Founded in 2001, the Nickel Independent Film Festival is a celebration of independent filmmaking in Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada.

Our annual summer festival takes place at the legendary LSPU Hall in downtown St. John's, and features a week blocked with film screenings, workshops, discussion panels, and networking events. We are a small festival, but we aspire to create a welcoming, enthusiastic and creative atmosphere that leaves audiences and filmmakers feeling a strong connection to independent film culture in the province.

Beyond our summer fest, we offer filmmaking workshops, creative film challenges, and mentorship programs throughout the year. Our cross-province educational outreach programs offer curriculum-based learning opportunities for youth from professional filmmakers. Our film challenges provide a great opportunity for new and experienced filmmakers alike to connect with the joy of filmmaking and develop their skills.

Take a front-row seat to the future of independent film: See you at the Nickel!

The Nickel invites submissions from any genre and anywhere in the world, but we have a very strong preference for films with connections to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the broader Atlantic Canada region, or films that relate to Inuit, Innu, or Mi'kmaq culture.

The majority of our programming consists of short films (mostly <15 minutes) that can be described as either unique, honest, funny, inspiring, or some combination of those. We gravitate toward films that experiment with form and technique, films that delve into pressing universal social issues, explore raw human experiences, and films that help celebrate human connection, diversity, and the joy of being alive.



The following terms ("Terms") govern film submission ("Film") to The Nickel Independent Film Festival (NIFF) via FilmFreeway, for consideration for the festival ("Festival"). If there are inconsistencies between this document and any other by NIFF or another party, this document prevails. Direct questions about these Terms to the Executive Director at


By submitting a Film for Festival consideration, the submitter ("Applicant") confirms they have obtained consent from all relevant Film Owners and have understood and agreed to these Terms.

NIFF reserves the right to disqualify or reject submissions that do not comply with these Terms, without refunding submission fees.


Films submitted for consideration must be within the categories provided in FilmFreeway.

Ineligible films will not be accepted or considered by NIFF.

For categorization, "Canadian" films are those directed by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, with at least one production country being Canada. All other films are considered "International."

Films must have a completion date of June 1, 2022, or later.

Films previously submitted to NIFF will not be considered.

Accepted films must be submitted in high-quality digital format by the final submission deadline.

Films must not be made available for online streaming, free or paid, until after the festival (June 11 - 18, 2024). Exceptions can be made at the programming committee's discretion.


Films must be submitted following the procedure outlined here; otherwise, they may be disqualified.

To submit a film, Applicants must: (a) complete registration on Festival Freeway and pay the required fee per V.2, and (b) provide NIFF a digital screener. Submissions in other forms (e.g., RW discs, Blu-ray discs, trailers) are not accepted.

NIFF will review only one version of a Film, the first received.

If a non-final cut is submitted, NIFF will review based on what they receive. Incomplete films at the final submission date will be disqualified.


Selections are at NIFF's sole discretion and are final. NIFF is not obliged to provide feedback or reasoning for its decisions, and cannot be held liable for its selection process.

NIFF will notify all Applicants of their selection status via the FilmFreeway notification date. Failure to provide accurate contact information is the Applicant's responsibility.


By submitting, the Applicant and Film Owners warrant that the film is original, doesn't infringe on any rights, is not subject to litigation, and there are no impairing agreements. They also confirm that they can legally submit the film and grant all the rights required.

The Applicant agrees to indemnify NIFF from any legal claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses resulting from the film submission and potential breaches of these Terms.

NIFF takes anti-piracy precautions. However, in the event of theft, unauthorized access or copying, or copyright breach while in NIFF’s possession, the Applicant and Film Owners release NIFF from liability.

VIII. Other

NIFF reserves the right to make decisions on situations not outlined in these Terms.

The party submitting the film confirms their authorization to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these regulations.

The submitter agrees to indemnify The Nickel Independent Film Festival against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses resulting from any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, or loss of or damage to screening videos.

The Nickel pays screening fees in $CAD as determined by the 2024 IMAA schedule.

Overall Rating
  • Henrik Dahlbring

    Very happy to have been selected for this festival, professional and helpful programmers. Just wish I could have been there.

    September 2023
  • Shan Pomeroy

    I adore the Nickel! Thanks so much for having me again this year.

    June 2023
  • Yoni Collins

    An absolutely incredible festival! Loved everything about it! Highly recommended!

    June 2023
  • Sean Wainsteim

    What an incredible festival! Attending Nickel felt like landing in a warm hug of an engaged community of caring film lovers and great people. There's an intimacy to the festival that feels like it represents where festivals SHOULD be. From wonderful filmmaker chats and labs to accessibility initiatives and having support staff available during films with challenging material. The vibe was friendly and progressive and I only wish I could have stayed longer. Eling, Sandy, Mike, Kai, Mal and the rest of the incredible team couldn't have been more welcoming. It's also one of the rare North American festivals that offers screening fees and assistance travelling. All that... and I didn't even mention the stunning views, incredible hikes and world class eats. Super memorable and touching experience.

    June 2023
  • It is an honor to have "Enter the Room" selected into your festival. The communication was clear and detailed and I received everything I needed.

    Overall, this festival is a lot more generous than most film festivals that I have been a part of. This includes the payment sent to the filmmakers to screen the filmmakers' films, the online screening (which I really enjoyed) available to those filmmakers who couldn't attend the festival in person and the extra efforts to help out with travel expenses.

    Overall, I had a fantastic experience with this festival and will definitely consider submitting future projects to Nickel Independent Film Festival.

    June 2023