Dreamspeakers International Indigenous Film Festival (DIIFF) was first presented in Edmonton, Alberta in 1992 and was the first Indigenous Film Festival in Canada. It was founded by Indigenous filmmakers and creatives in response to the growing industry and to support Indigenous representation in film and media. The name “Dreamspeakers” was derived from a story about the first Dene filmmaker who returned home to his community in the north and was struggling to talk to the Elders about his work because the word filmmaker did not exist in their language. The Elders understood and called it Dreamtalking. We adapted our name from this story.

DIIFF is a mix of in-person and online screenings and events for our film festival. After the in-person festival, the films will be available online for a limited time through the EVENTIVE platform, which has security measures to screen the films online.

For more information, visit dreamspeakers.org.

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

Screening fees will vary based on the number of films selected.


Dreamspeakers is an Indigenous film festival, and we require that either the FILMMAKER or KEY CREATIVE be Indigenous.

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.”

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.

DO NOT SUBMIT LINKS or Submission via email. All submissions must be made through Film Freeway.

It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to submit any films or assets by the deadlines, as failure to submit by the deadline will result in being removed from the film festival.

All fees are non-refundable.

1. All entries - Formats accepted for festival exhibition:
Digital Files
-MPEG-4 (H.264) in an mp4 container
-M4V and MOV (Mp4 is preferred)
2. All entries must have been completed after January 2021.
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.

Once selected, you will receive an email with a set deadline for onboarding. The email will contain instructions and information on continuing with the onboarding process.

Failure to respond or complete onboarding by the deadline will result in removal from the festival. Two follow-up emails will be sent prior to the deadline. If more time is needed, an agreement for more time can be made with written communication explaining the need.

Feature: 41 min. or longer; Short: 40 min. or less per Academy rules.
*Dreamspeakers is a Canadian Screen Award Qualifying Festival.

Submission of a work confirms that DIIFF has permission to exhibit it during the Festival both in person and online. 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 DIIFF, 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 DIIFF 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 and then viewed by a jury. The program Director decides which films will be included in 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 DIIFF’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
EMAIL programming@dreamspeakers.org

Overall Rating
  • Josephine Bono

    Amazing all around! Everyone was incredibly welcoming, generous, and super supportive. Wonderful experience…

    June 2023
  • This awesome film festival screened our client Above Boy (dir. Jan Vogel & Sebastian Funke, Lucy Martens & Elizabeth Silver) and we couldn't be happier! Thank you Dreamspeakers 🫂

    May 2023
  • Scott W. Kekama Amona

    Wish we could have gone to the film festival but had to work on a studio production at home in Hawaiʻi. The programmers and organizers were great and we were able to use our filmmaker pass to view some of the short films my wife and I have been wanting to see at other festivals but had not had the time to see. Mahalo nui Dreamspeakers International Film Festival!

    May 2023
  • jack kohler

    Thank you for including GIFT OF FEAR in your festival this year. It was an honor to be selected. I appreciate all your communication and I truly look forward to attending your festival in person one day. All our best to your staff and crew.

    May 2023
  • Jeromy Desjarlais

    had a really good experience they did an awesome job

    May 2023