ENTER YOUR FILM >> 15 MINUTES OR LESS, INCLUDING CREDITS

The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival (VISFF) is the only film festival on Vancouver Island catering specifically to filmmakers of short films. Now in its 17th year, the VISFF showcases the best short films from Canada and around the world. Falling on the heels of an extremely successful online festival in July 2021, we're anticipating an exciting return to an in-person audience at the Malaspina Theatre in Nanaimo. For those who can't join us in the theatre, enjoy an online screening that will be available for 48 hours after the festival.

Many of our entries feature local actors, writers, directors, musicians, and film technicians. Having grown in quality and reputation, VISFF now welcomes both local and international submissions. Short films must be 15 minutes or less, including credits. Please read the rules and regulations prior to submitting.

The festival features a filmmakers' Q&A session and an award ceremony. The "Goldie" award was designed by internationally-renowned ceramic artist, Brendan Tang. The final lineup is chosen by a Selection Committee composed of industry professionals. A Judging Committee selects winners in several categories, including Best Film. Peoples' Choice is determined by the audience.

The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival creates opportunities for filmmakers not only to screen their films but to network with other film industry professionals and inspire growth in our film community. We value our talented local film community and reserve spots for them in our film festival.

Cash prizes are awarded in several categories and a limited number of "Goldie" trophies are presented to filmmakers' who produce outstanding work. Award categories are determined based on selection outcomes.

VISFF accepts films in any genre (with the exception of music videos, previews, and advertisements) that are 15 minutes or less, including credits. Videos promoting discrimination or hate will not be accepted.

Vancouver Island Short Film Festival (VISFF) Policy for Establishment of the Selection and Judging Committees

The Selection and Judging Committees are tasked with choosing the best short films according to a variety of criteria including compliance with VISFF rules and regulations, production quality, and originality. All persons who submitted to the festival will be advised if their film(s) have been shortlisted for selection, will be contacted if their film is to be screened, and informed if they are nominated for Goldie (VISFF award).
Selection and Judging Committee members are recommended by Executive Organizing Committee (EOC) and approved by VISFF Advisory Committee (Board).

QUALIFICATIONS, RULES, and REGULATIONS for CONSIDERATION by the SELECTION COMMITTEE

(1) Short Films are defined by the VISFF as having a running time of 15 minutes or less, including credits. Music videos, previews, and advertisements will not be considered.

(2) Films previously entered and screened at the VISFF are not eligible for re-entry in subsequent years.

(3) If the primary language of a film is not in English, then it must have hard-coded English subtitles.

(4) Short Films must be submitted online, in the highest quality possible. Films can be broadcast in High Definition at 1080p.

(5) Short Films must be compliant with all copyright laws. If music or additional film material used in your film is not original, then permission from the 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, VISFF will not be liable to refund the fee or return the materials entered.

(6) A fee is required upon online submissions, which must be paid in full. One entry per fee. (Vancouver Island filmmakers may enter for FREE by emailing submissions@visff.com for a waiver code.)

(7) VISFF reserves 10% or 2 spots (depending on running time) of the total festival running time to local films (films made on Vancouver Island).

(8) By submitting to the VISFF, the participant is granting permission to view their film by the Selection and Judging Committee and if selected for screening, is granting permission to screen the film at the VISFF and use selected clips in promotional materials (including but not limited to press releases, websites, social media, TV, radio, and print). After the festival, VISFF may post the film online only if the film is publicly available for viewing.

The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival is not responsible for resolving technical issues with submitted films.

SELECTION COMMITTEE
(1) There shall be a Vancouver Island Short Film Festival Selection Committee consisting of five (5) individuals appointed by the VISFF Board on the recommendation of the EOC and whose mandate shall be to nominate and elect short films, as per criteria, to be juried by the Judging Committee.

(2) Individuals forming part of the Selection Committee shall, in the opinion of the Board and EOC, be persons of integrity and ability and be knowledgeable in film production or criticism.

(3) It is intended that Selection Committee members be generally, but not exclusively composed of industry experts, members of the media who are experts in film, members of film academia. Selection Committee members should be knowledgeable in various technical, aesthetic, narrative, and entertainment qualities of film.

(4) Wherever possible, the Selection Committee should include a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and demographic make-up.

(5) The Selection Committee shall be composed of five (5) members for a one-year term, after which, individuals may continue to serve and be appointed to the Committee for a service period of up to a maximum of three (3) years. At the end of a three-year term, an individual may not be eligible for reappointment for a period of one (1) year.

(6) A person currently on the Board, on the Judging Committee, on the festival production and/or EOC, or a person who has directed, produced, acted in, or is affiliated with any film submitted to the festival in the current year is not eligible to sit on the Selection Committee.

(7) Members of the Selection Committee must serve without remuneration but may be paid reasonable and necessary expenses that they may incur directly out of the performance of their duties.

(8) The Selection Committee will review and screen all submitted qualifying Short Films during the selection process, and mark all entries on the criteria assigned on the festival’s web submission tool. The top 90 minutes (approximately) of Short Films shall be considered for screening. This is approximately 10 to 20 short films depending on the length of each individual film. Two spots or 10% of the running time of the festival is reserved for local films. If including films with tied scores would increase the running length of the festival over 90 minutes, the Selection Committee members will be encouraged to include films that will help create a diverse, more inclusive show.

(9) The VISFF promotes quality storytelling. Films with strong, well-told storylines will be given priority over films with high technical achievement.

(10) Decisions of the Selection Committee are final; there is no appeal process.

JUDGING COMMITTEE

(1) There shall be a Vancouver Island Short Film Festival Judging Committee consisting of five (5) individuals appointed by a Board on the recommendation of the EOC and whose mandate shall be to jury short films nominated by the Selection Committee, as per criteria.

(2) Individuals forming part of the Judging Committee shall, in the opinion of the Board and EOC, be persons of integrity and ability and be knowledgeable of quality production in film.

(3) It is intended that Judging Committee members be generally, but not exclusively, composed of industry experts, members of the media who are experts in film, or members of film academia. Judging Committee members should be knowledgeable of various technical, aesthetic, narrative, and entertainment qualities of film.

(4) The Judging Committee will select films to award Goldies, according to categories set by the Executive Steering Committee after watching all the year’s selections. Some example awards include but are not limited to:
- Best Cinematography
- Best Performance
- Best Film
- Best Writing

(5) Wherever possible, the Judging Committee should include a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and demographics.

(6) The Judging Committee shall be composed of five (5) members for a one-year term, after which, individuals may continue to serve and be appointed to the Committee for a service period of up to a maximum of three (3) years. At the end of a three-year term, an individual may not be eligible for reappointment for a period of one (1) year.

(7) A person currently on the Board, on the Selection Committee, on the festival production and/or EOC, or a person who has directed, produced, acted in, or is affiliated with any film selected for the festival in the current year is not eligible to sit on the Judging Committee.

(8) Members of the Judging Committee must serve without remuneration but may be paid reasonable and necessary expenses that they may incur directly out of the performance of their duties.

(9) The VISFF promotes quality storytelling. Films with strong, well-told stories will be given priority over films with high technical achievement.

(10) Decisions of the Judging Committee are final; there is no appeal process.

The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival is not responsible for fixing any badly transferred data.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Huge honour to have my work selected in my own community. Extremely professional and kind communication & fantastic event. Very grateful to have my documentary "Before the beauty is gone" shown at VISFF.

    August 2021
  • Brian O'Malley

    The team at VISFF did an amazing job at putting on a very professional and accessible online festival, many kudos to all. The communication was amazing and their Instagram presence was daily leading up the screenings. Thanks for selecting, unsheltered, and choosing a film that basically had the slimmest of budgets. Hope to see you guys down the line.

    July 2021
  • Rob Shaw

    I attended the 2019 festival with my film "Bargain Bin Bed", and was impressed with every single aspect. The theatre venue in Vancouver Island University is really nice, and the screenings were slick. There is both a warmth and a professionalism to this festival, and a lot of hard work obviously goes into the planning and execution. The program is a perfect mix of local, Canadian, and international films, and I was humbled by the high quality of the other films. I really felt honoured to be shown at this festival, and that is a testament to the calibre of Vancouver Island Short Film Festival. Oh, and the festival organizers and staff are approachable, friendly, awesome people!

    September 2020
  • Eric Durnford

    Had a wonderful time. So many great films! Very friendly and accommodating staff/volunteers. It was totally worth the trip.

    March 2020
  • This is a great little festival. The screenings were well attended by folks who are looking to support independent film makers. The Q & A session was lots of fun as the audience and MC were really engaged. It was a great compliment to be included in this festival as the other films were of very high calibre. Its a little out of the way (two and half hours from Downtown Vancouver including a 90 minute ferry ride) but it was definitely my best festival experience to date.

    February 2020