Banff Mountain Film Competition

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The 2018 Film Competition will open in spring, 2018.

View the 2017 Film Winners

The Banff 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 2017 Festival will take place October 28 - November 5.

Read the 2017 Film Competition Information (for reference only).

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

How to Enter Your Film

Step 1: For initial entry to the Film Competition, filmmakers are required to submit their film via FilmFreeway.

Step 2: Filmmakers are also required to upload a low resolution file of your film to Banff via Signiant Media Shuttle - an encrypted, accelerated film transfer software for file uploads.  Please wait two (2) business days after entering your film before uploading to Signiant Media Shuttle. For instructions on how to upload, click here.

Step 3:  Check out our Adventure Filmmakers' Workshop opportunity!

For assistance with converting your film to our technical specifications, we've created some tutorials.

"Banff is kind of like speed dating with the outdoor world's most inspirational minds and talent.  It's an amazing opportunity to pull away from our computers and cameras and discuss, in person, the shared challenges, joys, and dreams we have as filmmakers and mountain enthusiasts.  I always leave with concrete ideas and ways to improve my own filmmaking."

- Jordan Manley, 2016 Best Film: Snow Sports for China: A Skier's Journey

Why Enter Banff?

A World-Class Reputation

After 41 years, the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival has a proven track record as the largest and one of the most prestigious mountain festivals in the world.

An Opportunity to Network

The Festival offers you the chance to meet other filmmakers and to exchange ideas and collaborate in a relaxed 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:

  1. two film program passes
  2. tickets to special invitation-only events during the Festival
  3. one hotel room for three nights during the Festival*
  4. an opportunity to represent your film in-person at our public theatre screenings

*Special opportunities apply when a film finalist is also a participant in the Adventure Filmmakers' Workshop

A Worldwide Audience: The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

All films entered in the Festival will also be considered for inclusion on 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 500,000 people through more than 1,000 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 online voting and paper ballots 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 Mountain Film and Book Festival.

Winners will be announced during the award ceremonies on Sunday, November 5, 2017.  The jury reserves the right to not present an award, and its decisions will be final.

Technical Requirements

Read the 2017 Film Entry Information


  1. For initial entry to the Film Competition, filmmakers are required to submit their film via FilmFreeway
  2. You are also required to upload a low resolution file to Banff via Signiant Media Shuttle, an encrypted accelerated film transfer software for file uploads.  Please allow two business days for us to add you to the Signiant Media Shuttle database.  You are then able to upload your film.  For instructions, click here.

You will need to submit a H.264 in either a .mov or .mp4 format.  Please use 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.  This copy will be viewed through a private password-controlled link by a selection committee and Festival staff.


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: ProRess 422 (HQ) or Avid DNxHD 175X, 185X or 220X - depending oin 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.


  • Tutorials: we have created a series of tutorials to help filmmakers with the conversion of their film material to our technical specifications.
  • 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 the entrant) for Banff Centre in-house corrections in the event of substandard submission.
  • For an DCP content wishing to be submitted, please contact the Film Coordinator.

Promotional Materials

Entries MUST be accompanied by three (3) high resolution images from the film to be reproduced, published and/or exhibited for promotional purposes as they pertain to the Banff Mountain Film Competition at Banff Centre.  All images must be accompanied by film title, location, and photographer credit and will be retained by the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival archive.  Please include these details in the cover letter on FilmFreeway's Cart Summary checkout page.

Preferred Format: 

Digital; 300 dpi jpeg and/or Tiff format; minimum size is 4" x 6" landscape or portrait.  Please include a press kit and director's CV, if available.