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From May to September 2020, BANFF’s Virtual Edition will feature an inspiring schedule of interactive video sessions & online networking events. The Canadian and global entertainment industries have been hard-hit by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, and with the support of our Grand Patrons and partners, we are offering the majority of the festival’s programming plus basic access on our proprietary BANFFXchange networking platform free of charge to the industry with a Virtual Pass. Curated and exclusive business opportunities including interactive sessions and one-on-one virtual meetings with the world’s top studio and streaming executives, agents, distributors and network buyers as well as premium access on BANFFXchange can be accessed with a Virtual + Networking Pass for just $250.


March 23, 2020 - The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) regrets to announce that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and heeding public direction given by the World Health Organization, the Canadian government and the Alberta government, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the festival, scheduled for June 14-17, 2020.

We are working closely with all of our sponsors, partners, vendors and speakers who continue to be incredibly supportive. All currently registered delegates will have the option to transfer their 2020 registration to next year, or receive a full refund.

“Cancelling the festival after 41 years of success was not a decision that we took lightly, but it was the right thing to do for festival delegates, speakers, and staff,” said Randy Lennox, President of Bell Media and Chair of the BANFF board of directors. “I commend the BANFF team and our board for making this tough but necessary call, and I’m confident that the festival will come back better than ever in 2021. Please stay safe everyone.”

“Although we had kept hope up in recent weeks, it became clear that it would be impossible to hold the festival with no certainty regarding what the safety situation might be by June in addition to restrictions on large gatherings and travel bans in place at most media companies,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director, Banff World Media Festival. “We are not able to gather in person this year, but our team is already working on new ways to connect, inform, inspire and serve our industry. We look forward to working with all of you in the coming months to do just that.”

The 2020 Rockie Awards International Program Competition will continue to take place.Our dedicated international jury of industry professionals is currently judging entries and we will be presenting the 2020 Rockies to winners this year. Stay tuned for more details.

BANFF will also continue to deliver important fellowships and initiatives. The BANFF Spark Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media, supported by the Government of Canada is empowering and training Canadian women entrepreneurs to launch and grow their own sustainable businesses within the screen-based industries. We will be reaching out to the inaugural cohort of 50 participants with details on our plans, and are set to announce the second cohort participants soon.

We’re also proud to be providing the third edition of the Netflix -BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative, a program that jumpstarts and accelerates the careers of up to 100 Indigenous, francophone and women producers and creators. We will be announcing this year’s participants in the coming weeks.

If you’re a scripted drama short-form series producer/creator, we’re still accepting applications for the IPF Producer Bursaries until Thursday, April 9. The Corus Writer’s Apprentice Program recently closed with record applications and we will be announcing the 2020 participants soon.

Thank you for your patience, encouragement and support as we continue to plan and build the BANFF 2020 offerings, and we look forward to seeing everyone in the beautiful Canadian Rockies in June 2021.

Stay tuned. Stay safe.
The BANFF team

For additional information, please see the resources below:

World Health Organization:
Government of Canada Coronavirus information:


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