Pendance Film Festival

The Pendance Film Festival is devoted to showcasing the very best of independent cinema from around the world. We prioritize writing, story, acting, sound, and music over everything. In our second year, we expand to a four night festival with over 40 short and feature films.

New in 2019, we are also expanding to include 4 filmmaker workshops by industry leaders. Pendance isn’t just about big crowds and excellent films. We value filmmakers and want to make sure we’re doing everything in our power to connect filmmakers to new audiences and new ideas.

The Pendance Film Festival is a 4-day showcase of up to 50 short and feature length films from North America and around the world. Our entire panel of programmers is comprised of film industry professionals, and we curate only the very best of world cinema.

STORY. OVER. EVERYTHING. That's our slogan, and we're sticking with it.

5 Reasons to Submit to Pendance:

At Pendance, we select only the best. Our team of programmers are all film professionals, and if there's one thing we get, it's movies. Audiences rave that the selection standards we hold our films to are rarely seen outside of top 10 festivals. By keeping that quality standard consistently (and absurdly) high, we hope that a 'Pendance Official Selection' becomes a stamp of approval for any filmmaker looking to jumpstart their festival run.

Our team watches each submission at least twice. We select the best films. Period. No politics. No preferential treatment to local filmmakers or trending issues. If we feel the film resonates with an audience, we'll program it. We respect our audiences. That's why they show up. Speaking of which...

As filmmakers, we've travelled across the country for a film only to screen in front of twelve people. It happened at bigger and smaller festivals. When we started Pendance, our goal was to never let it happen to any Pendance filmmaker. In our very first year, Pendance screened on the busiest night of the year during a snow storm to a packed theatre of over 400 film lovers. We can't even take all of the credit here. Great films aren't a tough sell.

We're not just programmers and festival organizers. Our team also features professional designers and film editors with backgrounds in promotion and advertising. These skills allow us to help filmmakers reach wider audiences.

Last year, this meant designing custom trailers and posters for films which lacked these items, building press kits, and raising awareness about the films with local critics with the goal of raising the exposure each film would garner both before and after the screening. We strive to actively promote all of our official selections and filmmakers through our rapidly growing social media channels.

New this year, Pendance will introduce four filmmaker workshops with the goal of adding a small teaching component to our festival. The workshops will be led by industry leaders. 2019's workshops include; directing actors, scriptwriting for the big screen, securing distribution, and a masterclass in low-budget horror.

The Regent is one of the oldest theatres in North America, and retains a special sort of charm which is seldom found in modern multiplexes. It's an enormous and immaculately well-maintained venue with a 530-person seating capacity, a 40 foot screen, and one of the best sound systems in the city. So you can rest assured that the film you poured years of your life into is going to get the gold-standard exhibition it deserves.

Toronto is one of the most diverse, and rapidly growing cities in the world. Already home to the Toronto International Film Festival each fall, we hope Pendance gives the film industry a reason to make a second trip north of the border each year.

Awards & Prizes
Best Picture- A Prize awarded to the best feature film
Jury Prize: Best Short Film- Awarded to the best short film (under 45 minutes)
Audience Award: Best Film- Voted for by the audience in attendance
Best Director- Awarded to the best Director (short or feature).
Rules & Terms
1) Only films completed after January 1st, 2017 are eligible for the festival.

2) Pendance Film Festival only accepts films that are Toronto premieres. World premieres and Canadian premieres are given priority. For feature films, a Canadian premiere is a minimum requirement.

3) STUDENT FEES are only for current film school students or filmmakers who made films while enrolled in film school. In order to qualify for a student fee, please be sure to upload a clear copy of a student ID on the attachments section of your filmmaker profile.


Films from the Washington Film Festival screening at the World Film Fair