Since its inception in 1989, Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival continues to seek out and showcase high-calibre film programming to passionate and enthusiastic audiences over its 9-day festival. Recognized as a premier film event in Canada, hosting 35,000 attendees annually, Cinéfest Sudbury celebrates and promotes diverse cultural exchange and open-mindedness, with a commitment of sharing the best international and domestic programming to a broad audience of cinephiles, filmmakers, and industry delegates.

As part of its feature film, documentary, and short film programs, Cinéfest Sudbury focuses on artistic quality and excellence, looking for films that represent diverse voices and experiences, providing a platform for film artists to relay the stories they wish to tell. Of special note, the festival hosts broadened programs spotlighting works from Indigenous and Francophone filmmakers. Cinéfest Sudbury also provides filmmakers with the unique opportunity to reach a wider audience as it hosts upwards of 60 programmers annually from other smaller domestic festivals attending with the intention of selecting films to screen in their home communities once released.

Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival celebrated its 35th anniversary edition in 2023 where it screened a total of 114 films, including 68 from Canada and 24 from Northern Ontario.

• Outstanding Canadian Feature Film Award
• Outstanding International Feature Film Award
• Meilleur long métrage de langue française
• Cinema Indigenized Outstanding Talent Award
• Outstanding Female-Led Feature Film Award
• Inspiring Voices & Perspectives Feature Film Award
• Outstanding Short Film
• Outstanding Northern Ontario Short Film Award
• Outstanding Animated Short Film Award
• Audience Choice Award: Best Feature Film
• Audience Choice Award: Best Documentary
• Audience Choice Award: Best Short Film

• Each film submission will be pre-screened by Cinéfest Sudbury's programming team to determine which films will be screened during the festival

• For programming consideration, Cinéfest Sudbury accepts video links only (please read through the eligibility requirements below)

• Films are selected on the basis of achievement in form and content
• Films must have been completed in the current OR previous calendar year (2023 or 2024)
• Films that have been previously submitted, but were not programmed, are permitted to re-submit
• For submission purposes only, films may be a work-in-progress
• Submissions that have been made available widely to the public over the internet (YouTube, iTunes, Vimeo, etc.) and/or television, or that have screened within a 350 km radius of the City of Greater Sudbury, are not eligible—filmmakers are encouraged to contact the festival if they are unsure if this eligibility rule applies to them
• The in-theatre festival presentation format is DCP (jpeg2000mxf)
• All selected films must be ready for presentation and made available to screen no later than September 2, 2024
• Films must be in their original language with English subtitles (if necessary)
• All available press materials must be sent to Cinéfest Sudbury upon notification of selection
• If the film was shot in part or in whole in Northern Ontario, and/or if a member of the cast and/or crew resides in or is from Northern Ontario, please provide information relating to the location and duration of the shoot, and/or the name of the person residing in or from Northern Ontario, as well as their role within the production

• All submitted films that meet the eligibility requirements outlined by Cinéfest Sudbury, and have been chosen as an Official Selection, will be automatically entered for awards consideration
• Each category will be judged by a preselected film industry jury (this excludes the Audience Choice Awards, which are determined solely by popular vote from the general public in attendance)
• Submitted films which meet the eligibility requirements for multiple categories will be considered for each of its eligible awards, excluding films that are selected as recipients of the Outstanding Canadian Feature Film Award and Outstanding International Feature Film Award, which will be removed from further consideration in all other categories
• Recipients of each category will receive a cash prize and the official title of their award for the respective year of the festival
• Films must be over 70 minutes in length to qualify as a feature film
• Both narrative and documentary films are eligible in all categories
• Points system determined by Cinéfest Sudbury will be used to determine both Canadian and international eligibility
• Cinéfest Sudbury reserves the right to modify the awards program, its categories, and cash prize amounts at any given time

• Upon acceptance into the festival, the scheduling of screening dates, times, and locations is the sole responsibility of festival organizers

• Cinéfest Sudbury assumes responsibility for the print from the time of delivery to the time at which a print is rendered to a shipping agent
• In the instance of a lost or damaged DCP while in the possession of festival organizers, Cinéfest Sudbury will compensate only for the cost of creating a new DCP

• For promotional purposes, Cinéfest Sudbury is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the festival
• The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands/accepts these requirements and regulations
• The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Cinéfest Sudbury 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/damage to the screening films entered

Overall Rating

  • I can't say enough about my experience at this festival. Patrick, Lauren, volunteers, the whole team, incredible folks, truly passionate about storytelling. I got to see some incredible films in an awesome venue, and Sudbury is a great place to spend a few days in the fall.

    Thank you so much.

    June 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the kind words, Bren! We hope to see you again soon.

  • Cinefest Sudbury is a great festival to attend! They have a loyal following within the city of Sudbury which brings out a solid audience to each screening! We had a tremendous premiere here for our feature doc, and would highly recommend.

    October 2023
  • Rita Leistner

    I love Sudbury and Cinéfest Sudbury was always high on my list of Festivals. This part of Ontario is known for its natural surroundings, lakes and forests and clean air. I spent time in the region planting trees in my youth, so I was thrilled when my feature doc Forest for the Trees, set in a tree planting community in BC, was selected for Cinéfest Sudbury 2022. I was sad I couldn't go to the festival for reasons beyond my control. But I'm so proud to have been invited and all my interactions with the festival were smoothe and a pleasure. Thank you everyone at Cinéfest Sudbury!

    October 2022
  • Stélion Films

    A really great experience in Sudbury for our team with "Grounds of Hope"! We met some wonderful people and saw great films. The screening conditions are exemplary at the SylverCity Cineplex, and it is truly a pleasure to participate in festivals of this type with such professionalism. Thanks to the entire festival team and volunteers, you were awesome! We hope to see you soon...

    October 2022
  • Tee Schneider

    We couldn't have asked for a better experience for Little Bird premiere. Christa, Brandon and Michael and the team made us feel so welcome and valued valued as filmmakers. The audience was so kind and positive. Our only regret was not being able to stay longer and enjoy more of the programming and scenery. 100% recommend without hesitation,.

    October 2022