Toronto Outdoor Picture Show (TOPS) is a grassroots charitable organization dedicated to sharing quality outdoor cinema with Toronto communities in parks across the city. TOPS' annual summer festival is headlined by its signature project, Christie Pits Film Festival (CPFF), and has included venues such as Fort York, Corktown Common, and Bell Manor Park.
Voted by Toronto's NOW Magazine as Best Outdoor Film Screening Event, 2019. Summer 2022 was TOPS' largest festival season yet, welcoming almost 18,000 community members to screenings all summer long.
Each summer's programme includes a combination of popular and critically-acclaimed international films that draw large audiences, carefully paired with local and Canadian short and feature films. This allows us to showcase excellent Canadian artworks, and give independent filmmakers large and welcoming audiences. Note that this organization pays screening fees to all films selected.
In preparation for Summer 2023, TOPS is holding an open call for submissions from Canadian filmmakers through January 13, 2023 (regular deadline). Please note that this call is geared to selections for all TOPS summer series in outdoor venues within Toronto.
• The 2023 programme will explore themes of "other worlds," from the distant reaches of space to fantastical new realms, speculative futures, alternative histories, encounters in different cultures or cultivated community spaces. Feel free to interpret the otherworldly theme broadly, but please be advised that only films related to the above themes will be considered in 2023. The programme will present a selection of feature films from around the world (including Canada) and in a nightly shorts programme of solely Canadian works. All film genres and styles will be considered, though EXCLUSIVELY CANADIAN FILMS MAY BE SUBMITTED.
• Submissions MUST BE CANADIAN FILMS by independent filmmakers. Films from other countries will not be considered.
• Both Canadian short films and feature length films will be considered. The festival does not screen mid-length films.
• Short films must be no longer than 20 minutes.
• Feature films must be at least 60 minutes, and should not exceed 130 minutes.
• Films may be fictional, documentary, animated, live-action or experimental in style or nature.
• Films will be selected on the basis of overall quality, fit to annual theme, fit to series audience, and representation of a broad set of filmmaking voices.
• Films are screened outdoors to people of all ages, and therefore all films must feature content suitable for a general audience. Please do not submit films that are excessively mature or violent, as they will not be considered.
• Films need not be recent. They may have already been screened theatrically or online. If screened previously at other festivals, please indicate that in your submission.
• Rough cuts are acceptable provided that the final version will be ready no later than May 26, 2023.
• Once invited, filmmakers will be required to submit their films as a high-resolution digital file for the purpose of exhibition.
The filmmakers of all selected works will be financially compensated by the festival for the right to screen their films, and will be invited to speak to the audience before the screening.
TOPS welcomes submissions from all filmmakers and is dedicated to showcasing stories deriving from all experiences. TOPS encourages submissions from members of equity-deserving groups, including but not limited to, filmmakers self-identifying as LGBTQ+, Indigenous, POC, women, persons with disabilities, and recent graduates.
If you feel you have a barrier to entry, please be in touch so that we may do our best to accommodate you. Entry fees may be waived for equity-deserving artists who contact firstname.lastname@example.org by January 9. Please note that emails will not be responded to between December 24 and January 9, please be patient for a response.