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Image description: a collage of images from the 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival. Filmmakers accepting awards, creators in question and answer sessions.

Submissions FAQ 

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The 38th annual Vancouver International Film Festival runs from Thursday, September 26 to Friday, October 11, 2019.


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 2018 festival, 338 films (including more than 220 features) from 80 countries played at 482 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)



   International Features   International Shorts   Canadian Features   Canadian Shorts 
Early Deadline: April 26, 2019 Withoutabox
$60.00 CAD
$47.50 USD
$45.00 CAD
$35.00 USD
$45.00 CAD
$35.00 USD
$25.00 CAD
$20.00 USD
 Regular Deadline: May 31, 2019  Withoutabox
$75.00 CAD
$57.50 USD
$50.00 CAD
$40.00 USD
$55.00 CAD
$42.50 USD
$30.00 CAD
$25.00 USD
Late Deadline: June 14, 2019 Withoutabox
$90.00 CAD
$70.00 USD
$55.00 CAD
$45.00 USD
$65.00 CAD
$50.00 USD
$35.00 CAD
$30.00 USD


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.


The Reel Youth Film Festival premieres at VIFF every fall. A showcase of short films under 10 minutes made by filmmakers 19 years old and younger, Reel Youth accepts submissions until May 5, 2019 through their website HERE.


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 2018, VIFF offered almost $76,500CAD in cash prizes plus another $50,000CAD 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 2019 awards 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 accustomed to watching unfinished films, we strongly recommend that you submit your film in the most finished 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 important notes concerning the state of your submitted film in an email to either international.submissions@viff.org or canadian.submissions@viff.org. You should also advise us of the date you expect the film to be fully completed.


Any film submitted for VIFF 2019 should have been completed after June 1, 2018.


You may resubmit if you have made significant changes to your film after June 1, 2018 and meet the other eligibility requirements. You will have to complete a 2019 submission process, including paying the applicable 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 NTSC 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 August 30, 2019. 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.

If you choose to submit a DVD, NTSC is our preferred format. 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 or FilmFreeway, you can check the status of your film on their website. If 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.

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 30, 2019.


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


The world’s boldest creators and their exceptional works. The year’s most anticipated international films and new discoveries curated specifically for VIFF audiences.

Sea to Sky
A showcase of the inspired works emerging from the creative nexus that is British Columbia. 

True North
A celebration of the extraordinary creativity and craft being demonstrated by Canadian storytellers from coast to coast.

Uncompromising films and insightful discussions that spark action and change the way we see the world.

Journey into the cinematic reachest of East Asia with some of the world's most compelling storytellers as your guides.

Music, art and design receive their deserved big-screen treatment in this aesthetically alluring stream.

Genre-bending features that defy traditional classification and creators who push short form storytelling to its limits.


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 VIFF's 2018 edition, these events included creator talks with the likes of Jean-Marc Vallée (Sharp Objects) and Michael Schur (The Good Place), a VR/AR immersive exhibition, four conferences and Wu-Tang Clan's RZA performing a live score for the kung fu classic The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.

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