What's the DIFF?

… It’s the DaVinci International Film Festival (DIFF), but also a question many independent filmmakers ask themselves as they browse and filter through dozens, if not hundreds, of film festivals online — what makes DIFF stand out from the others?

It starts with our brand — our name.

The way we see it, Leonardo da Vinci was the epitome of the divergent and creative mind— a luminary—and so we aim to recognize much of the same at our festival. Creatives who break boundaries and draw us into new worlds.

Like many festivals, we set out to honor the best in independent cinema from around the world, and do so by taking into account the full-scope of creative integration in any given project. DIFFdocs represents the documentary arm at DaVinci International Film Festival, honoring student, short, and feature-length formats.


DIFFdocs hosts quarterly online qualifiers for the Vitruvian Award™. Quarterly winners ("Vitruvians") will be invited to screen at our Live Showcase Event at the end of the calendar year. Here, filmmakers will compete against other Vitruvians for their shot at our most prized commendation, the Leo Award.

More at: davincifilmfestival.com

Projects will screen at a red carpet event followed by filmmaker Q&A and VIP After Party, where DIFF sponsors will present their respective awards to our winners.

We understand that you have many options in festivals, and we appreciate your interest in DIFFdocs at DaVinci International Film Festival. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Good luck!

DaVinci Film Festival

- THE LEO (Annual)
- VITRUVIAN AWARD™ (Quarterly)
- SPONSOR prize package

You must fully comply with these Entry Rules & Regulations, including all deadlines, film length, entry material(s), and accepting terms (unscripted) prior to submission, as well as those listed below.

1. All non-English speaking films must be presented in their original version with English subtitles.
2. Short Film Entries should not exceed 45 minutes in duration including titles and credits.
3. Films previously entered into DIFFdocs are not eligible for re-entry in subsequent years.
4. All submissions are screened and evaluated by the DIFF Selection Committee, appointed by the Festival Director. Their reports are final and confidential. Long and short format films that are received by DIFFdocs and win the Vitruvian Award, will be screened at our Live Event Showcase Event.
5. In the event of a film is withdrawn, DIFFdocs will not refund or return any materials.
6. ONE ENTRY FEE PER CATEGORY. The same film can be entered into more and one category, but each category requires an entry fee. If the filmmaker choose to enter more than one category with the same film, please add an incremental numerical addendum in brackets after the title; i.e. "Film Title" (1), "Film Title" (2), etc. as the system requires this differentiation in the case of multiple entries with the same title.
7. Student filmmakers are encouraged to apply but must present their valid Student ID in order to benefit from our student discount.
8. All entries should be submitted via FilmFreeway.com portal. Please DO NOT send us any material unless requested.
9. Unfortunately, we DO NOT accept works in progress at this time.