Starting March 1st, 2022, filmmakers can submit films for the 2nd Annual Spotlight on Academics Film Festival held in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and online. Submissions must be made through FilmFreeway. Early bird deadline is May 1st, 2022 so be sure to get your submissions in and save!

Entry Deadlines:
March 1, 2022 – Opening Date
– May 1, 2022 – Earlybird Deadline
– September 30, 2022 – Regular Deadline
– October 31, 2022 – Late Deadline
– December 15, 2022 – Extended Deadline

The festival will launch February 9-12, 2023 with 6 in-person screening sessions at Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law in Thunder Bay, ON, Canada. In addition to in-person sessions, all of the selected films will stream for 4 days on our festival channel hosted by, which ensures that our viewers from around the world can watch films and participate in conversations with filmmakers.

It’s Academic

These days people get most of their information online. The internet is where we read books and articles, search for information and where most people now watch films. Educators know this and are always looking for ways of using the internet in their classrooms. However, it is not that easy to find films for classroom use because the internet is more like a giant warehouse than a specialty shop. Spotlight on Academics provides educators and discerning viewers with carefully selected specialty items under one small roof. Our judges are filmmakers and academics, and our audience is composed of people who want to learn through film. We market online to thousands of faculty at universities in several countries and we also open our doors to the public. This provides filmmakers with a targeted audience for potential sales and it provides viewers with access to a specialty boutique for an affordable price.

Spotlight on Academics is a film festival that recognizes the value of using film as a teaching tool and we are dedicated to presenting films that are suitable for use in post-secondary classrooms. This does not mean that our audience is limited to academics or that we favour films produced by academics. We are interested in independent films that have a solid academic foundation and that are produced with high production values. Our priority is to provide the audience with quality films that contain reliable information and perspectives that enhance our understanding of the world. We are open to films on any subject that are suitable for classroom use. Mostly, these are documentary films that are less than 90 minutes in length, but we are open to films in any format and on any subject. Films can also be in any language provided they come with English and/or French subtitles.

The Spotlight on Academics festival is held annually in Thunder Bay, Ontario and it is also streamed online to ensure the broadest possible audience.

Thunder Bay is located on Lake Superior between Toronto, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, north-east of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and it is serviced by an international airport. Be sure to check out for more information about the city and region we call home.