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Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival will be celebrating its 35th edition September 16-24, 2023.

Since its inception in 1989, Cinefest 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, Cinefest 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 film lovers, filmmakers, and industry delegates.

As part of its feature film, documentary, and short film programs, Cinefest 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. Cinefest 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.

As of 2020, submitted films may be considered to stream virtually.

Outstanding Canadian Feature Film Award ($15,000 CAD)
• 2022 WINNER • Riceboy Sleeps, directed by Anthony Shim

Outstanding International Feature Film Award ($10,000 CAD)
• 2022 WINNER • Presque (Beautiful Minds), directed by Bernard Campan & Alexandre Jollien

Outstanding Female-Led Feature Film Award ($2,500 CAD)
• 2022 WINNER • Call Jane, directed by Phyllis Nagy

Inspiring Voices & Perspectives Feature Film Award ($2,500 CAD)
• 2022 WINNER • To Kill a Tiger, directed by Nisha Pahuja

Cinema Indigenized Outstanding Talent Award ($2,500 CAD)
• 2022 WINNER • Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On, directed by Madison Thomas

French Language Feature Film Award ($2,500 CAD)
• 2022 WINNER • Viking, directed by Stéphane Lafleur

Outstanding Short Film Award ($1,500 CAD)
• 2022 WINNER • Aska, directed by Clara Milo

Outstanding Emerging Canadian Short Film Award ($1,000 CAD)
• 2022 WINNER • L'autre rive (A Shore Away), directed by Gaëlle Graton

Outstanding Northern Ontario Short Film Award ($1,000 CAD)
• 2022 WINNER • Becoming Tom Thomson, directed by Steve Belford

Audience Choice Award: Best Feature (in-theatre)
• 2022 WINNER • Bones of Crows, directed by Marie Clements

Audience Choice Award: Best Feature (virtual)
• 2022 WINNER • Norbourg, directed by Maxime Giroux

Audience Choice Award: Best Documentary (in-theatre)
• 2022 WINNER • Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On, directed by Madison Thomas

Audience Choice Award: Best Documentary (virtual)
• 2022 WINNER • OKAY! (The ASD Band Film), directed by Mark Bone

Audience Choice Award: Best Short (in-theatre)
• 2022 WINNER • Spiral (Kierre), directed by Salla Sorri & Eva-Maria Koskinen

Audience Choice Award: Best Short (virtual)
• 2022 WINNER • Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics, directed by Terril Calder

Festival Procedure
• Each film submission will be pre-screened by Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival’s programming team to determine which films will be screened during the festival (not all submissions entered will be programmed)

Submission Format
• For programming consideration, Cinefest Sudbury accepts video links only (please read through the eligibility requirements below before proceeding)

Eligibility and Selection
• Films are selected on the basis of achievement in form and content
• Films must have been completed in the current OR previous calendar year (i.e., 2022 or 2023)
• Films that have been previously submitted, but were not programmed, are permitted to re-submit
• Films may be a work-in-progress (for submissions purposes only)
• Submissions that have been made available widely to the public over the: internet (YouTube, iTunes, Vimeo, etc.), 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 festival presentation format for in-theatre screenings is DCP (jpeg2000mxf) and H.264 video file encoded at 10Mbps for virtual film screenings via Agile
• All selected films must be ready for presentation and made available to screen no later than September 1, 2023
• Films must be in their original language with English subtitles (if necessary)
• All available press materials must be sent to Cinefest 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

Awards Program
• All submitted films that meet the eligibility requirements outlined by Cinefest Sudbury, and have been chosen as an Official Selection, will be automatically entered for awards consideration (films are not invited to be In Competition)
• 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 Cinefest Sudbury will be used to determine both Canadian and international eligibility
• Cinefest Sudbury reserves the right to modify the awards program and/or its categories at any given time

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

Print Liability
• In the instance of a lost or damaged DCP, Cinefest Sudbury will compensate only for the cost of creating a new DCP
• Cinefest Sudbury assumes responsibility for the print from the time of delivery to the time at which a print is rendered to a shipping agent

Release
• For promotional purposes, Cinefest 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 Cinefest 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 videos entered

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • 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
  • Great experience! Thank you for everything

    October 2022
  • A wonderful first experience to participate in the Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival. Very organized and communicative festival! Highly recommended! And thank you for having us with our short "Cocoon Love".

    November 2021