Reelworld Film Festival - 23rd year and going strong!

The Reelworld Film Festival showcases a wide variety of genres in narrative and documentary features, shorts, music videos, animation and episodic content for web. The official selections reflect the strong and authentic voice of Canadians identifying as Black, Indigenous, Asian and People of Colour.

This year Reelworld Festival Awards will support Canadian talent with a total of 45,000.00 in cash, including; $25,000 for Outstanding Feature Film; and $10,000 for Outstanding Short Film.and our Audience Choice Awards, Films in competition that qualify as premiere status will be eligible for the above mentioned awards.

Suggested Awards in 2023 are:

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

- Eligible film submissions must be directed by Black, Indigenous and/or People of Colour Canadian filmmaker;
- All submissions and exhibitions must be in either 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 until after the final festival date November 2023;
- Rough cuts and works-in-progress will be considered during the selection process.
- Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Reelworld Film Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry; Entrant hereby grants Reelworld Film Festival permission to screen and otherwise use the entry in connection with the 2023 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 by Black, Indigenous, Asian and People of Colour Canadian filmmakers that explore current issues, and ideas
All programs are carefully curated and submissions will be fully considered by the Reelworld Film Festival 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 30 minutes
Episodic: up to 45 minutes (must be part of or intended to be part of a 3+ part series)
Music Video: up to 6 minutes
Accepted applicants will be notified of programming decisions by email before September 5th, 2023. 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 a one-minute scene 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 a hybrid screening of both an online festival screening, geoblocked to Ontario and an in-person screening in Toronto.
Selected Applicants will receive passes to the Festival and complimentary tickets to their screening. 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, all accepted films should have subtitles or closed captions in WebVTT or TTML file format included with the delivery (can be sent via email when directed, with the file clearly labeled 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 30, 2023.
Selected applicants must provide a digital or physical DCP format, digital file in .MP4 format and or digital file in .MOV formats of their digital film or video work. The exact requirement will be detailed in the acceptance letter. 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.

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 a week after the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Golden Delicious Film

    It was a complete honour to be selected as the opening night film at the Reelworld Film Festival. This is a top-tier festival experience with amazing films, social events, panels, and networking opportunities. The staff were professional, caring, and incredible hosts, they definitely made the trip from Vancouver Canada with 5 of our team worth it. Can't recommend this festival enough, it was a highlight for us and we will definitely be submitting again.

    November 2022
  • SOMP Productions

    What an incredible experience. To be a part of a festival where I felt seen and heard. From top to bottom this festival is so great. And really warm and welcoming of film makers at all stages of their careers. One of the best experiences of my career!

    November 2022
  • Amir Zargara

    Too good to be true. This was a TRUE FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE. Thanks for having us :)

    October 2022
  • Reelworld chose my feature length documentary "Exegesis Lovecraft" to be screened at their 2022 festival. It was an amazing experience, they organized meetings with distributors, press with local media, an amazing brunch and dinner with peers. The staff were extremely communicative and I felt extremely honoured to be there. It was one of the best experiences I have had as a filmmaker.

    October 2022
  • 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