The Calgary International Film Festival is a 12-day showcase of up to 200 short and feature length multi-genre films, from Canada and over 40 other countries.

To achieve our mission, we host participating filmmakers – both locally and from abroad – and connect them with the audience through interactive post-screening Q&A’s, networking events, and moderated panels and film talks that are attended by the general public.

Each year’s line-up is grouped into easily identifiable categories – Headliners, Canadian, New American, World Cinema, Documentaries, Music on Screen, Late Shows and Shorts. We present eight awards to outstanding films selected by our audience and esteemed jurors.

The recipient of the Calgary International Film Festival's Best of Shorts Award is eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film / Live Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards®.

We divide our program into different series, which is also useful. The series are:

 – Shining a light on marquee films, galas celebrate the year’s highest accomplishments with a screening and a party.

– The most anticipated, not-to-be-missed, most buzzed-about films of the festival circuit – from award winners and high-profile projects to celebrities and master directors.

Alberta Scene
 – A celebration of films created in our home province, from the highest mountain peaks to the endless prairie skies.

Canadian Cinema
 – From sea to sea – the series celebrates our country’s most inspiring, diverse and promising films.

New American Cinema
 – New and emerging voices from the United States vibrant, independent movement, with an emphasis on under-the-radar and cutting-edge style and story.

Youth Series (suitable to ages 14-18) NEW – A diverse range of genres and stories from around the world, with themes targeted to younger audiences and those looking for innovative, youthful, fun and at times challenging subject matter.

World Cinema
 – A spin of the globe: a captivating world of rich stories from beyond our borders. Note: All foreign language films are played with English subtitles.

Documentaries – 
An uncensored view of the real world: showcasing gripping, entertaining and enlightening stories from around the globe.

Music on Screen
 – From the grassroots of rock n’ roll to hip-hop and folk and everything in between: the best of movies where music plays the starring role.

Late Shows – Dark, twisted and daring late night selection of genre films, ranging from sci-fi to horror, thriller and fantasy films from around the world, with no shortage of high-intensity suspense, shock, gore and action.

Audience Choice Award - Feature Film (Alberta, Documentary, Narrative)
Audience Choice Award - Short Film (Alberta, Documentary, Live Action or Animated)
Best Canadian Narrative Feature Film Award - Jury award of $10,000 - An emphasis on emerging directors and those who do not yet have a history of major theatrical distribution
Best of Shorts – Jury award - Best Short Film (Live Action or Animated, Best Documentary Short & Best Alberta Short Film)

The recipient of Calgary International Film Festival's annual Best of Shorts Award is now eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film / Live Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards®, without the standard theatrical run that a film typically needs to qualify for an Oscar® nomination.

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

1) The film was completed after June 1, 2017 and not previously submitted to the Calgary International Film Festival.
2) Must be at minimum a Calgary premiere i.e. cannot have been screened publicly in Calgary prior to the 2018 Festival, including broadcast versions of any length or other local film festivals. (This includes Cast/Crew screenings for features)
3) Must not be available online in any form (iTunes, VOD, Netflix etc.). Unless it's only available outside of Canada, or if it's a theatrical release, then must be in a province outside of Alberta. * Not applicable for short film submissions.
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)
Films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English.
6) May not have submitted to the Festival previously in any stage of completion (i.e. films that were submitted as rough cuts will not be reconsidered)
7) Submission fees are NON-REFUNDABLE.
8) Submission deadlines are at 11:59 PM MST of the posted date.

Overall Rating
  • Where do we start?! The programmers were prompt in every response and went above and beyond to make sure our clients films were screened to the best ability. We rate this as one of the best Canadian festivals definitely and recommend filmmakers seriously consider it for their films. Great festival!

    December 2017
  • brendan brady

    Fantastic festival with amazing programmers and organizers. Thrilled to have showcased my film here!

    October 2016