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Ottawa Canadian Film Festival

Our Mission

The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival (OCanFilmFest) is a cultural, not‑for‑profit organization that celebrates Canadian film. Our mission is grounded in the belief that Canadian film and filmmakers are distinctive and vital to our country’s culture and the development of the local economy.

Call for Submissions

Our Call for Submissions for the 2022 edition of our festival is now closed. We hope to see you at the screenings in November.

OCan22

OCan22

OCAN22Bytowne Cinema

Festival screenings will take place on November 3-5, 2022
at the Bytowne Cinema in Ottawa.

Our festival jury is busy reviewing submissions.
Official Selections will be announced in October.


City of Ottawa

OCan22 gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the City of Ottawa.

About OCanFilmFest

The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival (OCanFilmFest) is a cultural, not-for-profit organization that celebrates Canadian film. Our mission is grounded in the belief that Canadian film and filmmakers are distinctive and vital to our country’s culture and the development of the local economy. This artist-run organization is composed of a volunteer board of directors and jury members. Sponsorships, donations, grants, film submission fees, and proceeds from ticket sales are used to fund exhibition / artist fees, that are paid out to filmmakers for the use of their work in our annual festival screenings.

We believe in programming and content that provides Ottawa audiences with entertaining and high-quality independent films, information, activities and events. Our festival, events, online presence and resources aim to encourage collaboration, artistic innovation and creativity while providing access for a broad audience segment. The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival is committed to cooperation and collaboration with other arts organizations as well as the business community. Our programs are interactive, entertaining, educational and great value for the money.

The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival is an evolution of the Treepot Film Festival, independent filmmaker Jith Paul’s series of public screenings that shocased over 150 Canadian independent films at movie theatres, universities, colleges and parks in downtown Ottawa between 2011 and 2014. Although successful and popular with local audiences, Paul decided it was time to take the Treepot screenings to the next level in order further promote independent filmmakers and to reach out and appeal to larger and broader based audiences in a more formalized structure.  The result is the Ottawa Canadian Film Festival, founded in 2015, with our first annual screening in 2017. Since then we have presented Canadian films of various genres and durations from filmmakers across the country at both in-person and online screenings.


OCanFilmFest is a volunteer and artist-run, not-for-profit film festival. Donations are welcome and can be made at PayPal.me/ocanfilmfest.

Donate

Check our FAQ page for frequently asked questions about the festival, screenings, artist / screening fees, and film submission process.

FAQ




Annual Festivals


We host annual in-person festival screenings in Ottawa every November. Out of an abundance of caution we moved the screenings to Vimeo's Video-On Demand platform in 2020 and 2021, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to returning to in-person screenings soon.


Activities and Presentations between Annual Screenings


In addition to our annual screenings, OCanFilmFest programs a number of events including screenings, a podcast and web series related to independent filmmaking in Ottawa and elswhere in Canada.

In 2020 we launched ‘Shorts at Home’, a series of short films presented online using Vimeo’s Video on Demand service as a means to continue our mission to promote and celebrate and promote Canadian filmmakers and films in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The films for this series are curated by the OCanFilmFest Board of Directors, the selections are non-competitive and are scheduled to run between the annual festival screenings. In 2021, we extended our artist fee policy to the 'Shorts at Home' selections. In February 2022, we plan to launch a second series, 'OCan Spotlight', which will include feature-length and short Canadian films, also curated by the OCanFilmFest Board of directors.

The OCanFilmFest podcast is available on several major podcast platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and SoundCloud.

FilmFreeway
OCanFilmFest proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.

Meet the Team

Jith Paul

Jith Paul

Jith Paul is an independent filmmaker based in Ottawa. An engineer by training he decided to take a detour to follow his passion for film.  He began the Treepot Film Festival in 2011, a series of 10 curated screenings at independent cinemas and public parks which evolved into the Ottawa Canadian Film Festival in 2015.

Blair Campbell

Blair Campbell

Blair Campbell is a graduate of the television broadcasting program at Algonquin College in Ottawa. As founder of 4SightMedia.ca and co-founder of OcanFilmFest he focuses on providing production services to independent filmmakers.

Lisa Meuser

Lisa Meuser

When Lisa was younger, she chose a video camera over Disney Land, and as an adult, she still finds time to make films when she is not running her talent agency, The Meus. She is a master at multitasking and drinking coffee — best served with Hawaiian pizza, with a side of inspiration.