Solas Nua’s annual Capital Irish Film Festival in Washington, D.C., presents one of the largest program of Irish cinema in North America, showcasing the latest Irish dramatic and documentary features, shorts, art films, and animation releases by Irish and Ireland-based filmmakers. The 18th edition of the four-day festival takes place February 29 - March 3 2024 in partnership with the prestigious American Film Institute's Silver Theatre & Cultural Center (Silver Spring MD). The festival provides a platform that not only highlights the rich cultural heritage of Ireland but also fosters an inclusive and diverse community of filmmakers. Filmmakers are encouraged to share their unique stories and perspectives with us and all short film submissions from Northern Ireland filmmakers are automatically entered into consideration for The Norman Houston Short Film Award.

The Capital Irish Film Festival is supported by the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme, Culture Ireland, Screen Ireland, the Embassy of Ireland, the Northern Ireland Bureau, Northern Ireland Screen, and the Irish Film Institute. Solas Nua is also supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The Norman Houston Short Film Award

The Norman Houston Short Film Award is part of the Norman Houston Project - a project initiated by Solas Nua in Washington D.C., dedicated to the memory of Norman Houston, the former Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau (NIB), in the United States.

The Norman Houston Short Film Award is an annual honor for the best new short film created by a filmmaker based in or from Northern Ireland made within the previous two years. This award, including prize money of $2,500, will be presented at Solas Nua’s annual Capital Irish Film Festival, February 29 — March 3, 2024. The winning filmmaker will also be invited to Washington, D.C. to attend the screening of the film and receive the award in person.

All CIFF 2024 short film submissions from Northern Irish filmmakers are automatically entered into The Norman Houston Short Film Award.

Solas Nua's Capital Irish Film Festival accepts submissions of features, documentaries, shorts, and animations, from Ireland-based filmmakers.

CIFF accepts submissions in both English and Irish (with English subtitles provided).
Submissions are open from July through October 31st, 2023.

For consideration, the festival can screen from Vimeo or YouTube formats but will require DCP format for films selected for inclusion in the Festival.

All images and promotional videos submitted to help promote the film will be available for the Festival to reproduce in advertising and Festival programs without payment to submitters or any partners involved in the production of such images.

Official Selections
All 'official selections' are included in the festival program and screened once as part of the festival in partnership with AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center.

If your project is selected, we will email you directly.

Honorable Mentions
Please note 'honorable mentions' do not mean that your film is selected, but rather it is a way of thanking you for submitting your film and acknowledging and recognising your great work.

In the case of honorable mentions, they do not become part of the festival program as Official Selections do.