CLiFF 2012 Call for Submissions

Download the Submission Form and the Call for Submissions

Films due 30 June, 2012

The Selection Committee of the Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF) invites you to submit your film or video for possible screening during our Festival to be held this November in Toronto, Ontario and in 50 communities across the country (and counting).

About the Film Festival

CLiFF features film and video made by, for, and about the world of work and those who do it, in Canada and internationally. The films we showcase are about unionised workers, as well as those not represented by unions. We encourage projects regarding any and every aspect of work, as well as issues affecting work or workers.

The festival draws trade unionists, community members, youth, activists, students, educators, artists, and allies from across North America and one day, we hope, the world.


We are looking for films on a wide spectrum of issues. We seek films about privatization, youth, First Nations people, people of colour, immigrants, refugees, detainees, health and safety, resistance, art, poetry, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered people, taxi drivers, truck drivers, rickshaw drivers – anyone who does anything considered work.

We also encourage the widest possible variety of films: from documentaries to drama to poetry/poetic treatments to comedy and animation.

1               The Festival is open to all film and video makers.

2               The Festival is open to all lengths but there is a strong preference for shorter works.

3               Films and videos must be in English or have English sub-titles. French subtitles are also accepted (and encouraged).

4               Entries should mainly be produced between 2009 and 2012.

5               Works in progress are ineligible (except by recommendation of the Selection Committee).



Submissions must be received no later than 30 June, 2012. Early submissions are encouraged and appreciated. TWO COPIES of each submission are required. We keep submissions as part of our Labour Film Library, which we will use for ongoing educational work. The entry form may be submitted by mail or fax prior to media and other materials being shipped.


Entrants will be notified of acceptance, via email, by 31 August, 2012.

Special Calls

In addition to our open-call where we look at anything and everything, the Festival is especially looking for: Flash features, micro documentaries, archival oddities and cell phone video submissions under 5 minutes in length. Accepted formats include DVD, VHS, Quicktime, .AVI, Flash. If you wish to be considered by the CLiFF Selection Committee, mark the appropriate place on the submission form. Open to all.

Technical Guidelines

1               Two copies of each entry in DVD (VHS – NTSC or PAL with prior notice only).

2               DVD’s must be region-1 or “region-free”.

3               Do not send master tapes unless asked to do so.

4               Multiple entries are accepted but each entry must be accompanied by a separate form and submission tape or disc.

5               All tapes and discs must contain only the movie being submitted, cued to the front of the tape or disc. In other words, do not submit tapes or discs containing more than one entry or with material other than the movie being submitted.

6               Preview tapes and discs must be labelled with title, running time and contact information. Poorly labelled material makes it difficult for us to work with.

7               The entrant is responsible for all shipping fees.

8               Entries from outside of Canada must be clearly labelled: “Festival submission, for cultural purposes only. No commercial value”. The Festival will refuse any submission with customs duties owing. Note: Preview VHS and DVD’s will not be returned although applicants are invited to pick up all preview materials in person after the festival.

Publicity Materials If you submit a movie please send, TRAILERS, STILL PHOTOS and BIOGRAPHIES on a separate disk. The sooner you send us photos the better the chances they will be used in publicity materials. All other documents (in Microsoft Word, RTF or plain ASCII text format) or photos (in JPEG or TIFF format) may be submitted via email (if overall file size is less than 5 MB). For larger file sizes submit via CD mailed to the address below.


To avoid damage to any materials shipped, please use bubble wrap mailers or boxes when mailing submissions. Please label all media with the title and date of the work. Note: Shipping costs are the sole responsibility of the owner/distributor. Our staff will take every precaution in handling all films and videos. However, CLiFF cannot accept or assume responsibility for damage to, or loss of, materials submitted. CLiFF will consider paying for the cost of shipping materials for international or youth entries. Please contact us via email to make your request.

Final Delivery

If your film or video is selected, you will be asked to deliver an MPEG 2 file at a specific bit rate for our duplication service. Please note that your film may not be screening in Toronto, but might at one or more of our other numerous locations across Canada.

Submission Fee and Screening Fees

There are no submission fees. CLiFF screenings are free, so we do not charge for entrance as we believe these films should be seen by as many people as possible. We therefore do not pay screening fees.


Submission Address

Submissions should be addressed to:

Canadian Labour International Film Festival
15 Gervais Drive, Suite 707,
North York, Ontario
Canada M3C 1Y8

In solidarity


CLiFF Board of Directors
February, 2012

About the CLiFF Selection Committee

The CLiFF Selection Committee believes in justice at work and society in general. We actively resist racism, elitism, classism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, ableism, ageism and transphobia. The Selection Committee hopes to foster healthy communities built on fairness at work and at all levels of society. Visit our website: or write to

Download the Submission Form and the Call for Submissions


The One Minute Message Ad Contest from the CLC

We’re giving away some great prizes to whoever comes up with the best ad about the basic unfairness that sees the tax burden shifted away from profitable corporations and onto ordinary working people as their governments cut services, eliminate programs and hike user fees to balance the books.

Clever, creative, ironic or with a sense of humour… whatever it takes. The best ad will be one that effectively shows why working Canadians should come together and demand a better deal.

Do you think everyone should pay their fair share when it comes to the taxes that pay for things that benefit us all – education, health care, infrastructure, safety?

Are you fed-up with watching the corporations that caused a financial market melt-down – triggering a recession that wiped out people’s savings and took away their jobs – continue to demand (and get) their taxes lowered while the rest of us pay to clean up their mess?

Had enough of CEOs who collect fat bonuses while their companies lay off workers and abandon communities, then lecture everyone about how they should live with less?

Your target audience for the ad is YouTube viewers world-wide. However the ad should speak directly to everyday working people affected by this fundamental tax unfairness. Your video needs to inspire, move and entertain. It should encourage people to share it with, and forward it to, their friends and share it on their blogs and through their own social network channels.

Your video needs to be positive, and communicate the message that if people come together they can make a difference to both their own life and to the lives of other people.

Statement on Unionized Work

“The Canadian Labour International Film Festival would like to acknowledge the contributions of unionized film crews and personnel in the creation of the films you are about to see.

It is important as we move forward in our struggles for equality that we recognize the creative industries:  artists, camera operators, stage hands, screen writers, directors and many others – as workers with valuable and specialized skill sets, no different than our brothers and sisters working in the public service, heavy industry and manufacturing, agricultural work or health care.

At the same time CLiFF will continue to enable working people – including those for whom unionization is an aspiration if not an impossibility – to tell their stories.

Films screened as part of CLiFF have been made with participants from, or the support of:

The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
The Canadian Union of Public Employees
The National Film Board of Canada
The Writers Guild of Canada
The Directors Guild of Canada
The American Federation of Teachers
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation
The Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union
The United Steelworkers
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
The Freelancers Union

and many more.”


Thanks to the CLiFF Hamilton Committee for formulating this statement.

Message from Eric Lee/LabourStart

There are three things I’d like you to do this weekend — none of them very difficult, and you’d make a difference if you could help out with this.

First, a Norwegian trade union has announced (for the third year running) an international prize worth $86,000 (US) for a person or organization who has promoted trade union rights.  If you can think of someone worthy of the prize, check out their website and make your nomination.

Second, some people we know are thinking of setting up a labour films channel for television – and they’re running a very short online survey to find out more about how we might use such a channel.  One of the people who fills in the survey will receive an original 1979 “Norma Rae” movie poster – what a great prize!  Please take a moment to fill in the survey here (deadline is 13 October).

Third and finally, please have a look at LabourStart’s current online campaign in solidarity with Egyptian workers. Look at the upper right corner – see all those flags?  Right now the campaign is running in 9 languages – but we know that there are at least 23 languages in the world spoken by 50 million people or more.  We’d like our campaigns to appear in many more languages.  If you can help — email  Thanks!


Eric Lee

Website is back up

We apologise to all who have been trying to visit us lately. Our website was hacked and inaccessible to most who surfed over to us. We were obliged to remove all file (and lost some as a result) and reinstall WordPress. Never fear, tough, we are back up and raring to go!