The OYFF features five short-film categories, two tiers of competition and $2500 in prizes.
We celebrate and showcase Ontario’s future storytellers!
A narrative film tell a fictional story. In this style of filmmaking, believable narratives and characters help convince the audience that the unfolding fiction is real.
The Narrative Category winner receives a $300 cash prize. The runner-up receives a $200 cash prize.
A documentary film is a factual motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of education or maintaining a historical record.
The Documentary Category winner receives a $300 cash prize. The runner-up receives a $200 cash prize.
Animation is a series of images produced frame-by-frame and then played in quick succession to create the illusion of movement.
The Animation Category winner receives a $300 cash prize. The runner-up receives a $200 cash prize.
This category includes explorations of visual images and audio to evoke emotions and see the world through a new, creative lens. Entries may be abstract and/or artistic.
The Experimental Category winner receives a $300 cash prize. The runner-up receives a $200 cash prize.
Music videos tell stories, illustrate lyrics and highlight performances, the components working together to entertain and even enlighten. Rights/permissions for the music must be obtained prior to submitting.
The Music Video Category winner receives a $300 cash prize. The runner-up receives a $200 cash prize.
The first tier of competition, run by partnering festivals, determines the best films in four provincial regions: Southwestern Ontario; Central Ontario, Eastern Ontario and Northern Ontario.
In the second tier of competition, the regional Winners and Runners-Up in each category vie to be named the Best in Ontario.
How you enter the OYFF depends on where you go to high school. Check out the maps below to landmark your region. Once you have that sussed out, click the button to jump to the appropriate Tier 1 submission page on FilmFreeway. You’ll find all the rules, regulations and deadlines there.
Best of luck!
We get it! Putting yourself out there can be a scary thing, but the personal rewards can be huge!
Don’t take our word for it. Hear what other student filmmakers are saying about the OYFF!
“What was it like seeing your name/film up on the big screen?”
“What does having a youth festival mean to you?”
“What would you say to someone who’s unsure about submitting to a festival?”
Ethan won the Most Enterprising Filmmaker award at the 2019 Forest City Youth Film Festival. He has since gone on to direct his first feature film, Burden, which premiered at the 2022 Forest City Film Festival.
Check out the video to learn more about Ethan’s amazing journey, which started with his decision to put his work – and himself – out there.
No risks. No rewards.