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Central Ontario Youth Short Film Festival

The Barrie Film Festival’s 3rd Annual Central Ontario Youth Short Film Festival (COYSFF) is a regional competition for students registered in high schools in the Central Ontario region (see map below). This a qualifying festival for the Ontario Youth Film Festival (OYFF).

CENTRAL ONTARIO includes: Barrie, Bracebridge, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Collingwood, Innisfil, Midland, Muskoka, Orillia, Oshawa, Penetanguishene, and Toronto/GTA, Wasaga Beach. The DEADLINE TO ENTER is July 31, 2024.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winning film in each of the five categories. The top winner and runner up in each category will go on to compete in the provincial finals.


Please note that if you are located in the following areas you will enter one of our partnering youth festival competitions:

SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO (Owen Sound, Goderich, Kitchener, London, Hamilton, Niagara, Sarnia, Chatham, Windsor) you will enter the Forest City Youth Film Festival;

NORTHERN ONTARIO (Thunder Bay, Sault St Marie, Sudbury, North Bay) you will enter Cinéfest Sudbury’s Competition;

EASTERN ONTARIO (Pembrook, Ottawa, Cornwall, Brockville, Peterborough, Kingston, Belleville) filmmakers will enter the OYFF

July 31, 2024 – COYSFF Submission Deadline

August 30, 2024 – Notification Date

September 19, 2024 – COYSFF 2024 Screening and Awards Show, Barrie, ON

November 14, 2024 – Ontario Youth Film Festival Event Date, London, ON

Categories and Guidelines:

There is a Cash prize of $300 for the winning film in each category. You must be a high school student in Central Ontario to submit.

Narrative – A film that tells a fictional or fictionalized story, event or narrative. In this style of filmmaking, believable narratives and characters help convince the audience that the unfolding fiction is real. We accept Narrative films with run times of less than 5 minutes.

Documentary – A non-fictional or factual film intended to record and capture some aspect of reality. It is about real events and people. We accept Documentary films with run times of less than 5 minutes.

Animation – Animation is a series of images produced frame-by-frame and then played in quick succession to create the illusion of movement. We accept Animated works with run times between 1-5 minutes.

Experimental – Explorations of visual images and audio to evoke emotions and see the world through a creative lens. Entries may be abstract and/or artistic. This style of film explores the medium and is often likened to visual poetry.  We accept Experimental works with run times of less than 5 minutes.

Music Video – Music videos tell stories, illustrate lyrics and highlight performances, the components working together to entertain and even enlighten. NOTE: Rights for the music must be obtained prior to submitting. We accept Music Videos with run times between 2-5 minutes.


Rules & Terms

* All entries must be sent via FilmFreeway platform.
* Works in progress are not accepted.
* Films must be completed after January 1, 2022.
* To qualify for submission the Director and all team members must be registered in a high school in Central Ontario at the time of submission.
* We accept and celebrate the diversity of our country and encourage submissions in English, French, newcomer, and/or Indigenous languages. Non-English submissions must include English subtitles.
* The decision of the Judges and Selection Committee is final.


Terms and Conditions:

By submitting to the COYSFF, you agree to allow your film (hereafter known as the “Work”) to be screened during the festival duration, at no charge to the festival. If there are to be any additional screenings, we will come to a mutual agreement between the filmmaker and the festival.

All Works selected by the COYSFF will be asked to provide promotional materials, but we ask that no promotional materials be sent until selected and notified.

By submitting to the COYSFF the entrant admits and acknowledges copyright ownership of the Work. Further, the entrant admits and acknowledges that the necessary permissions have been obtained for any copyrighted material used in the Work (e.g. music).

By submitting your Work, the entrant hereby grants the COYSFF the following: non-exclusive, irrevocable rights to use and display the names, voices, photographs, likenesses and biographies of the entrant for use in advertising, publicizing and promoting the Work in any media.

The entrant understands and acknowledges that, if under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must agree to the terms of the Filmmaker/Guardian Release on your behalf.

The COYSFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission at any time if there is any question of ownership, copyright infringement, or any sign of disrespect (in any form of media) to the festival or its representatives. The COYSFF and Barrie Film Festival will not be held responsible for any inclusion of uncleared materials in your film. (e.g. copyrighted music used without permission.)

Entrants may be subscribed to the COYSFF newsletter of which they may opt out at any time.

Works that are posted publicly on YouTube or other public video sites cannot be screened in the COYSFF competition. We ask that works submitted not screen publicly in Ontario between August 15 and November 15 outside of the COYSFF, Barrie Film Festival, and OYFF, and that they not be posted publicly online during that time.

Films that are official selections are not permitted to withdraw from the festival after August 30. COYSFF and the Barrie Film Festival reserves the right to update or modify these terms and policies without prior notice.

We ask that entrants NOT USE SCHOOL EMAIL ACCOUNTS when submitting their Works. (Most communications with official selections occur during the summer period).



Check out the list of previous selections and award winners!

2022 Official Selections/Winners

2023 Official Selections/Winners


The Barrie Film Festival’s Central Ontario Youth Short Film Festival is an affiliated film festival with the Ontario Youth Film Festivalworking together to celebrate the work and talent of high school filmmakers in Ontario.