The 46th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) will take place as a hybrid festival March 30-April 9, 2022 in person at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland, OH and online as CIFF46 Streams from April 10-17, 2022. CIFF46 Call for Entries opens June 7, 2021 to feature and short films with a completed production date after June 1, 2020.

*PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL THEATRICAL SCREENINGS AT CIFF46 WILL BE IN DCP (FEATURE AND SHORT FILMS).* Thus, all invited films will be required to send a DCP file for exhibition.

Following two years of presenting successful online Festivals, CIFF is excited to return as an in-person event in the largest performing arts district in the U.S., outside of New York City. CIFF will continue to follow guidance and protocols based on science and community circumstances, in relation to the coronavirus. All Festival details (including dates, format, and venues) are subject to change.

CIFF45 Streams (April 2021) presented 299 feature and short films from 63 countries to a national online audience of approximately 102,500 viewers. Through 34 various competitions, CIFF45 Streams included $114,500 in cash awards to filmmakers.

CIFF46 will consist of hundreds of films, post-film conversations and Q&As with filmmakers, balloting, and awards. CIFF Speaks (the organization’s podcast series) will be returning with episodes surrounding and during the Festival.

CIFF is committed to offering screening fees or travel assistance for all feature and short films accepted into the Festival. In a time of many changes, we are happy to report that CIFF continues to be one of the few Academy Award®-qualifying festivals in the world for all three categories of shorts films—live action, animated, and documentary. CIFF accepts films of any runtime, any genre, and from every country.

As always, CIFF will provide written feedback from our Screening Team—a diverse volunteer committee comprised of 150 film enthusiasts assembled from our audience base, ranging from industry professionals to local film students. CIFF is also happy to once again offer submission waivers to any CIFF alum whose current film meets the CIFF46 requirements.

No matter what the future holds, the Cleveland International Film Festival remains dedicated to supporting the work of filmmakers everywhere and uniting our community through the power of film.

For all questions related to submissions, please see our Terms and Conditions or email our Special Programs Director, Beth Steele Radisek, at

We thank you for sharing your films with us!

Terms and Conditions

By submitting your film for consideration to the 46th Cleveland International Film Festival (“CIFF46” or “Festival”) in accordance with the procedures outlined below, you acknowledge that you have read, understood, and voluntarily agreed to abide by these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions.

Festival Details

The Cleveland Film Society, an Ohio nonprofit organization d/b/a The Cleveland International Film Festival (“CIFF”), will hold CIFF46 from March 30–April 9, 2022 (in person) and April 10-17, 2022 (online).

CIFF values the health and safety of all Festival participants, audience members, staff, and volunteers and takes their well-being seriously, especially in view of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. To protect audience, filmmaker, staff, and volunteer health and safety and comply with any applicable orders or guidelines issued by federal, state, or local authorities, CIFF reserves the right to cancel CIFF46; institute rules governing in-person participation at CIFF46, such as theater- or event-capacity limits and face-covering requirements; or revise the dates, location, and in-person format of CIFF46 at any time, including, but not limited to, after having accepted films for screening during the Festival. CIFF reserves the right to hold CIFF46 as an entirely online event if CIFF, in its sole discretion, determines that circumstances so require. CIFF is committed to communicating any changes to the CIFF46 program to applicants, participants, and audience members in a timely manner via its website and/or direct communication with filmmakers.


All filmmakers or other film-rights holders who submit films for consideration for CIFF46 (“Applicants”) must do so using FilmFreeway. As FilmFreeway users, all Applicants therefore agree to be bound by the FilmFreeway Terms of Service for Filmmakers, Screenwriters, and Non-Festivals ( If any provisions of these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions conflict with the FilmFreeway Terms of Service, then these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions will control.

All films submitted to FilmFreeway must be in the form of an online-screener or Vimeo link. If a link is password protected, then the password must be valid through April 18, 2022, otherwise your submission will be considered INVALID and will be DISQUALIFIED with no entry-fee refund. For further guidance on the process of submitting your film for CIFF46 consideration, please visit CIFF’s Call for Entries FAQs.

Once your film has been submitted via the CIFF46 FilmFreeway portal, it is your responsibility to check your FilmFreeway account to ensure that your submission meets CIFF’s requirements; that you have provided all necessary information to CIFF; and that your film has been accepted by CIFF for consideration. Within one week after your submission date, CIFF will send you an email confirming that it has received your submission and, if applicable, requesting any further information needed from you.


Films whose productions were completed after June 1, 2020, are eligible for submission to CIFF46.

There are no premiere restrictions for CIFF46 submissions. Films that have been previously screened online in an official ticketed-festival capacity are eligible for CIFF46 submission.

All films under 45 minutes in length are considered short films.

Please do not submit any works in progress or any industrial or instructional films.

At this time, CIFF regrets that it has no plans to include New Media presentations in CIFF46, due to CIFF’s concerns that it will be unable to implement reasonable measures to protect participants’ health and safety in interactive environments. CIFF therefore will not consider any New Media submissions for CIFF46, including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Video Games, or Interactive Media. Should this policy change, CIFF will update its FilmFreeway page and permit New Media submissions to remain free of charge in accordance with CIFF’s past practice. CIFF encourages any New Media creators who are interested in submitting work for CIFF46 to check CIFF’s FilmFreeway page regularly for any updates.


Submission fees for CIFF46 increase over time. Early submissions are therefore encouraged. For further details, please see the Dates & Deadlines and Categories & Fees sections on CIFF’s FilmFreeway page.

CIFF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Fees collected through the Call for Entries process assist in our operations, so please do not request a waiver, unless you meet one of the following requirements.

If you are an Applicant who is also a CIFF Alum, meaning that CIFF has screened one of your feature or short films in a previous festival, then CIFF will waive your submission fee for any film meeting the CIFF46 requirements outlined herein.

To request a fee waiver, please contact Beth Steele Radisek, CIFF’s Special Programs Director, at


CIFF will not honor any requests for submission-fee refunds. Refunds will not be issued to any Applicant for any submission, regardless of selection for CIFF46, for any reason, including changes to CIFF46’s dates, venues, or format that CIFF may announce at any time.

Selection and Exhibition

Applicants whose works have been selected for inclusion in CIFF46 (“Participants”) will be announced by CIFF no later than March 4, 2022. Written feedback from our screening team will be provided post-festival for all films that pay to submit in full. If you would like to see your comments, you must contact our Special Projects Director Beth Steele Radisek at between May 1 - June 1, 2022. No comments will be provided past June 1, 2022 or for any films that submit with a waiver or discount.

All films (feature and short) must be available for theatrical exhibition as a DCP. For all films that will be participating in the online component of the festival, films must also be available as as a .mp4 or another CIFF-approved digital file. 35MM, BLU-RAY, AND DVD ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE FORMATS FOR CIFF46 EXHIBITION.

Participants must upload all exhibition files electronically to CIFF’s secure-storage platform, powered by CineSend. CIFF will not accept any exhibition files for CIFF46 that are submitted on a hard drive. If you are a Participant and you upload your exhibition file to CineSend, then you are a user of CineSend and agree to be bound by the CineSend Terms and Conditions (“CineSend Terms and Conditions”). If any provisions of these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions conflict with the CinseSend Terms and Conditions, then these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions will control.

Warranties and License

All Applicants and Participants warrant that they own the copyright to the film that they have submitted for CIFF46 consideration. Applicants and Participants further warrant that they have secured all necessary rights and clearances to exhibit their film during CIFF46; are authorized to accept these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions; and are authorized to grant CIFF a license to exhibit the film during the Festival. Participants hereby grant CIFF a non-exclusive license to exhibit their film during CIFF46.


All Applicants and Participants agree, to the extent permissible by applicable law, to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless CIFF and its directors, officers, employees, affiliates, licensees, and agents from and against any and all claims, losses, liabilities, demands, legal costs (including court costs and reasonable experts’ and attorneys’ fees), judgments, and other expenses that arise at any point in time, before, during, or after CIFF46, out of or on account of the Applicants’ or Participants’ involvement in CIFF45 and/or CIFF’s selection process for the same.

Choice of Law

These Filmmaker Terms and Conditions will be governed by the laws of the State of Ohio, without regard to its conflicts-of-laws principles, except those necessary to enforce the choice of applicable law; may be enforced only in a state or federal court sitting within Cleveland, Ohio, with respect to which court CIFF and the Applicants and Participants agree to personal jurisdiction and venue, further waiving any right to challenge venue; and is binding upon, and inures to the benefit of, CIFF’s and the Applicants’ and Participants’ successors, assigns, heirs, and personal representatives.


If any provision of these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions is determined to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, then that provision will not affect the enforceability of any other provision of these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions. Rather, the invalid, illegal, or unenforceable provision shall be deemed severed from these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions, which will be enforced as if they did not contain the invalid, illegal, or unenforceable provision.

Overall Rating
  • Adam Smith

    This is such an amazing festival!

    October 2021
  • Volia Chajkouskaya

    Was happy to be part of it in online! Hope to come in person one day with a new film! <3

    May 2021
  • Aaron Bear

    The team who ran CIFF this year did a stellar job at managing a world-class film festival in the middle of a pandemic. Thank you!

    May 2021
  • Lisa Molomot

    We had a wonderful experience screening at Cleveland and networking. Looking forward to an in person experience with this festival.

    May 2021
  • Yannick Karcher

    Amazing Festival ! Great communication, programmation ! Warm welcome and people ! Thank you very much for having us this year !

    May 2021