Battle of the Scores

Event Information

The TIFF Next Wave Film Festival, presented by Toronto International Film Festival Inc. (TIFF), takes place February 14–16, 2014.

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 short films. 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 on the TIFF Next Wave Opening Night — Friday, February 14th at 7pm, in Cinema 2 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Download the application form (PDF)

Submission Criteria (Click to expand)

    Important information follows on how your band can apply to compete. Please read carefully.

    BotS is open to musical acts comprised of 1 to 10 members, all of whom are resident in Ontario, and at least 50% of whom are high-school students at the time of entry into BotS. All members of the band must be available for a sound check and performance at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto on Friday, February 14, 2014, starting at 4:00 p.m.

    To enter, you must:

    1. Provide musical submission via an online link that allows streaming (preferred) or digital download of up to 3 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 & 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/approved by a responsible parent or guardian. Entry forms (in PDF) are available on the official TIFF Next Wave website (, or by email request ( Only one entry per person is allowed.

    You can submit 1 of 3 ways:

    1. Completing the Online Entry Form by visiting, OR
    2. Email your entry form to:, OR
    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 10, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Entries received by TIFF after the closing time will not be considered.

    All entries meeting the above submission criteria will be considered. The 12 high-school members of the TIFF Next Wave Committee will select 6 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 17, 2014, at which time they will receive an official invitation and an online link to the short film they will be scoring live on February 14, 2014. Bands/artists will also be required to confirm their instrumentation and technical requirements for performance as a condition of their invitation.

    A jury selected by TIFF, consisting of film and music industry professionals, will assess the finalists and select 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 a ballot distributed on the evening of the event.

    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.

    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.