VAFF is the longest running pan-Asian diaspora film festival in Canada, founded in 1995 and debuted in September 1997. Since then, tens of thousands of film lovers have experienced a diverse selection of Asian North American and international films, in English and in other languages.

VAFF enters its 23rd year of continuous programming in 2019. Each year VAFF attracts close to 4,000 audience members over its four-day festival and year-round events. It also reaches many more through word of mouth, pre-festival events, and traditional and social media throughout the year.

VAFF is a not-for-profit film festival society committed to supporting both emerging talents and established filmmakers, offering programming reflective of the Asian diaspora experience. VAFF offers unique perspectives on storytelling from diverse filmmakers, to diverse audience members, achieving our goal: to celebrate diversity in film.

The festival is entirely organized and produced by a group of dedicated volunteers, and is made possible by generous financial support from corporate sponsors, public funders and private donors.

Being the platform where a number of successful Asian filmmakers first showcased their work, VAFF’s visiting artists have included Justin Lin (Fast & Furious), Quentin Lee (White Frog), Benson Lee (Seoul Searching), Evan Jackson Leong (Linsanity), Jessica Yu (Grey’s Anatomy), Tze Chun (Gotham), and Freida Lee Mock (Return with Honor), as well as Canadian filmmakers Julia Kwan (Everything Will Be), Mina Shum (Meditation Park), Ann Marie Fleming (Window Horses), Ben Lu (Blood and Water), Phil Planta (Beyond Redemption), and Jeff Chiba Stearns (Mixed Match). Attending performers have included Edison Chen (Infernal Affairs), Tzi Ma (Arrival), Anastasia Lin (Miss World Canada 2015), Agam Darshi (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency), Sarita Choudhury (Hunger Games franchise), and Rizwan Manji (The Dictator).

Programming includes 10-13 film programs incorporating feature length and short films and videos (dramatic narrative, documentary, animation and web series) featuring an Artist/Concept Spotlight, International Spotlight, International and Canadian Shorts, Q & A sessions, an industry series including panel discussions and networking, and gala events.

This year, we are doing a special spotlight on Asians in Music and will be accepting Music Videos as well.

Available awards include a juried award for Best Canadian Short, presented by Telefilm Canada; a juried award for Best Canadian Feature, presented by the Directors’ Guild of Canada—British Columbia; audience-voted People’s Choice Awards for best Overall Feature, Overall Short, Overall Performance.

ELIGIBILITY

VAFF accepts:
● Independently produced films and videos by Asian North American artists (including Asian-Canadian or Asian-American artists), or
● Films or videos produced in East Asia (including People’s Republic of China [incl. Hong Kong], Macao, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan), Southeast Asia (including Myanmar [Burma], Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Timor-Leste) or South Asia (including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh), in English or with English subtitles, or
● Films or videos produced must have at least one member of the creative team (director, writer, producer/production company or cinematographer) or at least one of the lead actors/subjects (if Documentary) self-identify as being of Asian or part-Asian heritage.
● Current VAFF Board and Executive members are also eligible to submit but their work will be reviewed by third party judges outside of VAFF. However, they are not eligible for awards even if films or videos are selected.

● Please specify how your submission meets our eligibility criteria above, in your submission notes/cover letter.

● Films and videos must have been completed no earlier than January 1, 2017. Submissions completed prior to this date will not be considered.

● Acceptable exhibition formats are as follows:
○ Feature Films – DCP or digital exhibition formats H.264 (.MOV or .MP4) /ProRes/ DNxHD files; in HD resolution (1080p or 2K) at 23.98 frame rate. Audio in 5.1 surround (and or Stereo if that is the only available mix). If possible, a BluRay disc for backup.
○ Short Films - Digital exhibition formats H.264 (.MOV or .MP4) /ProRes/ DNxHD files; in HD resolution (1080p or 2K) at 23.98 frame rate. No DCP Audio in 5.1 surround (and or Stereo if that is the only available mix). If possible, a BluRay disc for backup.
● Other exhibition formats, e.g. 16mm, DVD, HDCam, Digibeta, VHS cannot be considered.
● The applicant must hold the necessary rights for the submission and exhibition of this work. The applicant agrees that if his/her title is selected, that any photographs and/or video submitted to VAFF may be used by the festival or a third party authorized by the festival for the purpose promoting the festival (online, in print and media).

NOTE ON FEES:
● OPEN CALL SUBMISSION/ENTRY FEES: VAFF does not waive entry fees for Open Call Submissions.
● RENTAL/SCREENING/DISTRIBUTION FEES: As a not-for-profit, VAFF does typically not pay these fees but instead invests resources in providing the best possible showcase for your work, and promoting your work as widely as possible.
● ARTIST FEES: In fulfillment of its mandate, VAFF is provided with a small amount of public funding for artist fees to independent Asian Canadian artists only.

SUBMISSION MATERIALS:
Preview Screeners: Discs
● Preview screeners on playable DVD/Blu-Ray or digital file format (.MOV or MP4) on disc/drive are only accepted for feature length (over 30 min TRT) submissions.
● Submit 2 preview screeners in playable DVD/Blu-Ray or 1 copy in a digital file format (.MOV or MP4) on disc/drive. Please check that the DVD/Blu-Ray discs are playable on all consumer DVD players.
● Discs/drives must be labeled with the film title, total running time, contact name, address, phone number and email address.
● Preview screeners can be mailed/couriered to:
Print Traffic Coordinator
Vancouver Asian Film Festival
1178 W. Pender Street
Vancouver, BC, V6E 2R9
Canada

Preview Screeners: Digital Files
● Preview Screener Links are accepted for feature length (longer than 30 min TRT) and shorts (up to 30 min TRT).
● For Filmfreeway, you have the option of submitting a secure screener link or uploading directly online.

PRESS MATERIALS
● VAFF requests press materials and film/production details if your film is accepted for programming in 2019, for its online and print program and other festival promotion. If available, submit an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) with your signed Notice of Acceptance (NOA):
○ Provide a download link, or provide a data disc or USB thumb drive with your exhibition screener (if sending a physical copy)
○ Label all files descriptively e.g. “Film Title_Still 1,” “Film Title_Director Name”
● If you do not have an EPK, VAFF will request the information in your NOA.
● The press kit should contain:
○ A film synopsis (approximately 100 words) and logline;
○ Film stills (photos or hi-resolution electronic images: minimum 1200×1800 pixels @ 300 dpi) for program guide and publicity;
○ An above-the-line cast and crew list;
○ Director(s) biography (80 words each) and headshot(s) (see above for technical specs);
○ Press/publicity clippings and list of awards and screenings (Word or PDF)
○ Official website URL; social media URL/handles
● Note: Press materials and preview screeners will not be returned.

JURIED AWARDS: QUALIFICATIONS

Best Canadian Short Award
Best independent dramatic narrative/documentary short, primarily live action, 30 minutes or under TRT by a Canadian filmmaker. May include a cash prize if funding is available. To qualify, filmmakers must meet the following criteria:
● The director or writer must be a Canadian citizen or Canadian resident;
● One of the key members (director, writer, producer or cinematographer) or one of the lead actors/subjects (if a documentary) must self-identify as being of Asian or part Asian heritage;
● Films by current VAFF Board and Executive members selected for screening are not eligible for awards. Members who have left the organization for over 12 months are eligible to enter into competition again.
● Both dramatic narrative and documentary genres accepted;
● The film must be under 30 minutes in length;
● The film must be independently produced without majority funding from institutions (public or federal organizations, film schools, broadcasters etc.);
● The film must not have been broadcast on television or have received commercial theatrical distribution prior to the festival screening;
● The director must have final creative control of the work.
The award winner will be determined by an adjudication panel of industry professionals and announced during VAFF23.

Best Canadian Feature Award
Best independent dramatic narrative/documentary feature, primarily live action, over 30 minutes by a Canadian filmmaker. May include a cash prize if funding is available. To qualify, filmmakers must meet the following criteria:
● The director or writer must be a Canadian citizen or Canadian resident;
● One of the key members (director, writer, producer or cinematographer) or one of the lead actors/subjects (if a documentary) must self-identify as being of Asian or part Asian heritage;
● Films by current VAFF Board and Executive members selected for screening are not eligible for awards. Members who have left the organization for over 12 months are eligible to enter into competition again.
● Both dramatic narrative and documentary genres accepted;
● The film must be over 30 minutes in length;
● The film must be independently produced without majority funding from institutions (public or federal organizations, film schools, broadcasters etc.);
● The film must not have been broadcast on television or have received commercial theatrical distribution prior to the festival screening;
● The director must have final creative control of the work.
The award winner will be determined by an adjudication of industry professionals and announced during VAFF23.

People’s Choice Awards
The People’s Choice Awards are presented at the Closing Night Screening and Awards Ceremony November 10, 2019. The audience selects the best Overall Feature, Overall Short, and Overall Performance. Online voting will be open from November 7 through November 10 inclusive, throughout the November 2019 Festival.
● Films by current VAFF Board and Executive members selected for screening are not eligible for awards. Members who have left the organization for over 12 months are eligible to enter into competition again.


NOTIFICATION OF FESTIVAL SELECTION:
● You will be notified of festival selections on or around September 15, 2019, or earlier.
● If selected, a Notice of Acceptance (NOA)—including a request for press kit information and festival attendance RSVP—will be sent to you.
● The NOA must be completed, signed and returned by the deadline date listed in the NOA document, or your position in the festival may be offered to another film.

Exhibition Screeners: Digital Files
● Send digital file download link to printtraffic@vaff.org

Exhibition Screeners: Hard Copy Shipping Policy and Guidelines
● Ship exhibition prints (Blu-Ray or DCP) to VAFF, prepaid, to arrive no later than October 7, 2019.
● If exhibition prints/files are coming from other festivals, VAFF must receive print traffic contact information of the prior festival two weeks prior to VAFF’s start date.
● If VAFF is to send the exhibition print/file to another film festival, this outbound address must be given to VAFF one week prior to the start of VAFF or it will be sent back to the print source.
● Exhibition Prints/Files can be mailed or couriered to:
Print Traffic Coordinator
Vancouver Asian Film Festival
1178 W. Pender Street
Vancouver, BC, V6E 2R9
Canada
● The filmmaker is responsible for providing any required paperwork for the shipping of his/her films, particularly those coming from outside of Canada.
● VAFF TYPICALLY PAYS FOR ONLY THE RETURN OR OUTBOUND* SHIPPING COSTS OF THE SCREENING FILM/VIDEO. INBOUND SHIPPING CHARGES WILL BE COVERED BY PRINT SOURCE OR PRECEDING FILM FESTIVALS. *If by special arrangement VAFF pays for inbound shipping, the outbound shipping cost must be covered by the print source or the forwarding contact/festival.
● VAFF does not insure the films during the festival or during shipping. This is the filmmaker’s responsibility. VAFF takes no responsibility for loss or damage to films in transit.
● Do not send the original, or your only copy, of your film/video.
● If shipping a disc or hard drive/thumb drive, use bubble wrap envelopes or stiff cardboard backing rather than fiber-filled packages or envelopes.
● Please ensure the file/print is playable before sending to VAFF. Please also include any relevant screening notes with your film, if possible.
● Please label your films as “For cultural and educational purposes only.”
● If the film is coming from outside of Canada, please identify on the package that it is a temporary importation and that the films will be returned to the original country.
● If your film is being shipped from outside of Canada and you are declaring the value of your film as above CAD $20, this may delay your film at Canada customs, so please send it two weeks earlier than planned.
● Always use a tracking number, regardless of whether the film is sent by post office or courier*. *If you are sending by a courier, we recommend using FedEx. Many filmmakers have encountered border delay issues and poor or lack of communication with UPS.
● Any costs incurred by VAFF as a result of the filmmaker not following the provided shipping guidelines may result in charges to the filmmaker to recover these costs.

QUERIES: CONTACT INFORMATION
● Programming/Curation: programming@vaff.org
● Submissions: submissions@vaff.org
● Notice of Acceptance (NOA) and Print Traffic (contact only after August 1, 2019): printtraffic@vaff.org
● Festival Attendance/Liaison (contact only after September 15, 2019): filmmaker@vaff.org