St. John's International Women's Film Festival (SJIWFF) is Canada's longest-running women's film festival. Established in 1989 with a bold vision of supporting and promoting women's creative work in local and international screen-based industries, SJIWFF has grown in submissions and accolades for over three decades. A respected leader in the Canadian film circuit and movement for gender equity in the sector, SJIWFF brings critical artist development and creative vitality to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Our mission is to create an equitable screen-based industry by increasing awareness of women's contributions to the sector and providing platforms for them to expand their craft through exhibition, opportunity, creation, and education. By fostering women and gender diverse filmmakers' development and advancement, we can achieve balanced representation in front of and behind the camera.

Women (trans and cisgender) and gender-diverse people are welcome to screen their films at our Festival. Please read our Rules & Terms below for full details on submission requirements.

SJIWFF is a non-competitive, filmmaker-focused Festival. We are known for our commitment to presenting high-quality, professional film screenings and stellar industry events. Fairly paying artists is a core value of ours. We strive to offer the best experience for both filmmakers and audiences alike, and look forward to welcoming you back to St. John's this Fall.


By submitting a Film to SJIWFF for Festival consideration, the submitter has obtained consent from any and all owners, creators, writers, producers and/or other authorized representatives of the Film whose consent is required to submit the Film to SJIWFF and has read, understood and agreed to the Terms. SJIWFF may disqualify or reject, but is not required to do so, any submission that it determines in its sole discretion, is not in compliance, in whole or in part, with these Terms, and may do so without refunding any or all submission fees paid by the Applicant.


- All films submissions MUST have been directed and/or written by a woman or gender-diverse filmmaker to qualify. When submitting your film, please include in your COVER LETTER who from your team meets this criteria and how they identify.

- Priority will be given to films submissions with a completion date on or after June 1, 2022.

- Each submitted film must include an English language track or English language subtitles.

- All Films must be submitted online as a high-resolution .MOV or another digital form screener (as described below), by the final submissions deadline.

- Accepted Genres: Drama (including Comedy), Documentary, Animation, Experimental. Short and feature-length films accepted.

- Short films must be less than 30 minutes long (including credits).

- Feature-length dramas and documentaries must be 70+ minutes. All features will be selected by curation only, but feature filmmakers may forward expressions of interest to us via FilmFreeway.


To submit a film for Festival consideration, an Applicant must:
-Complete the registration process at FilmFreeway

-Submit a viewing copy of your film, either as a secure screener through FilmFreeway, or by directing us to a secure, password protected Vimeo (or equivalent) link in your application. Hard copies will not be accepted.

-Pay the Submission Fee as outlined below online via FilmFreeway

-By entering a film in the St. John's International Women's Film Festival, the entrant agrees to adhere to all SJIWFF rules and regulations.


Submissions Open - January 23, 2023
Early Bird Deadline - March 20, 2023
Regular Deadline - April 24, 2023
Late Deadline - May 22, 2023
Extended Shorts Deadline - June 5, 2023
Extended Features Only Deadline - June 19, 2023

Submission deadlines are at 11:59 PM Newfoundland Standard Time of the posted date.

Submission fees for short films are on a sliding scale based on deadlines. We have lowered all of our submission fees and listed them in CAD Dollars to further support more filmmakers. There are no submission fee refunds. Please reach out via email to discuss deadline waivers or other barriers. There is a flat processing fee of $35 for all Feature Film submissions.


-Film entries will be viewed by the SJIWFF34 Programming Committee and submission contacts will be notified of the decision regarding their film at the end of August, 2023.

-SJIWFF will contact Applicants using the contact information provided in the FilmFreeway registration form.

-All selection decisions are at the sole and absolute discretion of SJIWFF and are final and not reviewable.

-Once programmed, no film can be withdrawn.

-Each official selection will be sent Technical Information and Film Marketing Materials forms and are required to complete them by the requested date.

-Exhibition copies of selected films will be required by the SJIWFF by the first week of September, 2023.

-We can screen the following exhibition formats:
a. H.264 video file encoded at 10-20 Mbps
b. Stereo or Pro Logic II encoded 5.1 (LtRt) with single stereo track or mono track pair
c. 1920 x 1080 resolution
d. 23.98, 24, 25, or 29.97 progressive
e. Please note that only our Opening and Closing Night films can be screened in DCP format, due to venue restrictions.

-All shipping and related costs for exhibition films/videos sent to the Festival must be borne by the owner.

-Exhibition copies of selected films/videos will be returned after the Festival by regular mail (unless specified otherwise and paid by the entrant).

-The date(s), time(s) and location(s) of exhibitions of our programmed films shall be at the discretion of the Festival, which includes online film screenings.

-Upon selection, the entrant grants SJIWFF the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional and screening purposes in all mediums, including broadcast, print, and internet.

-SJIWFF has the power to decide on any matters not specifically dealt with in these regulations. Notice of participation implies acceptance of these regulations. In any dispute, the decision of the Festival Committee will be final.


By submitting the film to SJIWFF, the Applicant and Film Owners hereby warrant and represent that:

-The film is wholly original and is not copied from and does not include any other work that is the subject of copyright or other protection, unless such work is in the public domain or the Submitting Parties have obtained any and all consents, releases, licenses, and other authorizations or waivers of any kind necessary for the inclusion or reproduction of any person, character, location, thing, trade-mark, sound recording, musical composition or other work in the film;

-The Submitting Parties have the full right, power and authority to submit the film to SJIWFF for Festival consideration, and to grant all of the rights granted hereunder and in the FilmFreeway registration form.

-The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby understands and accepts all SJIWFF requirements and regulations.

-By submitting to the festival, the undersigned agrees to accept a screening fee in CND$ as determined by and equivalent to the most recent IMAA schedule.

-The Submitting Parties agree to indemnify and hold harmless the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, its licensees, successors and assigns, and its and their members, officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, associates and affiliates (each, a “Releasee”), from any and all claims, suits, actions or other proceeding brought against a Releasee and from any losses, costs, or damages (including but not limited to Releasee’s full attorney’s fees, and costs of court) directly or indirectly based on, in connection with, or arising from the use and exhibition of the Film submitted by the Applicant or the breach or alleged breach of any representation, warranty or other agreement made by the Applicant in these Terms, or in the Applicant’s FilmFreeway registration form.

Overall Rating
  • Shan Pomeroy

    So honoured to be a part of this festival - thank you!

    November 2022
  • lily gontard

    I'm really humbled that my film Whalefall was chosen for the SJIWFF. It was a mix online and in-person fest this year and my film was shown online. The communication with the fest was great. The staff kept in touch on a regular basis before and let me know about opportunities for in-person events and what was online. They even mailed me a swag bag of stuff--so sweet. Wish I could've been there in person; next time.

    October 2022
  • Lynn Kristmanson

    Just a gem of a festival! Well-organized and friendly, this festival creates a supportive and exciting atmosphere to connect with filmmakers who are passionate about their art. I can't say enough good about this festival!

    October 2022
  • Fatemeh Gharavi Manjili

    Great festival and great team.

    March 2022
  • OYA Media Group

    A wonderful festival that makes the world of cinema better by empowering female filmmakers.

    October 2021