The Reelworld Film Festival showcases a wide variety of genres in narrative and documentary features, narrative and documentary shorts, music videos, animation, episodic content for web and television, and VR/360 works. From dramatic storytelling, to hard-hitting documentaries, to witty comedies, to thoughtful abstractions, Reelworld 2021 selections will reflect the strong and authentic voice of Canadians identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour.

We focus on BIPOC talent as well as BIPOC content. We showcase and support BIPOC producers, directors, screenwriters, actors and all on and off screen talent. We connect with agents, casting directors, broadcasters and distributors, invite them to the festival, and help them find new BIPOC talent. The Reelworld Film Festival features 100% BIPOC talent from Canada, and has become the country’s largest socially impactful film festival, reaching a diverse audience of over 350,000 engaged individuals to-date.


– Submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2018;

– Eligible submissions must be by Black, Indigenous and/or People of Colour Canadian creatives;

– All submissions and exhibitions must be in 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 October 2021;

– Rough cuts and works-in-progress will be considered this year.

– Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry; Entrant hereby grants Reelworld permission to screen and otherwise use the entry in connection with the 2021 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 VR/360 films by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) Canadian filmmakers that explore current issues, and ideas or themes with social impact.

All programs are carefully curated and submissions will be fully considered by Reelworld’s 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 44 minutes
Episodic: up to 45 minutes (must be part of or intended to be part of a 3+ part series)
Virtual Reality (VR/360): up to 12 minutes in length
Music Video: up to 6 minutes


Canadian Submissions: All films produced in Canada and/or directed by Black, Indigenous or People of Colour Canadian filmmakers who are living abroad.


Accepted applicants will be notified of programming decisions by email before August 31st, 2021. 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 3 one-minute scenes 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 an online-only festival screening, geoblocked to Ontario.

Selected Applicants will receive passes to the Festival and complimentary tickets to surrounding events. 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 for Deaf/Hard of Hearing people, all accepted English language films should have subtitles or closed captions in WebVTT or TTML file format included with the delivery (can be sent via email directly to, with the file clearly labelled 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 29, 2021.

In the event of an in-person festival, selected applicants must provide a DCP format of their film or video work. In some cases (especially short films), filmmakers may be required to provide a high quality Pro Res file for exhibition. 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.

VR/360 Projects, must be accessible on a GearVR or Oculus Headset, and are accepted pending programming capability for the 2021 Festival.

The participant agrees to pay print shipping costs to the Festival. Shipping information must be settled upon confirmation of participation. The work must arrive at the festival one month prior to the festival.

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 on the last day of the festival.