Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about our festival?  Let us know using the form below, via our Contact Us page or via our social media pages.  We’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.  Common questions and answers are added to this page periodically.  Click on the FilmFreeway link below for details, eligibility criteria and to submit your films.



Q: How old do you have to be to submit a film?

A: We do not have a minimum age requirement to submit a film for consideration to our festival.  However, if your film is short listed before it could be accepted, we would need your parent or legal guardian to take legal responsibility and certify that all permissions and releases have been obtained for all footage, music and appearances (interviews or actors) used in the film.

Q: How long has the festival been around?
A: Our founders have been curating and collaborating with other organizations and film festivals in Ottawa since 2011.  We incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2014.  Our first full festival was in 2017, under the branding OttawaIndieFest 2017 .  Our 2018 screening will be our second full festival.

Q: Are submissions accepted exclusively thorough FilmFreeway or can we send in work directly electronically or by mail?
A: We only accept submissions via FilmFreeway.

Q: How much local content is showcased in the festival?
A: We receive Canadian film submissions from across Canada.  How many local shorts and feature films showcase depends primarily on the quality and quantity of eligible films received and the available screening slots.

Q: My film premiered at a festival screening in the Ottawa area but it is not public available online and not streaming on a video on demand service.  Is it eligible for your festival?
A:  We prefer that all short and feature films presented are Ottawa premieres.  We will accept submissions that have already premiered in the area but your film’s premiere status will be taken into consideration when final programming decisions are made.

Q: I have licensed my film to a broadcaster but the film isn’t available in any digital VOD platforms.  Is it eligible for your festival?
A:  If your film has been broadcast on a network with coverage in Ottawa area prior to the festival date, it is not eligible.  It is best to check with us first  if you are unsure.

Q: My film was shown at a screening primarily for cast and crew (but open to the public) in the Ottawa area but is not publicly available online and not on a video on demand service.  Is it eligible for your festival?
A:  Yes under those circumstances, it would be eligible.

Q: Why do you charge a submission fee?  There are plenty of free festivals around.
A: There are couple of reasons that motivate the inclusion of the submission fee.

From our experience with a couple of earlier seasons, free submissions generated a large number of spam submissions and/or submissions that did not fit the criteria mentioned in the call.  We are a volunteer-run organization and the investment in terms of time to weed out and disqualify these entries was significant.  It is hoped that requiring a submission fee would encourage filmmakers to make sure the films they submit match the required criteria.

The second reason for requiring the submission fee is for a source to fund the artist/exhibition fee we pay to the filmmakers whose films are selected to screen at the festival.

Q: Do you offer waivers for submission fees?
A: We do not offer submission fee waivers since that wouldn’t be fair to the independent filmmakers who pay to submit their work for consideration.

Q: Do you offer the ability to pay submission fees in currencies other than USD?
A: Unfortunately we do not have access to payment information nor do we control how the payments are made.  All of this functionality occurs within FilmFreeway.  We understand that FilmFreeway is actively looking at adding the ability to pay in different currencies in the future.  We will take advantage of that functionality as soon as it is available.  Stay tuned.

Use the form below to submit your question.


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