Reelworld Film Festival - 20th 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 2020 selections will reflect the strong and authentic voice of BIPOC Canadians.

We focus on BIPOC talent as well as BIPOC content. We showcase and support BIPOC 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 BIPOC talent. The Reelworld Film Festival features 100% BIPOC 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.

Over $30,000 in cash and prizes!

Works selected for the festival will be screened and considered for award by an independent jury of professional filmmakers and industry executives.

Awards are dependant on programming. Suggested Awards in 2020 are:

Outstanding Narrative Feature Film

Outstanding Documentary Feature Film

Outstanding Short Film

Outstanding Animated Film

Outstanding Webisode

Outstanding Episode

Outstanding Music Video

Outstanding VR/ AR Work

Outstanding Director

Outstanding Producer

Outstanding Actor/Actress

Audience Choice Award: Highest rated film by the audience


- Submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2018;

- 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 screened/released theatrically or on TV in Canada by the time of the festival exhibition October 2020;

- Rough cuts and works-in-progress will not be considered.

- 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 the entry in connection with the 2020 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, 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.


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 BIPOC Canadian filmmakers who are living abroad.

Accepted applicants will be notified of programming decisions by email before August 31st, 2020. 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.

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

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. DVD is not accepted at Reelworld.

VR/360 Projects, must be accessible on a GearVR or Oculus Headset

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
  • Tyler Evans

    Reelworld Film Festival was such an incredible experience. It was the first film festival I was ever accepted into and being able to showcase my work with such talented people was so inpisiring. What I love most about the festival is how inclusive it is to BIPOC. This festival is definitely worth attending!

    March 2020
  • Johnny Vong

    This festival fosters a supportive community for its many diverse, emerging and established filmmakers -- local and abroad. However, it focuses more on its networking and workshop events than its film programming and screenings. So this a worthwhile event for meeting and speaking with other filmmakers if that is your festival goal.

    March 2020
  • 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