imagineNATIVE presents Film + Video, Digital + Interactive, and Audio media work made by Indigenous Artists (Directors, Producers, Writers, Designers) at all levels of experience for our annual Festival. Our mandate guides the programming and initiatives towards Indigenous narrative sovereignty. imagineNATIVE strives to represent a variety of ideas, themes, and genres, in addition to a diversity of Indigenous languages, nations, and cultures.

imagineNATIVE supports the artistic visions and perspectives of Indigenous Artists working in film and media arts in an inclusive and professional manner. As identified in our mission statement, we are committed to a greater understanding by audiences of Indigenous peoples, cultures, and artistic expressions. Therefore, works do not need to have overt Indigenous content or themes and can be productions made at all budget levels.

Experimental Audio Award

Narrative Audio Award

Emerging Digital + Interactive Award

Mid-Career Digital + Interactive Award

Innovation in Storytelling Award

Documentary Short Award

Documentary Feature Award

Live Action Short Award

Dramatic Feature Award

The Audience Choice Short Film Award

The Audience Choice Feature Film Award

New Voice in Storytelling Award

Indigenous Language Production Award

The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence

The Sun Jury Award

The Moon Jury Award

1. The Director must be Indigenous.
2. The Writer or key Producer must also be Indigenous or both.
3. Joint creative positions (co-Director, co-Writer, co-Producer) may be considered by the imagineNATIVE Artistic Director with additional requirements clarifying the creative and decision-making processes.
4. Due to impacts of COVID-19 on production, we will be accepting work completed on or after January 1, 2020. All works with production years 2020, 2021, and 2022 are eligible.
5. There are no premiere status requirements to submit to imagineNATIVE; however, premiere status may be a consideration in the final selection process.
6. Film + Video work permanently and/or publicly accessible for viewing via the Internet WITHOUT a password (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo) or via paid/pay-per-view S/VOD platforms (e.g. iTunes, Netflix) are eligible. However, priority will be given to those that are premiering in the final selection process. EXCEPTION: Music videos, Audio, and Digital + Interactive works are not subject to ineligibility due to online or broadcast history.
7. Film and video works distributed theatrically or broadcast on television outside of Canada are eligible for programming consideration. Film and video work already distributed theatrically or broadcast in Canada or that have a broadcast commitment do NOT make a work ineligible; however, it may be a consideration in the final selection process as a priority may be given to Indigenous-made works that have not yet had a distribution or broadcast opportunity.

If your work is still in production, you can still submit your work to the Festival. Please complete the Submission Form as best you can and let us know where you are at in the production stage in the Comments section. We will follow up. We prefer to have a Submission Form even if your work is incomplete, so it's on our radar.

Film + Video works created by Indigenous community collectives are eligible for submission but will require additional information to clarify the creative and decision-making processes. We do still require the names and Indigenous nations/tribes of each collective member.

All other roles - including Executive Producer, Associate Producer, or any individual credited in an advisor or consultant role - are not eligible for consideration for any of our submission categories. These requirements are to ensure the integrity of our mandate and mission by ensuring what we see on screen is primarily from Indigenous artistic perspectives.

Accepted works MAY be presented twice throughout the Festival. First, it will be presented in person during the Festival in the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Secondly, there is a chance that it will be presented online starting Sunday, October 24th for a week duration through the imagineNATIVE platform,

imagineNATIVE pays screening fees for all programmed work regardless of the medium. We utilize the following payment schedules set out by the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA), the industry standard for film festivals in Canada, and the CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule.

imagineNATIVE supports and celebrates the diversity, artistry and sovereignty of Indigenous artists from Indigenous nations. As such, we identify the nations/tribes to which these artists come from and represent (examples are given below). We understand that in rare cases, an Indigenous person may not know their nation or community due to the impacts of colonial or assimilationist practices. We welcome your submission and ask that you articulate your relationship to your Indigeneity. In the interest of maintaining the integrity of our mandate and mission to support Indigenous artists, imagineNATIVE reserves the right to follow up with applicants regarding eligibility.

1. We are accepting submissions in all languages. However, the Festival presents to a primarily English-speaking audience. All language works with dialogue must have English closed or open captioning to be eligible. If it is the artist's intent to present the final film or parts therein in the original language version the subtitles during those parts can just acknowledge the language that is being spoken eg: "Marcel speaking in Inuktitut" Please see our accessibility section under the FAQ's if you have any questions.
2. Preview 'screeners' should ideally have no broadcaster promos or commercial prompts, if applicable to the work.
3. Each work must have its own Submission Form and preview screener. Compilations will not be accepted.
4. Passwords for the preview 'screener' must be valid to October 31, 2022, if applicable.
5. Submissions must be made online; physical submissions will not be accepted. If you have accessibility restrictions that make online submissions difficult or not possible, please contact us and we will make the necessary accommodations. The deadline for submissions is May 18, 2022. Remember that we do not need to have your work completed to submit with the Form, but we do require a Submission Form completed.
6. The final work is to be delivered by August 1, 2022, to be eligible. If you have any questions contact
7. Read the submission instructions carefully before submitting.
8. Please complete all mandatory sections. You will not be able to submit an Incomplete Submission Form and Incomplete Submission Forms will not be processed.

I am legally authorized and have granted authorization to submit this work from all stakeholders, commissioners and co-producers involved to enter this work in the Festival and for it to be presented publicly if selected for Festival programming. If selected for the Festival as an Official Selection, I acknowledge and agree that I MUST submit an exhibition quality format if applicable (details to be provided with the programming offer) that must be made available by me for delivery to the Festival by August 1, 2022, for presentation during the 2022 Festival (Oct 18-30, 2022). I agree that the cost of shipping master print exhibition copies (if applicable) to and from the Festival will be covered by the Artist or Distributor (including if shipped from another festival), and not by imagineNATIVE.

I further grant imagineNATIVE the right to use clips (up to one minute) and stills from the work for the Festival Catalogue, promotional, archival, and other non-commercial uses, website and other terrestrial, online and digital media promotional outlets for promotional/reportage purposes. Print Source contact information for all works selected for public presentation at the Festival will be printed in the Festival Catalogue and be made available online. The Print Source information for all submitted works will appear in the Mediatheque video library and be visible only to Festival Delegates. I grant permission for the final version of submitted work to be used for the Festival jury and publicity (film review) purposes. imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival will not sell your personal information to any other organization or person.