The Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival (HIFF) is accepting Short Film Submissions from Atlantic Canadian filmmakers until Monday, April 3rd. Entries will be accepted by online screener only through FilmFreeway. There are no fees for Atlantic Canadian submissions.

Short films for HIFF 2017 will be selected by peer-jury of local filmmakers.

For more information visit the Atlantic Shorts page.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: DIFFERENT – Alternative Presentation at HIFF 2017

Deadline: Monday March 6th @ 11:59 PM

The Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival (HIFF) is seeking proposals for DIFFERENT – an alternative presentation section of the festival focused on expanded cinema and moving image installations. Building on recent efforts to present 16mm film loops and celluloid film installations during HIFF, DIFFERENT offers presentation opportunities and project support for artists experimenting with the moving image outside of the traditional cinematic presentation format.

Eligible Projects

Any moving image presentations that are not intended for a traditional cinema environment are welcome to apply, including:

–       expanded cinema installation
–       multi-channel film or video looping
–       sound installation
–       performance incorporating projection and/or sound
–       digital/interactive platforms
–       media works intended for presentation in an art gallery

The only requirement is that the presentation must include (or make theoretical reference to) the “moving image and/or sound for film”. DIFFERENT is open only to artists living in Nova Scotia.

Project Support
Successful applicants will receive up to $750.00 in project support, a $400 artist fee and $2000.00 worth of in-kind equipment sponsorship from the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative.

Deadline for project proposals is Monday March 6th 2017 @ 11:59 PM. Project selection will be announced early April 2017. HIFF 2017 will take place June 7th to 10th at Neptune’s Scotiabank Stage Theatre.

Proposals for DIFFERENT can be located anywhere in the HRM and do not need to be located at Neptune’s Scotiabank Stage Theatre. Please give immense consideration to the location you intend to access for your project. AFCOOP does not guarantee it will be able to negotiate access to any locations for a chosen project. It is the responsibility of the artist to focus on a location that can realistically be accessed for their project. It is also the artist’s responsibility to initiate and negotiate the use of said location if their project is chosen, and to reflect estimated access fees in their proposed project budget. A letter of support, though not a requirement, is recommended for demonstrating project feasibility.


Your application should include:

–       Name of applicant / CV or filmography of applicant
–       Title of proposed project
–       Project description (Who are you? What is your project? Why do you want to make it? What does your project entail?)
–       Logistical plan (potential site of installation, timeline, equipment/materials required, etc.)
–       Budget
–       Sample of work (one link maximum, Vimeo, etc)

–       Letter of support from parties involved (optional but recommended)

The deadline for submitting to DIFFERENT is Monday March 6th @ 11:59 PM. Please submit your application as a .pdf electronically to


  1. HIFF accepts short film submissions of all genres up to 25 minutes in length from Atlantic Canadian based filmmakers. We DO NOT accept feature film submissions.
  2. HIFF only accepts online screeners. We DO NOT accept DVD submissions.
  3. All submissions must have been completed after Jan. 1st, 2016.
  4. Non-English language films must be presented in English-subtitled versions.
  5. Works in Progress are eligible for submission, (however films must be completed by print traffic deadline). Please be aware programmers only view the first version of a submitted film and will not accept a revised cut version of the film later in the submission process.
  6. Submission is free.


  1. HIFF shorts are selected by a peer-jury of filmmakers.
  2. Successful applicants will be notified by May 3rd 2017 via email.
  3. Due to time constraints our programming team will not be able to respond individually to filmmakers if your film is not accepted.
  4. Decisions made by the HIFF programming team are final.


  1. If your film is selected you must send the following to the Festival by May 15th 2017:
  • Minimum two high-resolution film stills
  • One high-resolution Director’s headshot photo
  • Brief synopsis of the film
  • Exhibition copy of the film in high-resolution Quicktime format
  • Online link to film trailer (if available)
  1. Filmmakers will be paid a screening fee based on rates set by the Independent Media Arts Alliance (
  2. One representative from each film selected to screen will be provided with a pass to all festival events.

4.   Your submission of this entry form confirms that:

  • You have the legal right to represent and submit this film for consideration to HIFF.
  • The Festival is not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, or royalty infringements related to the work.
  • You agree to allow the festival the use of your film and its publicity materials for promotional purposes.

Send any submisson questions to:

HIFF 2016 – That’s A Wrap


On behalf of the AFCOOP staff and HIFF team (and ceramic cats pictured above) THANK YOU for being part of HIFF 2016.

Festival Highlights:

Local Shorts

  • HIFF 2016 included 17 new short films by Atlantic Canadian filmmakers including: Seth Smith, Dawn George, Daniel Boos, Yalitsa Riden, Heather Young, Solomon Nagler, Josh Owen, Susan Wolf, Jim MacSwain, David Stewart, Stephanie Clattenburg, Nicole Steeves, Todd Fraser, Urs Frei, Tim Tracey, Jeff Wheaton and Millefiore Clarkes.

International Visiting Filmmakers

  • Afghan/Canadian coproduction Mina Walking with filmmaker Yosef Baraki in attendance
  • A retrospective of the short films of Montreal based filmmaker Marie-Ève Juste
  • New York based filmmaker Laura Israel screened the documentary Don’t Blink: Robert Frank
  • Experimental feature film 88:88 by Isiah Media

Talent Lab

  • Day-time masterclasses with visiting filmmakers and local filmmakers supported by additional funding from Telefilm Canada and Arts Nova Scotia.

Programmer Initiative

  • Five visiting programmers, Jason Anderson (Toronto International Film Festival), Daniel Ebner (Vienna Independent Shorts) Julie Bernier (REGARD), Dan Karolewicz (Festival du nouveau cinema), and Curtis Woloschuk (Vancouver International Film Festival). The programmers were in Halifax to watch local shorts and take part in one-on-one meetings with local filmmakers.

Installations and Multi-format Screenings

  • Becka Barker presented her 16mm film loop installation Place Holder: Waterfowl Rice at Hermes Gallery. The project was created as part of AFCOOP’s Sweet Home Commissioning Grant.
  • Visiting filmmaker Alexandre Larose, presented a collection of multi-format experimental shorts which were screened on 16mm, 35mm and digital formats.

HIFF 2016 was made possible thanks to the generous support of the following funders and sponsors:

Canada Council for the Arts
Department of Canadian Heritage
Telefilm Canada
Province of Nova Scotia
Arts Nova Scotia
Halifax Regional Municipality
Centre for Art Tapes
NSCAD University
Dalhousie University
Screen Nova Scotia
Propeller Brewing Company
The Coast

Read the Media Release


HIFF’s tradition of passionately promoting Atlantic filmmakers continues at this year’s festival with two dynamic screenings showcasing the work of local talent. Atlantic Auteurs #1 and #2 on Wednesday June 8th and Thursday June 9th at 7pm are packed with bold and surprising films from both new and established voices in the local film community.

Animator Tim Tracey debuts his intricately hand-built stop-motion project, Data Mine, exploring society’s increasing surveillance. Equally elaborate, Dawn George’s We R The World/Mold involves time lapse sequences of the slow and oddly beautiful growth of different kinds of mold.

The presentation of work on celluloid is part of what makes HIFF unique and this year’s Atlantic shorts include a hand-manipulated 16mm poetry-cinema hybrid by NSCAD professor Solomon Nagler called skin of the cit-y. Also in the experimental genre, NSCAD graduate Yalitsa Riden makes her HIFF debut with the split-screen sensory experienceDeath Flame.

Seth Smith is one of the most exciting up and coming cinematic voices in Halifax and two of his short films are screening at HIFF this year. Wind Through A Tree and I Am Coming To Paris To Kill You, are very different films yet they share an unusual way of looking at the world. From the offbeat and fascinating mind of recent NSCC Screen Arts graduate Josh Owen comes Wizardly Wickedly Weeping, a trippy mind-bending journey into the woods where a wizard and a demon contemplate time.

From AFCOOP’s own FILM 5 program, Daniel Boos will present Bound, a dark social-realist drama, which recently nabbed Best Short Film at the Screen Nova Scotia Awards. Another unflinching film, Fish by Heather Young invites the viewer into the chaotic life of a single mother of 3 toddlers in a short that manages to completely blur the lines between fiction and documentary.

For a third year running, the Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival offers the highly successful Programmer Initiative, which gives local filmmakers the incredible opportunity to meet and present their films to programmers from film festivals all over the world. For our tenth anniversary HIFF is expanding the Programmer Initiative by welcoming programmers from five internationally-renowned festivals: Toronto International Film Festival, Festival du nouveau cinéma, Vancouver International Film Festival, Vienna Independent Shorts and REGARD – Saguenay International Short Film Festival.

HIFF 2016 runs June 8th – 12th. Tickets are $7 online or $10/$8 at the door OR $25 for a full festival pass. To view the full schedule and purchase tickets:

Available For Interview:

Local Filmmakers
Please contact Erin McDonald to arrange an interview at or 902-405-4474 ext.0

The Programmer Initiative is generously supported by funding from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Industry Growth Program

HIFF is produced by the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Telefilm Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, Arts Nova Scotia, the Halifax Regional Municipality, the Centre for Art Tapes, NSCAD University, Dalhousie University, Screen Nova Scotia, Propeller Brewing Company and The Coast.




HIFF 2015 Program Announcement


The 2015 Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival brings the big screen back to Neptune’s Studio Theatre from June 10th to 13th with a line-up equal parts international and Haliwood.

HIFF kicks off with a North American premiere of Argentine auteur Santiago Giralt’s Here Kitty Kitty, shot in Halifax with a local cast including artist Eryn Foster, filmmaker Jim MacSwain, entrepreneur Fred Connors, and the Dartmouth ferry. The 72 minute, micro-budget dramedy follows a single woman on the verge of turning forty while struggling with the boss from hell, pay day loans, and trying to plan a “very important Christmas party with very important people.” The director and cast will be on-hand for a Q+A after the screening. Continue reading →

Alone For Ourselves – An interview with “Here Kitty Kitty” creators

Here Kitty Kitty


Our selection for HIFF 2015 includes the Argentinian/Canadian co-production feature, Here Kitty Kitty. In this interview, Argentinian filmmaker Santiago Giralt and Canadian filmmaker Eryn Foster took time to ask each other questions about their experience working collaboratively on their award-winning, micro-budget feature.

Eryn Foster – As a professional, accomplished and award-winning filmmaker, how was it for you to make Here Kitty Kitty, a totally improvised film with no script, no budget, and a team of mostly all amateur actors and crew?

Santiago Giralt – It was very easy because Canadian people are very friendly and they are also good at following the rules. Continue reading →

Dawn George on “Negative Nature” at FLEXfest



FLEXfest (Florida Experimental Film Festival) is in its 11th year and stands out because it is a purely experimental film festival. The festival occurs every February however, it alternates biennially between a competitive screening festival (with cash awards) and an invitational festival. This year my film Negative Nature was chosen from over 1,000 submissions to be one of the 90 films screened in the competitive festival. Negative Nature is an exploration of nature’s forms and rhythms captured in film reversal and was made entirely with an Open Grant from the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative.

This year was the first year for the festival organizing team of Alisson Bittiker and Natalie Nix. They arranged everything from airport shuttle services, to swag bags, to homestays. Homestays are like billeting for the arts. You stay with a host in their home and it gives you a deeper connection to the community you are visiting and saves you money on accommodations. I had an excellent experience, staying at the home of one of the local filmmakers.

Continue reading →