Reelworld Film Festival - 22nd year and going strong!

The Reelworld Film Festival showcases a wide variety of genres in narrative and documentary features, narrative and documentary shorts, music videos, animation, episodic content for web and television, and VR/360 works. From dramatic storytelling, to hard-hitting documentaries, to witty comedies, to thoughtful abstractions, Reelworld 2022 selections will reflect the strong and authentic voice of Canadians identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour.

We focus on diverse works by diverse people. We showcase and support Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour producers, directors, screenwriters, actors and all on and off screen talent. We connect with agents, casting directors, broadcasters and distributors, invite them to the festival, and help them find new Canadian talent. The Reelworld Film Festival features 100% Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour talent from Canada, and has become the country’s largest socially impactful film festival, reaching a diverse audience of over 350,000 engaged individuals to-date.

This year Reelworld's support for Canadian talent increased with two significant cash prize awards; $25,000 for Outstanding Feature Film; and $10,000 for Outstanding Short Film. Films in competition that qualify as premiere status will be eligible for the above mentioned awards.

Awards are dependent on programming. Suggested Awards in 2022 are:
Audience Choice Award for a feature film

Outstanding Actress in a feature film award
Outstanding Actor in a feature film award
Outstanding Director for a Feature Film award
Outstanding Writer for a feature film award
Outstanding Cinematographer for feature film award
Outstanding Feature Film Producer award
Outstanding Feature Film award

Outstanding Actress in a Short film award
Outstanding Actor for a Short Film award
Outstanding Director for short film award
Outstanding Writer for short film award
Outstanding Cinematographer for a Short Film award
Outstanding Producer for Short film award
Outstanding Short film award


- Submissions must have been completed before deadline

- Eligible film submissions must be directed by Black, Indigenous and/or People of Colour Canadian creatives;

- All submissions and exhibitions must be in English, subtitled in English or English versioned (if selected, any subtitles must be burned into final submission file);

- Must not be available online, via any home device (blu-ray, DVD, etc.) or screened/released theatrically or on TV in Canada by the time of the festival exhibition October 2022;

- Rough cuts and works-in-progress will be considered this year.

- Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry; Entrant hereby grants Reelworld permission to screen and otherwise use the entry in connection with the 2021 festival. Your film festival acceptance also grants Reelworld permission to use stills and excerpts from the entry for promotional and publicity use.


We accept narrative films, documentaries, animation, webisodes (web series), episodic content, music videos, and VR/360 films by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) Canadian filmmakers that explore current issues, and ideas or themes with social impact.

All programs are carefully curated and submissions will be fully considered by Reelworld’s programming team. PLEASE ENSURE YOUR SCREENER PASSWORD IS CORRECT AT TIME OF SUBMISSION.


For the purposes of eligibility and awards consideration, Reelworld uses the following definitions:

Feature-Length: 45 minutes or longer
Short: up to 44 minutes
Episodic: up to 45 minutes (must be part of or intended to be part of a 3+ part series)
Virtual Reality (VR/360): up to 12 minutes in length
Music Video: up to 6 minutes


Canadian Submissions: All films produced in Canada and/or directed by Black, Indigenous or People of Colour Canadian filmmakers who are living abroad.


Accepted applicants will be notified of programming decisions by email before August 31st, 2022. If applicants do not hear by that date, then they have not been selected for the festival. Final programming, categorization and slotting of films will be determined by the Reelworld programming team. Their decision is final. Successful applicants will receive this information in their official invitation.

Selected applicants must send in a film trailer and 3 one-minute scenes of their choosing. Other requirements, such as social media handles, press information, etc will be outlined in your selection letter.

Acceptance of your invitation into the festival indicates an understanding that this will be an online-only festival screening, geoblocked to Ontario.

Selected Applicants will receive passes to the Festival and complimentary tickets to surrounding events. These details will be outlined in your selection letter.


For this year's digital online festival, a direct FTP upload link to our secure online streaming platform, CineSend is the required method for uploading film assets, as well as critical film info like credits, premiere status, synopses, etc. Selected applicants must provide a high quality digital file that meets the source file technical requirements for upload. Details about this will be outlined following your selection letter.

For accessibility for Deaf/Hard of Hearing people, all accepted English language films should have subtitles or closed captions in WebVTT or TTML file format included with the delivery (can be sent via email directly to, with the file clearly labelled with the film title and the subject header: "Subtitle/Closed Captions: [Film Title]")

All film assets, as well as film stills, director bios, and other relevant marketing information that will be outlined in the acceptance letter must be received by the deadline of 11.59pm, EST, July 29, 2022.

In the event of an in-person festival, 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. For the purpose of the online festival, complete source file requirements/upload specifications to our CineSend streaming platform will be sent to selected applicants. Please contact the festival directly if you have other formats for consideration. DVD is not accepted at Reelworld.

VR/360 Projects, must be accessible on a GearVR or Oculus Headset, and are accepted pending programming capability for the 2022 Festival.

The participant agrees to pay print shipping costs to the Festival. Shipping information must be settled upon confirmation of participation. The work must arrive at the festival one month prior to the festival.

Reelworld 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 via e-transfer on the last day of the festival.

Overall Rating
  • My first film grey area made its Toronto premiere at Reelworld. It was an incredible experience. The team was supportive, communicative, and a pleasure to work with. The festival took place during COVID and the team managed to put together creative and useful networking opportunities while also giving us the opportunity to screen out films in person. It was an honour to have my film play at this festival among such talented filmmakers. I would recommend Reelworld to all!

    February 2022
  • Bill Wong

    It's amazing my film was selected to the festival. Everyone in the festival work for the film makers very hard and attentively. The film makers had very good communication to the festival organizers and each others after the screening. It's a very friendly and sincere film festival. I had a very nice experience there. I hope I can participate some day!

    November 2021
  • Jeanette Kong

    The festival really cares about supporting its filmmakers. From industry panels to the mixers with broadcast executives, it's all about gaining access for filmmakers. The biggest highlight was to have my documentary premiere at the Paradise Theatre. There was nothing like seeing it on a big screen with my team, friends and family. It was an unforgettable experience. It's my second time at this festival and it truly feels like home. Tonya Williams and her staff are stellar, incredibly supportive and responsive. I loved being a part of this festival!

    November 2021
  • Preston Chase

    Reelworld Film Festival has not only been an absolutely amazing experience, but this festival honours the love and creativity of minority filmmakers in Canada. It honours the legacy and gives a voice to our often forgotten communities here. It has been a deeply humbling experience to have my first film Mr. Emancipation, part of the 2021 edition . Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the kindness and professionalism shown and hope to be back one day, in person

    November 2021
  • Alex Sangha

    I feel so blessed and happy to have my debut feature documentary, Emergence: Out of the Shadows, a part of this prestigious film festival. I even received interest from a broadcaster a this festival. A truly top-notch experience all around. Really great panels of all kinds too!

    November 2021