Named “one of 50 film festivals worth the entry fee" in both 2020 and 2022 by MovieMaker, the Whistler Film Festival combines an esteemed Canadian and international film competition with a concentrated industry summit organized to address the ever-changing landscape of filmmaking in the digital age.
Now in its 23rd year, “Canada’s Coolest Festival” is recognized as one of Canada’s leading festivals and industry events. The Whistler Film Festival and Content Summit features innovative and original films and voices from around the world and has become a premier destination for filmmakers to connect, network, and hone their craft.
To recognize the vitality of the art form, WFF 2023 will feature seven juried competitive sections and one audience award, a total of 15 awards, including the prestigious Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature Film, presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia that awards a $15,000 cash and $20,000 post-services prize for the Best Canadian Feature Film.
Up to 100 films (40 features and 60 shorts) from Canada and around the world will be presented.
Canadian and International filmmakers are invited to submit films of all lengths and genres. Submissions open March 1st and close August 15th.
Cinematic excellence remains at the heart of the Whistler Film Festival. There are seven juried sections with 15 film awards and over $36,500 in prizes to be awarded ($16,500 cash and $20,000 in prizes)
Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature
Canadian films and filmmakers are the proud centrepiece of the Whistler Film Festival. All Canadian feature films, except Documentary features, with a BC premiere status will be included in the Borsos Competition.
Borsos Competition films are eligible for the following awards:
- Best Canadian Feature Film ($15,000 cash prize sponsored by Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia and $20,000 production prize sponsored by Company 3)
- Best Director of a Borsos Competition film sponsored by Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia
- Best Screenplay for a Borsos Competition film
- Best Performance in a Borsos Competition film
- Best Cinematography in a Borsos Competition film Presented by ICG 669
- Best Editing in a Borsos Competition Film Presented by IATSE 891
Other Awards Include:
Best BC Director Award
The Best BC Director Award, presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia recognizes the achievements of BC Directors with feature films at the festival and selects one film for the distinction.
World Documentary Award
From the personal to the political, WFF’s World Documentary Competition showcases a selection of documentary feature films from around the world. All films are Western Canadian Premieres.
Mountain Culture Award
As a reflection of the Festival’s unique setting, WFF’s Mountain Culture Award features films from around the world that capture mountain places and experiences with a cinematic flourish.
ShortWork Award (Canadian and International)
Presented with verve and limited only by their duration, these short films display the extraordinary talent, dynamism and creative exploration found in the work of some of the world’s most promising filmmakers. Films are eligible for either the Best International ShortWork Award or the Best Canadian ShortWork Award ($1,000 CDN cash prize).
BC Student ShortWork Competition
Includes a selection of short films produced by post-secondary students in British Columbia. Films are eligible for the Best Student Shortwork award ($500 CDN cash prize).
All narrative and documentary feature-length films in the Whistler Film Festival are eligible to receive the Audience Award, which is a non-cash prize. The Festival-going public casts their votes to choose the most popular film in this year’s festival.
Thank you for submitting to the 2023 Whistler Film Festival!
ALL submissions are accepted via FilmFreeway Online Screener, YouTube or Vimeo link only. You will be able to enter this information during submission.
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT ACCEPT DVD SCREENERS.
You can contact our Submissions Department if you have additional questions at email@example.com. *Please do not contact us with questions or updates regarding your submission status or requests for waivers. WE DO NOT PROVIDE FILM FEE WAIVERS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
We do not provide film fee waivers, so please refrain from asking.
Film fees are payable by all major credit cards via FilmFreeway. There are no film fee refunds.
The Whistler Film Festival accepts submissions of films of all lengths, subject matters and countries of origin.
All submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2021.
Non-English language films must be presented in English-subtitled versions.
Works-in-progress are eligible for submission. Please be aware programmers only view the first version of a submitted film and will not accept a revised cut version of the film later in the submission process. Updated versions will not be screened except if considered for our FIRST LOOK industry screening series. Up to three films are selected by invitation. If your work-in-progress is a contender for FIRST LOOK you will be contacted by one of our programmers.
Entries previously submitted to the Whistler Film Festival will not be considered.
Preference will be given to films that have not been publicly telecast or available on the Internet prior to December 5, 2023, with the exception of online or in-theatre film festival exhibition outside the province of British Columbia.
Trailers are not eligible for selection purposes.
Selected films will be notified by Oct 31, 2023. Projects may have distribution already in place.
Please visit our website to review Frequently Asked Questions: www.whistlerfilmfestival.com/festival/submissions/
SUBMISSION CATEGORIES AND ELIGIBILITY:
Canadian Narrative Feature Film
Canadian feature-length films are eligible for feature length narrative programming strands. Feature films must be 50 minutes in length or longer (including credits) to qualify for this category. A film is considered Canadian if the director is a Canadian citizen and if the film has been at least 51% financed through Canadian dollars or is produced in Canada. Canadian entries must have, at minimum, a British Columbia premiere status (i.e. has not screened in British Columbia prior to Whistler Film Festival) to be eligible for the prestigious juried Borsos Competition. If selected, films in the Borsos Competition must be available to screen on WFF's secure online platform. Documentary feature films are not eligible for the Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature. All feature-length films selected for the Whistler Film Festival are also eligible to receive the Audience Award. The Festival-going public casts their votes to choose the most popular film in this year's festival.
International Narrative Feature
Feature films from all countries are invited to apply. Feature films must be 50 minutes in length or longer (including credits) to qualify for this category. All narrative feature-length films selected for the Whistler Film Festival are eligible to receive the Audience Award. The Festival-going public casts their votes to choose the most popular film in this year's festival. All foreign language films require English subtitles.
World Documentary Competition
Feature-length documentary films from all countries are invited to apply. Documentaries must be 50 minutes in length or longer (including credits) to qualify for this category. Preference is given for films with World Premiere, North American Premiere, or Canadian Premiere status. Selected documentary films are eligible for the juried World Documentary Award. Selected feature documentaries are also eligible to receive the Audience Award. The Festival-going public casts their votes to choose the most popular film in this year's festival.
Canadian Shortwork Competition
Canadian short films are eligible for our ShortWork Competition and our Canadian ShortWork Award with a $1000 cash prize. All short films must be less than 50 minutes in length (including credits) to qualify for this category. A film is considered Canadian if the director is a Canadian citizen and if the film has been at least 51% financed through Canadian dollars or is produced in Canada. Preference will be given to films that have not already screened in BC. Selected films will be notified by Oct 31, 2023. Projects may have distribution already in place.
International Shortwork Competition
International short films are eligible for our ShortWork Competition and our International ShortWork Award. All non-English language film screeners must have English subtitles. All short films must be less than 50 minutes in length (including credits) to qualify for this category. Preference will be given to films that have not already screened in BC.
BC Student ShortWork Competition
Films produced by students attending a British Columbia post-secondary education institution in a creative field are eligible for our BC Student ShortWork Competition with a cash prize of $500. All short films must be less than 30 mins in length (including credits) to qualify for this category.
Mountain Culture Competition
Whistler is a mountain town, and lives and breathes by its seasonal sports activities. This program is specifically curated to please local audiences that live and breathe the outdoors. Films submitted to this category should be related to any sports, athletic journeys, adventure filmmaking or environmental impact. Films can be short or feature length films.
NOTIFICATION OF ENTRY STATUS:
Applicants will be notified by October 31, 2023 of their final entry status via email to the FilmFreeway contact.
The Whistler Film Festival’s Programming Team and Selection Committees review all film submissions. Decisions made by the Whistler Film Festival are final. Due to time constraints, the Programming Team and Selection Committee will not be able to respond individually to filmmakers if your film is not accepted.
The date(s), time(s) and location(s) of exhibitions of programmed films shall be at the discretion of the Festival. Your film may be scheduled to screen virtually across Canada, unless geoblocking parameters are agreed upon with WFF in writing.
No film, once programmed, can be withdrawn.
Each official selection will be required to provide a press kit and materials upon acceptance.
SHIPPING OF INVITED FILMS:
All shipments for exhibition to the Festival must be prepaid. If you are selected to screen at WFF23, we will cover the cost of return shipping.
The Festival will ensure the integrity of the prints from the time of delivery to the Festival from the time that the print is delivered to a shipping agent for return. In the event of loss or damage to a print, the Festival must be notified of such loss or damage in writing by January 15, 2024. The Festival’s obligation is limited to compensating the producer or distributor only to the cost of replacing the damaged print. The Whistler Film Festival does not assume liability for damage to prints due to improper shipping containers or otherwise.
PRIVACY & ANTI-PIRACY POLICY
The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS) endeavours to take all reasonable anti-piracy precautions for copyrighted materials in our possession. By submitting to the WFFS, you release the Society from all risk and liability in the event of theft or breach of copyright of your materials while on Festival premises.
TERMS & CONDITIONS:
Upon selection, the entrant grants the Whistler Film Festival the right to utilize publicity materials related to the production (i.e. press kits, posters, stills, preview tapes, etc.) for promotional purposes in all mediums, including broadcast, print and internet.
All publicity materials for invited films (press kits, stills, posters, video clips) must arrive at the Festival at the sender's expense.
The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.
The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Whistler Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.
The film has been submitted for consideration with the knowledge and consent of the Producer(s) and/or rights holders listed in this form.
Participation in the Whistler Film Festival implies an understanding and acceptance of these regulations. The Festival reserves the right to rule on cases not foreseen by these regulations.