OPEN CALL FOR 2024 FESTIVAL SUBMISSION

Coming soon.

 

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PROGRAM STRUCTURE

about

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.

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.

Each year VAFF attracts close to 5,000 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.

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 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.

overview

We plan to continue with our ‘Hybrid’ model for our festival. That means a virtual festival Canada-wide for 7 days and live screenings and presentations in Vancouver for 4 days. There will be one day with a merging of virtual and in-person events. The festival will run from November 2 – 12, 2023.

Programming at the eleven-day November festival includes 22-26 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, Filmmakers Talk Series, the VAFF Industry Insight series including panel discussions, workshop and networking, and gala events.

Featured programming from last year:

  • Industry Insight Series – including panel discussions, workshop, networking, and gala events
  • Artist/Concept Spotlight
  • International Spotlight
  • International Shorts
  • Filmmakers Talk series

VAFF27 information will be announced in Fall 2023.

details

2023 FESTIVAL how to submit

You can download the Official Guidelines clicking here.

Juried Awards
Our juried awards offer excellent opportunities to build your film career. Awards we presented last year: Shorts
  • Best Canadian Short
  • Best Director for Canadian Short
  • Best Cinematography for Canadian Short
  • Best Animation for Canadian Short
Features
  • Best Canadian Feature
  • Best Director for Canadian Feature
  • Best Cinematography for Canadian Feature
  • Best Screenplay for Canadian Feature
Audience ‘People’s Choice’ Awards
  • Overall Performance for Short Film Award
  • Overall Performance for Feature Film Award
  • Overall Short Film Award
  • Overall Feature Film Award
Outstanding Contribution: Diversity in Film VAFF is an IMDB eligible film festival. This means that all selections and awards can be added to your IMDB film listing. We have a minimum prize fund of $5,500 CAD for:
  • $4,000 CAD for the category of Canadian Features awards
  • $1,500 CAD for the category of Canadian Shorts awards
We will continue to update our prize fund as we move closer to the festival. See the VAFF 2023 Open Call Guidelines for more details.
Open Call Period: March 15, 2023 – June 4, 2023 (11:59 PM PST)
  • Early Bird Deadline: April 15, 2023
  • Regular Deadline: May 15, 2023
  • Last Chance Deadline: June 4, 2023
Open call submissions received after the Open Call Period will not be considered for the 2023 festival. NO EXCEPTIONS.
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) South Asia (including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh) or West Asian-Canadian (permanent resident or citizen of Canada only) (including Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen) in English or with English subtitles, or
  • Films or videos produced must have at least one member of the creative team (director, writer, producer/production company or cinematographer) or at least one of the lead actors/subjects (if Documentary) 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.
  • If the country you are submitting from currently has a banking embargo, in these cases, we recommend that you find friends/filmmakers in other countries to assist your payment/submission.
  • Current VAFF Board, Executive and Committee members are also eligible to submit but their work will be reviewed by third party judges outside of VAFF and they will now be eligible for awards.
  • Films that were part of or screened at VAFF’s own MAMM (Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon) Gala will not be considered.
  • Important Note – In the initial submission phase – DCP will not be acceptable.  However, if the feature film is chosen for screening, Filmmakers will later be given the option of sending in the DCP for that purpose.
Please specify how your submission meets our eligibility criteria above, in your submission notes/cover letter.
Completion date requirements:
  • Films and videos must have been completed after March 15th, 2022. Submissions completed prior to this date will not be considered.  Films that have been previously submitted will not qualify for submission.
  • Films that have been self-distributed online, across all and any media platforms, will be ineligible.
Exhibition Formats:
  • Acceptable exhibition formats are as follows:
    • Feature Films – Digital exhibition formats H.264 (.MOV or .MP4) /ProRes/ DNxHD files; in HD resolution (1080p or 2K) at 23.98 frame rate. Audio in 5.1 surround (and or Stereo if that is the only available mix). If possible, a BluRay disc for backup.
    • Short Films – Digital exhibition formats H.264 (.MOV or .MP4) /ProRes/ DNxHD files; in HD resolution (1080p or 2K) at 23.98 frame rate. No DCP Audio in 5.1 surround (and or Stereo if that is the only available mix). If possible, a BluRay disc for backup.
    • Other exhibition formats, e.g. 16mm, DVD, HDCam, Digibeta, VHS cannot be considered.
Right to use:
  • All entries, selected for the Festival, grant VAFF the rights to use footage, stills, titles and information as we deem appropriate for publicity and promotional purposes.
  • This requires: 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 material including photographs and/or video submitted to VAFF may be used by the festival or a third party authorized by the festival for the purpose of promoting the festival (online, in print and media).
Film Categories
Accepted film categories (submissions outside these categories will not be considered):
  • Narrative Feature (any genre)
  • Narrative Short (any genre)
  • Documentary Feature
  • Documentary Short
  • Animation Feature and Shorts
  • Web Shorts – Single Episodes Only (no less than 10 minutes – except for commercial videos and ads, music videos, previously broadcast television, and trailers)
See the VAFF 2023 Open Call Guidelines for more details.

Submissions can be made through FilmFreeway.

important dates

film festival schedule

date
time
info
March 15, 2023 – June 4, 2023
12:00am – 11:59pm PST
Open Call Period
April 15, 2023
5:00pm PST
Early Bird Deadline
May 15, 2023
5:00pm PST
Regular Deadline
June 4, 2023
5:00pm PST
Last Chance Deadline
NO EXCEPTIONS

faq

2023 FESTIVAL FAQ

Submissions can be made through FilmFreeway.

The Open Call Submission Period is from March 15 to June 4, 2023.

  • Early bird deadline: April 15, 2023
  • Regular deadline: May 15, 2023
  • Final deadline: June 4, 2023 (unless Open Call is officially extended by VAFF)
  • Open call submissions received after the Open Call deadline will not be considered for the 2023 festival. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Free submissions for Canadian Shorts on March 14, 2022 only
  • Free submissions for Canadian Shorts and Canadian Features on March 15 – 16, 2023 only
  • Early bird: $35 USD (Short), $40 USD (Feature), $35 USD (Feature Animation), $30 USD (Short Animation)
  • Each film/video submitted must be accompanied by its own entry fee.
  • Open Call submission FEES CANNOT BE WAIVED.  NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Any submission that does not meet the submission eligibility or criteria and is disqualified will not receive a refund.
  • Payment is accepted via credit card (preferred) or PayPal on FilmFreeway, or by cheque to the VAFF mailing address listed on the site.
  • 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
  • NEW: West Asian-Canadian (permanent resident or citizen of Canada only) (including Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen) in English or with English subtitles,
  • Films or videos produced must have at least one member of the creative team (director, writer, producer/production company or cinematographer) or at least one of the lead actors/subjects (if Documentary) self-identify as being of Asian or part-Asian heritage.
Note:
  • If the country you are submitting from currently has a banking embargo, in these cases, we recommend that you find friends/filmmakers in other countries to assist your payment/submission.
  • Current VAFF Board, Executive and Committee members are also eligible to submit but their work will be reviewed by third party judges outside of VAFF and they will now be eligible for awards.
  • Films that were part of or screened at VAFF’s own MAMM (Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon) Gala will not be considered.
  • Please specify how your submission meets our eligibility criteria above, in your submission notes/cover letter.

    Completion date requirements:
    • Films and videos must have been completed after March 15th, 2022. Submissions completed prior to this date will not be considered.  Films that have been previously submitted will not qualify for submission.

    Right to use:
    • All entries, selected for the Festival, grant VAFF the rights to use footage, stills, titles and information as we deem appropriate for publicity and promotional purposes.
    • This requires: 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 material including photographs and/or video submitted to VAFF may be used by the festival or a third party authorized by the festival for the purpose of promoting the festival (online, in print and media).
  • Acceptable exhibition formats are as follows:

    • Feature Films – Digital exhibition formats H.264 (.MOV or .MP4) /ProRes/ DNxHD files; in HD resolution (1080p or 2K) at 23.98 frame rate. Audio in 5.1 surround (and or Stereo if that is the only available mix). If possible, a BluRay disc for backup.
    • Short Films – Digital exhibition formats H.264 (.MOV or .MP4) /ProRes/ DNxHD files; in HD resolution (1080p or 2K) at 23.98 frame rate. No DCP Audio in 5.1 surround (and or Stereo if that is the only available mix). If possible, a BluRay disc for backup.
    • Other exhibition formats, e.g. 16mm, DVD, HDCam, Digibeta, VHS cannot be considered.
    Accepted film categories (submissions outside these categories will not be considered):
    • Narrative Feature (any genre)
    • Narrative Short (any genre)
    • Documentary Feature
    • Documentary Short
    • Animation Feature and Shorts
    • Web Shorts – Single Episodes Only (no less than 10 minutes – except for commercial videos and ads, music videos, previously broadcast television, and trailers)
    See the VAFF 2023 Open Call Guidelines for more details.