Our History

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KCFF was launched in 2001 by Alex Jansen, then a film student at Queen’s University.  It began as a three-day event at the Screening Room Movie Theatre, a two screen repertory cinema which Jansen was managing at the time. Fifteen of the twenty original screenings sold out.

In 2002, the festival added a second venue, increased the number of screenings substantially and added a fourth day to the event. Over the years, the festival continued to develop, launching the Local Filmmaking Initiative to provide educational and networking opportunities for local filmmakers, presenting a high school outreach program, guaranteeing the inclusion of French language films at each festival, and adding retrospective screenings and a Master class.  The festival has showcased approximately 500 features and 750 short films, highlighting the best work from emerging artists, award winners and fan favourites.

In 2016, KCFF will showcase Canadian comedians with a significant connection to the film and television industry.  Each year, the festival finds new, creative ways to expand and support the Canadian film industry.  KCFF is proud to be the globe’s largest stand-alone showcase of Canadian film!


A country’s national cinema is a conversation between filmmakers and audiences about who we are as a people — what we have in common, when we disagree, where we’ve come from and where we’re going. For that conversation to flourish, Canadian audiences need access to our films, not just in the biggest cities, but in communities across the country.

The mission of KCFF is grounded in the belief that Canadian film and filmmakers are distinctive and vital to our country’s culture. We seek to develop an audience for our national cinema by promoting, celebrating and showcasing Canadian film and by supporting and encouraging Canadian film production.

We do this by:

  • Researching, programming and exhibiting Canadian feature-length films
  • Presenting and promoting culturally diverse Canadian films and films in both official languages
  • Providing educational, networking and career opportunities for professional and amateur Canadian filmmakers and artists
  • Presenting locally-produced short films
  • Nurturing film production in our community

KCFF is a one-of-a-kind chance for our audiences; the festival’s programming approach is infused with that sense of responsibility and opportunity.