Now open for new entries — World Trails Film Festival '24 in Ottawa, Canada!

See our most recent festival trailer at

Trails Film celebrates trail stories to inspire a global community that loves trails. We consider all types of film media including feature-length, short, documentary, educational, animation, and others. Our awards recognize filmmakers for their work as storytellers, myth-makers, and advocates for trails.

OTTAWA, CANADA — September 2024
As a nomadic festival, the selection of our event dates and screening locations are determined collaboratively with local hosts and in partnership of global trail community gatherings.

Trails weave through our lives in many ways, from spiritual pathways to recreational or everyday transit. They are political, transformational, connect us to nature, reveal history, fight climate change, bring healing, and bridge communities. We invite you to submit films that reflect any story or any relationship to trails.

No trail activity is off-limits—it could be traveling on foot, by bike, with horses, or in canoes! Or your film could feature creating trails, uncovering lost trails, or the history of places along trails. All we ask is you take us deep into your chosen story—we'll follow you all the way.

Trails Film is a worldwide festival and initiative born from the Trails and Media Task Team of the World Trails Network. Trails Film is created by and for trail-loving communities. We are inspired by nature and culture and want to make an impact on the future of trails and our planet. We are in awe of the human spirit and all that is wild. To all of this, we dedicate our festival.

Trails Film is in its third iteration. Our second festival took place in Skiathos, Greece in September 2022 and our inaugural event took place in Santiago de Compostela, Spain in 2018. Through rich cinematography, selected films explored themes including trail creation, adventure, spirituality, healing, and diversity in nature and culture.

We all need trails. And trails need us.

Accepted films will be shown at our premiere festival in Ottawa, Canada this fall (exact locations and dates TBA) and have the potential to join the Trails Film World Tour, a traveling festival that screens films in theaters and along trail sides across the world.

The World Trails Network (WTN) is a global non-profit association of the world’s leading trails and trail destinations. Together, WTN advocates for the promotion, preservation, and enjoyment of trails for all people. Our partnership with WTN creates a dynamic gathering space for sharing and telling trail stories, meeting leaders in the field, and being inspired by remarkable trail projects.

For more information, visit

Discount coupons will be available to filmmakers based upon the economic conditions in which they reside. Email for more information.

CASH Prizes to be announced for:

Best Feature
Best Short Feature
Best Short
Best Film from Emerging Filmmaker

Every award comes with an official certificate. We reserve the right to add more awards.


1. Films must be related to trails in some way. This rule is open to creative interpretation and topics may include trail adventure stories, trail-based outdoor activities, histories of trails, trail building/monitoring, sociology and economies of trails, wildlife and habitats along trails, journeys of healing or spiritual renewal, pilgrimage paths, and climate/conservation issues surrounding trails.

2. Films from all regions and languages are welcome. All films must include subtitles in English. We request all English subtitles in the form of SRT files (not burned in) for the capability for translation. Email if you have questions.

3. There are no requirements for filmmaker experience level, production budget, professional/industry recognition, or film release status. Trails Film accepts all types of projects as long as they coincide with the values of this festival.


Feature: Films that are 40:00 minutes or longer.

Short Feature: Films between 10:00 and 39:59 minutes long.

Short: Films between 1:01 and 9:59 minutes long.

Micro: Films that are 1:00 minute or shorter.


Note: If you have a special request or circumstances not outlined within these rules and terms regarding your film’s exhibition, please email our staff at prior to entering. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

By entering to Trails Film you agree to the following terms:

1. This agreement is between you (the filmmaker) and the World Trails Film Festival, also known as Trails Film.

2. If your film is accepted, you agree to give the World Trails Film Festival a perpetual, worldwide, nonexclusive license to use, publicly perform, publicly display, copy, distribute, and create derivative works of your entry in connection with Trails Film. This includes screening your film at a variety of venues during our world tour.

3. You agree to allow Trails Film to use content from your film on our social media platforms, websites, newsletters, and any other digital or printed promotions of the festival.

4. You agree that no screening fees or other compensation to the filmmaker are necessary in order for Trails Film to use your entry. Trails Film does reserve the right to pay filmmakers a stipend.

5. We agree that Trails Film will give all credits that we practicably can, given case-by-case circumstances. You warrant that all copyrighted material—music, pictures, web content, videos, art, graphic design, etc. (this is not an exhaustive list, rather it is exemplary)—is either owned by you or that you have expressed written permission to use any copyrighted material found in your entry. No exceptions.

6. You agree, that in the event that the previous term turns out to be not true (you have infringed someone else’s copyrights), to indemnify and hold harmless Trails Film for any claims or threat of claim against the same, and that you will pay for (first), or reimburse (last resort), all costs associated with defending any such claims against Trails Film for violation of another’s copyright as a result of your entry.

7. You warrant that you have full consent and permission from all people who appear in any identifiable manner in your entry to use their persona in your entry, their knowing and understanding that their image or likeness may be used commercially.

8. You agree to hereby release, indemnify, and hold harmless Trails Film from any and all claims, including, without limitation, claims for damages for libel, infringement of rights of publicity, invasion of privacy, portrayal in a false light, or any other claim from any person based on use of your entry.

9. Entry fees to Trails Film are non-refundable.

10. Trails Film reserves the right to decline any entry for any reason we see fit, as well as revoke acceptance if necessary.

11. By agreeing to these terms, you warrant that you have read, understood, and agreed to the rules, terms, and conditions of Trails Film and that the information that you have supplied is correct.