Founded by Tonya Williams, Reelworld Film Festival, now in its 19th year, is dedicated to screening and supporting the underrepresented voices of Indigenous and racialized media artists who create films for social good. We prioritize our selection to include Canadian and international films that explore current and pressing social issues.

Reelworld showcases narrative features, documentaries, shorts, music videos, episodic content, webisodes, gaming and VR/360 films that tell important stories, spark meaningful dialogue and inspire social change.

All selected short and feature-length films will be considered by the jury:

1. Outstanding Feature Film: awarded to the director of the feature length film selected as most impactful and capable of inspiring social change (juried).

2. Outstanding Short Film: awarded to the director of the short film selected as most impactful and capable of inspiring social change (juried).

3. The Audience Choice Award: awarded to the director of the feature length film chosen by audience members by way of ballot (audience choice).

4. Outstanding Music Video: awarded to the director of the music video selected as most impactful in conveying message (juried).

- Submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2017;
- All submissions and exhibitions must be in English, subtitled in English or English versioned;
- Must not be available online, via any home device (blu-ray, DVD, etc.) or released theatrically in Canada by the time of the festival exhibition October 2019;
- 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; and
- Rough cuts and works-in-progress will not be considered.

Programming consideration
We accept Canadian and international narrative films, documentaries, episodic content and VR/360 films by Indigenous and racially diverse filmmakers that explore current issues, ideas, and stories with social impact (i.e. social change, criminal justice, poverty, equality, empowerment, human rights, education, global health, climate change, immigration, and social innovation, etc.)

All programs are carefully curated and submissions will be fully considered by Reelworld’s programming team.

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

Film Length
Feature-Length: 45 minutes or longer
Short: up to 44 minutes
Episodic: up to 45 minutes (must be part of a 4+ part series)
Virtual Reality (VR/360): up to 12 minutes in length
Music Video: up to 6 minutes

Country of Production and Submission Categories
Canadian Submissions: All films produced in Canada or directed by Indigenous or racially diverse Canadian filmmakers
International Submissions: All films produced outside of Canada and directed by Indigenous or racially diverse non-Canadians

Selection & Notification Process
Accepted applicants will be notified of programming decisions by email before August 21st, 2019. 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.

Accepted exhibition formats*
DCP is the format accepted for exhibition. In exceptional cases Blu-ray may be accepted.
*For VR/360 Projects, must be accessible on a GearVR or Oculus Headset

If accepted filmmaker must also submit a film trailer AND a 1-4 minute clip from a scene.

Overall Rating
  • Joyce Fitzpatrick

    The Reelworld film festival was very rewarding and fun! From it's founder Tonya Williams to the Reelworld staff everyone was fantastic! We were glad to just participate and had an amazing Q and A session and would go again next year if we had a film to submit. This is a great festival and I would recommend it to any filmmaker! .

    November 2018
  • Shazia Javed

    It was a pleasure to screen my film, ' 3 Seconds Divorce' at Reelworld Film festival. This festival provides a great venue for screenings, good audience turn-out and a lot of support for the filmmakers. The festival also gave me an opportunity to organize a panel discussion after my film to engage the audience further and make an impact. I met many other filmmakers and made some new friends. Thanks a lot, Reelworld Team!

    November 2018
  • A great focused festival that shows a lot of strong content and caters for a very hungry audience. We love having our clients get selected here and is always a festival we consider sharing work with. Keep up the awesome work!

    October 2018
  • Susan Enberg

    The staff, organizers, board members and volunteers were extremely professional, and upbeat. Really NICE!!! Lots of help with media promotion, too. Top of my list so far!

    October 2017
  • Trevor Carroll

    From start to finish, this festival delivered in a big way. The communication with the festival staff was top notch. Organization overall was really exceptional, and the opportunities for networking/PR was handled in a very impressive fashion. I highly recommend this festival, as it has a very strong mandate of bringing forward meaningful stories with a strong message. Probably one of my best festival experiences to date. Cheers!

    October 2017