CIFF48 (2024) Call for Entries will open July 3, 2023!

The 48th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) will take place April 3 - April 13, 2024 in person at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland, OH.

*PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL THEATRICAL SCREENINGS AT CIFF48 WILL BE IN DCP (FEATURE AND SHORT FILMS).* Thus, all invited films will be required to send a DCP file for exhibition.

CIFF is excited to return to the beautiful and iconic Playhouse Square - the largest performing arts district in the U.S., outside of New York City. All Festival details (including dates, format, and venues) are subject to change.

At this time, details about CIFF48 Streams (the virtual/online component of CIFF) are yet to be determined. We will update this page and notify all selected films in the festival as we have news.

CIFF48 will consist of hundreds of films, post-film conversations and Q&As with filmmakers, balloting, and over $130,000 in cash 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 175 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 CIFF48 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

We thank you for sharing your films with us!

Terms and Conditions

By submitting your film for consideration to the 48th Cleveland International Film Festival (“CIFF48” 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 CIFF48 from April 3-13, 2024 (in person).

CIFF values the health and safety of all Festival participants, audience members, staff, and volunteers and takes their well-being seriously. 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 CIFF48; institute rules governing in-person participation at CIFF48, such as theater- or event-capacity limits and face-covering requirements; or revise the dates, location, and in-person format of CIFF48 at any time, including, but not limited to, after having accepted films for screening during the Festival. CIFF reserves the right to hold CIFF48 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 CIFF48 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 CIFF48 (“Applicants”) must do so using FilmFreeway. CIFF is not responsible for any claims brought by Applicants if films are pirated from FilmFreeway's platform. 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 14, 2024, 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 CIFF48 consideration, please visit CIFF’s Call for Entries FAQs.

Once your film has been submitted via the CIFF48 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, 2022, are eligible for submission to CIFF48.

There are no premiere restrictions for CIFF48 submissions. Films that have been previously screened online in an official ticketed-festival capacity are eligible for CIFF48 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.


Submission fees for CIFF48 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 CIFF48 requirements outlined herein.

To request an alumni fee waiver, please contact


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 CIFF48, for any reason, including changes to CIFF48’s dates, venues, or format that CIFF may announce at any time.

Selection and Exhibition

Applicants whose works have been selected for inclusion in CIFF48 (“Participants”) will be announced by CIFF no later than March 1, 2024. 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 email between May 1 - June 1, 2024. No comments will be provided for those requested after June 1, 2024 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 a .mp4 or other CIFF-approved digital file. 35MM, BLU-RAY, AND DVD ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE FORMATS FOR CIFF48 EXHIBITION.

Participants must upload all exhibition files electronically to CIFF’s secure-storage platforms, CineSend (in-person format) and Eventive (online format) . CIFF will not accept any exhibition files for CIFF48 that are submitted on a hard drive. CIFF is not responsible for any claims brought by Participants if films are pirated from CineSend and/or Eventive's platform. If you are a Participant and you upload your exhibition files to CineSend and/or Eventive, then you are a user of CineSend and/or Eventive and agree to be bound by the CineSend and/or Eventive Terms and Conditions ("CineSend Terms and Conditions", “Eventive Terms and Conditions”). If any provisions of these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions conflict with the CineSend and/or Eventive 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 CIFF48 consideration. Applicants and Participants further warrant that they have secured all necessary rights and clearances to exhibit their film during CIFF48; 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 CIFF48.


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 CIFF48, out of or on account of the Applicants’ or Participants’ involvement in CIFF48 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
  • Cleveland International Film Festival was an experience of a lifetime! Our short film Get Away had the honor of screening there in 2023 and won Best After Hours Short. The festival staff was amazing especially Paul Sloop and his team. Everything was so organized and buttoned up. As a filmmaker I felt like I got the red carpet treatment! I met some great industry colleagues that have now become great friends. I can’t recommend this film festival enough!

    May 2023
  • One Small Visit

    The quality of films was astounding and the festival does an amazing job of welcoming filmmakers and creating lots of opportunities for them to mingle. Communication was warm and enthusiastic from the very first acceptance letter. Gorgeous Art Deco cinemas that screen your film. Wonderful film-loving crowds. Highly recommend.

    April 2023
  • Christalyn Hampton

    The Cleveland International Film Festival was a well-oiled machine full of great movies, an amazing staff to help navigate you throughout the festival, organized panels, and some of the most beautiful theatres.

    Thank you for the incredible opportunity!
    ~Rise & Rebuild: A Tale of Three Cities team

    April 2023
  • Rebecca Samarani

    My short film Blink of an Eye was selected to this fabulous film festival. I had the chance to spend a magical time in Cleveland. The Festival provided the top films and a high quality range of screening selection from all over the world.

    This festival was so organized from A to Z, the organizers and volunteers are so pleasant and helpful. The programming team is awesome kind and very communicative. Special thanks to Mr Paul Sloop and his team who followed up every step before, during and after my stay in Cleveland he always care about the directors. He is so respectful and gentle. All my respect and love for the best team i ever met in my life.

    I highly recommend everyone who has a beautiful selfmade film to share, to be a part of the festival because it is a whole amazing experience.

    April 2023
  • Andrea Rosen

    Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go to the Cleveland Film Fest, BUT, their communication was great. And it was such an honor to have my short film, CAROL & JANET show at the Cleveland FF. Thank you Cleveland Film Festival!!!!!

    April 2023