Submissions

40th Vancouver International Film Festival

September 30 - October 10, 2021

Submissions are now open.

Festival Update – May 2021: As our regular deadline approaches, we’re planning for a 40th edition of VIFF that allows all of our film selections to play in-cinema, with many of these titles also available online. Following the guidelines of BC's Restart, we'll adapt the scope of our in-person events to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

More detailed information on the festival model will be made available upon acceptance to screen at VIFF 2021.

In 2021, VIFF will screen approximately 100 features and 100 shorts in a showcase of exceptional films from around the world. Furthermore, we’ll once again expand the frame to include talks, conferences, performances and other unique events that extend the boundaries of our collective experience, understanding and expectation of cinematic storytelling. At VIFF's 2020 edition, these events included talks with the likes of Charlie Kaufman (I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Garrett Bradley (Time) and Eliza Hittman(Never Rarely Sometimes Always), the VIFF Immersed Exhibition of narrative-driven XR experiences, VIFF Labs, the VIFF AMP Music in Film Summit, as well as an evening of music and conversation with Beverly Glenn-Copeland (Keyboard Fantasies).

VIFF is now accepting Canadian submissions of any genre for our 2021 festival.

Featuring an expansive, diverse collection of contemporary Canadian cinema, VIFF invites exciting new voices to share the spotlight with national treasures as we celebrate narratives that demonstrate originality, documentaries that change the way we see the world, and short films that push the form to its limits. Our 2020 edition featured 65 Canadian features and shorts playing in competition. 52% of those selections were by female filmmakers and 45% were by BIPOC filmmakers.

Canadian Submission Categories
  • 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. Feature length films must not have been broadcast, distributed on VOD/home video, or screened either at another festival or publicly (i.e. an advertised public screening at which an admission was charged, excluding film school graduation screenings) in the Vancouver area. We will consider films that have played online at festivals as long as said festivals have been geo-blocked to their regions.
  • Canadian Documentaries:
    Open to nonfiction 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. Feature length films must not have been broadcast, distributed on VOD/home video, or screened either at another festival or publicly (i.e. an advertised public screening at which an admission was charged, excluding film school graduation screenings) in the Vancouver area. We will consider films that have played online at festivals as long as said festivals have been geo-blocked to their regions.
  • Canadian Shorts:
    Open to narrative and nonfiction films (including animation) 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. VIFF will consider short films that have been made available online.
Submission Deadlines & Fees
Deadlines Feature Films Short Films
Early Deadline: April 23, 2021 $35.00 USD $20.00 USD
Regular Deadline: May 28, 2021 $40.00 USD $25.00 USD
Late Deadline: June 11, 2021 $45.00 USD $30.00 USD

All submissions must be submitted through Film Freeway.

VIFF is now accepting international submissions from any genre for its 2021 festival.

VIFF takes great pride in championing international cinema's most exciting new voices, offering diverse programming and fostering enlightening dialogue. Furthermore, nonfiction filmmaking has long been one of the pillars of our programming and our short film programs showcase work from dozens of nations.

International Submission Categories
  • International Narrative Features:
    Open to non-Canadian narrative films with runtimes over 25 minutes. Feature length films must not have been broadcast, distributed on VOD/home video, or screened either at another festival or publicly in the Vancouver area. We will consider films that have played online at festivals as long as said festivals have been geo-blocked to their regions.
  • International Documentaries:
    Open to non-Canadian nonfiction films with runtimes over 25 minutes. Feature length films must not have been broadcast, distributed on VOD/home video, or screened either at another festival or publicly in the Vancouver area. We will consider films that have played online at festivals as long as said festivals have been geo-blocked to their regions.
  • International Shorts:
    Open to non-Canadian narrative and nonfiction films with runtimes of 25 minutes or less. Short films must not have been screened either at another festival or publicly in the Vancouver area. VIFF will consider short films that have been made available online.
Submission Deadlines & Fees
Deadlines Feature Films Short Films
Early Deadline: April 23, 2021 $47.50 USD $35.00 USD
Regular Deadline: May 28, 2021 $57.50 USD $40.00 USD
Late Deadline: June 11, 2021 $70.00 USD $45.00 USD

All submissions must be submitted through Film Freeway.

VIFF is now accepting narrative-driven VR and AR submissions for the International VIFF Immersed Competition.

The competition rewards creative achievement in commercially distributable virtual and augmented reality storytelling from live-action, documentary and animation. Competition finalists will be showcased at the 2021 VIFF Immersed Exhibition, an online exhibition taking place across several XR platforms during VIFF 2021, celebrating the best in immersive storytelling from British Columbia and around the world.

Note: Submissions and official selections may also qualify for the VIFF Immersed Market, a private industry market that brings together leading immersive storytellers to pitch projects to a wide range of industry distributors, buyers, investors, agencies and more.

VIFF Immersed Submission Categories
  • Virtual Reality – Cinematic Live Action
    Narrative-led VR experiences created from the live-action capture of human participants using camera or volumetric methods that exemplify works of narrative fiction.
  • Virtual Reality – Animation
    Narrative-led VR animation experiences created using original crafted artwork to embody the characters, setting and objects of its story.
  • Virtual Reality – Documentary
    Immersive VR stories created to document and explore an aspect of the real world.
  • Augmented Reality - Live Action / Animation / Documentary
    This category is designed to showcase narrative AR experiences. Content may be interactive and include fiction, documentary or animation.
  • Virtual & Augmented Reality – Curated BC Showcase
    A showcase of curated VR and AR works emerging from the creative nexus that is British Columbia.
Eligibility

Entries to the VIFF Immersed Competition must be narrative (story-driven) and able to be distributed to consumers through one or more commercially available platforms.

Read the complete eligibility rules and regulations here.

Submission Deadlines & Fees
Deadlines VIFF Immersed Competition Submissions BC Showcase Submissions
Early Deadline: April 23, 2021 $40.00 USD $20.00 USD
Regular Deadline: May 28, 2021 $45.00 USD $25.00 USD
Late Deadline: June 11, 2021 $50.00 USD $30.00 USD

All submissions to the International VIFF Immersed Competition must be submitted through Film Freeway.