Countdown to Short List
Long List / Jun 11
Short List / Jul 11
Polaris Gala / Sep 17
Heritage Prize / Oct TBA

Filmmaker Application


Thanks for your interest in celebrating the 2020 Polaris Short List via Short Film.


Polaris is a not-for-profit organization which annually honours the best Canadian music album, based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales or popularity. Traditionally, our winner is chosen from a list of 10 Short List albums during the Polaris Gala, a special concert event held to celebrate the musicians and albums on the Short List. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be having a gala this year and will instead be celebrating the Short List albums with commissioned short films. These films will be packaged together in a special to air on CBC Music on October 19, 2020.


The Polaris Short List of albums will be announced July 15. For each of the 10 short-listed albums a filmmaker will be chosen to produce a short film that honours and celebrates the nominated album. Please note that each short-listed artist is being invited to participate in the process and we will be gauging their desired level of engagement in the film. That could range from carte blanche to fully collaborative. Please be aware and prepared for either scenario.


To be considered by Polaris, please send a web link with samples of existing filmwork and a brief BIO. Applications that include a brief description on intended medium and loose framework will be given greater consideration, though we note that plans may change depending on the assigned album/artist.

Please note, we are evaluating previous existing work and are NOT looking for SPEC work / new submissions.


Short Film Guidelines for Filmmaker


If you are selected you will be notified July 16, 2020. At that time, further information on artwork requirements, production specifications and the formal agreement will be provided. Only those selected will be notified.

Film Usage


Ownership of the film will remain with you subject to you granting CBC and Polaris the rights to use the film in perpetuity for their respective purposes.  Other than with respect to the rights in the song selected from the Short List album being used in the film, you will be responsible for securing all rights required to produce the film and for it to be distributed as set out above.


We are interested in hearing from a diverse group of applicants. We especially encourage those from all under-represented groups, including women, Black and Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC), other racialized persons and LGBTQ2+ persons to apply.

Once again, thanks for applying. And good luck!

This application is now closed.


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