2017 Open Call Submission

Thank you for your Film Entries. The submission is now closed. Questions regarding your submissions can be emailed to programming@vaff.org or submissions@vaff.org


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How to Submit

Submission Deadlines

  • Early bird deadline: April 30, 2017
  • Regular deadline: May 15, 2017
  • Final deadline: May 31, 2017 (unless Open Call is officially extended by VAFF)
  • Open call submissions received after the Open Call deadline will not be considered for the 2017 festival.


Entry Fees

  • Early bird: $25 US Early Bird rate
  • Regular: $30 US Regular rate
  • Late: $40 US Regular Late rate ($35 US Withoutabox Member discount rate)

Each film/video submitted must be accompanied by its own entry fee. Open Call submission fees cannot be waived. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Payment is accepted via credit card through Withoutabox, or by cheque to the VAFF mailing address listed on Withoutabox. Credit card payments through Withoutabox are preferred.

Other Fees

  • OPEN CALL SUBMISSION/ENTRY FEES: VAFF does not waive entry fees for Open Call Submissions.
  • RENTAL/SCREENING/DISTRIBUTION FEES: As a not-for-profit, VAFF does not pay these fees but instead invests resources in providing the best possible showcase for your work, and promoting your work as widely as possible.
  • ARTIST FEES: In fulfillment of its mandate, VAFF is provided with a small amount of public funding for artist fees to independent Asian Canadian artists only.


VAFF accepts:

  • Independently produced films and videos by Asian North American artists (including Asian-Canadian or Asian-American artists), or
  • Films or videos produced in East Asia (including People’s Republic of China [incl. Hong Kong], Macao, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan), Southeast Asia (including Myanmar [Burma], Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Timor-Leste) or South Asia (including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh), in English or with English subtitles, or
  • Films or videos produced internationally where at least one member of the creative team (director, writer or producer/production company) or one of the lead Actor(s)/subjects (if documentary) must self-identify as being of Asian or part-Asian heritage.
  • Please specify how your submission meets our eligibility criteria above, in your submission notes/cover letter.
  • Films and videos must have been completed no earlier than January 31, 2015. Submissions completed prior to this date will not be considered.
  • Acceptable exhibition formats are Blu-ray and DCP and digital exhibition formats H.264 (.MOV or .MP4) files - in either 1080p or 720p resolutions - and with either 24p or 29.97 fps frame rates.
  • Other exhibition formats, e.g. 16mm, DVD, HDCam, Digibeta, VHS cannot be considered.
  • The applicant must hold the necessary rights for the submission and exhibition of this work. The applicant agrees that if his/her title is selected, that any photographs and/or video submitted to VAFF may be used by the festival or a third party authorized by the festival for the purpose promoting the festival (online, in print and media).

Film Categories

  • Accepted film categories (submissions outside these categories will not be considered):

o Narrative (drama, comedy, romance etc.)

o Documentary

o Animation

o Experimental

o Digital/interactive projects (including web shorts/series episodes)


About the Festival

Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF) is dedicated to promoting and celebrating the diversity and depth of Asian culture and identity in film and media, and to help North American Asian actors and filmmakers more authentically and more powerfully define and express themselves on screen.

Through its annual film festival and many other programs and events hosted in Vancouver, VAFF’s mission is to be the “go-to” forum for the public and the film industry to engage in and support the rise of Asian influence in film and media in the world. VAFF envisions a world where North American Asian actors and filmmakers have the resources and opportunities to shape mainstream culture in a powerful and positive way.

VAFF is the longest running pan-Asian diaspora film festival in Canada. It was founded in 1995 and debuted in September 1997. Since then, tens of thousands of film lovers have experienced a diverse selection of North American-Asian and international films, in English and in other languages.

Each year VAFF attracts close to 4,000 audience members over its four-day festival and year-round events. It also reaches many more through word of mouth, pre-festival events, and traditional and social media throughout the year.

VAFF is entirely organized and produced by a group of dedicated volunteers, and is made possible by generous financial support from corporate sponsors, public funders and private donors.


Visiting artists have included Justin Lin, Benson Lee, Evan Jackson Leong, Jessica Yu, Tze Chun, Quentin Lee, Michael Kang, and Freida Lee Mock, as well as Canadian/BC filmmakers Julia Kwan, Mina Shum, Ann Marie Fleming, Nilesh Patel, and Jeff Chiba Stearns. Attending performers have included Tzi Ma, Edison Chen, Sarita Choudhury, and Rizwan Manji.


Available awards include a juried award for Best Canadian Short, presented by the National Film Board of Canada; a juried award for Best Canadian Feature, presented by the Directors’ Guild of Canada—British Columbia; audience-voted People’s Choice Awards for best Overall Feature, Overall Short, Overall Performance; and a curated award for Outstanding Contribution: Diversity in Film, to an Asian North American creative industry professional with a significant body of work or advocacy.


Programming at the four-day November festival includes 10-13 film programs incorporating feature length and short films and videos (dramatic narrative, documentary, experimental and animation) featuring an Artist/Concept Spotlight, International Spotlight, International and Canadian Shorts, Q & A sessions, the VAFF Industry series including panel discussions and networking, and gala events.


All screenings for the VAFF21 four-day festival in November will take place at the Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas, a multiplex theatre within downtown Vancouver's historic Chinatown and Gastown districts.

See the VAFF21 Open Call Guidelines 2017 for more details.

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