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

Animated 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. There are no premiere status requirements to submit to imagineNATIVE; however, premiere status may be a consideration in the final selection process.

5. 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.

6. 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 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 accept 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 the end of the Festival.
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. 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. Read the submission instructions carefully before submitting.
7. Please complete all mandatory sections. You will not be able to submit an Incomplete Submission Form and Incomplete Submission Forms will not be processed.

Overall Rating
  • I never thought Id be able to screen my work ever. This is the best platform to screen and tell indigenous stories. For the people by the people

    December 2022
  • Pilar Pedraza

    We are happy to have participated in the Festival, our short film won the New Voice in Storytelling award. Thank you very much for this great opportunity

    November 2022
  • the best festival, anywhere!! They go above and beyond to create opportunities and connections for the filmmakers

    November 2022
  • Un festival Increíble y necesario para los pueblos Indígenas del mundo

    November 2022
  • Our animation MUJER ESPÍRITU was really happy in this great Festival!

    November 2022