The Yorkton Film Festival

The Yorkton Festival began in 1947 as the Yorkton Film Council. Its mandate was to act as a volunteer distribution agency for the National Film Board (NFB). Jim Lysyshyn, field man for the NFB, suggested a film festival. When the Council rejected his proposal, he came forward with a more audacious proposal – an international festival. The Council accepted the new idea and organized the first festival in the fall of 1950.

In its current form the festival continues to be dedicated to the promotion of the best screen based media content, through our annual film festival and Golden Sheaf Awards competition. In addition to the annual event, the festival is dedicated to the promotion of short video content through our year round screening and tour outreach programs.

The Golden Sheaf Awards


In 1956, Winnipeg Free Press Film Critic Frank Morris suggested that the festival needed an award to call its own. Recalling his travel from Winnipeg to Yorkton, his suggestion to the film council was based on the golden fields of wheat he drove by. And from there, the Golden Sheaf Award was born.

The Winnipeg Brass Company was commissioned to design and produce the first Golden Sheaf Award for 1958. And while the Sheaf has undergone many changes since its beginnings, including a drastic reduction in weight, it remains a staple of festival and has truly become the unique and respected image of the festival that Frank Morriss had in mind.

Adjudication Standards

Adjudication for the awards is undertaken by over seventy jurors, all of whom are industry professionals, across Canada each year. Films are adjudicated by juries set up from coast to coast, Vancouver to Halifax.


Nominations for the main and accompanying categories are announced in late-March. Craft awards along with the nominees for the Founder's Award and Kathleen Shannon Award are announced in mid-April. Best of Fest nominees are not announced until the awards.


Nominees who are attending the festival are given priority for screenings. To help cover costs, filmmakers can apply for a bursary to cover registration to the festival. We also happily provide letters of reference to help with travel grant applications.

- All main category, accompanying category, craft category, and special awards come with a Golden Sheaf Awards statuette. For a full list of our awards go to:
- The Kathleen Shannon Award comes with a cheque for $1000 CDN
- The Ruth Shaw Award comes with a cheque for $500 CDN


Canadian filmmakers, producers and distributors are invited to submit their original work to the 2021 Yorkton Film Festival competition for the Golden Sheaf Awards. Canadian productions 60 minutes and under will be accepted. A Canadian production is defined as any production which would qualify as a certified production under current regulations applied by CAVCO. International co-productions are eligible only if the director is Canadian.

All entries must have been completed in the period between February 1, 2019 and January 31, 2021 and not have been entered in a previous Golden Sheaf Awards competition. Films that premiered at other festivals prior to February 1st, 2019, or were broadcast prior to that date, are not eligible to enter.

A single production cannot compete in multiple categories. It is eligible to be entered in one main category only.

Exception: If your production is part of an anthology series where episodes are produced by different production companies, then each production company may submit their work as a standalone entry. A separate entry form and fee are required for each entry.

The final decision regarding interpretation of the rules and regulations including the eligibility of any production for admission into the competition will be the responsibility of the festival.


$55.00 per entry for all main categories until end-of-day on Nov. 13th, 2020. $75.00 until end-of-day Dec. 18th, 2020. $95.00 afterward.

The entry fee for Student Production is $10.00 until end-of-day Nov, 13th, 2020. $20.00 afterward.

All main category submissions will be automatically considered for craft category nominations (no additional fee is required).

All entry fees are non-refundable. Entry fees must be submitted with the production at time of entry.

How to submit

Read the complete festival rules and regulations.
Submit your entry form and credit card payment through the Yorkon Film Festival FilmFreeway page.
Entries are accepted online only. If are unable to submit a digital copy of your film, please contact the festival office for assistance.
The deadline for entries is 11:59PM CST, January 31, 2021.

Alternative Submission Methods

All festival submissions are handled through FilmFreeway. If you are unable to submit your final copy in digital form and would like to submit your film via an alternative method, please contact the festival office.

Upload and Storage

Entrants are responsible for the technical quality of their submissions. Entries which cannot be adequately judged because of technical problems prior to upload/submission will be deemed ineligible.

Recommended video specs for export

Bit rate: 8Mbit.
Codec: H.264
Resolution: 1920x1080p, or 1280x720p
Frame rate: 23.98, or 29.97 fps
Audio: 48khz 2 channel, stereo audio


Qualified jurors, selected by the festival, will judge the entries. Awards may not be given in categories where, in the opinion of the jurors, the entries do not merit distinction. In the case of entries of three or less in any category, the festival reserves the right to collapse that category.

In this event, the entry will be held over for adjudication in the next year’s festival and the entry fee will carry forward.

Entries will be judged in the category in which they are entered. Please consult with festival staff, ahead of submission, if you are uncertain about which category your production belongs in.


All entrants nominated for a Golden Sheaf Award will be notified immediately following the jury process. Please check website for nominations late March for main categories, and early April for craft categories, at

Award Categories

Entries will be judged and a Golden Sheaf Award will be presented in the categories and craft award categories listed on the Categories page.

Publicity and Promotion

The festival reserves the right to use excerpts from any entry to promote the festival.

Yorkton Film Festival Bursary

At the discretion of the festival and where there is a demonstrated need, festival registration costs may be covered for nominees to attend the festival.

Only one bursary will be granted per production, with preference given to the director of the production. Bursaries do not cover admission to the Friday night Lobsterfest event, tickets for that event must be purchased by the attendee if they plan to attend that event.

Mini-Cinema Screening Centre

All productions submitted will be available for screening during the festival at Mini-Cinema, an on-demand screening centre during the film festival. Festival participants, distributors, specialty network representatives and buyers, as well as the general public, are invited to screen all festival entries.


A program of Golden Sheaf award productions may be taken on tour to other Canadian centres, following the festival. If your production is selected, it may be included in these special festival-run screenings.


All productions submitted will be archived in the festival library for viewing by the general public (no rental fee will be charged).

Rights and clearances

The entrant warrants that all necessary rights and clearances to the material contained in their production have been secured. The entrant agrees to grant the festival use of their production for the purposes and in the manner indicated above.