Guest Program Submissions


Call for Proposals — Guest Programmers


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You can find a .pdf version of this document here.


Images Festival is pleased to reopen our call for GUEST PROGRAMMERS that accepts program and exhibition proposals for cinema screenings and gallery exhibitions on a rolling basis. 

Proposals will be reviewed in the summer and early fall over an extended period of planning as the festival’s program and presenting partnerships begin to take form.

Proposals received in one review cycle may or may not be conceptually complementary or logistically possible for the upcoming festival year. However, the removal of a fixed submission deadline allows Images to consider proposals in greater depth and prepare to seek funding, partnerships and capacity to meaningfully support the realisation of the presentation. 



Established in 1987, IMAGES FESTIVAL is the longest running and most influential moving image festival in Canada. Our ON SCREEN program is an annual survey dedicated to contemporary artist’s film and video presented in a cinema context and to moving image in all its forms. 

Images presents work that counters dominant mainstream narratives and provides alternative ways of thinking and seeing that expands the understanding of media art through our programming and education-based initiatives. 

Images Festival does not select films based on any particular themes, genres or aesthetic categories but selects moving image works that share formal and political sensibilities which emerge from recent critical discourses between contemporary art, cinema and media arts. 






The 34th edition of Images Festival will take place between April 15 to 21, 2021.



There is no fixed submission deadline. Submissions are accepted on a rolling, ongoing basis.



All works related to the moving image, interactive processes, expanded/live cinema, and digital media are eligible for entry. 

Images Festival will consider recent works. Generally, this is defined as being made within the last three years, but we ask curators and programmers to use their best judgment on how to define what is recent and relevant. 

Please note that this call is for Curators, Programmers and Researchers only. If you are an individual artist, please do not apply to this category.

We encourage presenters to consider the power dynamics and ethics implicit in their work, particularly in the representation of the structurally marginalized, including racial, sexual, gendered minorities, and vulnerable persons.



There is no entry fee; limit of 2 entries per person. If additional works are submitted, only the first two will be reviewed.



Guest Programmers will collaborate with our Artistic Director and programming staff to realize the program, including assistance with print traffic, marketing, and details associated with presentation of the work(s). 

For screen programs, Images Festival will cover artists’ fees according to the 2020/21 IMAA fee schedule and offer a modest programmer’s honorarium, if your proposal is selected. 

For exhibitions, Images Festival follows CARFAC guidelines for suggested artist payments. Please consult their fee schedule for exact details.



Please include the following material including links and your CV formatted as one PDF:

  • Title of your program
  • Full program notes including artist names, run times, year, and formats. (Preview links are strongly encouraged, or past examples if the works are new) 
  • Overall run time (Run times around 60 minutes or less are preferable)

For exhibition proposals, please include: 

  • Detailed description of the technical requirements for presentation
  • If available or applicable, include layout drawings and plans, space requirements (e.g. minimum sq ft needed), equipment needed, and shipping requirements.
  • If available or applicable, please include a projected materials or production budget.

Please send a PDF file named in the following format:


For example: GUEST_Submission_2019.10.19_The-Informants.pdf



Please upload preview copies of time-based work(s) or documentation to Vimeo. The password(s) should be active from the date of submission for a period of at least one year. Following a period of one year, the festival team will make attempts to contact the filmmaker if we encounter broken links and expired, or incorrectly entered passwords. 

We only accept digital preview copies as we do not have the capacity to view analogue prints in their original formats. 

Please prepare your documents in PDF format and email your project proposals to with the subject heading: 

GUEST Submission - [Name]



Images Festival will only give notification if your submission is selected. If your submission is selected, you will be notified between the months of June to October for exhibition in April of the following year.

For example, if we receive a proposal in February 2021, it will be considered for festival programming in 2022, 2023, and 2024. 

Please do not call the office to inquire about the status of your submission. We are a small programming team and unable to extend feedback if your proposal is not selected. 

We will keep proposals on file for a period of up to three years. You may withdraw your proposal at any time should another venue or opportunity arise for the project to be realized. 






Once your proposal has been accepted, the programming team will contact you to reconfirm the title, location, exhibition formats, artist bio, credits and technical specifications of your project. Program copy, artist bios and other information is subject to modification at the festival's discretion.



All film and video works for the cinema must be available in one of the following exhibition formats: 

  • Digital file, preferably DCP
  • 35mm film or 16mm film with optical sound
  • Super 8 or 8mm film
  • HDCAM, Digibeta (NTSC/PAL)
  • Betacam SP (NTSC/PAL)

We do not screen work on DVD. 

Works in languages other than English must be subtitled for exhibition. 

We will follow up with you about the venue specifications upon confirmation of participation.

Formats for gallery presentation are at the discretion of the artist and their collaborators. Images Festival and our presenting partners will strive for highest quality of presentation for the formats proposed, budget permitting. 

Works in languages other than English must be subtitled for exhibition. 



If your work offers open captioning or audio description, please let us know so we can take this into account when scheduling the venue and/or technical logistics. Images strives to arrange marketing, communications, outreach and budget for the planning of relevant accommodations for discursive program(s) such as Q&A and artist talks. 

In the application notes, please also let us know if there are content warnings and/or trigger warnings that apply to your submission. These may include content that evokes or portrays sexual violence, violence against children, self-harm, war trauma, and police brutality as well as stylistic choices that may potentially trigger photosensitive viewers such as strobing effects. Please note that if your film is selected and the programming team deems that a warning is necessary for its presentation, we will bring this to your attention. 

You can read more information on the concept of content warnings and trigger warnings here.



The preview link submitted to the festival will be distributed to press outlets and independent critics in the weeks leading up to, during, and up to six weeks after the festival. If there are any changes to your link, please contact the Programming Assistant at 



The scheduling of programming is at the discretion of the festival. 



For screen programs, digital file transfers are preferred. For digital storage or film prints, detailed shipment information will be provided upon confirmation of participation. The filmmaker is responsible for the shipment of their film to the festival. We will not accept shipments collect unless previously arranged by the festival. 

Images will arrange the return shipping costs of exhibition copies. All entries are treated with utmost care. However, Images is not responsible for any loss of or damage to shipped materials during transport. See INSURANCE.

All prints will be returned within six to eight weeks following the festival. We will ship the film to the address provided in the submission. Please inform the festival immediately if there is a change of address for delivery. 

For exhibitions, shipping falls under the purview of partnering galleries or venue, project budget permitting.  



Films under the care of Images Festival are covered by our insurance policy. In case of damage or loss of a film during the festival, the festival is only responsible for the costs involved in replacing the print. We do not offer insurance for property in-transit. 

For exhibitions, insurance falls under the purview of partnering galleries or venue, project budget permitting.  



All community participants, including members and guests of members, event hosts, sponsors, presenters, exhibitors and attendees, are expected to abide by the Images Festival Code of Conduct and cooperate with organizers who enforce it.

Images Festival insists that everyone who uses the spaces remains mindful of, and takes responsibility for, their speech and behavior. 

We embrace respect and concern for the free expression of others, but will not tolerate words or actions that are racist, sexist, homophobic, ageist, classist, transphobic, cissexist, or ableist.

Respecting physical and emotional boundaries, we do not accept oppressive behavior, harassment, destructive behavior, or exclusionary actions.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. Anyone who engages in sustained unacceptable behavior may be sanctioned or permanently expelled from the screening or event without refund in the case of a paid event.



Contact us with any questions at 

Please ensure we have your current email address on file if it changes between the date of submission and this time. Please contact us immediately if it has changed since the date of submission.