Submission FAQ

 

When is the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival?

The 33rd annual Vancouver International Film Festival runs from Thursday, September 25 to Friday, October 10, 2014.

What is VIFF’s mandate?

The purpose of the not-for-profit Vancouver International Film Festival is to encourage understanding of other nations through the art of cinema, to foster the art of cinema, to facilitate the meeting in British Columbia of cinema professionals from around the world, and to stimulate the motion picture industry in British Columbia and Canada. 

How many films does VIFF screen?

In 2013, 341 films played on nine screens in seven venues. By the time our 16-day festival had wrapped, 130,000 attendees had been dazzled by the top films from more than 75 countries.

Films selected to participate in VIFF are assigned to one of the following film series at the discretion of our programmers. Additional series may be announced prior to this year’s festival.

  • Canadian Images
    One of the world's largest annual public exhibitions of new Canadian cinema. Incredibly well-attended, it's truly a point of pride for VIFF. This series is also home to the B.C. Spotlight which focuses on our homegrown talent.
     
  • Canadian Images Shorts
    One of the world's largest annual public exhibitions of new Canadian cinema. Incredibly well-attended, it's truly a point of pride for VIFF. This series is also home to the B.C. Spotlight which focuses on our homegrown talent.
     
  • Dragons & Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia
    For over 25 years, VIFF has presented one of the world’s largest and most adventurous collections of East Asian cinema.
     
  • Cinema of Our Time
    A spectacular showcase of narrative films from around the globe featuring both today’s masters and tomorrow’s visionaries.
     
  • Spotlight on France
    VIFF honours the rich cinematic culture that continues to thrive in France by highlighting that nation’s finest big-screen offerings.
     
  • Nonfiction Features
    Documentary and essay films embrace the spotlight in this acclaimed series, which sees over 75 nonfiction films play to 50,000 engaged viewers.
     
  • Arts & Letters
    A cinematic celebration of visual and performing arts with a strong focus on films in which music takes centre stage.
     
  • Altered States
    A late night series featuring international genre films, as well as fantastic cinema that defies ready classification.
     
  • International Shorts
    VIFF introduces you to exceptional international artists who push short-form storytelling to its limits.

Does VIFF offer any awards?

In 2013, VIFF offered $19,500 in cash prizes plus another $25,000 in services and prize packs as part of five adjudicated awards. Audience Awards were announced in six categories, including the Rogers People's Choice Award, Most Popular Documentary Film Award and Most Popular First Feature Award. Details of our 2014 award categories will be announced in early June.

What types of films can be submitted to VIFF?

All types! VIFF screens everything from crowd-pleasers to avant-garde experimental work. However, please be sure to submit your film into the appropriate category: 

  • International Narrative Features (over 20 minutes in length)
  • International Nonfiction Features (over 20 minutes in length)
  • International Shorts (maximum 20 minutes in length)
  • Canadian Narrative Features (over 20 minutes in length)
  • Canadian Nonfiction Features (over 20 minutes in length)
  • Canadian Shorts (maximum 20 minutes in length)

How do I submit a film to VIFF?

Features and short films can be submitted to VIFF either through the Withoutabox.com (WAB) internet submissions platform or directly to the festival with traditional entry forms.

What are your submission deadlines and entry fees?

International Narrative / Nonfiction Features (over 20 minutes in length)

 

Regular Deadline
June 27, 2014

Late WAB Deadline
July 4, 2014

Standard Fee

$60.00

$80.00

Discounted WAB Fee

$55.00

$65.00

International Short Films (20 minutes in length and under)

 

Regular Deadline
June 27, 2014

Late WAB Deadline
July 4, 2014

Standard Fee

$40.00

$50.00

Discounted WAB Fee

$35.00

$40.00

Canadian Narrative/Nonfiction Features (over 20 minutes in length)

 

Regular Deadline
June 20, 2014

Late WAB Deadline
June 27, 2014

Standard Fee

$40.00

$60.00

Discounted WAB Fee

$35.00

$45.00

Canadian Short Films (20 minutes and under)

 

Regular Deadline
June 20, 2014

Late WAB Deadline
June 27, 2014

Standard Fee

$20.00

$30.00

Discounted WAB Fee

$15.00

$20.00

All fees are expressed in Canadian dollars. We accept payment by cheque, international money order, Visa and Mastercard.

Does VIFF offer fee waivers?

As a not-for-profit society, VIFF relies on submission fees to help cover administration and programming costs. In order to maintain the high quality of our film festival, we are not able to offer fee waivers.

Do you accept late submissions?

As noted above, if submitting through Withoutabox, you have access to extended deadlines that fall one week after our standard deadlines. Once the Late WAB Deadlines have passed, we deal with late submission requests on a case-by-case basis.

Where can I read the fine print?

All of our official regulations can be found in these two PDFs:

International Films – Narrative Features, Nonfiction Features and Shorts

Canadian Films – Narrative Features, Nonfiction Features and Shorts

What preview formats do you accept?

We accept both DVDs and online screeners (password protected Vimeo link, etc.) for previewing purposes. NTSC or Region 1 DVDs are the preferred format. While we can also accept PAL, we do not accept data discs. Indicate formatting on the DVD and be sure to test the disc before submitting. In order to save you postage and us storage space, we recommend mailing your DVD in a small jewel case or paper sleeve.

  • Mailing a DVD for a mail-in entry: Complete the appropriate entry form, including full payment and contact information. Enclose the DVD with your entry form.
  • Mailing a DVD for a Withoutabox entry: Once you’ve paid your entry fee through WAB, mail us a DVD screener clearly marked with your individual WAB tracking number.
  • Submitting an online screener for a mail-in entry: Complete the appropriate mail-in entry form, including full payment and contact information. There is a designated area on the first page to provide your screener link information.
  • Submitting an online screener for a Withoutabox entry: When submitting your film through WAB, you can make use of WAB’s own online screener option if you are submitting a Canadian Narrative/Nonfiction Feature, Canadian Short Film or International Short Film. At this time, we do not accept WAB online screeners for International Narrative/Nonfiction features.

You are welcome to use the “Cover Letter” portion of your WAB entry to provide us with an alternate secure online link (Vimeo, etc.) and password. You may also want to email us at info@viff.org with this information, providing your film title and WAB tracking number in the subject line and your alternate online link and password in the body of the email.

What formats does VIFF screen during the festival?

DCP, HDCam, 35 mm and 16 mm. Select venues will also have 3D capability.

Does my film need to be a premiere?

No. However, films submitted must be Vancouver premieres. They must not have been broadcast (television or internet), distributed on DVD/VOD or screened either at another festival or commercially (i.e. an advertised public screening at which an admission was charged, excluding film school graduation screenings) in the Vancouver area. Please carefully review the regulations for both Canadian and International submissions. Email us at info@viff.org should you require any clarification.

Can I submit a work-in-progress?

While we are willing to watch “rough cuts,” we strongly recommend that you submit your film in the most polished form possible. Due to the high volume of submissions we receive every year, we are rarely able to preview multiple versions of a single film. We ask that you address any rough cut issues (scratch music, etc.) with your film in the fields available on the WAB site or in a separate document accompanying your mail-in entry form. You should also advise us of the exact date you expect the film to be fully completed.

How many films can I submit?

You are free to submit as many films as you wish. However, each submission must have its own completed entry form, entry fee, etc. Please do not put multiple projects on the same DVD.

When is a short film not short enough?

When it’s over 20 minutes long. At least that’s our definition. Enforcing this maximum running time for International and Canadian short films allows our programmers greater flexibility when curating diverse, thematically unified programs.

Can I send you press/publicity materials related to my film?

There are specific press/publicity materials that will be requested from you (hi-res photos, press kit, etc.) if your film is accepted to play VIFF. You are welcome to send any materials you deem important with your submission. However, all we consider essential is a quality film and detailed production and contact information. Again, please ensure that you include everything requested on the WAB site and/or mail-in entry form. Also, please note that any additional material you may include with your submission will not be returned to you. Take this into consideration.

Will VIFF confirm receipt of my submission?

If you have submitted through Withoutabox, you can check the status of your film, which we actively update. If you have sent in a WAB submission and your status has not been updated from “Submitted” to “In Consideration” after several weeks, please write to info@viff.org. It’s possible that there is information missing from your entry.

Due to the high volume of mail-in submissions we receive, we unfortunately do not have the resources to send confirmations to filmmakers who use this method.

Will you return my DVD?

Due to increased mailing costs, we do not return DVDs that have been submitted to us. They remain in our secure archives.

Who watches my submission?

Submissions to VIFF are reviewed by year-round programming staff, seasonal programmers and screening committees made up of film critics, filmmakers and other film-literate individuals.

When will I be notified of VIFF’s decision?

You will be advised of our decision by email no later than September 3, 2014. Please do not call our office asking about the status of your submission.

Will I receive feedback if my film isn’t selected?

As a general rule: no. With thousands of submissions every year, we don’t have the ability to offer notes to each individual filmmaker.

What is the VIFF Industry Conference?

Entering its 29th year, the VIFF Industry Conference is the premier media conference in Western Canada. This year, it takes place October 1-4, 2014, during the heart of the Vancouver International Film Festival. The Conference offers professional development sessions, one-on-one meetings and networking receptions for established and emerging film, television and new media professionals.

The 2013 Conference hosted over 1,000 delegates and included sessions with such creative heavyweights as Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), Damon Lindelof (Lost), Walter Murch (editor of The Godfather) and Terry Rossio (The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise). Meanwhile, industry leaders such as Kickstarter's Elisabeth Holm shared insights on how creators could launch new projects.

Be sure to visit the VIFF Industry section of our website for more details on the 2014 edition. Any questions can be directed to industry@viff.org.

Have a question that hasn’t been answered here?

Call 604.685.0260 or email info@viff.org