Saturday, September 22, 2012

Call for submissions: Images Festival – On Screen

26th IMAGES FESTIVAL >> 11 - 20 April 2013

Established in 1987 and dedicated to the moving image in all its forms, the Images Festival is the longest running and most influential integrated media arts festival in Canada. Our ON SCREEN program is an annual survey of contemporary artist's film and video presented in a cinema context.

*$10 SUBMISSION FEE for online entries! (See below)
*Deadlines are postmark deadlines!

We do not have a specific timeline for eligibility, just that we are looking for "recent" work. Generally, this is probably defined as being made within the last two to three years, but we ask artists to use their best judgment on how to define what is recent and relevant. Artists must maintain final edit and copyright control.

Student films or videos completed after January 1, 2011 and no more than 20 minutes in length are eligible for entry into our annual S is for Student program, which is curated by a special jury of students and recent graduates. Submissions to this student program are exempt from the entry fee for up to two works per artist. If students elect to submit to the generalFilm/Video 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 Film/Video Competition programs.

The Images Festival does not break down its programming into categories such as animation, drama, documentary, experimental. We are interested in screening films and videos, in any category, that have an inventive, aesthetically unconventional approach in terms of form, content, story and structure. We look for the inspired and the critical, the confounding and the revelatory, the scurrilous and the eccentric, and recognize that these may come in many kinds of packages. The Images Festival pays screening fees for all works selected for the Festival. Also, a number of awards are presented each year to outstanding Canadian, international and student works.

All submissions should be made on DVD (NTSC or PAL) or as digital files. We can also preview Blu-Ray Discs if you prefer, but please do not send HD-DVD. If you send a DVD or Blu-Ray disc, please DO NOT use stick on paper labels. Although they are going out of style fast, we gladly welcome your analogue VHS tapes as previews (NTSC or PAL as well!). We can also look at 16mm or Super/Regular 8 film prints, but we ask that you contact us first before sending a film print.

If you elect to transmit a digital file of your film/video for us to preview, we ask that you read the following guidelines carefully! Once you click “submit” on your online form, you will receive an email from us at that includes a link where you can upload your file(s) to us. We do not have a standard video format for preview materials, any video file that will playback in Quicktime or VLC is perfectly acceptable. Using h.264 encoding in an .mp4, .mov, or .mkv container tends to give a good size-to-quality ratio. There are no specific guidelines for file sizes that we can accept, but keep in mind that you will likely encounter more trouble uploading a large file than we will have downloading that same file! Average internet upload speeds are slower than download speeds, where you might be able to download a 500 MB file in a matter of a few minutes, uploading that same file from you to our server could take upwards of 45 minutes to an hour. Generally speaking, it is probably ill advised to try and transmit a file to us that is any larger than 2 or 3 GB unless you have some kind of insanely fast upstream connection.

Please follow these steps for sending us your files:
  • Create a preview quality video file of a reasonably practical size that is playable in VLC Media Player or Apple Quicktime Player. Please NAME your video file with your confirmation number and title (e.g.
  • Place your video file(s) along with any documents, descriptions and other info into one folder.
  • Name that folder as: submissionconfirmationnumber_Title
  • Compress that folder into a .zip archive
  • Upload that archive to our server using the link provided in your submission confirmation email
  • NOTE: If you are submitting more than one work to us, feel free to place ALL previews into one folder and upload them at the same time. Just name the folder with the lowest/first confirmation number you received and your last name, and then ensure each individual preview video is properly labeled with the appropriate confirmation number and title.
If you are mailing in a physical DVD, please bear in mind that Images is trying to reduce the amount of waste produced in the submission process. With that, we strongly encourage you to help us reduce waste and shipping costs with the following suggestions:
  • Package DVDs in a paper/board sleeve, not a hard plastic case
  • Ship in a stiff cardboard or other recyclable mailer with no bubble wrap
  • Print "Do Not Bend" on the front of envelope
  • Please do not mail us physical or electronic press kits of any kind.
  • You do not need to print out your submission form with your DVD.
Clearly label preview discs with confirmation number, title, running time and director name. Works submitted in languages other than English must be subtitled or be accompanied by an English transcript.

ENTRY FEES: For short film or video (59 min. or less): $15 CAD ($15 USD for International submissions);
Feature-length film or video (60 min. or more): $30 CAD ($30 USD for International submissions).
Work must be submitted by November 1, 2012 (postmark)
Fees are payable by international money order made out to The Images Festival. Canadian and US entrants only may pay by personal or company cheque. We can also accept cash in local currency equivalent to the entry fee, just conceal it within your DVD sleeve.

If you do your entire submission process ONLINE, including paying your submission fees and digital delivery of your submission materials, the fee is only $10 CAD per entry. This special rate only applies when you are both transmitting your preview file to us online and paying via PayPal prior to November 1, 2012.

Late entries will be accepted until Thursday, November 1, 2012 (postmark), but on October 16, 2012 entry fees rise to $25 per short film or video and $50 per feature-length film or video. Entries to the Student program are exempt from the entry fee for up to two works of under 20 minutes each, up until the final/late deadline!

EXHIBITION FORMATS: All film and video submissions must be available in one of the following exhibition formats: 35mm film or 16mm film with optical sound; Super 8 or 8mm film; HDCAM, Digibeta (NTSC/PAL), Betacam SP (NTSC/PAL), MiniDV/DVCAM (NTSC/PAL), or as a digital file. We do not screen work on DVD. Works in languages other than English must be subtitled for exhibition.

SHIPPING: When shipping from outside of Canada it is important that you label all customs forms as DVD for film festival preview. Cultural use only. No commercial value. Replacement value $2. Value the package only at the replacement cost of the blank media, up to a maximum of $10 Canadian. Images will not pay customs charges or duties for any mislabeled or incorrectly shipped submissions. If shipping by courier, please keep your copy of the waybill until you have confirmed that the festival has received your submission, but remember, it's a postmark deadline so don’t give FedEx anymore money than you need to! PLEASE DO NOT SHIP BY UPS (United Parcel Service) FROM OUTSIDE OF CANADA, as this will result in customs charges that the festival cannot pay, and your submission will be returned. Do not send submission materials in fibre-filled envelopes; the dust damages media and playback equipment. Preview materials will not be returned.

If your work is selected, exhibition copies will be returned by parcel post by May 31, 2013 unless prior arrangements are made. Images is only responsible for the return shipping costs of exhibition copies and, while all entries are treated with care, Images is not responsible for loss or damage during shipment.

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 11, 2013 if the work is selected for inclusion in the 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 the 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.

Send submissions to:

ON SCREEN Submissions
The Images Festival
448-401 Richmond Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8 Canada

Telephone: 416 971-8405
Fax: 416 971-7412

Please do not email stills or submission information.

Submission results will be sent out by email mid to late February 2013.

Please ensure we have your current email address on file if it changes between date of submission and this time.

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