Paddle Canada’s Waterwalker Film Festival is a tribute to the late Bill Mason, a great conservationist, canoeist, and filmmaker who cared passionately about his work and the wilderness. He wanted to share its beauty and promote its protection. As he once said, "Film is for me a means of expressing my feelings about the things I enjoy, things I am concerned about, mostly the natural world".

The Waterwalker Film Festival came together following Mason's death to help continue his vision. We hope, through this festival, to raise public awareness and support for wilderness conservation by celebrating films from around the world on canoeing, kayaking, safety, conservation, and protection of our waterways.

Our mission is to provide an accessible and affordable film festival that paddle lovers across North America can offer to their local communities. Our host fees are very low and with proceeds supporting our Bill Mason Memorial Scholarship fund.

Waterwalker has never offered cash prizes. However, we do offer awards in the following categories:
- Canadian Location
- Raft
- River Kayak
- Documentary
- Adventure
- Inspirational
- Canoe
- Education
- Shorts
- Best Envrionmental
- Sea Kayak
- Amateur

Waterwalker film submissions must feature some kind of paddling activity such as canoeing, kayaking (sea or river), rafting, stand up paddleboarding (SUP), etc. Entries that do not feature paddling activities will be disqualified.

Please make certain that you have read, understood, and agreed to the terms as outlined below before submitting your film entry.
• An entry will consist of a download link to an HD version of your film
• Entries can be of any duration in length and can be narrative, story, animated, or experimental art form.
‣If possible, entries should have a “Festival Cut” version (up to 20 minutes in length) of a “Feature” Film length (over 45 minutes), as most WWFF are shown in an evening event. However, a limited number of feature films will be selected.
‣Host groups may show a shorter version/edit of an entry to meet their clients' needs for the Tour.
• All entries MUST be accompanied by a brief (75 word maximum) summary of the film.
• The “Short Film” category should be no longer than 8 minutes.
• Entries can be submitted by professional or amateur filmmakers.
• Filmmakers from any country may enter, but foreign language entries must be accompanied by an English translation.
• All music rights MUST be cleared before submission to the Festival Committee.
• Past entries may be resubmitted. Priority will be given to new entries for Category winners.
• All entries will be viewed by the Festival Committee. Finalist films chosen by the Festival Committee are eligible to go on the festival tour.
• Please supply some photos for promotional purposes.
• The Festival Committee may use excerpts and photos of the entries for promotional purposes.
• All film entries will be notified and winners announced approximately 3 weeks after closing date.
• Entries will be copied by the Festival Committee for simulcast purposes on the Festival Tour.
• Winners will receive an exclusive right to use “Waterwalker Winner” logo in their own marketing.

Overall Rating
  • I was honored to win the award for 2023 Best River Kayaking Film at Waterwalker. More than anything else, it was a privilege to represent a festival with such a great mission and focus. Thanks so much and hope to join you in person next year.

    January 2024
  • Thrilled that our short film On, In & Under the Sava won best short film at your festival. To be included in such an iconic Canadian film festival - one that attended as kid during snow Ontario winters - was an honour and we look forward to submitting our next short film too!

    - Carmen + the Balkan River Defence Team

    January 2024
  • Outstanding festival. I love that this festival's profits go to fund scholarships for youth in the outdoor and environmental fields. Great service.

    May 2023
  • David Rohm

    Excellent!!! great people to work with.

    May 2022
  • Yossi Galanti

    It was an honor to take part in this festival. Great communication and more!

    May 2021