33rd Images Festival Call for ON SCREEN Submissions 


Established in 1987, IMAGES FESTIVAL is the longest running and most influential moving image festival in Canada. Our ON SCREEN program is an annual survey dedicated to contemporary artist’s film and video presented in a cinema context and to moving image in all its forms.

Images presents work that counters dominant mainstream narratives and provides alternative ways of thinking and seeing that expands the understanding of media art through our programming and education-based initiatives. 

Images Festival does not select films based on any particular themes, genres or aesthetic categories but selects moving image works that share formal and political sensibilities which emerge from recent critical discourses between contemporary art, cinema and media arts. 



The 33rd edition of Images Festival will take place between April 16 to 22, 2020.


Monday, October 14, 2019. The festival is not obliged to view entries received after the deadline.


Images Festival will consider works that have been completed in the last three years, including short, mid-length and feature films. Artists maintain final edit and copyright control. 

If you submit an incomplete film (rough cuts, works-in-progress), the picture must be locked. We do not offer funds for the completion of works, or take on commissions.

We encourage filmmakers to consider the power dynamics and ethics implicit in their work, particularly in the representation of the structurally marginalized, including racial, sexual, gendered minorities, and vulnerable persons.


Images Festival will accept student works that have been completed in the last academic year (2019/2020) for consideration in our annual International Student Showcase program, which is programmed by students and/or recent graduates. The work must not exceed 20 minutes in length in order to qualify.

Student artists and filmmakers can submit a maximum of two submissions/works. If there are multiple submissions, only the first two works submitted by each student will be reviewed. 

If students elect to submit to the general On Screen Competition program (rather than in the student category), the entry fee requirement applies. 

PLEASE NOTE: Student works may NOT be entered into both the Student and On Screen Competition programs.


$15 CAD per entry for films and videos. 

Paypal or Cheque are accepted.

Submissions to the student program (a maximum of two works per artist) are exempt from the entry fee. See STUDENT SUBMISSION ELIGIBILITY.

Cheques can be mailed to: 


Images Festival 

309–401 Richmond Street West

Toronto, Ontario

M5V 3A8


Once we successfully receive your submission, the festival will not issue any refunds. 


Images Festival offers screening fees for all works selected to screen in our program. We follow the 2019 Independent Media Arts Alliance Fee Schedule. 


Please upload a preview copy to Vimeo and add a link to the online entry form. The password should be active from the date of submission until six weeks after the festival (See PUBLICITY AND PRESS PREVIEWS). 

The festival team is not obliged to contact the filmmaker if we encounter broken links and expired, or incorrectly entered, passwords during the pre-screening. 

We only accept digital preview copies as we do not have the capacity to view analogue prints in their original formats. 


Submissions should be made online via the following links for:

General ON SCREEN Programs: 


International Student Showcase: 



Results will be delivered by email no later than MID-FEBRUARY 2020. The full program will be announced on Images Festival’s website in early April 2020. The possibility of selected films’ inclusion in press releases in advance of April 2020 is at the discretion of the festival. 

Please do not call the office to inquire about the status of your submission. We are a small programming team and unable to extend feedback if your film is not selected. 



Once your film has been accepted, the programming team will contact you to reconfirm the title, location, premiere status, exhibition formats, artist bio, credits and technical specifications of your submission. Film synopsis, artist bios and other information is subject to modification at the festival's discretion.


If we select a film submitted by a distributor, the distributor will sign the necessary agreements on behalf of the artist and function as the primary contact for delivery of publicity materials and exhibition files. 

If a film comes under a distributor between the time of submission and the time of invitation for the film to screen, the artist must advise on whether Images Festival will proceed with the distributor or the artist as the point of contact, and whether Images will forward screening fees to the distributor, or to the artist. In both cases, we will dispense the fee according to the 2019 IMMA Fee Schedule. 


All film and video submissions must be available in one of the following exhibition formats: 

We do not screen work on DVD. 

Works in languages other than English must be subtitled for exhibition. 

We will follow up with you about the venue specifications upon confirmation of participation.


If your film offers open captioning or audio description, please let us know so we can take this into account when scheduling the screening/venue. Images strives to arrange marketing, communications, outreach and budget for the planning of relevant accommodations for screening(s) and discursive program(s) such as Q&A and artist talks. 

In the application notes, please also let us know if there are content warnings and/or trigger warnings that apply to your submission. These may include content that evokes or portrays sexual violence, violence against children, self-harm, war trauma, and police brutality as well as stylistic choices that may potentially trigger photosensitive viewers such as strobing effects. Please note that if your film is selected and the programming team deems that a warning is necessary for its presentation, we will bring this to your attention. 

You can read more information on the concept of content warnings and trigger warnings here.


The preview link submitted to the festival will be distributed to press outlets and independent critics in the weeks leading up to, during, and up to six weeks after the festival. If there are any changes to your link, please contact the Programming Assistant at programming.assistant@imagesfestival.com


The scheduling of screenings and programming is at the discretion of the festival. 


For digital files, digital file transfers are preferred. For digital storage or film prints, detailed shipment information will be provided upon confirmation of participation. The filmmaker is responsible for the shipment of their film to the festival. We will not accept shipments collect unless previously arranged by the festival. 

Images will arrange the return shipping costs of exhibition copies. All entries are treated with utmost care. However, Images is not responsible for any loss of or damage to shipped materials during transport. See INSURANCE.

All prints will be returned within six to eight weeks following the festival. We will ship the film to the address provided in the submission. Please inform the festival immediately if there is a change of address for delivery. 


Films under the care of Images Festival are covered by our insurance policy. In case of damage or loss of a film during the festival, the festival is only responsible for the costs involved in replacing the print. We do not offer insurance for property in-transit. 


The entrant’s signature on the entry form creates an agreement between the entrant and the Images Festival that the entrant will provide an exhibition copy of the submitted work to the festival by March 1, 2020 if the work is selected for inclusion in Images Festival. It also certifies that the entrant is the legal owner of the work, and that any copyrighted materials included in the work have been legally cleared for use. The entrant agrees not to hold Images Festival liable for any expenses resulting from any claims arising from the exhibition of the work submitted or the use of publicity material relating to the work submitted.


All community participants, including members and guests of members, event hosts, sponsors, presenters, exhibitors and attendees, are expected to abide by the Images Festival Code of Conduct and cooperate with organizers who enforce it.

Images Festival insists that everyone who uses the spaces remains mindful of, and takes responsibility for, their speech and behavior. 

We embrace respect and concern for the free expression of others, but will not tolerate words or actions that are racist, sexist, homophobic, ageist, classist, transphobic, cissexist, or ableist.

Respecting physical and emotional boundaries, we do not accept oppressive behavior, harassment, destructive behavior, or exclusionary actions.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. Anyone who engages in sustained unacceptable behavior may be sanctioned or permanently expelled from the screening or event without refund in the case of a paid event.


Contact us with any questions at submissions@imagesfestival.com subject line: On Screen Submissions — [Your Name], [Title of Your Film]

Please do not email stills or submission information. This can be submitted in the official submission form. 

Please ensure we have your current email address on file if it changes between the date of submission and this time. Please contact us immediately if it has changed since the date of submission.