The 15th annual Dallas International Film Festival will screen the best narrative and documentary features and short films from all over the world, June 25th-July 2nd 2021.

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

The 15th 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.

DIFF2021 is a global adventure that boasts premiere screenings, nightly red carpets, daring documentaries, eye-opening short films, exciting television content, AR/VR, environmental film-making, nightly parties, live music performances, filmmaker panels, award presentations, and an enhanced filmmaker hospitality program that includes city tours and a VIP Filmmakers Lounge where filmmakers, celebrities and our audience can all come together to discuss film.

New this year will be a focus on family films, films featuring stories involving people with disabilities, Veterans and sports based content.

It's a brave new world out there and The Dallas International Film Festival is adapting to the fluid visual appetites of our audience. DIFF 2021 will screen films; traditionally in-theater, outdoors and online.

They say that everything is bigger in Texas! Well, this year will be our biggest DIFF ever and the largest film festival in Texas! We will screen 200+ films and host filmmakers from around the globe.

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.

2021 DIFF PROGRAMMING STRANDS:

Narrative Feature Competition
Documentary Feature Competition
Short Film Competition
Texas Competition
Animated Short Competition
Premiere Screenings
World Cinema
LatinX Cinema Showcase
Deep Ellum Sounds (Music Films)
Family Films
Faith Based Films
Midnight Specials
Environmental Films
Films featuring Persons with Disabilities
GAME ON(sport films)
Episodic TV/web series
Veteran Films
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 eight days of the Festival.

NEW THIS YEAR EVERY FILM THAT WINS AN AWARD WILL RECEIVE A CASH OR IN-KIND PRIZE!

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 $30,000 for their next production, courtesy of Panavision.

A $1000 cash prize will be presented by the Dallas County Historical Commission for the feature or short that best represents a historical event.

A $500 cash prize for best Animated Short Film

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

An award and cash prize will also be presented to the film that best displays the issues that people with disabilities face..

The Silver Heart Award- bestowed on an individual or film for their dedication to fighting injustices and/or creating social change for the improvement of humanity.

COVID-19: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, certain projects may
be eligible to be exhibited at the 2021 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 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/Ft 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 June 25th, 2021. 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 required to deliver a 30-60 second 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.

Incomplete submissions will not be considered, submissions must be complete by the corresponding submission deadline.

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) May 20th 2021 via email.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • John Venable

    As always, had a great time at the Dallas International Film Festival! Saw lots of great films, made new friends, and enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces at a well-run festival with so many fantastic winning filmmakers. Huzzah!

    May 2019
  • Michael Rowley

    The Dallas International Film Festival was a great experience and a perfect place to host our World Premiere for Hurdle. We had large and engaged audiences and their staff supported and championed our film's first screening to the public, our World Premiere party and helped us generate good press. The programming was impressive, varied and brought a wide variety of top-notch films from all over the world to the silver screen. DIFF is definitely making waves and re-defining Dallas as an international cinema hub. Thanks DIFF for having us!

    April 2019
  • Steven Gaddis

    The Dallas International Film Festival went above and beyond to make sure our Texas premiere was something special. The staff was attentive and the media and press was set up when we arrived. They threw a party honoring our film that was a blast, and the screenings went off without a hitch. Dallas is a very discerning audience when it comes to films, and the Q&A's were full of insightful questions. We look forward to returning when the next project is ready.

    April 2019