Our goal remains the same for the past 25 years, which is to connect in a meaningful way, to learn how to be more impactful to the needs of artists and our greater community. We honour the original vision of the Dreamspeakers founders to be a resource for Aboriginal filmmakers, for directors, scriptwriters, cameramen, technicians, actors, musicians, storytellers, artists and craftspeople. We create more opportunities for Aboriginal youth and make a better impact on arts, culture and our collective identity. And we do it all here in Edmonton.

Dreamspeakers presents Awards each year in the following categories:
Gil Cardinal Documentary Feature Award
Audience Favourite

Dreamspeakers is an Indigenous film festival, we require that either the filmmaker or the films content be Indigenous. Category restrictions are based on the length of the film. Each work is juried solely on its own merits. The Festival seeks any combination of inventive, incisive, bold, vital and otherwise provocative work of any genre.

Indigenous People as defined by the United Nations, “Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them.”

1. All entries - Formats accepted for festival exhibition: Blu-ray DCP and DVD.
2. All entries must have been completed after January 2018.
3. Films must be presented in their original language with English language subtitles.
4. Please specify sound mix on your application. Left/Right Mix preferred.

Please include also a plot synopsis, cast and crew list, and director’s biography.

Feature: 41 min. or longer; Short: 40 min. or less per Academy rules.

Submission of a work confirms that Dreamspeakers International Film Festival has permission to exhibit it during the Festival and any Festival Tours. Submission of a work implies that the Festival can employ moving image excerpts and reproduce stills for exhibition promotion.

If your film is invited to screen at DIFF, please submit whichever of the following materials you have immediately upon notification of acceptance to better aid in Festival publicity of your work: Production stills (electronic copies), EPK, trailers or Vimeo/YouTube clips for web site inclusion. Contact us about posters.

Every precaution will be exercised in handling entries, but neither the Festival organizers, employees, sponsors, nor participating organizations can assume responsibility for damage to or loss of materials submitted. All films submitted to play at DIFF will be previewed prior to exhibition with a log kept of their condition filmmakers will be notified if a film arrives damaged.


All entries are initially reviewed by pre-screening officials. In March, the jury will consider the pre-screeners’ semifinalists and any other entries submitted to the Festival they may wish to see. Following the jurors’ decisions, a list of Finalists will be determined by the end of February. Acceptance of films to be invited and shown at DIFF by the Festival Director or Program Coordinator will take place via e-mail in a timely fashion to allow for planning for those wishing to attend the Festival.

IF sending by disks and/or digital media should be marked “For Festival Screening Only. Shipment should be prepaid by the sender. Films selected will be refunded shipping costs.

Filmmakers must cover shipping costs only for return of the work to the point of origin. Films selected will be refunded shipping costs. Return shipping will take place
within a three-week period following the festival.

It is DIFF’s intention to provide a worry-free environment where people can conduct business and view work with ease. Our staff will be happy to provide for you a list of local hotels and B&B’s upon request. We will also provide each attending filmmaker with a hospitality package which will include maps, passes, special offers at restaurants, entertainment complexes and local attractions.

Questions & Information about the Festival, contact:

Dreamspeakers International Film Festival
201, 11051 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5H 2N2 Canada
PHONE 780-378-9609 • FAX 780-378-9611 • programming@dreamspeakers.org

Overall Rating
  • Cassie De Colling

    Amazing festival. Although I couldn't make it in person we had great communication all the way through the process of our film screening. Thank you for the important festival!

    July 2022
  • Sharlene Borst

    We are so grateful to have been selected to screen our first feature film at Dreamspeakers. This prestigious festival provided us with an amazing venue and opportunities to network with others in the industry.

    June 2022
  • Hank White

    As always one of the must enter festivals. Thanks from the8 :37 REBIRTH team!

    June 2022
  • I was so happy to see all these beautiful events unfolding and was pleased to share them with my friends here in Québec.

    May 2019
  • It was an honour to celebrate the Saskatchewan film directed by Indigenous Elders, Waniska - An Awakening of Indigenous Knowledge at Dreamspeakers.

    May 2019