not your average first year festival 

The Pendance Film Festival is philosophically distinct from most North American film festivals; we assign absolutely no value to the film’s production value, political leaning or budget. We prioritize writing, story, acting, and sound/music over everything else. 

Founded in 2016 by the Pensare Films Collective, our veteran panel of judges are all themselves filmmakers. Pendance has several quality sponsors, and will be held at the Regent theatre in midtown Toronto on December 15, 2017. The screening will be followed up by a wine and networking gala for the filmmakers and industry insiders in attendance. 

We invite you for a special night of great independent short films on the big screen,networking and wine in a unique celebration of independent cinema.

S T O R Y  .  O V E R  .  E V E R Y T H I N G

The Pendance Film Festival is devoted to showcasing the very best of world cinema. As a first year festival, operating in a city which is already home to 140 film festivals annually, including one of the 5 biggest festivals in the world, there was a burning question on our minds; how do we stand out? As filmmakers who had screened films at almost 100 film fesitvals in 2017 alone, we had a unique perspective when tackling this question.

Newer and unestablished festivals often struggle with financing and finding quality submissions. With just how much festivals rely on submission fees, we found most festivals within their first three years found themselves in one of two camps; offering free submissions in the hopes of selecting from a larger pot, but not having the financial means to screen at a decent venue, or, charging high submissions and not finding enough submissions to curate a quality showcase. Thankfully for us, we solved both problems before we even started.

Due to our unique network, we not only found a few quality sponsors to come in early, but we were able to grab the attention of some of the best filmmakers in the world before we even launched. Our pitch was simple; Do you want another shot at a Toronto audience, with more attention than you received with TIFF? We found our answer. With the hoopla and size of TIFF, short films got lost in the shuffle. There’s nothing remotely close to ASPEN shortfest in Toronto, and this is where we found the magic formula.