The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival® is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. Works include films and videos by East, South and Southeast Asian filmmakers in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world. As Canada’s largest Asian film festival, Reel Asian® provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada.

Founded in 1997 by producer Anita Lee and journalist Andrew Sun, this non-profit community-based festival has grown into an eagerly anticipated annual event that attracts thousands of attendees to ten exciting days of galas, screenings, forums, workshops and parties.

Audience Award
Best Feature Film Award
Best Canadian Film or Video Award
Best First Feature Film Award
Female Director Award (for Ontario-based female filmmakers)
Best Short Film or Video Award
Animasian Award for Best Animated Film

We welcome new film and video submissions by East, South, and Southeast Asians from around the world, including North America.


We encourage submissions that are independently produced with an East/South/Southeast Asian/Asian North American and Asian diaspora artist in a key creative role (behind the camera and/or on screen).

We welcome films and videos of all genres, including but not limited to: narrative, documentary, short, animation, experimental, etc.

For feature-length film works, we strongly encourage and prioritize works completed in the last year. If your work was completed before 2018, please contact us before submitting.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you are submitting a rough cut and update your submission later, we cannot guarantee that the updated version will be reviewed.


Secure online screener links are the preferable previewing method. If submitting an online screener, please be prepared to send a DVD preview copy upon request.

If submitting a DVD preview copy, NTSC, Region 0 or 1 format is acceptable, and must be received post-marked by the deadline to be considered for the 2019 festival.

Do not send masters or irreplaceable material. Submitted DVDs must be able to play on standalone DVD players. Please label in ink each item clearly with title, director’s name, running time, year, and contact information. Previews WILL NOT be returned. Do not send unnecessary printed material.

If you are submitting a previously submitted work, note that all re-submissions have to have significant edits and changes for it to be re-considered. Please contact for further clarification.

Send DVD submissions to:

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 448. Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8 Canada

For international packages: The customs declaration should clearly state the preview video has no commercial value, is for temporary consideration and for cultural use only. Reel Asian will not cover the resulting customs and duties charges, and will refuse the package. Do not send entries in a fibre-filled envelope.

Submissions received after early deadline (April 15) must include an entry fee of USD 15. Please include receipt of online payment in the package. For other methods of payment please contact the festival directly.


Selected applicants must provide a DCP format of their film or video work. In some cases (especially short films), filmmakers may be required to provide a high quality Pro Res file for exhibition. Please contact the festival directly if you have other formats for consideration, such as HDCam.

We do not accept DVD as an exhibition format.

Reel Asian is not responsible for transfer costs for the appropriate exhibition format.

The participant agrees to pay print shipping costs to the festival. The festival will pay the return shipping cost (one way). Shipping information (such as where/when the tape/print is coming and going to) must be settled upon confirmation of participation. The exhibition tape/print must arrive at the festival one month prior to the festival.


Reel Asian is committed to paying artist fees to directors in selection and follows standard rates set by the Independent Media Arts Alliance ( Artist fees will be paid post-festival.


By submitting to this festival, you hereby grant the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival permission to screen and otherwise use the aforementioned title (the “Work”) in connection with the 2019 festival. You represent and warrant that you have all the rights in and to the Work and/or you have the authority to grant Reel Asian the rights to screen and otherwise use the Work. Your film festival acceptance also grants Reel Asian permission to use stills and excerpts from the Work for promotional and publicity use.

Overall Rating
  • Molly Patterson

    The communication and organization of this festival were outstanding, even with the time difference (we're in China) I received fast responses to all of my questions and regular updates from Kelly. While we were unable to attend this year it was an honor to have our film screened and we will certainly submit and try to attend next year.

    December 2019
  • Raymond Limantara

    Probably the best festival I didn’t get to attend. The communication and the social media coverage was great and comprehensive. Please keep up the good work!

    December 2019
  • Absolutely loved everything about this festival! The staff and volunteers were so amazing and welcoming, and the audience was so open to every genre in our shorts program. Highly recommend applying to this festival - we will definitely apply again in the future!

    November 2019
  • Valerie Soe

    Nothing but five stars for this fabulous festival. They are welcoming, professional, organized, and on point in every way. The programming is top-notch and there are many chances for filmmakers to mingle and get to know each other. Such a great experience!

    November 2019
  • Daniela Pinto

    A fantastic festival with incredible networking opportunities. I'd highly recommend it to any Asian filmmakers!

    January 2019