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Image description: a collage of images from the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival. Filmmakers accepting awards, creators in question and answer sessions.

Submissions FAQ

 

The 37th annual Vancouver International Film Festival runs from Thursday, September 27 to Friday, October 12, 2018.

 

We produce screenings, talks and events as a catalyst for a diverse community to discover, discuss and share the creativity and craft of storytelling on screen.

 

At our 2017 festival, 321 films (including more than 200 features) from 69 countries played at 458 public screenings on nine screens. By the time our 16-day event wrapped, we’d tallied more than 130,000 admissions.

 

VIFF screens everything from crowd-pleasers to avant-garde work. However, please be sure to submit your film into the appropriate category: 
•    International Narrative Features (over 25 minutes in length)
•    International Documentaries (over 25 minutes in length)
•    International Shorts (maximum 25 minutes in length) 
•    Canadian Narrative Features (over 25 minutes in length)
•    Canadian Documentaries (over 25 minutes in length)
•    Canadian Shorts (maximum 25 minutes in length)

 

Films can be submitted to VIFF either through Withoutabox.com or directly to the festival through our online forms.

International Submissions

Canadian Submissions

 


International Narrative Features
Open to non-Canadian narrative films with runtimes over 25 minutes.
Deadline / Entry Fee
Early Deadline - April 27, 2018 / $60.00 CAD
Regular Deadline - June 8, 2018 / $75.00 CAD
Extended Deadline - June 22, 2018 / $90.00 CAD
 
International Documentaries
Open to non-Canadian documentary films with runtimes over 25 minutes.
Deadline / Entry Fee
Early Deadline - April 27, 2018 / $60.00 CAD
Regular Deadline - June 8, 2018 / $75.00 CAD
Extended Deadline - June 22, 2018 / $90.00 CAD

International Shorts
Open to non-Canadian narrative and documentary films with runtimes of 25 minutes or less.
Deadline / Entry Fee
Early Deadline - April 27, 2018 / $45.00 CAD
Regular Deadline - June 8, 2018 / $50.00 CAD
Extended Deadline - June 22, 2018 / $55.00 CAD

Canadian Narrative Features
Open to narrative films with runtimes over 25 minutes directed by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with Canada listed as one of the countries of production OR with 51% or more Canadian financing.
Deadline / Entry Fee
Early Deadline - May 11, 2018 / $40.00 CAD
Regular Deadline - June 8, 2018 / $50.00 CAD
Extended Deadline - June 22, 2018 / $60.00 CAD

Canadian Documentaries
Open to documentary films with runtimes over 25 minutes directed by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with Canada listed as one of the countries of production OR with 51% or more Canadian financing.
Deadline / Entry Fee
Early Deadline - May 11, 2018 / $40.00 CAD
Regular Deadline - June 8, 2018 / $50.00 CAD
Extended Deadline - June 22, 2018 / $60.00 CAD
 
Canadian Shorts
Open to narrative and documentary films with runtimes of 25 minutes or less directed by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with Canada listed as one of the countries of production OR with 51% or more Canadian financing.
Deadline / Entry Fee
Early Deadline - May 11, 2018 / $20.00 CAD
Regular Deadline - June 8, 2018 / $25.00 CAD
Extended Deadline - June 22, 2018 / $30.00 CAD

 

No. However, films submitted must be Vancouver premieres.

Feature length films must not have been broadcast, distributed on VOD/home video, been made available for viewing on the internet or screened either at another festival or publically (i.e. an advertised public screening at which an admission was charged, excluding film school graduation screenings) in the Vancouver area. VIFF will consider short films that have been made available online.

Please email us at either international.submissions@viff.org or canadian.submissions@viff.org should you require any clarification.

 

World Premiere: The film has not had a public screening anywhere.
International Premiere: The film has not had a public screening outside its country of production.
North American Premiere: The film has not had a public screening in North America.
Canadian Premiere: The film has previously had a public screened elsewhere but not in Canada.

 

• If the director is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and Canada is listed as one of the countries of production.
• If 51% or more of the film’s financing is Canadian.

 

The country of production is generally determined by financing and birthplace/permanent residence of the filmmaker(s). The location/setting of your film doesn’t necessarily determine the country of production (unless, of course, significant financing originated in that country or it’s the filmmaker’s place of birth/permanent residence). It’s increasingly common for films to have multiple countries of production.

 

Experimental work can be submitted to any of our standard categories. Selected films will be programmed within our established film series.

 

While VIFF has presented all of these in the past, we are not currently accepting unsolicited submissions in these categories.

 

In 2017, VIFF offered almost $80,000 in cash prizes plus another $25,000 in services and prize packs as part of 10 adjudicated awards. Audience Awards were announced in four categories, including the overall Super Channel People’s Choice Award. Details of our 2018 award categories and prizes will be announced soon.

 

By all means. Submitting to other festivals doesn’t impact your submission in any way.

 

All submissions are reviewed in the same manner and given equal consideration. The only difference is the higher entry fees as we near our final deadlines, so we encourage you to submit as early as possible.

 

You are free to submit as many films as you wish. However, each submission must have its own completed entry form, entry fee, etc. 

 

While we are willing to watch “rough cuts,” we strongly recommend that you submit your film in the most finished form possible. Due to the high volume of submissions that 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 in your Withoutabox cover letter or in an email to either international.submissions@viff.org or canadian.submissions@viff.org. You should also advise us of the exact date you expect the film to be fully completed.

 

Any film submitted for VIFF 2018 should have been completed after June 1, 2017.

 

You may resubmit if you have made significant changes to your film after June 1, 2017 and meet the other eligibility requirements. You will have to complete a 2018 entry form and pay the applicable submission fee.

 

When it’s over 25 minutes long. Instituting this maximum runtime for International and Canadian short films allows our programmers greater flexibility when curating diverse programs. Midlength films (approximately 26-59 minutes long) tend to be programmed with a selection of complementary shorts or paired with an appropriate feature.

 

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 programming, we are not able to offer fee waivers.

 

Once our Extended Deadline has passed, we deal with late submission requests on a case-by-case basis. Please email international.submissions@viff.org or canadian.submissions@viff.org.

 

We accept both password protected online screeners and DVDs for previewing purposes. 

If you are submitting an online screener, our preference is a Vimeo link. However, we can accept links to other streaming services including your own site, an unlisted private YouTube, etc. Please ensure that the password remains valid until September 5, 2018. If the link or password changes at any time, you must email the change to either international.submissions@viff.org or canadian.submissions@viff.org or else risk forfeiting your submission.

If you choose to submit a DVD, NTSC is our preferred format. While we can also accept PAL, we do not accept data discs. Please indicate the formatting on the DVD and be sure to test the disc in a commercial DVD player before submitting. DVDs should not include labels or stickers of any kind. Only laser-printing or black Sharpie pen should be used on the disc itself. Many consumer labeling products can actually make a disc unplayable.

 

Vancouver International Film Festival
1181 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC   V6B 3M7   Canada
Attn: International Submissions or Canadian Submissions (whichever is appropriate)

 

 

If you have submitted through Withoutabox, you can check the status of your film on their website. If you have created a WAB submission and your status has not been updated from “Submitted” to “In Consideration” after several weeks, please write to either international.submissions@viff.org or canadian.submissions@viff.org. It’s possible that there is information or payment missing.

If you submit directly to VIFF through our online entry forms, you’ll receive an email with your tracking number.

 

Due to increased mailing costs, we are not able to return DVDs that have been submitted to us.

 

Regrettably, no. As the work may’ve already been done in terms of reviewing the submission, we are unable to offer a refund.

 

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

 

You will be advised of our decision by email no later than August 29, 2018. If your contact email changes after your submission, please let us know.

 

Regrettably, with thousands of submissions every year, we don’t have the ability to offer notes to each individual filmmaker.

 

Employing a “films+” model that sees screenings augmented by talks, workshops and performances, VIFF presents its films in programming streams that reflect our audience’s interests and values and offer them more opportunities to explore our programming in more enriching ways:

Panorama
The world’s boldest creators and their exceptional works. The year’s most anticipated international films and new discoveries curated specifically for VIFF audiences.
Film series include:
•    Galas & Special Presentations:
VIFF's marquee attractions, including award-winning work from leading festivals like Cannes and Sundance.
•    Contemporary World Cinema: A spectacular showcase of narrative films from around the globe, featuring both today's masters and tomorrow's visionaries. 
•    Spotlight on France: The rich cinematic culture that continues to flourish in France is celebrated in this selection of fine big-screen offerings.
•    Documentaries: This acclaimed series explores the endless possibilities of nonfiction filmmaking while probing involving subject matter.

Sea to Sky
A showcase of the inspired works emerging from the creative nexus that is British Columbia. 
Film series include:
•    BC Spotlight:
The latest feature films from our province's best and brightest creators will leave audiences thrilled by our homegrown talent.

True North
A celebration of the extraordinary creativity and craft being demonstrated by Canadian storytellers from coast to coast.
Film series include:
•    True North:
Our country's best narrative films and documentaries from directors beloved by VIFF audiences as well as exciting new voices.
•    Future//Present: Diverse independent filmmakers from across Canada who demonstrate originality and vision while challenging the medium.

Impact
Uncompromising films and insightful discussions that spark action and change the way we see the world.
Film series include:
•    Impact:
With messages that resonate long after the end credits, these documentaries possess the ability to be powerful agents of change.

Gateway
Journey into the compelling cinematic worlds envisioned by some of East Asia’s most adventurous artists.
Film series include:
•    Dragons & Tigers:
This internationally celebrated series continues to introduce the most exciting talents from East Asia to the world.

M/A/D
Music, art and design receive their deserved big-screen treatment in this aesthetically alluring stream.
Film series include:
•    M/A/D:
Cinema conveys the power of other art forms in astonishing ways and allows us unrivalled insights into great creative minds.

ALT
Genre-bending features that defy traditional classification and creators who push short form storytelling to its limits.
Film series include:
•    Altered States:
This is where the strange ones come out to play, demanding that you follow their warped rules.
•    Short Films: In a matter of minutes, these films immerse you in fully realized narratives that leave an indelible mark.
•    MODES: Experimental films and screen-based art that explores how far the form of cinema is capable of bending.

Films selected to play VIFF will be presented in one of our series at the discretion of our programming team. Additional series may be announced prior to this year’s festival.

 

The majority of the films at our festival receive two screenings.

 

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

 

Please do not send any additional materials (press kits, production stills, etc.) with your submissions. Should your film be selected to play VIFF, there are specific materials that will be requested from you.

 

Drawing on a rich history of showcasing innovation in film, television and digital media, VIFF’s “Films+” programming expands the frame to include talks, workshops, performances and other unique events.

At the 2017 festival, Films+ events included: 


Totally Indie Day: For emerging content creators, this tent pole industry event in the Sea to Sky stream focuses on skill building in craft, financing, distribution, marketing, audience engagement and more. 

Sustainable Production Forum: This one-day event showcased Vancouver as a world-class destination for sustainable screen-based industry production. The event brought together Industry professionals, executives from Hollywood studios and representatives from global and local sustainability organizations for a day of inspiration and learning about trends and opportunities to further sustainable production. This successful event successfully laid the groundwork for a multi-year series.

New Frontiers Series: Virtual Reality: A deep dive into the latest storytelling technology to challenge creators. Sessions tackled the next big thing in consumer entertainment and introduced first-hand experiences from some of the world's leading VR creators.

Industry Exchange: A dedicated forum exploring the future of digital entertainment. It included exclusive first-come, first-served meetings, as well as dinners, lunches and cocktails with online commissioners, creators and top executives.

Creator Talks: From fireside chats to panel sessions, audiences heard from some of the worlds' leading creators and innovators as they shared expertise on their craft.

VIFF AMP: A two-day summit highlighting the intersection between movies and music and focusing on the creation of content for film and television.

VIFF LIVE: One-time-only live performances featuring talented musicians collaborating with inventive visual artists to explore the interplay between sound and vision.

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