Submissions for the 2023 Available Light Film Festival are now open!

July 19, 2022

Early bird deadline: August 15th, 2022 23:59 PDT. 

Taking place February 09th – February 19th, 2023, the 20th annual Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) will feature screenings of contemporary International and Canadian cinema in Whitehorse, Yukon.

ALFF programming includes a special focus on cinema and screen content by Indigenous, Black, people of colour, and queer filmmakers films from Northern Canada, Alaska, and other circumpolar regions, and Canadian content. In past editions, 100+ shorts, features and medium-length films from Canada and around the world have been presented. Canadian and International filmmakers are invited to submit their work.

The early-bird fee to submit to ALFF (until August 15, 2022 at 11:59PM) is $30 CDN and $20 for short film submissions. The regular fee to submit is $40 and $30 for short film submissions, beginning August 15th. ALFF accepts works over 29 minutes and shorter than 180 minutes. PLEASE NOTE: We accept short films ONLY from filmmakers living in Canadian Northern Territories/ Regions and/or Canadian resident filmmakers who self-identify as Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, disabled and/or LGBTQ2+. Filmmaker in this case is defined by the director.

Please submit your film through the ALFF Zone Festival portal.

Northern Films on Screen: There is no submission fee for filmmakers based in Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, Labrador, Northern BC, AB, SK, MB, ON (Zone A - Prescribed Northern Zones as defined by CRA) and Nunavik. Contact the festival office ( for the waiver code and communities considered 'northern.' Short films are ONLY accepted from filmmakers based in these Canadian Northern Territories.

The Made in the North Award is made possible by Canada Goose and is designed to advance the talent of Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, and LGBTQ2S+ Canadian filmmakers with a focus on those living in northern regions. There are three awards for Made In the North Award: BEST CANADIAN FEATURE FILM, BEST NORTHERN SHORT FILM and BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM. Eligibility is open to all feature films and short films in Official Selection directed by Canadian resident or citizen filmmakers who self-identify as IBPOC or queer. Each winner will receive a cash award in celebration of their excellent contribution to Canadian cinema.

Available Light Cinematography Award. Sponsored by WarnerMedia Access Canada. Available Light Cinematography Award for Canadian cinematographers who self-identify as a woman, IBPOC, LGBTQ2+ and/or as a person with a disability.

The Available Light Film Festival also awards three other film accolades: ALFF Audience choice awards for ‘Best Canadian Documentary’ and ‘Best Canadian Fiction Film,’ as well as an ‘Overall Audience Choice’ Award.

Available Light Film Festival is a qualifying festival for the Canadian Screen Awards.

COVID-19 Relief: Out of compassion for the impact COVID-19 has had on the creative industries, we are offering filmmakers submitting their work the option to opt out of paying the submission fee. Filmmakers in delicate financial situations should contact the festival office ( for the waiver code.

IN REGARDS TO COVID-19: The Yukon Film Society takes the health and well-being of our community seriously. ALFF is closely following recommendations from the Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health (YCMOH). In this stage of planning, we anticipate that our festival will be a mixture of in-person, reduced-capacity events and online events. This is subject to change as new recommendations for events and gatherings are made by the YCMOH.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please email

Adjacent to the festival is the ALFF Industry conference: an industry summit organized to address the ever-changing landscape of filmmaking in the digital age. In the past, the festival has hosted filmmaking and digital media luminaries for an intimate program of screenings, live multi-disciplinary performances, artist talks and workshops.


All submissions:

must have been completed after January 1, 2020

must be at minimum of Whitehorse premieres (i.e. mid-length and feature length works cannot have been screened publicly in Whitehorse or be available on VOD wide release (limited windows at other online film festivals is fine) or streaming by a major distributor/ broadcaster in Canada prior to the 2023 Festival, including broadcast versions of any length); at the discretion of the programming team, we will make exceptions for works under 30 minutes

must be in English, subtitled in English or English versioned (non-English language films may be submitted with an English transcript; however, if selected for ALFF, they must be subtitled or dubbed into English at the applicant’s expense0

may not have submitted to the Festival previously in any stage of completion (i.e. films that were submitted as rough cuts will not be reconsidered)

Available Light Film Festival accepts Canadian and international films of medium or feature length.

Short films are ONLY accepted if the director(s) reside in Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, Labrador, Northern BC, AB, SK, MB, ON (Zone A - Prescribed Northern Zones as defined by CRA) and Nunavik.

All ALFF screening programs are curated and all submissions will be fully considered by the ALFF programming team.

Works selected for presentation at ALFF will be paid a screening/streaming fee (based on IMAA recommended rates) or fee set by a distributor. In some cases, the Festival may request fees be waived if the Festival is providing airfare travel support to filmmakers.

For the purposes of eligibility and awards consideration, ALFF uses the following definitions:

Film Length

Feature-Length: 60 minutes or longer

Mid-Length: 30 to 59 minutes

Short: under 30 minutes

Country of Production and Submission

Submissions to the Festival are divided into three categories:

Canadian Submissions: All films produced in Canada or directed by Canadian filmmakers

Northern Canadian Submissions: All films directed by a resident of Northern Canada: Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, Labrador, Northern BC, AB, SK, MB, ON (Zone A - Prescribed Northern Zones as defined by CRA) and Nunavik.

International Submissions: All films produced outside of Canada and directed by non-Canadians. Country of Production definition: The origin of the majority of the film’s financing and/or the film’s key crew members, which can also include the location of significant production support.

Rough Cuts/Fine Cuts

The Festival will only accept one cut of each film for programming consideration. If needed, ALFF will request an updated version and will contact those applicants directly.


Applicants will be notified of programming decisions via email by the end of December 2022. Final programming, categorization and slotting of films will be determined by the Festival programming team. Their decision is final. Successful applicants will receive this information in their official invitation. No screeners or application materials will be returned. Do not send film prints, master tapes or other originals.

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