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Filmmaker Registration Categories



Digi60 defines NEW as:

- a registered filmmaker who has completed two (2) or less short films, OR
- a registered filmmaker who is a student registered in a secondary or post-secondary educational program and does not work professionally in the film or television industry (Students will be asked to provide a copy of their student ID).

Eligible for: New/Emerging competition Awards and Prizes.



Digi60 defines EMERGING as:

- a registered filmmaker who has completed three to five (3-5) short films.
- an Emerging Filmmaker cannot be a student.

Eligible for: New/Emerging competition Awards and Prizes.

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Alumni/Professional Filmmakers

Digi60 defines ALUMNI/PRO as:

- a director that has completed six (6) or more short films, OR
- has participated in Digi60 five (5) or more times in a directing or producing (registered filmmaker) role, OR
- earns commission from their filmmaking (directing or producing), OR
- works professionally within the film and television industry as a key creative, OR
- has completed a feature film (directing or producing), OR
- a filmmaker who has utilized a majority professional crew in key positions in their Digi60 film, OR
- is a registered filmmaker who involves a professional production company in their Digi60 film.

Eligible for: Best Alumni/Pro Awards. There are no prizes associated with this category

Q&A about the 3 CategorieS

Why are you doing this? Digi60 used to have two distinct categories in the early 2010's: regular stream and invited filmmakers. It's a similar model but instead of narrowing it down to a handful of invited filmmakers only, we still want any filmmaker who is alumni or professional to still participate in the festival if they desire to. It will just be a new category. We have also been asked by many alumni to create a competition category for them so they can participate more fairly without feeling bad about winning or taking the prizes meant for new and emerging filmmakers.

I am alumni or pro but I want to be in the Regular Competition. Why can't I be? Easy answer - we are trying to create more opportunities for new and emerging filmmakers as is in our mandate. Longer answer - Awards and prizes are allocated based on our funding and sponsorships. This focus is on mentoring and providing opportunities for new and emerging filmmakers such as workshops, one-on-one sit downs and training. In the past, we have secured many great mentorships and workshops which were won by alumni or professionals and not used because they had already surpassed the level or training being offered. That isn't fair to our sponsors and partners and it's not fair to the new and emerging filmmakers who CAN benefit from them. Mentorships and workshops are also provided by professionals who are peers for alumni and professional filmmakers and will not be very beneficial to filmmakers who identify as such.

Why can't you just give me the award without the prize if I’m a pro but if I were to win in Regular Competition? The prizes are decided in advance of the jury's decision on who wins the awards, and we have seen many discarded without use by those who would be classified as alumni or pro because their experience is simply beyond what those prizes offer. If we are creating opportunities for our sponsors and partners to contribute to prizes, and then they aren't used, it's a waste for them to donate the value of the prize and never see it collected.

I don't consider myself to be a professional filmmaker and I don't want to be alumni yet, can we bend the rules? Not right now. We are trying out this new model (based on a kind of old model, see above) to create opportunities for filmmakers who have had less opportunity to shine in their filmmaking. We hope you will understand as we are trying to build a collaborative independent filmmaking community in Ottawa. We know who are alumni (and often who is a working professional) and who is not, so please consider choosing the proper category to register. We reserve the right to move a filmmaker to the alumni or professional development category up to the day it’s screened.

Will professional filmmakers and alumni still receive prizes or awards? We will be recognizing the top filmmakers in this category with awards for Best Film and Best Directing.

Why am I paying for registration if I'm not eligible for (monetarily valued) prizes? We saw that those who qualify to be in the professional or alumni categories were often not using the value for these prizes already. BUT all submitted films are screened as always. Additionally, all registered filmmakers, no matter the category, still receive the "perks" of free admission, including a free workshop and access to all 3 screenings.

I'm in a pro/alumni film but I've never acted before - why am I not eligible for acting awards in this category? There is only 1 award in the pro/alumni category, Best Alumni Film . 

Can I use a professional actor if I am in the New or Emerging category? Yes! Go for it. Please contact ACTRA Ottawa to arrange the proper paperwork and to follow all requirements.

I'm a professional actor and I've been paid for my work. I want to direct or produce my first to fifth short film - is it OK to do so in the new or emerging categories? Yes. This applies to the roles of "Registered Filmmaker" which are traditionally key roles of producer and director. But please, don't hire a professional director to fill in for you - you will be switched into the “professional” category if so.

I’m not sure where I fit. What do I do? Send us an email and let’s talk and figure it out together. We aren’t trying to pigeon hole anyone, we just want to create a fair and fun environment.

→ No matter what, Digi60 is a festival for all filmmakers and all are welcome to participate. We think these 3 categories leave room for all levels of filmmaking to participate.

If you have other questions about our 3 filmmaking categories, please send us an email at info@digi60.org and we will be happy to answer them and add them to this list!