The Weengushk International Film Festival (WIFF) is an Indigenous-run independent film festival on Manitoulin Island in Northern Ontario. The core philosophy of the festival is to present the highest quality films that emphasize Indigenous voices, human rights, social issues, and the environment, contributing to the development of narrative sovereignty by Indigenous peoples.

In 2023, we will be producing an in-person (following COVID-19 safety guidelines if applicable) experience.

WIFF’s aim is to screen films and provide support to the local filmmakers on Manitoulin Island, which the local community would not normally have access to. The festival showcases unique and important work by young and emerging as well as established award-winning Indigenous and diverse filmmakers from across Canada, around the world and from around the corner -- including profiling films by Weengushk Film Institute (WFI) graduates. The film festival engages the local community through multidisciplinary activities such as film screenings, keynote speakers, presentations, musical performances, The Language and Industry workshops.

The combination of high quality films screened in an intimate festival allows WIFF to support and build community, and connect filmmakers, creating an invaluable network for the creation and dissemination of film. With the intent of sharing each other's culture, and language, WIFF provides a safe and Indigenous-centered gathering place for student learners and experienced filmmakers to share their experiences, skills, craft and exchange and celebrate their stories.

The Artistic Director is Dr. Shirley Cheechoo C.M., an accomplished and awarding winning artist, actor and filmmaker. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2018.

- Any film that was created by or focuses on Indigenous people;
- Any film that highlights Indigenous stories or issues (Canadian or International);
- Films may be Short Films, Feature Films, or Documentaries;
- All films must have been completed within the last (3) three years; and
- Filmmakers may submit more than one film.
Note: There will be a Non-Indigenous Showcase at the Weengushk International Film Festival which will contain films with non-Indigenous content.

Our vision is to bring communities together, to not only highlight excellence and opportunity for the filmmakers but to engage non-Indigenous communities through Indigenous storytelling with the film industry in a region that needs this bridge. It is a festival that celebrates our own narratives

DATES: The 5th edition of Weengushk International Film Festival will be held July 14th – 16th 2023
• The Early Bird Submissions Deadline is November 4th, 2022 - entry fee is $20.00. Shorts under 50 minutes, $25.00 - features
• The Official Submissions Deadline is November 25th, 2022- entry fee is $25.00 for Shorts and $30.00 for features.
• The Late Deadline is December 30th, 2022 – entry fee $35.00 for shorts and $40.00 for features.

Each film submission will be pre-screened by Weengushk International Film Festival’s screening committee to determine which films will be screened during the Festival. Not all submissions will be programmed. The Festival presentation format is Blue Ray and digital upload pro-res HQ or better only. DCP will not be accepted.

Private video links. Submission material will be returned only if the sender includes a self-addressed stamped envelope. All submissions must have the title, running time and format.

• Films must have been completed in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
• Works that have been previously submitted, but not programmed, are permitted to re-submit.
• Submissions that have been made available widely to the public over the; Internet (YouTube, iTunes, Vimeo, etc..), or television, or that have screened publicly within a 200 kilometre radius of Manitoulin Island are not eligible. Filmmakers are encouraged to contact the Festival if they are unsure if this eligibility rule applies to them. Films may be works-in-progress.
• All films must be made available to screen by June 15th, 2023
• Films must be in English or in the original language with English subtitles.
• Available press materials must be shipped to Weengushk Film Institute upon notification of selection.
• Upon selection, the entrant grants permission for the use of all publicity materials (including preview BluRays and digital clips) to be used for promotional purposes, unless otherwise noted.

Upon acceptance into the Festival, the scheduling of screening dates, times and locations is at the sole discretion of Weengushk International Film Festival.

In the instance of a lost or damaged screener, Weengushk International Film Festival will compensate only for the cost of creating a new copy. Weengushk International Film Festival assumes responsibility for the copy from the time of delivery to the time at which a print is rendered to a shipping agent.

Weengushk International Film Festival
5494 HWY 540 PO Box 357
M’Chigeeng, Ontario, Canada P0P 1G0

Overall Rating
  • This is one of the best festival groups I've ever worked with. They were so prompt and detailed on their communications, they offered exceptional support throughout the process and were very understanding when I could not go in person, when I had family issues. I hope one day to go in person! Everyone raves about the event!

    October 2023
  • Weengushk International Film Festival

    I wish I had the words to express the feelings that will linger for years to come—the joy we felt as we shared our passions and art with one another, even if the content was hard to bare. 🧡
    Dr. Shirley Cheechoo, I hope you know your love of the arts and humanity has touched us all, today and tomorrow. I realize the focus of this years film festival was youth and I think you brought that out in all of us. 🥰😘

    Phyllis and festival team, you managed to make each of us feel special and welcome with your warmth and care. ❤️

    This was the perfect film festival to host the Canadian Premiere of The Nature of Healing- 😎the island is magical. And to top off this epic weekend, the Thrivers featured in The Nature of Healing were there and accepted the most beautifully carved Special Jury Award!

    Huge buckets of gratitude to our sponsors who made this trip possible, Hadiya'dagęnhahs - First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre @fnmiscbrocku fnmiscbrocku and WE ARE STILL HERE. 🚐🛎️🍩🍟🌭Someone in our group loves a good hotdog!

    To our fellow artists, we look forward to more sharing—until we see you again, want you to know we can’t wait to see 👀 what’s next!

    Well, it would appear, after all I do have words!! And this is only the beginning of the story.

    Much love, nia:wenko’wa from The Nature of Healing Team.

    August 2023
  • Incredible festival! Really honoured and thrilled to have screened Meet The Sky with Weengushk!!! Next level programming!!! xoxo

    August 2023
  • Joseph Yates

    It was a great honor to have our film a part of this festival!

    July 2023
  • Great Canadian Native film fest!

    December 2022