Image from the film The Weight of Water

Image from the film The Weight of Water

The 2019 Film Competition will open May 1, 2019.

View all 2018 Winners 

The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is a programming-driven, competitive event bringing the best films and books on mountains and the spirit of adventure from around the world to the mountain town of Banff, Alberta.  The Festival provides an opportunity for filmmakers and writers to meet and exchange ideas through the provision of seminars, on-demand screening facilities and social gatherings.  The 2019 Festival will take place October 26 - November 3.

Read the 2018 Film Competition Information. For reference only.
Deadline to enter:  August 1, 2019.

Questions?  Call the Banff Mountain Film Competition at 403.762.6441 or email


How to Enter Your Film

For entry to the Film Competition, filmmakers are required to submit their film via FilmFreeway. Entries will open May 1, 2019.

Entry deadline will be August 1, 2019.

Enter your film via Film Freeway

Be sure to check out our Adventure Filmmakers Workshop opportunity!

Why Enter Banff?

A World-Class Reputation

After 43 years, the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival has a proven track record as one of the most prestigious and largest mountain culture festivals in the world.  Located in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, the festival is a programming-driven, competitive event bringing together the best films and books on mountains and the spirit of adventure from around the world.

An Opportunity to Network 

The Festival offers you the chance to meet other filmmakers and to exchange ideas and collaborate in a highly creative and inspiring atmosphere. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with leaders in the outdoor adventure field, including climbers, mountaineers, gear manufacturers, potential sponsors, and journalists. Festival finalists are invited to join us in Banff during Festival week.

As our special guests, attending film finalists will receive: 
• two film program passes 
• tickets to special invitation-only events during the Festival 
• one hotel room for three nights during the Festival* 
• an opportunity to represent your film in person at our public theatre screenings

* Special opportunities apply in the Banff Adventure Filmmakers Workshop (October 26 – November 4, 2019), an exceptional chance for independent and emerging filmmakers to advance their skills under the guidance of two of the world’s premier and proven adventure filmmakers. During a jam-packed 10 days in the fall, participants will hone their craft, strengthen their skills, and network and mingle with fellow filmmakers, industry insiders, and decision-makers. This all takes place within the core of the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival, where epic stories are told through the eyes of adventurers, authors, photographers, and filmmakers from around the globe. Participants will have full access to Festival events — motivation galore! Special rates are available to filmmakers who submit eligible entries to the 2019 Mountain Film Competition. Scholarships are available.

World Tour 

All films entered in the Mountain Film Competition will also be considered for inclusion in our World Tour programs.
If your film is selected, we will contact you to arrange a separate licensing agreement.
Each year, we find that short films are very popular because of the programming flexibility they provide.
No film is too short - some of our most popular films from the World Tour are less than five minutes long!
If you are submitting a longer film, we encourage you to consider providing a shorter version (special edit or excerpt, 5 to 15 minutes long) for both Festival and World Tour consideration.
The World Tour programs span the globe, reaching about 550,000 people through more than 1,100 screenings in 550 locations, in about 40 countries. From armchair adventurers to world-class climbers, from business leaders to schoolchildren, from Chile to China, and from South Africa to Sweden – the World Tour is where you want your film to be. 

Awards & Prizes

Grand Prize: $4,000 CAD

Category Prizes: $2,000 CAD for Best Film in:

  • Exploration & Adventure
  • Mountain Culture
  • Climbing
  • Mountain Sports
  • Snow Sports
  • Mountain Environment & Natural History


All other Awards: $2,000 CAD

Best Short Mountain Film (15 minutes or less)

Any film of 15 minutes or less entered into any of the Festival categories will automatically be considered for the Best Short Mountain Film Award.

Best Feature-length Mountain Film (70 minutes or more)

Any film of 70 minutes or more entered into any of the Festival categories will automatically be considered for the Best Feature-length Mountain Film Award.

Award for Creative Excellence

This award will be presented to a film already entered into any of the Festival categories which the jury believes best illustrates creativity and the arts in exploring the spirit of adventure.

People's Choice Award

This award will be chosen by the audience through our voting system during the Festival.


  • Films must be entered into one category only.
  • The Banff Mountain Film Competition reserves the right to make the final decision on the category of any film entered.
  • Entries are not limited to one award.
  • Awards may be presented to the director or the producer of the film.
  • All entries will be viewed prior to the Festival by a pre-selection committee chaired by the Festival Director and Programming Director.  
  • Finalists chosen by this committee will be screened by an international jury and viewed by the public at the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival.
  • Winners will be announced during the award ceremonies on Sunday, November 3, 2019.  The jury reserves the right to not present an award, and its decisions will be final.

Technical Requirements

Read the 2018 Film Competition Information. For reference only.

Step 1: Filmmakers are required to submit their film via FilmFreeway prior to midnight, 1st August 2018 (Pacific time). 
Please submit a H.264 in either a .mov or .mp4 format using whatever frame rate your project was edited in. The target data rate should be about 4Mbps and the size of the image should be 960x540. Audio should be encoded as AAC at about 160kbps.

Finalist Masters:
If your film is selected as a finalist, you will be required to provide a high resolution Finalist Master via Signiant Media Shuttle and you will be contacted by the Festival with instructions on how to upload your film. We accept either Avid DNxHD or Apple ProRes 422 at 1920x1080i/p or 1280x720p, in a .mov or .mxf wrapper. Our preference is to use the 10bit codecs (example: ProRes 422 (HQ) or Avid DNxHD 175X, 185X or 220X – depending on frame-rate). Please submit the frame rate that your film was edited in, to a maximum of 30 frames per second. Audio should be uncompressed PCM, .wav or .aif at 24bit, 48kHz.

• The Festival reserves the right to refuse films without English voiceover or subtitles as Finalists. 
• The Festival Producer will have the option to conform the content to broadcast-quality standardization or, alternatively, to charge a fee (in consultation with entrant) for Banff Centre in-house corrections in the event of substandard submission. 
• For any DCP content wishing to be submitted, please contact the Film Coordinator.

Promotional Materials:
Film Finalists will need to provide at least three (3) high resolution images from the film to be reproduced, published and/or exhibited for promotional purposes as they pertain to the Mountain Film Competition at Banff Centre. All images must be accompanied by film title and photographer credit and will be retained by the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival archive (please save each image as ‘FILM TITLE, photographer name’ otherwise we will credit photos as ‘image from FILM TITLE’).  In addition, we request 2 trailers for public viewing; 1 short version 15-60 seconds and 1 longer (over 60 seconds) that we can use on our various marketing platforms.

Preferred Format:
Digital; medium to high resolution images only please.
300 dpi jpeg and/or Tiff format; minimum size is 4” x 6” landscape or portrait (1MB or over). 
Trailers; for social media, please provide .mp4 or .mov file.  For website, please provide a link to Vimeo or Youtube.  Please provide a press kit and director’s CV, if available.