The Calgary International Film Festival showcases 200 short and feature length multi-genre films, from Canada and around the world. With Academy Award® accreditation and juried cash prizes of up to $20,000, our twelve day Festival is world class in its celebration of cinema’s best and brightest. As part of our continued mission, we host participating filmmakers and connect them with the general public and audiences through events such as interactive post-screening Q&A’s, networking events, and moderated panels.

We host five juried awards with a total cash value of almost $20,000 CAD. In additional to this, 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 also present 11 audience awards to outstanding films selected by our viewers and esteemed jurors.


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 – this 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.

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

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.

$10,000 CAD : Best Emerging Canadian Narrative Feature Film Award. This juried category includes the first or second feature films of emerging directors from Canada.

$2,500 CAD : Best Live Action or Animated Short Film Award. This juried award also qualifies the winner 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.

$2,500 CAD : Best Documentary Short Film Award

$2,500 CAD : Best Albertan Short Film Award

$1,000 CAD: Best Canadian Documentary Feature Award

8 x Audience Choice Award - Feature Film (Alberta Feature, Canadian Narrative Feature, Canadian Documentary, International Documentary, New American Cinema, Headliner, World Cinema, Late Shows)

3 x Audience Choice Award - Short Film (Alberta, Documentary, Live Action or Animated)

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


1) The film was completed after June 1, 2019 and not previously submitted to the Calgary
International Film Festival.

2) Feature Films MUST be at minimum a Calgary premiere i.e. cannot have been screened publicly in Calgary prior to the 2019 Festival, including broadcast versions of any length or other local film festivals (this includes Cast/Crew screenings).

3) 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 in a language other than English must be subtitled in English.

7) 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)

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.

Overall Rating
  • Jarvis Greiner

    One of the best festivals ive been to! Great team, great communication, world class hospitality, and even better movies. I will definitely be back to CIFF! :)

    November 2019
  • William Crouse

    We had a wonderful time exhibiting LOWLAND KIDS at CIFF this year! Producer Lauren Avinoam also really enjoyed serving on their jury for the first time, the quality of the films was great and very well curated by a talented team led by Brian Owens. His strategy for programming and his dedication to high level filmmaking really made the programming special! Glad I was able to join and look forward to going back with another project/ or as a juror soon!

    Lauren Avinoam

    November 2019
  • Justin Miller

    Can't believe this festival has only two reviews. This was my first time to Canada, and I can't have imagined a better introduction. The festival communication was top-notch. I met a lot of Calgarians and filmmakers, and probably got to know the festival staff about as well as any other festival I've attended. They were extremely accommodating, and the screenings were out of control amounts of fun. Packed theaters and people screaming their heads off at my comedy short. The festival programming was excellent, to boot. I saw some amazing films well before their theatrical releases. Hope it is the first of many CIFFs, for me.

    December 2018
  • 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