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Ottawa Canadian Film Festival

Our Mission

The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival (OCanFilmFest) is a cultural, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate 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.

OCan21: This Year's Festival

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and out of an abundance of caution, this year's festival will take place online on Vimeo's On-Demand platform from November 12 to 21, 2021.

OCAN21

Our 2021 festival will take place online on Vimeo's On-Demand platform from November 12 to 21.
Here are this year's official selections.



Congratulations to the directors, cast and crew. Stay tuned for more information about the films.

A big Thank You to our volunteer jury, who watched and scored a record-breaking number of film submissions this year.
Yaron Betan, Byrce Mercier, Brandon Rumball, Reid Delong, Stevie Jackson, Ray Savaya, Daniel Perras, Mathew J. Blecha, Will Lafrance, Tyler Boyco, Nathan Hauch, Roop Bajwa, Gabe Counsil, Sebastyan Tanasi, Maissa Houri, Taylor Olsen, Aisha Shennawy, Isabelle Hayeur, Rob Spittall and others.



Purchase a $25 festival pass for rental access to ALL feature-length and short films.

Buy OCan21 Festival Pass
Payment Options
Discounted Festival Passes available to purchase until November 1, 2021. Individual films can be rented during the festival.
The Festival runs from November 12 to 21, 2021.

Contest: Each purchase of a festival pass enters you in a draw for a free festival pass that you can gift.

About OCanFilmFest

The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival (OCanFilmFest) is a cultural, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate 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.

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.

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

Check our FAQ page for frequently asked questions about the festival and submission process.


Annual Festivals


We host an annual in November at the Arts Court Theatre (2, Daly Avenue) in Ottawa. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and out of an abundance of caution, we moved the screenings to Vimeo's Video-On Demand platform in 2020 and 2021. We look forward to returning to a physical screening soon.


Activities and Presentations between Annual Screenings


In addition to our annual screenings, OCanFilmFest programs a number of events including screenings, maintains 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.

Continuing in 2021, Shorts at Home is a series short film screenings curated by the OCanFilmFest Board of Directors. The selections are non-competitive and are scheduled to run between the annual festival screenings, presented as on-demand videos on Vimeo. The festival publishes a discount code which allows all audience members to rent these videos free of charge right from the comfort of their homes. Participating filmmakers are paid artist fees, in keeping with the festival’s mission to support and celebrate the production of Canadian films.

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.

Manuel Sousa

Manuel Sousa

Manuel Sousa is a graduate of the former youth program at SAW Media Arts Centre; Rural Urban Youth Connection. While a professional administrator by trade he keeps his passion for video production alive through ongoing participation in workshops, self-directed learning, following industry trends and volunteering on local productions.

Catharine Horsley

Catharine Horsley

Catharine Horsley is a film studies graduate from Carleton University, who is addicted to the cinema. She is very passionate about art, photography, and filmmaking. Her dream is to become a screenwriter or film critic. When Catharine isn’t watching movies, she finds joy in reading, writing, painting, and cooking.