Water Docs Film Festival


Then you won't want to miss our film festival about all things WATER. The Water Docs Film Festival presents Canadian and International features and shorts about water, engaging discussions with filmmakers and special guests, and opportunities to take action to protect water.

The festival informs, educates and activates our audiences about water and water issues because the likelihood of having enough clean, fresh water is diminishing everywhere. This festival is primarily about film, however, we also have amazing exhibits, surprising interactive presentations, breathtaking musical performances, interesting workshops, family-friendly offerings, engaging speakers, water-related NGO displays, and so much more. So, for the love of water, come join us!

Awards & Prizes
This year we are running a competition for Best Film with a $2,000 CAD prize. So get your cameras ready and enter your films today. See the Rules and Regulations listed in each individual category. Please note that General Festival Entry guidelines also apply to these submissions.

Rules & Terms
Your film submission MUST have a central water issue or theme to be eligible for screening. Please read the submission criteria carefully before submitting your film. Thank you.

At this time, we request only online submissions. All materials must be viewable online as we want to remain as green (blue) as possible. The easiest way to submit your film is through FilmFreeway. Alternatively, and with pre-approval, you can email us a link to your film online with the preview screening password and proof of submission fee payment. Online payments for this method of submitting can be made via PayPal. Our preferred streaming services are Vimeo or YouTube.


1. Your film MUST have a central water issue or theme.
2. Your film must be in English or subtitled in English.
3. Your film should not have been released more than 3 years ago (2015 - some exceptions for retrospectives may apply - please enquire).
4. Your film should not have previously screened widely in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada market.

By submitting to the festival, you agree to allow us to screen your film (or other artistic work) anytime during the entire festival run for which you are submitting, at no charge to the festival and for any additional screenings via our Water Docs Where-You-Live Community Screenings program beyond the current festival.

All media selected by the festival will be asked to provide promotional materials, but we ask that no promotional materials be sent until we notify you of selection.

By submitting to the festival you are admitting copyright ownership of everything submitted.

Because we prefer online screener links, please only send DVD preview copies (NTSC, Region 0 or 1) under certain pre-approved circumstances. (Please send an email explaining the particular situation before mailing a DVD.)

If approved, any mailings must be received post-marked by the deadline (October 19, 2018) to be considered for the 2019 festival. Do not send masters or irreplaceable material. Submitted DVDs must be able to play on standalone DVD players. Please label in ink each item clearly with the film title, director’s name, running time, year, and contact information. Preview screeners WILL NOT be returned. Do not send unnecessary printed material.

For international packages: The customs declaration should clearly state that the preview video has no commercial value, is for temporary consideration and for cultural use only. Water Docs will not cover any resulting customs and duties charges, and will refuse the package if there are any supplemental charges. Do not send entries in a fibre-filled envelope.

Submissions received by the earlybird deadline (August 24, 2018) must include an entry fee of CAD $15 (USD $10), submissions received by the regular deadline (September 21, 2018) must include an entry fee of CAD $25 (USD $20) and finally, submissions received by the late deadline (October 19, 2018) must include an entry fee of CAD $40 (USD $30). Please include the receipt for online payment in the package. For other methods of payment please contact the festival directly. There are absolutely no refunds of submission fees. Thanks for understanding.

The Water Docs Film Festival proudly accepts entries exclusively via FilmFreeway.com, the world’s best online submissions platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more.

By participating in the Water Docs Film Festival (WDFF), I certify that I/we are the sole owner(s) of the work submitted, and that I/we have obtained all necessary releases and clearances necessary for public screening. By submitting this entry, I agree that the Water Docs Film Festival (WDFF) & the Ecologos Environmental Organization, its affiliates and assigns may publicly screen the work, as part of WDFF, and may use all or part of the work and any stills and descriptive material, including the title of the work in any publicity efforts for the festival, including any broadcast or internet and website use. I/we also agree to allow this submission to be included in repeat screenings of WDFF or the Water Docs Where-You-Live Community Screenings program which may occur outside of the original context, and which may include being part of a WDFF sponsored screening at other film festivals both within and outside of Canada. I understand that my screening copy will not be returned.


All films must be the original work of the entrant and must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity. If the film contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to the submission of the film, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit use of the film by the Water Docs Film Festival (WDFF). WDFF reserves the right, in its sole and unfettered discretion, to verify at any time during the Competition that all necessary clearances relating to any film have been obtained. At any time during the Festival, WDFF reserves the right, in its sole and unfettered discretion, to disqualify and remove any film that potentially or actually infringes any third party's copyright(s).


By entering into this Contest, entrants hereby release and discharge the Water Docs Film Festival (WDFF) and its respective affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents, representatives, independent contractors, officers, employees and directors from and against any and all claims, liabilities, costs, damages and expenses of any kind arising out of or relating to their participation in this Festival, their use or acceptance of any prize, the use by WDFF of any films submitted by entrants and/or any actions or decisions of WDFF in connection with the conduct and administration of this Festival. Entrants hereby waive any right to seek injunctive or other equitable relief in connection with any claim against WDFF, any of the Sponsors or Co-Sponsors, or any of their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents, representatives, independent contractors, officers, employees and directors.

WDFF is not responsible for technical failures of any kind or any problems or delays arising from any technical, software or equipment malfunctions, computer viruses, or any other technical, equipment or human errors of any kind, or any damage or alteration to your film that may occur in connection with the uploading or display of the film. If WDFF determines in its sole discretion that there is any suspected or actual evidence of electronic or non-electronic tampering or fraud relating to any portion of the Festival, or if technical difficulties compromise the integrity of the Festival, WDFF reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest, in whole or in part, at any time without notice. WDFF is not liable for any failure to screen any submitted films if that failure is due to circumstances beyond its control.


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