Join Us for the Dallas International Film Festival 2024, April 26-May 2, 2024!

DIFF 2024, the 18th annual Dallas International Film Festival, will screen the best narrative and documentary features and short films from across the globe.

The 18th annual Dallas International Film Festival doesn’t just screen films. 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 2024 is a global adventure that features premiere screenings, nightly red carpets, eye-opening documentaries, intriguing short films, filmmaker panels, award presentations, daily filmmaker happy hours, and an enhanced filmmaker hospitality program that includes city tours and a Festival Lounge where filmmakers, screenwriters, film industry leaders, celebrities, sponsors, and our audience can all come together to discuss film.

DIFF supports the beginning and end of the creative filmmaking process from script to screen. DIFF partners with Event Horizon Films to host an annual screenwriting competition where writers can submit their shorts, features or TV pilot scripts. Every submission receives a scorecard from a major representation company reader and an illustration of the script’s first scene. Winning screenwriters are exposed to high-profile industry experts and receive a variety of prizes and networking opportunities.

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, including sessions with Dallas area high schools and universities in which 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
Canadian Cinema Showcase
Latino Cinema Showcase
Family Films
Faith Based Films
Environment and Sustainability Films
GAME ON (Sports Films)
Indigenous 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 panel discussions are held throughout the Festival.

The Festival is the signature presentation of Dallas Film Society, Inc. (dba Dallas Institute For Film| DIFF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2006 “to celebrate films and their impact on society; to honor filmmakers and recognize their achievements and contribution in enhancing the creative community; to provide educational programs to students to develop better understanding of the role of film in today’s world; and to promote the City of Dallas and its commitment to the art of filmmaking".

This commitment of the early founders to the art of film and the artists who are its creators continues to guide the organization today. In addition, through curation of the broadest range of expression through film, DIFF is committed to serving as the region’s most powerful platform for diverse, emerging and underrepresented voices. Throughout its history – before DEI was a familiar acronym – DIFF has demonstrated consistent commitment to providing accessible, inclusive, immersive, educational, and entertaining film experiences for all. It is the vision of DIFF that, by promoting wide and thoughtful expression through film, our organization can help foster human connection and greater appreciation for our common humanity and our rich diversity.


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 in the Shorts Competition.

The Grand Jury Prize is the festival's highest honor, and all winners of this award will be presented with a trophy. The trophy is a symbol of the festival's appreciation for their outstanding achievement and the film's excellence in filmmaking. It is a lasting reminder of the film's place in the festival's history.

The Grand Jury Prize winner of the Texas Competition category will enjoy a camera rental package worth $30,000 or more for their next production, courtesy of Panavision.

Fade In software will be awarded to:
Grand Jury Prize - Best Texas Feature
Grand Jury Prize - Best Narrative Feature
Grand Jury Prize - Best Short Film

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


Grand Screenplay Prizes are awarded to the Best Comedy Script, Best Drama Script and Best Texas script. Grand Screenplay Prize winners receive a table read of their screenplay performed during DIFF by qualified actors, a 15-frame storyboard (fully colored), special access to select DIFF events and circulation to representation company professionals. Winners will be recognized on the Festival Red Carpet and at the awards presentation. Winners and finalists will receive professional feedback and networking opportunities.

Additional prizes will be announced as the Festival dates draw closer.

DIFF values the health and safety of all the Festival’s participants, audience members, staff, and volunteers, especially in light of the recent 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 at 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 in competition 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 2024. 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/Blu-ray 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.

Feature screenplays must be a minimum of 75 pages and a maximum of 150 pages. Short screenplays must be a minimum of 5 pages and a maximum of 35 pages. Thirty- minute pilots have a max page count of 35. One-hour pilots have a max page count of 65. All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s). Additional information can be found at

All filmmakers and writers will be notified by (approximately) March 28, 2024, via email.

Overall Rating
  • Dante Silva

    Great Festival. Excelente comunication. Thanks for all

    May 2023
  • Felicia Manning

    Our experience at DIFF this year was fantastic! We felt incredibly honored to showcase the World Premiere of our short film, The Buyers. The entire team welcomed us with open arms, and the staff's organization was top-notch. The selected shorts and features were so fun to watch. I hope to be back again.

    May 2023
  • The DIFF '23 experience was simply outstanding! We had our World Premiere with HANGMAN the short film, and were warmly welcomed. Every staff member, volunteer, board member, ticket taker went above and beyond; it was so impressive. They were incredibly organized and their responses to email questions were very quick! This hasn't been my experience with other festivals, so they are really setting the bar. James Faust, the founder, is a wonderful person. I HIGHLY recommend this festival and will absolutely be submitting again.

    May 2023
  • Always a great time at DiFF, they know how to put on a wonderful festival every year!

    May 2023
  • We were so honored to have our World Premiere for Chocolate Lizards at this film festival! And even more thrilled that our film won the audience choice for best narrative feature! What a fun festival!

    May 2023