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Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines…


By Staff

(September 18, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) While the film festival season rages on, the calendar for the entire film industry seems to pick up at this time of year. Within a few weeks we’ll morph from festivals to award shows and so the calls for entries have begun. Producers, production companies, indies and distributors are all busy figuring out their submission budgets and timetables and one small delay can mean nothing but disappointment.

Two of the biggies in the industry are vying for attention at this time, both for events that happen in 2015. First, time is rapidly running out to enter your film for consideration for the Canadian Screen Awards. The deadline is 11:59PM on October 10. Of course that`s a Friday and you would think that a weekend shouldn’t make a difference but it does. Counting today you have 23 days to submit your film.
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THis deadline applies to Dramatic Feature Films and Theatrical Shorts & Documentaries that were released and screened in the 2014 calendar year. That is, between January 1st and December 31st, 2014. Early in January 2015 the various nominating committees will gather and the Academy expects to announce the list of nominees on January 13. Online voting will begin on January 20 and run until February 8. The 3rd annual Canadian Screen Awards kicks off on February 23rd and culminates with the Broadcast Gala on March 1st.

All the information is available online, including technical details and the cost for submitting your film. It may be a bit early, but “break a leg” as they say from all of us at Northernstars. We look forward to covering the event again next year.

If the Canadian Screen Awards are the highlight of the Canadian entertainment industry, Hot Docs has carved out its special niche to become the most important documentary festival in North America if not the world. Next year`s festival opens on April 23 and submissions to the festival are open now. To encourage early entry Hot Docs offers filmmakers a sliding scale that sees the fee for entering a short (up to 29 minutes) go from $25 if the submission arrives by November 19, which is the Early Bird date, to twice that, $50, if you wait until the late deadline of January 7. Feature and mid-length documentaries have an Early Bird submission fee of $50 which rises to $100 for the official deadline of December 10 and rises again to $150 for the Late Deadline.

The following rules apply to all submissions:

It must have been completed after January 1, 2014;
It must qualify to be at least a Toronto premiere (i.e. cannot have been screened publicly in Toronto prior to the 2015 Festival, including broadcast versions of any length);
It must be in English, subtitled in English or English versioned (non-English language films may be submitted with an English transcript; however, if selected for Hot Docs, it must be subtitled or dubbed into English at the applicant’s expense);
It may not have submitted to the Festival previously in any stage of completion (i.e. films that were submitted as rough cuts will not be reconsidered

There is more information online if you’re thinking about submitting to the 2015 Hot Docs festival.