Bow Valley Quaranfilm Festival

The Bow Valley Quaranfilm Festival is a local project aimed at filling the gap provided by the absence of our annual One-Act Play Festival, which cannot currently be presented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants can submit short films 3 to 15 minutes long in the categories of Comedy, Drama, and Horror. Entries are due by February 28, 2021 and screening will take place March 12, 2021.



Best Comedy Winner: Gift certificate valued at $50 to a Bow Valley Business of your choosing and a medallion or trophy.

Best Comedy Runner-Up: A medallion or trophy.

Best Drama Winner: Gift certificate valued at $50 to a Bow Valley Business of your choosing and a medallion or trophy.

Best Drama Runner-Up: A medallion or trophy.

Best Horror Winner: Gift certificate valued at $50 to a Bow Valley Business of your choosing and a medallion or trophy.

Best Horror Runner-Up: A medallion or trophy.

Audience Favorite Winner: Gift certificate valued at $50 to a Bow Valley Business of your choosing and a medallion or trophy.

NOTE: Any films selected for screening are eligible for reimbursement of up to $50 in fees and expenses generated in the creation of their film. This can include but is not limited to editing software, royalty free video or images, script editing, props, etc. Receipts are required and must be submitted to


Consider making a bottle movie. A bottle movie is a story that plays out entirely (or mostly) in one location. For example the Friends episode The One Where No One’s Ready, and the following movies: 12 Angry Men, The Breakfast Club, Phone Booth, 127 Hours, Locke, Devil, Buried, Exam, Circle, Hush.

We encourage the use of the resources available to you versus expensive equipment: your parents’ VHS camcorder from the eighties, your phone, your GoPro, stock footage, webcams, etc. If your experience lies more in the realm of live theatre than film making, that’s A-OK—you can film a play you have written and it will be considered an acceptable entry.

While short films 5 to 15 minutes in length will be accepted, aim for the industry standard of 7-10 minutes.

Consider how you will handle any intimate scenes… kissing, touching, fighting, sensitive subject matter. If you do not plan to hire an intimacy director for your films, then please keep in mind the FRIES approach to consent: consent should be FREELY GIVEN (not threatened or coerced), REVERSIBLE (you can change your mind at any time, even within the scene), INFORMED (the scene/ moments should be laid out in detail), ENTHUSIASTIC (must be all in), and SPECIFIC (no surprises).


Getting started:

Writing for film:

Storyboarding and filming:

Directing for film:

Acting for film:

Makeup for film:

Filming with an iPhone:

Sound and lighting:


Accessible Editing Software and Royalty-Free Image Sites:


  1. Films must be a minimum of 3 minutes long and a maximum of 15 minutes long.
  2. All films must be accompanied by a 20-30 second trailer to be used on social media. This trailer shall be e-mailed to
  3. No excessive nudity, swearing, or excessive violence. Pine Tree Players reserves the right not to screen a film that does not fit their audience.
  4. Participants must follow all relevant Alberta Government COVID-19 guidelines, including but not limited to Mass Gathering Restrictions, Guidance for the Screen-based Production Industry and Guidance for Indoor Events
  5. Films, fees, and information must be submitted via our FilmFreeway event.
  6. The deadline for entries shall be Sunday, February 28, 2021. Each film will be initially screened (not judged) by the two to three members of the Pine Tree Players board to determine suitability for our community audience. We reserve the right not to screen any film at our own discretion. If your film is not approved, you will be contacted privately. Board members who are also entrants of the festival will not be assigned their own films for approval.
  7. Approved films will then be advanced to a judging panel of five people drawn from the local arts community, of whom at least one member must self-identify as a Person of Color, and at least one must self-identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. The panel will select First-Place Winners and Runners-Up from the following categories: Comedy, Drama, and Horror (at the time of entry, you must select one category).
  8. There will also be an audience favourite award for favourite overall film, to be determined by online voting via a poll on the Pine Tree Players website, and/ or ballot voting at the screening event, should it be an in-person event.
  9. The film screening/ awards ceremony event will take place on Friday, March 12. Whether this event will be in-person or live-streamed will be decided closer to the date, dependent upon COVID restrictions at the time. At the event, all approved films will be screened. We also reserve the right to show a montage from any film entries, whether approved for screening or not.
  10. After the screening event, all films will be uploaded to the Pine Tree Players’ YouTube channel.
  11. Each category must receive a minimum of three entries for prizes to be awarded in that category. If we do not receive enough entrants to run a category, you will be contacted and offered a chance to either move your submission to another category.
  12. This is a locally focused film festival. Each entry must have at least one team member (cast or crew) with a Bow Valley address attached to the project (for the purposes of this festival, Bow Valley shall refer to Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Exshaw, Deadman’s Flats, Lac des Arcs, Morley, and/ or Harvie Heights).
  13. Your submission is your declaration that you own the rights to any stories and/ or footage used. We recommend that you use stories that are original, in the public domain, or royalty-free stock footage. If you wish to use a play from a company such as (but not limited to) Samuel French or Dramatist’s Play Service, you must obtain permission from the company and/ or playwright to use the material in video format for online viewing, and you must provide Pine Tree Players with a copy of this permission. Be aware that there will likely be a fee. Pine Tree Players and this festival will not be held responsible for any fault or legal fees accrued from plagiarism.
  14. It is the responsibility of each entrant to stay up to date on COVID-19 restrictions within Alberta. As we know, this is ever-changing.
  15. There is no age requirement to enter.
  16. You may enter as many films as you like, but please remember that they may not all be selected for screening.
  17. No person who is an entrant in any capacity (cast or crew) may sit on the judging panel, though they may help with the volunteer organization.