Located in one of North America's 10 Best Cities to Live and Work as a Movie Maker and going into its 23rd year, the 11-day Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) has grown to be the biggest film festival in Alberta and the sixth largest in Canada.

Offering over $40,000 in cash and prizes, the festival awards outstanding films selected by the audience and esteemed juries. Showcasing an average of 200 short and feature length multi-genre films, from Canada and around the world, CIFF is a qualifying, accredited festival for the Academy Awards® and the Canadian Screen Awards.

Located on the edge of the world's most dynamic filming locations, the festival is known for its hospitality and has been named one of the “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” by MovieMaker Magazine in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020.

Eligible for audience awards, CIFF 2022 non-juried competition sections include: Late Shift (Genre Films), Music on Screen, Generation Next and Special Presentations.

Should filmmakers require extensions or have questions, they can contact us at programming@ciffcalgary.ca.

Waivers: We provide fee waiver codes for festival alumni and Alberta productions. Please contact us if needed.

$10,000 CAD: RBC Emerging Canadian Artist. This juried award is given to the Canadian director who creates the best first or second narrative feature film.

$5,000 CAD: DGC Best Canadian Documentary. This juried award is given to the Canadian director who creates the best documentary in the section. Presented by Directors Guild Canada.

$1,000 CAD: Best International Narrative Feature. This juried award is given to the international director who creates the best film in the section.

$1,000 CAD: Best International Documentary Feature. This juried award is given to the international director who creates the best documentary in the section.

$2,500 CAD: Grand Jury Prize for Short Film. This juried award is given to the best overall short film at the festival and also qualifies the winner for consideration in the appropriate category of the Academy Awards®, without the standard theatrical run that a film typically needs to qualify for an Oscar® nomination.

Additional prizes for short films include:

$1,000 CAD: Devon Bolton Memorial Award for Best Alberta Short Film
$1,000 CAD: Best Live Action Short Film
$1,000 CAD: Best Documentary Short Film
$1,000 CAD: Best Animated Short Film
$1,000 CAD: Best Student Short Film
$500 CAD: Best Youth by Youth Canada Short Film + up to $18,000 scholarship to Vancouver Film School

9 Feature Film Audience Choice Awards:

Alberta Feature
Canadian Narrative
Canadian Documentary
International Narrative
International Documentary
Late Shift
Music on Screen
Generation Next
Special Presentations

4 Short Film Audience Choice Awards:

Live Action


1) The film must not have been exhibited before June 1, 2021 and not previously submitted to the Calgary International Film Festival.

2) FEATURE FILMS MUST be at minimum a Calgary premiere (i.e. the film cannot have been screened publicly in Calgary prior to the 2022 Festival, including broadcast versions of any length, other local film festivals and cast/crew screenings.

3) FEATURE FILMS MUST NOT be or have been available online in any form within the province of Alberta (e.g. iTunes, VOD, Netflix).

4) SHORT FILMS - Priority is given to films that have not yet screened in Calgary and are not yet available online. We do accept competition-based created shorts, where screening online is part of the process (e.g. Telus STORYHIVE).

5) All applicable licenses and waivers of copyrights, moral rights, trademarks and other such intellectual property rights have been secured by the filmmaker(s) .

6) Films not in the English language must be subtitled in English.

7) Films previously submitted to the Festival in any stage of completion (i.e. films that were submitted as rough cuts) will not be reconsidered.

8) Submission fees are NON-REFUNDABLE.

9) Submission deadlines are at 11:59 PM MST of the posted date.

10) Generally, we aim to preview each film a minimum of two times. Some films may only be viewed once if by a programmer or member of programming staff or Artistic Director.


We provide fee waiver codes for festival alumni & Alberta productions. Please contact us if needed.

Alberta Short Films: Films must meet the Alberta point requirements to qualify. (Total of 5 points required). In order for the fee to be waived filmmakers must contact the programming department to request a waiver PRIOR to submitting their film. Please contact programming@ciffcalgary.ca.

Alberta location (2 points)
Resident Albertan principal cast member (1 point)
Resident Albertan writer (1 point)
Resident Albertan producer (1 point)
Resident Albertan director (1 point)
Alberta funding source (2 points)

Student Short Film: Must be enrolled in or recently graduated from a post-secondary institution. Must send a copy of student I.D., transcript or signed letter from a professor on university letterhead to programming@ciffcalgary.ca OR upload a copy to FilmFreeway.

Youth by Youth Canada: Must be 18 years of age or under at the time of filming and a Canadian resident. Must send a copy of student i.d., driver's license or signed letter verifying age and Canadian residency from a teacher on school letterhead to programming@ciffcalgary.ca OR upload a copy to FilmFreeway.

Overall Rating
  • Ryan Northcott

    Awesome festival and 5-star event! The programmers and organizers do a fantastic job.

    October 2021
  • Full Swing Productions

    What a wonderful experience this year with CIFF! Keeping people safe while making sure they can watch an incredible selection of films! And they treat filmmakers like gold!

    October 2021
  • Carolina Sorensen

    2021 Calgary ran a hybrid festival and it was run with so much professionalism. I would have loved to have been on the ground and hope to attend again in the future.

    October 2021
  • Great festival with constant communication and updates. We weren't able to attend in-person but we got to enjoy virtually. For up and coming filmmakers, really great opportunity to screen in great and thoughtful programming.

    October 2021
  • Avi Federgreen

    One of the best fests out there anywhere

    October 2021