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93rd Academy Awards of Merit International Film Award

Los Angeles, United States, August 6 to September 25, 2020

Call for Entries

(Feature-length films)


Each year, Telefilm Canada coordinates the Pan-Canadian Selection Committee and the process to determine which Canadian film will be submitted for the International Film Award competition at the Academy Awards™. This committee will screen eligible films over the coming months and meet in October to vote on which film will represent Canada in this prestigious competition.

Films that wish to submit in any other category should apply to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences directly.



The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines an international film as a feature-length motion picture (over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America and its territories with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue track. Animated and documentary feature films are permitted.



Due to the global pandemic caused by coronavirus/COVID-19, all dates and matters of rules and eligibility for the 93rd Academy Awards are subject to change based on national guidelines, state mandated government orders and Academy-determined best practices.

Films submitted for consideration must meet the following criteria:

Films submitted for consideration must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have accurate, legible English language subtitles;
  • Must have been released in Canada between October 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020, and be first publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor**;
  • Must be advertised and distributed during its theatrical release in a manner considered normal and customary to theatrical feature distribution practices;
  • Films that, in any version, receive a nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution before their first qualifying theatrical release will not be eligible for Academy Awards consideration. Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to:
    • Broadcast and cable television
    • PPV/VOD
    • DVD distribution
    • Inflight airline distribution
    • Internet transmission

Complete Rules and Regulations are available online.



The unprecedented coronavirus/COVID-19 global pandemic mandated the closure of commercial motion picture theaters worldwide. Until further notice and for the 93rd Awards year only, country selected films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available through a reputable commercial streaming distribution service or video-on-demand may qualify for awards consideration in the International Feature category for the 93rd Academy Awards under these provisions:

  • Provide to The Academy documentation (original document(s) and an English translation) of government mandated theater/cinema closure dates, previously planned theatrical release and streaming distribution or video on demand agreements.
  • The film be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member site within 60 days of the film being officially selected;
  • That it meets all other eligibility requirements.

When theaters reopen in accordance with national and local specified guidelines and criteria, and on a date to be determined by the Academy, this rules exemption will no longer apply. All films released thereafter will be expected to comply with the standard International Feature Film category theatrical qualifying requirements. In order for films to more easily meet theatrical exhibition requirements, the Academy will allow films to qualify outside the country of origin, provided the film is theatrically exhibited outside of the United States and its territories for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for paid admission. The International Feature Executive Committee will evaluate all matters of rules and eligibility.

Film festivals have been impacted by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Participation in an impacted festival’s online/virtual platform will not affect a films’ eligibility for awards consideration provided the festival has a transactional pay wall or password-protected entry. Film festival participation does not qualify a film in the International Feature Film category. Films must comply with all other eligibility requirements for the 93rd Academy Awards.

If you believe your film may be subject to an exception, please contact Ann-Marie Picard ( to discuss.


Submitting your film to the Pan-Canadian Selection Committee#

Producers interested in having their film participate in the selection process must first complete the online application form. Once Telefilm Canada has confirmed the film’s eligibility, the film’s primary contact shall receive instructions on where to send a screening link to the Pan-Canadian Selection Committee delegates.

Please note, a film may only be submitted once for consideration.


Selection of the film that will represent Canada at the Academy Awards™

The film that will represent Canada in the International Film Award category at the Academy Awards™ will be selected during a conference call in mid to late October and announced the same day during a press conference. Representatives of the selected film will be asked to be available to speak to media.

Following the announcement, the selected film will join submissions from other countries in the competition for the International Film Award.



If you have any questions, please contact Ann-Marie Picard ( or by phone 438-469-1242 or 1-800-567-0890)