Spring Into Film with the 2023 Dallas International Film Festival

The 17th annual Dallas International Film Festival will screen the best narrative and documentary features and short films from all over the world, April 28 - May 4, 2023.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Dallas Film provides leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film and digital media.

The 17th annual Dallas International Film Festival, hosted by Dallas Film, doesn’t just screen films; we showcase and celebrate all types of content. The interaction between story tellers, audiences and the Texas community is what we strive to develop both during the festival and throughout the year.

DIFF 2023 is a global adventure that boasts premiere screenings, nightly red carpets, daring documentaries, eye-opening short films, environmental filmmaking, nightly parties, filmmaker panels, award presentations, and an enhanced filmmaker hospitality program that includes city tours and a VIP Festival Lounge where filmmakers, celebrities and our audience can all come together to discuss film.

We invite you to add your voice to the conversation. At DIFF, filmmakers are invited to the festival to participate in a variety of programs, Q&A sessions and a series of panel discussions. Dallas area high schools and universities host master classes where filmmakers have the opportunity to discuss their work and careers with a new generation of content creators.


Narrative Feature Competition
Documentary Feature Competition
Short Film Competition
Texas Competition
Animated Short Competition
Premiere Screenings
World Cinema
Latino Cinema Showcase
Music Films
Family Films
Faith Based Films
Environmental Films
GAME ON Sports Film Track
Women in Film Track
Indigenous Peoples Track
Special Presentations

Filmmakers of selected films are invited to the Festival to participate in a variety of programs. Question and answer sessions after screenings are well attended and lively, and a series of panel discussions are held throughout the seven days of the Festival.

Grand Jury Prizes are awarded to competition films in the following categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Shorts, and Animated Shorts. A Grand Jury Prize will also be awarded to the best Student Film within the Shorts Competition.

The Grand Jury Prize winner of the Texas Competition category will enjoy a camera rental package worth $25,000 for their next production, courtesy of Panavision.

Audience awards for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature and Best Short will also be presented.

COVID-19: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, certain projects may
be eligible to be exhibited at the 2023 Dallas International Film Festival (the “Festival”) if the project:
1) premiered online as a part of a limited festival screening
2) was not exhibited as scheduled due to another festival’s cancellation.

The Dallas Film Society, Inc. (“DIFF”) values the health and safety of all the Festival’s
participants, audience members, staff, and volunteers, especially in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To protect these individuals, as well as comply with any applicable governmental health and safety orders or guidelines.

DIFF reserves, at any time and in its sole discretion, including, but not limited to, after having accepted films to be exhibited at the Festival to:
(1) cancel the Festival;
(2) institute health and safety rules applicable to all individuals participating in the Festival, such as theater- or event-capacity limits and face-covering requirements; and (3) revise the dates, location, and format of the Festival, including moving the Festival entirely online. DIFF will not, in the event it takes any of the foregoing actions, refund any payments or fees paid to DIFF prior to such time. In addition, by submitting your project to be exhibited at the Festival, you agree that DIFF will not have any liability to you for any claims, actions, costs, liabilities, judgments, obligations, losses, penalties, expenses or damages of whatsoever kind or nature incurred in connection with, relating to, or arising out of, COVID-19. DIFF will attempt to communicate any such changes to the Festival applicants, participants, and audience members in a timely manner via our website and/or direct communication with filmmakers.

Premiere status is taken into consideration for every submission in each category strand with priority given to Dallas/Fort Worth Premieres, Southwest Premieres, US Premieres, North American Premieres, and World Premieres.

In order for feature films to be considered for competition, a Dallas/Fort Worth Premiere is required.

Films must not have had major theatrical release or US broadcast airing prior to the festival.

Feature Films must not be commercially available prior to April 2023. However we will consider these films for Special Presentations.

More than one entry may be submitted. Each entry must be accompanied by a separate entry form and entry fee.

If your film is selected, you will be asked to provide a digital press kit which includes: head-shot and filmography of director, color and/or B&W stills from the film, screeners for press, and a video trailer (cleared for broadcast). You will also be asked to deliver a 30-60 second promotional video that can be used by DIFF and our DIFF marketing partners to help promote your film at the festival.

DVD/Bluray screeners will not be accepted for consideration.

Any films submitted without a paid entry fee by the given deadline will be disqualified from the submission screening process.

All film entries selected for the festival grant DIFF the rights to use footage, stills, titles and information from the film for promotional purposes.

All filmmakers will be notified by (approximately) March 28, 2023, via email.

Overall Rating
  • Oriana Ng

    Highly recommend. I flew from New York to attend DIFF for a week, and it was an experience I will always treasure. This festival has a very professional organization, with top notch events (screenings, Q&As, parties, mixers, press junkets, sponsors' parties) but also feels like a big family gathering for an important Dallas tradition. The Alamo is a beautiful theatre with great screening rooms, it's an honor to have had my short shown there amongst a wide variety of fantastic films. The audiences are truly passionate about film, very interactive and generous with their questions. A huge thank you to the DIFF team for their kindness and warm welcome and all their work towards organizing this festival. Hope to be back soon :)

    November 2022
  • Jason Whitely

    This is always a great festival! Terrific selections from talented filmmakers of all genres. We were happy to premiere "Let Us Die" at the 2022 Dallas International Film Festival. Look forward to seeing what DIFF has in store next year!

    October 2022
  • Claire Downs

    We loved attending DIFF as part of the narrative short film program. We met so many incredible filmmakers and even got to indulge in some Oscar-contender movies as film fans ourselves! Beth and James are two of the most hospitable and caring festival directors we have met on our tour. And, the lineup featured incredible short films -- not a dud in the block! They have great taste. If you are considering submitting, the best part is that DIFF gets incredibly professional venues; ours screened at an Alamo Drafthouse -- you can't beat the sound and video quality! Thanks for hosting us!

    October 2022
  • Gabriel Horn

    DIFF is a filmmaker's dream fest! The best of the best in west and beyond. Cheers to another fab year!

    October 2022
  • Karoline Xu

    Incredible dedication and communication. The DIFF team, especially Amber, are top notch. Excellent quality films, and the filmmaker experience was very personal and lovely. Met awesome people and the screening venue was amazing. Highly recommend!

    February 2022