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VIFF International Film Submissions 2023

The Vancouver International Film Festival is a showcase of exceptional international cinema in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. VIFF takes great pride in championing international cinema’s most exciting new voices, offering diverse programming and fostering enlightening dialogue.

What are the dates of the 2023 Vancouver International Film Festival?

The 42nd edition of VIFF will run September 28 – October 8, 2023.


When do submissions open?

VIFF will start accepting submissions through FilmFreeway on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.


When are the submission deadlines and what are the entry fees?

The following dates are the deadlines to submit your film through FilmFreeway. All submissions must be sent through that platform. Submissions fees are non-refundable.

Deadline International Narrative Features  International Documentaries  International Shorts 
Early Deadline: April 21, 2023  $55.00 USD  $55.00 USD  $40.00 USD 
Regular Deadline: May 19, 2023  $65.00 USD  $65.00 USD  $45.00 USD 
Late Deadline: June 2, 2023  $75.00 USD  $75.00 USD  $50.00 USD 


What are the submission categories and how do I choose the right one for my project?

  • International Narrative Features: Open to non-Canadian narrative films with runtimes over 40 minutes. Feature length films must not have been broadcast, distributed on VOD/home video, or screened in-person either at another festival or theatrically in the Vancouver area.
  • International Documentaries: Open to non-Canadian nonfiction films with runtimes over 40 minutes. Feature length films must not have been broadcast, distributed on VOD/home video, or screened in-person either at another festival or theatrically in the Vancouver area.
  • International Shorts: Open to non-Canadian narrative, nonfiction, animated, and experimental films with runtimes of 40 minutes or less. Short films must not have screened in-person either at another festival or theatrically in the Vancouver area. VIFF will consider short films that have been made available online.


    Do you accept VR/AR submissions?

    Unfortunately, we are not accepting VR/AR submissions at this time.


    Does VIFF pay screening fees?

    VIFF intends to compensate all filmmakers selected through the submission process with a screening fee.


    Can I resubmit my film from last year?

    Yes, if your film has substantively changed since it was last submitted.


    Is my film too old to submit?

    Any international film submitted for VIFF 2023 must have been completed after June 1, 2022.


    May I submit my project as a rough cut?

    While we are accustomed to watching unfinished films, we strongly recommend that you submit your film in the most finished form possible. If submitting a rough cut, please include a title card indicating the current state of your film (example: temporary score, unfinished VFX). You should also advise us of the date you expect the film to be fully completed.


    If I’ve already submitted a rough cut, will you also watch the final version?

    Due to the high volume of submissions we receive every year, we are not able to preview multiple versions of a single film.


    How do I contact you if I’ve changed my screener’s password?

    It is the filmmaker’s responsibility to ensure that the film link and password submitted are working. If either the link or password changes, updated screener information should be sent to [email protected].


    How many films can I submit?

    You are free to submit as many films as you wish. However, each film must be submitted and paid for separately.


    Do you accept television episodes, web series, or music videos?

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


    Is VIFF a competitive festival?

    Yes, the full list of awards from the 2022 festival can be found on our website. We anticipate our 2023 awards to be confirmed in the early summer.


    Who watches my submission?

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


    If you watch all submissions, why doesn’t my Vimeo link have any views in Vancouver?

    Many of VIFF’s programmers and previewers live outside of the Vancouver area, so the views may appear from other regions. Additionally, films that are viewed via third-party platforms like FilmFreeway do not count as views through Vimeo.


    Does VIFF offer fee waivers?

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


    I have been accepted to another festival but haven’t heard from VIFF. Can I email you about this?

    Yes, you can email [email protected] to inform us. But please understand that we are not able to help you decide about participating in other festivals.


    Will I receive feedback on my submission?

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


    Will VIFF confirm receipt of my submission?

    Once you’ve submitted through FilmFreeway, you can check the status of your film on their website. If your status seems incorrect, please contact [email protected].


    When will I be notified about your decision?

    You will be advised of our decision by email no later than September 5, 2023.


    Have a question that isn’t on this list?

    Please contact: [email protected].