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Show your work, 
Enter the Festival.

6 Categories + 1 Public Choice Award. 

CAD $1000.00 Prize for each category winner. 

Short films only (from 2 min to 40 min).

Shot and edited between 2020 and 2024. 

Submissions open from July 1st to Dec 31st 2024

Submit on 


Public Choice Award.

Judge  |  YOU  |  Presented by

The Public Choice Award is an annual film honor presented by film festivals to the movie rated as the year’s most popular with festival audiences. It reflects the collective voice of viewers who appreciate and connect with exceptional cinematic storytelling. Whether it’s a gripping drama, a heartwarming comedy, or an eye-opening documentary, this award celebrates the film that resonates most profoundly with the public

Best Student Film.

The Best Student Film award recognizes outstanding student-produced films. Eligible submissions must be entirely the work of individual students or student teams from accredited post-secondary programs worldwide. Faculty advice is allowed, but the core work - from concept to finished film - must be student-driven. HNIFF ensures that professionals do not have undue influence, maintaining the integrity of student creativity. 

Best Director.

The Best Director award celebrates outstanding cinematic direction. It honors filmmakers who exhibit exceptional skill in guiding every aspect of a film, from storytelling to visual aesthetics. Whether capturing breathtaking landscapes or intimate moments, these directors enrich the art of cinema.

Best Documentary.

Documentary films capture truth, life, and reality. From social experiments to political exposés, these movies allow us to see the world with fresh eyes. Whether it’s exploring social issues, profiling remarkable individuals, or shedding light on untold stories, the Best Documentary award celebrates the art of nonfiction filmmaking.

Best Cinematography.

Cinematography is the art of capturing visuals on film, but it goes far beyond that. It’s about setting up angles, lighting, and creating the look of what’s being captured on camera. The Best Cinematography award celebrates the talented cinematographers who elevate storytelling through their visual mastery. From breathtaking landscapes to intimate close-ups, their work enriches the cinematic experience.

Best Animation.

Animation is a powerful art form that combines visual storytelling, technical skill, and boundless creativity. It allows filmmakers to explore fantastical realms, evoke emotions, and connect with audiences across cultures and generations. Whether hand-drawn, computer-generated, or stop-motion, animation continues to enchant and inspire viewers worldwide and we are excited to include this category in this years festival.

Best Actor/Actress

The Best Actor category celebrates exceptional performances by actors in leading roles. Whether it’s a gripping drama, a heartwarming comedy, or an intense thriller, these talented individuals bring characters to life on the big screen. Their ability to evoke emotions, captivate audiences, and convey complex narratives is what makes this category a highlight of any film festival. From iconic legends to rising stars, the Best Actor award recognizes the artistry and dedication that enriches the world of cinema

Meet your judges. 

Without our Industry Experts, we would not have been able to create the festival we have. Coming forward with their knowledge, experience and resources to give back to the community they so dearly love, we look forward to highlighting their feats, accomplishments and passions.













Dean Redman

Head Judge & Master of Ceremony

IMDB Profile - @thedeanredman

Mike Dopud

Judge - Best Actor

Katie Boland

Judge - Best Director

IMDB Profile - @katieboland13

Stirling Bancroft

Judge Best Cinematography


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