Spotlight on Academics is a film festival dedicated to sharing knowledge through film. We only program films that are suitable for use in post-secondary classrooms. This is because every film selected for Spotlight on Academics is automatically considered for inclusion on ResearchTV, an online streaming platform for academic audiences. Filmmakers are not obliged to work with ResearchTV, but this is an opportunity for filmmakers to have their work peer-reviewed and marketed to universities and the general public.

Peer-review is important for academic filmmakers who need to “publish" their work, but it is also important for non-academic filmmakers because the process provides them with academic endorsement which is a guarantee of quality. After the festival, Spotlight on Academics films are reviewed a second time by scholars and filmmakers who understand both the rigours of scholarship and the challenges of publishing research in a film format. Spotlight on Academics, and our partner ResearchTV, hold filmmakers to high standards so that viewers can count on both the quality of the research and the quality of the production.

The festival will launch 21-22 January 2022 with 6 screening sessions and conference presentations at our main venue at Trinity Hall in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada. All of the selected films will stream for 10 days on our festival channel hosted by
Our lead partner Vox Popular Media Arts Festival will be providing office space, equipment rental and conference support.

Trinity Hall our primary venue, features a large auditorium with a seating capacity of 440, a high quality sound system, a large format screen, and a stage. It’s ideal for screenings, master classes and performances. Our partner, Trinity United Church has a Live webcasting initiative. Trinity Live blends videoconferencing, Skype TX, Zoom, and video production technologies into a stream that can be distributed either live or on demand to destinations facilitating the possibility of virtual attendance from filmmakers and audience from around the world.

Thunder Bay is located on Lake Superior between Toronto, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, north-east of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and it is serviced by an international airport. Be sure to check out for more information about the city and region we call home.

Submissions accepted by Spotlight on Academics are expected to meet high academic and technical standards.

Films selected for the festival are reviewed by ResearchTV and, if they pass peer-review, are invited screen on one of the platforms themed channels.

ResearchTV markets films on its platform to universities and instructors in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Visit for more information.

The Spotlight on Academics Film Festival does not pay distribution fees to filmmakers or their agents for films screened at the festival.

It is expected that filmmakers whose films are selected for the festival will also be willing to consider adding their film to ResearchTV's platform for subsequent online programming. Filmmakers retain the rights to their films and can ask to have them taken off of ResearchTV at any time. ResearchTV also reserves the right to remove a film at any time.