Due to the ongoing pandemic and safety being our first priority, the format of DIFF 2022 will be announced as the festival approaches. Stay tuned for more announcements!

DIFFs mission is to provide meaningful artistic and cultural programming to Dayton’s thriving community. We aim to inspire those to act on their passions in a place where passion always shines, the beautiful Gem City.

DIFF celebrates regional filmmaking and stories from Midwestern filmmakers who offer their DIFFerent and unique vision. We believe that through impactful storytelling, we can increase empathy, understanding and a sense of discovery. Our goal is to provide a platform to foster rich dialogue within our community with an abundance of passion and creativity.

Furthermore, DIFF hopes to open its doors to stories of dreams, struggle and support. The festival will showcase films from established professionals, emerging filmmakers, and students. Let’s come together to celebrate impactful stories from narrative, documentary or animation— everyone has a story to tell, DIFF cannot wait to hear yours!

Awards TBA

1. Submission Eligibility:
- Submissions are accepted by Midwestern Filmmakers or filmmakers with a strong connection to the Midwest (if your film is based in the Midwest or documentary subject is Midwestern). We recognize the Midwest as having a connection to the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
- All submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2019.
- Works in progress will not be considered.
- Feature films will be considered by invite only.
- All films not in the English language are required to have subtitles.

2. Submission Format:
- Films must be submitted via online screener (no hard copy screeners accepted).

3. Premiere Status:
- There is no Premiere policy at DIFF your film may have screened at other Festivals and/or online.

4. Submission Fee:
- The submission fee is non-refundable.
- You may submit as many entries as you like. Each entry requires its own entry fee.

5. Scheduling:
- Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of Dayton Independent Film Festival. DIFF reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. DIFF will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling.

6. Liability:
- Dayton Independent Film Festival is held harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity or screening of any film.

7. Disclaimer: The films presented at DIFF do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Dayton and DIFF's sponsors.

Overall Rating
  • Adam Langdon

    It was a privilege to participate in this festival. Great communication and great people.

    October 2021
  • Joe Greenwell

    An excellent variety of films were on display. The night was so well organized and put together. I had nothing but great interactions with the staff.

    February 2021
  • Conrad Faraj

    I adore this film festival! It was truly an incredible experience and it was one of the few festivals in the country to provide actual Live screenings at a Drive-In cinema. Their online platform kept everyone safe and it was easy to use and very accessible. The festival organizers went above and beyond to treat their filmmakers like royalty and even provided one on one interviews to further promote each filmmaker's movies. I am eager to submit more films to this incredible festival!!!

    October 2020
  • Jung-Ah Kim

    It was awesome to be part of the festival. Communication and hospitality were excellent and I appreciate their effort to put together a virtual + drive-in festival during the pandemic. They had other cool opportunities/events that were designed help filmmakers' careers. Excited to see what comes next!

    October 2020
  • Joy-Marie Thompson

    An amazing festival. They did an amazing jib to adjusting to the online platform and I hope to work with them again! I would love the opportunity to meet the fellow filmmakers next around :)

    October 2020