About Us

About us

The 48 Film Festival Inc. (The 48) – is a not-for-profit, federally incorporated, Canadian arts support organization. We offer meetups and events that provide opportunities for networking, resource exchange and shared learning, rough cuts and artist talks, arts practice and training, hands-on with new and old tech, mini-incubators and a kick ass Canada-wide film festival open to all provinces and territories. We serve as a catalyst for filmmakers, actors, composers and other artist-types seeking to level up in their craft and to exhibit collaborative works beyond their localized communities. We aspire to be a hub for fresh, unknown and rising independent voices.

We are creating a multidisciplinary arts landscape that is inclusive and expressive of Canada’s richly diverse population. We have begun to engage and unite numerous film, media, performance and visual arts orgs across the country to fast-track and to help nurture Canadian arts communities. We want the doors flung open to newcomers of all backgrounds, but also recognize that the participation of more experienced artists is vital if we are all to raise our game.

We welcome everyone from all diverse ranges in artistic experience levels, ages, performance and visual and aural arts practice and allies of art and culture. We are also dedicated to the inclusion of all people and making a conscious and proactive effort on eliminating biases and/or racism in our environment.

Mission statement

To energize arts communities and elevate
artist career paths in Canada.


Inspire self-directed multidisciplinary
art and collaborative play.

Guiding principles and goals

Incubate new work across Canada.
Elevate Canadian art & national profiles.
Reflect diversity in the Canadian mosaic.
Professionalize resources, tools & training.
Inspire multidisciplinary arts collaboration.
Promote fresh, unknown & rising voices.
Nurture artist networks & relationships.
Energize arts communities & audiences.

The National Announcement

In late January or February, 2021, each participating province/territory will make a public announcement on their participation in The 48 and provide details of the timeline leading to local screenings in 2021 and the Canada-wide screening of finalists at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Spring 2022.

At present, seven provinces and two territories are involved — we want them all! Stay tuned for registration, info sessions and instructions leading up to the Challenge. Coming in 2021, on this website, you will be able to look to see which province/territory or city is participating closest to you.

The Registration Period

In March, 2021, participating provinces and territories will host a registration period. There may be some regional variation, so check with organization(s) managing the event closest to you. Please pay attention to announcements, as registration will be on a first come, first served basis. We anticipate a very competitive festival with a limited number of entries, so be ready to register early. Entry fees will be set on a uniform national basis.

The Info-session

In April or May, each participating province and territory will host an info-session (online or in person depending on health/safety conditions) explaining the updated rules and details about the festival. This will be a time to ask questions and connect with local composers, trained actors and extra crew members.

The 48 Challenge

In May or June, for one weekend, each participating province or territory will host The 48 in their locality. The rules and instructions will be similar across all areas, but you will need to inquire and confirm with the organization(s) managing the event closest to where you reside. You will need The Key to begin!

The KEY... Typically on a Friday, participants will receive an email that the challenge has begun. For example, the challenge may go from 5pm on Friday to 5pm on Sunday. That email will contain your contest key which may include several items mandatory for your film. These could be a theme, the use of a particular camera angle or editing technique, the use of a particular phrase in the script, etc. You will also be provided instructions for film format, export of files and documents that must be handed in with your film.

The Local Screening(s)

In July or August, each participating province and territory will host a local screening of all completed films. This will typically take place in the city in which the managing organization resides. There will likely be some local variation in details, so be sure to check with the organization(s) managing the event that is closest to where you reside.

The National Screening

The national screening will feature selections from each participating province and territory. In Spring 2022, The TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto will host Canada’s, first national 48-hour film festival. Each participating locality will select two films for screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Spring 2021.