film makers are responsible for submitted material.
14. Entrants grant the Festival organizers permission to use excerpts, not exceeding three minutes, for promotional purposes in various media, trade shows, and potential venues.
15. Successful entrants are required to supply promotional materials, such as still images and trailers, for the purpose of promoting the film.
16. Entrants grant the Festival organizers the right to copy the entry in part or in its entirety in any media format to facilitate the operation or promotion of the Festival.
17. The entrant acknowledges and agrees that all matters not covered by these Rules and Regulations, and questions arising from them, will be decided at the sole discretion of the Festival organizers.
18. Submission fees are non-refundable.

Overall Rating
  • Tamer Soliman

    A wonderful festival to be a part of! Extremely well organized, strong communications with the programmers and wonderful line up of films. We Highly recommend the festival for filmmakers who want to feel like their work was meaningful and supported, and that they were a part of something very special.

    November 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much Tamer! We loved showing your documentary and hosting you and Sarah twice.


    Such a delight to experience a festival dedicated to stories focused on a much-ignored period of life - the Third Act. Really terrific team involved too.

    November 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much Penny! Especially with all the pivoting. Hope to see more films from you in our submissions. Best of luck!

  • Amanda Foote

    The Nakoda AV Club had a fantastic time at THIRD ACTion. The films selected were excellent, and the audiences were really fun to interact with, and so engaged in the concepts. Definitely recommend this festival.

    August 2019
    Response from festival:

    We had a fantastic time with the Club and enjoyed getting to know everyone a bit. "What is an Elder?" has been requested to be viewed at several of our outreach events so a huge thank you for your permission to use it for this program!

  • steve oldfield

    I have had the pleasure of attending about a dozen film festivals and 8 of them showed my work. Third ACTion is one of my top favorites. The quality of the films was excellent and they are focused on the very important topic of celebrating people in the third act of their lives. The films were empowering, inspiring - and fun! The venue was classy and i love a festival that just sticks with one theater and screening at a time - that way, you're assured a sizable audience. Nothing worse than making the trouble to attend a festival and having 5 or 6 people at your screening because the festival programmed several films at once. Unless you're a huge festival that never works. The staff was terrific! Very organized, positive and genuinely interested in making the filmmaker experience great. They do the little things right too - like making sure you have comp seats that you can give to friends and family - and that you can also use to attend other screenings. I can't say enough about these people. And as the director of a film about an 84 year old painter, it means so much to have people excited about your work - instead of being rejected by a bunch of 20-something programmers. The audiences, board, staff and volunteers make the Third ACTion Film Festival a winner! A footnote - it's also in downtown Calgary during a relatively slow time of the year. I was able to book a 5 star hotel (The Fairmont) for under $100 US a night! It was walking distance to the theater too!

    June 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Steve! We were ecstatic to have 4 filmmakers attend our 2nd festival. Our audience loves to have speakers after the films and it is very gratifying to be able to put a filmmaker and their audience together and give them the opportunity to speak to one another. Steve was a wonderful speaker and the audience loved his talk and the painting he brought with him.