Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival: Call for Submissions
The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival® is a unique showcase of work from the Asian diaspora and...

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival® is a unique showcase of work from the Asian diaspora and contemporary Asian cinema. Works include films and videos by East, South and Southeast Asian filmmakers in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world. As Canada’s largest Asian film festival, Reel Asian® provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada.

Founded in 1997 by producer Anita Lee and journalist Andrew Sun, this non-profit community-based festival has grown into an eagerly anticipated annual event that attracts thousands of attendees to ten exciting days of galas, screenings, forums, workshops and parties.

Deadline: June 15 2020

Audience Award
Best Feature Film Award
Best Canadian Film or Video Award
Best First Feature Film Award
Female Director Award (for Ontario-based female filmmakers)
Best Short Film or Video Award (multiple awards)
Animasian Award for Best Animated Film

We welcome new film and video submissions by East, South, and Southeast Asians from around the world, including North America.

***Reel Asian is founded on the principals of building community and sharing our unique and important stories. Regardless of COVID-19, we are committed to continuing this work in 2020 as we always have. Should unforeseen events alter the format and delivery of the film festival, Reel Asian will contact and inform filmmakers in selection of how such events may affect and change the nature of their screening status***


We require submissions that are produced with an East/South/Southeast Asian/Asian North American and Asian diaspora artist in a major key creative role (behind the camera and/or on-screen).

We welcome films and videos of all genres, including but not limited to: narrative, documentary, short, animation, experimental, etc.

Eligible short film or video work submissions have a max runtime of 40 minutes.

For all submissions, we strongly encourage and prioritize works completed in the last year. If your work was completed before 2019, please contact us before submitting.

If you are submitting a previously submitted work, note that all re-submissions must have significant edits and changes for it to be re-considered. Please contact for further clarification.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you are submitting a rough cut and update your submission later, we cannot guarantee that the updated version will be reviewed.


SCREENERS – Secure online screener links are the previewing method. If you need to submit in another format please contact to make arrangements.

INFORMATION – Provide concise loglines, synopsis’, artist statement/cover letters, behind-the-scene photos, (and trailers for feature films) etc.

SELF-IDENTIFICATION – Please share how you self-identify. Reel Asian aims to be a more diverse and inclusive festival. To help us measure and improve upon these efforts, we kindly ask you to respond to the questions regarding self-identification as best you can. All responses are anonymous, will have no impact on your submission and will only be used for research and statistical analyses to help us better serve the filmmaking community.


Selected applicants must provide a DCP format of their film or video work. In some cases (especially short films), filmmakers may be required to provide a high quality video file for exhibition. Please contact the festival directly if you have other formats for consideration.

We do not accept DVD as an exhibition format.

Reel Asian is not responsible for transfer costs for the appropriate exhibition format.

The participant agrees to pay print shipping costs to the festival. The festival will pay the return shipping cost (one way). Shipping information (such as where/when the print is coming and going to) must be settled upon confirmation of participation. The exhibition print must arrive at the festival one month prior to the festival.


Reel Asian is committed to paying artist fees to directors in selection and follows standard rates set by the Independent Media Arts Alliance ( Artist fees will be paid post-festival.


By submitting to this festival, you hereby grant the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival permission to screen and otherwise use the aforementioned title (the “Work”) in connection with the 2020 festival. You represent and warrant that you have all the rights in and to the Work and/or you have the authority to grant Reel Asian the rights to screen and otherwise use the Work. Your film festival acceptance also grants Reel Asian permission to use stills and excerpts from the Work for promotional and publicity use.

Should unforeseen events alter the format of the film festival, Reel Asian will contact and inform filmmakers in selection of how such events may affect and change the nature of their status.

For more information: HERE