Programming Policy

imagineNATIVE’s mandate is to support and present the works of Indigenous media artists (directors, key creative producers, screenwriters) from around the world. Each work presented by imagineNATIVE must have the active involvement of an Indigenous person in the key creative roles of director, producer, and/or screenwriter. (NOTE: in productions where only the Executive Producer is Indigenous or where only a single Producer is Indigenous, additional information will be required to ensure there was active, sustained creative involvement throughout the production. This requirement is to ensure the integrity of our mandate and mission.) The organization’s goal is to present these new, innovative works to audiences in a live public presentation and to offer these audiences the opportunity to see works outside established mass media outlets (such as work publicly-viewable sites on the Internet and/or television). Please see relevant submission forms for detailed eligibility criteria or contact us. 


The Festival prioritizes film and video works not permanently and publicly accessible for viewing via the Internet on outlets such as iTunes and/or other media service providers or distribution channels are considered ineligible for the Festival. Film and video works broadcast on television outside of Canada are eligible for programming consideration. Film and video works broadcasted in Canada (or available on televisions in Canada) are stringently evaluated for programming consideration using the Festival’s Artistic Policy. Music Video submissions are not subject to ineligibility due to online and broadcast history.


Works made for radio broadcast submitted to the Festival are considered eligible regardless of their broadcast status or availability. Audio/Sound/Sonic artworks are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but should fall within the two-year production window required of film/video works to be considered for competition prizes. 

Digital Media

Digital Media works are eligible for consideration regardless of prior exhibition in galleries, presentations or via the Internet. These include artistically based work on all digital platforms (online, computer, tablet or mobile/wearable devices). Digital media artworks are subject to the two-year production window required of film/video works. 

Installation works

Installation works are not accepted as regular submissions, but are selected through a project-based curatorial initiative at the Festival, instigated and solicited by imagineNATIVE’s Programming Team. imagineNATIVE encourages artists to contact the Programming Team to discussion installation programming.


Made-for-television films and documentaries are eligible for programming submission. However, consideration will be given to the domestic and international broadcast status and licensing of the works. Works that have been broadcast or have a broadcast license in Canada (which have or will have the support and opportunity to reach a public audience either provincially or nationally in advance of the Festival) are stringently evaluated on a case-by-case basis for consideration using the Festival’s Artistic Policy. Television pilots that have not yet been aired prior to the Festival, and which do not have a confirmed broadcast date, are eligible for submission and programming consideration.  

Episodic television series (dramatic and documentary), news reports, extended reportage, television magazine formats, and information programming or segments (such as PSAs) are not eligible for programming (ie. screening) consideration. However, episodic television series (dramatic and documentary) led and produced by Indigenous production companies that have been aired prior to the Festival or have broadcast licenses are eligible to submit their work to the Mediatheque only. imagineNATIVE considers the format and structure of episodic television series outside the Festival’s artistic programming policy. imagineNATIVE acknowledges the creative, cultural and industrial importance of these works in the Indigenous media arts landscape. Television series eligibility into the Mediatheque allows opportunities for acquisition and presentation by international television broadcasting corporations, which supports the artistic and economic development of Indigenous television content producers and the vitality of their practice.

Music videos are eligible for submission to the Festival, regardless of their Canadian broadcast status, as music release strategies require the public release of video content outside the Festival submission timeline.

Web Series

Web Series (episodic shows independent of broadcast licensing and not available online prior to the Festival in Canada) are eligible for programming inclusion into the Festival via the Digital Media Art+Cade and Festival website. They are considered on a base-by-case basis and are not eligible for competition. Please contact for more information.


PLEASE NOTE: As imagineNATIVE presents to a primarily English speaking audience, non-English language works with dialogue must have English subtitles to be eligible for programming consideration. Exception: if it is the artist’s intent to present the film or parts therein in the original language version (without English subtitles) for artistic or cultural reasons, please specify this in the submission form.