Battle of the Scores Contest




The TIFF Next Wave Film Festival, presented by Toronto International Film Festival Inc. (TIFF), takes place February 17–19, 2017.

TIFF is now accepting entries for the Battle of the Scores competition (BotS). High-energy, high-profile and unique, BotS showcases youth music and film talent by challenging high-school bands to create and perform original scores for an original short film. The competition is live, and a winner is determined by audience votes and a panel of esteemed judges from the Toronto music and film community.

Finalists will perform at the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival Opening Night on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 7pm, at TIFF Bell Lightbox.


Please read the important information below outlining how your band can apply to the competition.

BotS is open to musical acts comprised of one to 10 members, all of whom are residents of Ontario, and at least 50% of whom are high-school students at the time of entry. All members of the band must be available for a sound check and performance at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto on Friday, February 17, starting at 12pm.

To enter, you must:

  1. Provide your musical submission via an online link that allows streaming (preferred) or digital download of up to three samples/tracks of music. YouTube or video links of filmed live performance are accepted.
  2. Provide all accompanying information requested via the entry form, including parent/guardian permission, where applicable.

If selected for the BotS event, performers will be expected to provide their own instruments, pedals, patch cords, cymbals, and stands. TIFF will provide a basic drum kit and all amplifiers and microphones as required. TIFF will not accommodate performers bringing their own amplifiers.

All submissions must be accompanied by an entry form, which must be signed and approved by a parent or guardian. Entry forms (PDF format) are available on the official TIFF Next Wave website (, or by email request ( Only one entry per person is allowed.

You can submit one of three ways:

  1. Complete the Online Entry Form below
  2. Email your entry form to:
  3. Mail your entry from to the address below

Battle of the Scores Application, TIFF Next Wave Film Festival Reitman Square, 350 King Street West Toronto, ON M5V 3X5 Canada Tel: 416-599-8433

DEADLINE: All entries must be received by FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2017 at 5pm (EST). Entries received after the closing time will not be considered.

SELECTION PROCESS All entries meeting the above submission criteria will be considered. The 12 high-school members of the TIFF Next Wave Committee will select six finalists to perform at Battle of the Scores. Finalists will be selected based on the following criteria: musicality, diversity of sound, listening experience, and proficiency in form.

Selected bands/artists will be notified by Friday, January 20, 2017, at which time they will receive an official invitation and an online link to the short film they will be scoring live on February 17, 2017. Bands/artists will also be required to confirm their instrumentation and technical requirements for performance as a condition of their invitation.

JURY, PRIZES, AND PERFORMANCES Selected by TIFF, a jury of film and music industry professionals will assess the finalists and choose prizewinners based on proficiency in form, expression, experimentation, and musicality. The jury’s decisions are final and appeals will not be considered.

Battle of the Scores also involves an Audience Choice award, which will be determined by audience vote on the evening of the event.

GENERAL TIFF reserves the right to make final determinations regarding issues not currently addressed in this document, and to withdraw, cancel, suspend or amend this competition in any way for any reason.

Participating musicians will be required to have a parent/legal guardian sign a media release form. By entering into this competition and performing as part of BotS, you acknowledge and agree that TIFF may record BotS, in whole or in part, including in the form of film, video, still photography, digital and/or audio recordings (the “Recordings”) and use, edit, modify, reproduce, and distribute the Recordings, in any media and without compensation to you, for various purposes in connection with the charitable mandate of TIFF.

Download Submission Form