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 premiere 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, short, and documentary 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, Cinefest offers both virtual and in-person film programming; submitted films may be considered to stream virtually.

Outstanding Canadian Feature Film Award ($15,000 CAD)
• 2021 winner: All My Puny Sorrows, directed by Michael McGowan

Outstanding International Feature Film Award ($10,000 CAD)
• 2021 winner: Official Competition (Competencia oficial), directed by Mariano Cohn & Gastón Duprat

Outstanding Female-Led Feature Film Award ($2,500 CAD)
• 2021 winner: Mothering Sunday, directed by Eva Husson

Inspiring Voices & Perspectives Feature Film Award ($2,500 CAD)
• 2021 co-winner: Dear Future Children, directed by Franz Böhm
• 2021 co-winner: Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy, directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Cinema Indigenized Outstanding Talent Award ($2,500 CAD)
• 2021 winner: Wildhood, directed by Bretten Hannam

French Language Feature Film Award ($2,500 CAD)
• 2021 winner: Souterrain (Underground), directed by Sophie Dupuis

Outstanding Short Film Award ($1,500 CAD)
• 2021 winner: Pipo et l'amour aveugle (Pipo and Blind Love), directed by Hugo Le Gourrierec

Outstanding Emerging Canadian Short Film Award ($1,000 CAD)
• 2021 winner: Talk, directed by Trivelle Simpson

Outstanding Animated Short Film Award ($1,000 CAD)
• 2021 winner: Itchy the Camel — Rakes, directed by Anders Beer & PH Dallaire

Audience Choice Award: Best Feature
• 2021 winner: Le club vinland (The Vinland Club), directed by Benoit Pilon

Audience Choice Award: Best Documentary
• 2021 winner: Hell or Clean Water, directed by Cody Westman

Audience Choice Award: Best Short
• 2021 winner: The Robbery, directed by Nika Belianina

Festival Procedure
Each film submission will be pre-screened by Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival’s screening committee to determine which films will be screened during the Festival. Not all submissions 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
1. Films are selected on the basis of achievement in form and content
2. Films must have been completed in the current OR previous calendar year
3. Films that have been previously submitted, but not programmed, are permitted to re-submit
4. Films may be a work-in-progress (for submissions purposes only)
5. 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 kilometre 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
6. The Festival presentation format is DCP (jpeg2000mxf) for in-theatre screenings, and streaming through Eventive for digital screenings. Eventive recommended specs are an H.264 video file encoded at 10Mbps
7. All selected films must be made available to screen by September 1, 2022
8. Films must be in their original language with English subtitles (if necessary)
9. All available press materials must be shipped to Cinefest Sudbury upon notification of selection
10. 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 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
1. All submitted films that meet the eligibility requirements outlined by Cinefest Sudbury, and are chosen as an official selection, will be automatically entered for awards consideration
2. Cinefest Sudbury does not invite films to be in competition—only submitted films will be considered
3. 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)
4. 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 other categories
5. Recipients of each category will receive a cash prize and the official title of their award for the respective year of the festival
6. Films must be over 70 minutes in length to qualify as a feature film
7. Both narrative and documentary films are eligible in all categories
8. Points system determined by Cinefest Sudbury will be used to determine both Canadian and international eligibility
9. Cinefest Sudbury reserves the right to modify the awards program and/or its categories at any given time

Upon acceptance into the Festival, the scheduling of screening dates, times, and locations is the sole responsibility of Cinefest Sudbury.

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.

1. 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
2. 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
3. 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
  • 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
  • Chrysalis Films

    Awesome festival! Everyone was so friendly and easy to get a hold of. We hope we will be able to showcase our feature next year in person!

    October 2021
  • Vittoria Campaner

    A great festival ! Really professional and organised brilliantly. Happy to be part of the official selection.

    October 2021
  • Christian Monnier

    Très beau festival, équipe très sympa, nos sommes très heureux d'avoir participé avec notre film. Encore merci !

    October 2021
  • I am so grateful for the opportunity to screen at Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival, during difficult circumstances in the pandemic they were amazing to work with and so helpful. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

    October 2020