Canal Convergence | Reflections 

Mini Film Festival Submission Via Film Freeway 

The 2024 call for film is now closed and will reopen in spring 2025.


Every year, Scottsdale Arts curates Canal Convergence to feature a different theme, inspiring each component of the event, from public art to film and everything in between. In addition to the annual featured theme, Canal Convergence programming and artworks may also speak to one or all of the event’s perennial themes of water + art + light, sustainability, and interactivity. As the Mini Film Festival enters its second year of activation, Canal Convergence is expanding its film experience by offering multiple screening dates for film selections that align with the chosen theme for 2024: Reflections.

The 2024 Canal Convergence Mini Film Festival will feature two days of short film screenings at an indoor theater within walking distance of the primary event location at the Scottsdale Waterfront. All filmmakers are welcome to submit their work for consideration and are encouraged to attend the screenings. There are no submission fees.

More about Canal Convergence here.


Best On-Theme Short  

Scottsdale Arts’ Canal Convergence 2024 Featured Theme: Reflections  

All film categories that adhere to the overarching theme of the event will be considered.  

“Reflection” is defined as the return of light and sound waves from a surface. Additionally, it grants living beings the ability to observe and interact with their environment. Specifically for human beings, this concept carries even more significance: it can inspire deeper thought and contemplation, foster self-awareness, encourage the exploration of human nature, and much more.  

It can also serve as a tool for self-examination, providing an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery. By reflecting, individuals can better understand their strengths and weaknesses, aspirations, and failures and create a greater understanding of themselves. People can learn from their past to make informed decisions, ultimately shaping their own perceptions and the world around them. However, opportunities for reflection can also exist within the activities humans participate in and the media they consume. We often learn from what we see. 

Watching a film is an incomparable, immersive experience that allows viewers to process the world and observe it through the lenses of laughter, thrill, tears, and sometimes even fear. All genres evoke emotion and thought but also place viewers in the position of the film’s characters, questioning what they would do in specific roles, being inspired to make changes, and inevitably comparing their decisions, environments, and cultures to those in the film. 

As the Mini Film Festival enters its second year of activation, Canal Convergence plans to expand its film experience by offering multiple days of film selections that align with the chosen theme of Reflections. While each year offers Scottsdale Arts with a unique opportunity to present a new theme for Canal Convergence, it asks filmmakers to focus additionally on concepts that address the annual themes of Canal Convergence, including the perennial themes of water + art + light, sustainability, and interactivity.  

Considering this year’s theme, Reflections, the Canal Convergence Mini Film Festival wants you to examine the film you’re submitting and how it can ask people to reflect on their environment and their role in it. Does your work inspire further reflection on critical environmental issues facing our world? Does it touch on cultural elements? Evoke emotion? Subsequently, could it do all three? For example, could your film use this year’s theme to highlight the public’s relationship to water in Arizona, and can it be done using comedy or horror? 

Canal Convergence is seeking filmmakers who will consider all the varied concepts of reflection to submit completed short films for our Mini Film Festival. Some concepts to consider include the following: 

  • What is the relationship between reflection and your film?  
  • How does your film encourage the public to reflect on themselves, their beliefs, experiences, and/or their surroundings? 
  • How do you as a filmmaker and the work you create act as a mirror to society and culture?  
  • How can reflection highlight or engage with Canal Convergence’s perennial themes of water + art + light, sustainability, and interactivity? 

Ultimately, how can your film invite an audience to pause, contemplate, and process your work? Does it foster introspection, dialogue, and unity amid our ever-evolving world? Most importantly, will moviegoers reflect on your film once they leave the theater? Filmmakers have the unique opportunity and paramount responsibility to act as mirrors to current events, culture, and community through the creation of their work. For Canal Convergence 2024, Scottsdale Arts asks filmmakers to challenge humans’ perceptions of themselves and the world around them.  


Submission Format  

  • All films must be a minimum of one minute. Short films must not be longer than 30 minutes, including credits, and may cover any genre. You must submit the finished product. 
  • Submit your entry with a short synopsis of the film, in addition to its rating. Word count: Between 150 and 250 words  
  • Filmmakers should also provide a brief bio and director’s statement (a brief backstory for their film: why, when, how, who, where). Word count: Between 150 and 250 words total 
  • Submitters must provide the Canal Convergence Mini Film Festival with the filmmaker’s bio and photo and Instagram social media handles, along with a list of the team (and Instagram social media handles where appropriate) and other credits.  
  • Submitters must provide the film’s downloadable link in either an MP4 or DCP format, a film poster (TITLE + IMAGE, etc.), and a minimum of 2 still images, plus a separate thumbnail image. For social media promotion, please also provide images in the following format: 1200×630 (Facebook), 1080×1080 (Instagram), and 1080×1920 (Instagram stories). 
  • Canal Convergence Mini Film Festival strongly encourages submitters to promote their film screening on their social media platforms if selected. We will provide you with a how-to and branding kit.  
  • Please submit a link to the trailer, if available.  
  • Final screenings will be via DCP (Digital Cinema Package), and it is the submitter’s responsibility to provide their film in DCP format if selected for the Canal Convergence Mini Film Festival. If selected, your film must also include subtitles.  

Terms & Conditions 

  • The Canal Convergence Mini Film Festival reserves the right to refuse entries or change the submission status. 
  • The work must be an original work by you, or you must be one of the principal creators and, therefore, have permission to distribute and promote the film publicly and to grant all licensing. 
  • By submitting any of your films, you are stating that you own the intellectual property and rights attached to your submission and that you retain ownership of said intellectual property. By submitting any film, you grant and license Canal Convergence and its partners and associations a worldwide license to use, edit, distribute, monetize, publicly display, transmit, and reproduce in all media formats now and in the future.   
  • Upon acceptance, the event is hereby granted the right to utilize and/or excerpt from any film submitted & accepted for exhibition at the Canal Convergence Mini Film Festival for promotional and marketing purposes. This will include the use of the filmmaker’s name and likeness,  publicity stills, film or video footage, title, logline, and synopsis of materials in pre- and post-competition publicity and promotional efforts. 
  • The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The submitter shall indemnify and hold harmless Scottsdale Arts, their officers, and employees from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees and costs of the court) that may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered. 

Submission Rate 



Canal Convergence Mini Film Fest Call Opens:  March 21, 2024 

Call Closes: April 24, 2024 

Selected filmmakers will be notified in September 2024 

Canal Convergence Mini Film Festival: November 8–17, 2024 

*Dates are subject to change