Dili International Film Festival (DIFF), is getting ready for its fifth edition in September 2023.

DIFF will take place in Timor-Leste - Asia's youngest country's capital Dili to celebrate creativity, together with local filmmakers, communities and movie fanatics.

DIFF invites film makers from across the world and within Timor-Leste to share their visions. Festival Patron José Ramos-Horta is looking forward to films from different backgrounds to be shown in his beloved country.

While in 2020 and 2021, DIFF hosted mainly open-air screenings and kept it local to be able to invite our viewers to come, watch and experience DIFF's hospitality, while many others couldn't, in 2022, we were finally able to invite international guests again.

Our workshops, panel discussions and training sessions for local filmmakers will be catering to a selected audience of young and upcoming Timorese filmmakers, partly using interactive online tools.

DIFF is a Timorese registered association, with a board of local and international film and cultural folks who turned their shared passion for cinema and storytelling and their love for the country of Timor-Leste to running an annual film festival focussing the spotlight on Dili.

The Festival is founded by Michael Smith, entrepreneur, adventurer, founder of Screens Without Borders and Timor-Leste’s Cinema Loro sa’e, together with Festival Director Lena Lenzen of award-winning Dili based Pixelasia Productions.

The board includes a broad range of skills, with Lena Lenzen as Festival Director, Michael Smith as President and Chair, renowned musician Melly Fernandes, lead of the band Galaxy as Cultural Officer, LGBTI activist Natalino Guterres as Inclusivity Adviser, international TV journalists Ann Turner and Wayne Lovell as judges, Angelo Alves as cinema officer and Goncalo Mereilles as secretary of the association.

Full awards to be advised, including training and mentoring for local film makers.
Awesome coffee laurels for selected films and winners

September 2023

Entry Conditions for the 5th Dili International Film Festival (DIFF)
These regulations govern the submission of all films for consideration for the Dili International Film Festival 2023. All applicants must abide by the following conditions in order for their material to be considered. All applicants agree to having their films screened at Dili International Film festival without remuneration. To ensure quick processing of all submissions, all applicants must carefully consider whether their material meets the following conditions before submission.

1. Definitions
The film categories for DIFF 2023 are:

Feature Films (61 minutes or more)
• Narrative
• Documentary

Short Films (60 minutes or less)
• Narrative
• Documentary

• Music Video

• Public Service Announcement (PSA)

Festival Theme
to be advised

This theme serves to guide judges and inspire film makers in their short film submission.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to define and demonstrate how their material addresses this theme, but applicants are reminded that they have a broad creative licence.

DIFF reserves the right to deny any Short Films that does not adhere to the thematic guideline for this year’s festival.

Local and International
“Local” filmmakers are individuals who are Timorese citizens.
“International” filmmakers are individuals who are not Timorese citizens.
DIFF reserves the right to request any supporting documents to validate applicants claims to either category.  

2. Submission Deadlines
At the DIFF 2023, there will be three categories for submission: Early Bird, Regular and Late Submission. To avoid higher fees, applicants are encouraged to submit their material during the Early Bird period.

* Please be aware: only material submitted to the correct category, accompanied by the correct fee, and received by the allocated deadline will be considered. DIFF reserves the right to disqualify a submission and any and all fees paid will be forfeited, should the submission not meet all of these requirements.

FINAL DEADLINE: 5 September 2023

3. Payment
Applicants will pay a fee for their submission in accordance with the film category (Short or Feature), their citizenship and the submission period.
Payment Conditions:
• Payment must be made in US dollars.
• Submission fee is payable through FilmFreeway.
• Material submitted without a payment will not be accepted.
• Any payment made on material that does not satisfy the conditions is non-refundable. All applicants must first consider the validity of their own material before submission.

4. Authorized Use and Inclusion of Materials
It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to:
• Secure permission from the participants and rights holders of any and all copyrighted and/or trademarked content – sound, visual, text – within the submitted material;
• And to clear all content of the material from any and all actual or potential legal claims and issues, including without limitation, claims based upon theories of libel, defamation, invasion of privacy, violation of rights of publicity, breach of confidence, breach of confidential relationships and breach of expressed or implied contract such as third-party claim/s. DIFF will not be held responsible for the inclusion of unauthorized material that has been submitted by the applicant.

Unauthorized material constitutes:
• Any copyrighted and/or trademarked content within or relating to the submitted material, including any content that is or may become the basis of third-party claims for copyright and/or trademark infringement, trademark dilution, or unfair competition;
• Any unauthorized inclusion of content within or relating to the submitted material that is or may be the basis for any third-party claim/s or others.
• Any person or persons who have been filmed without their consent.
Any material that includes unauthorized content as set out above, will not be considered by DIFF. DIFF reserves the right to withdraw any unauthorized film from confirmed programming, in which case any and all fees paid will be forfeited.
All applicants grant the right for DIFF to use part of the applicant’s material for promotional purposes before, during and after the event.

5. Criteria
• All submissions must have been completed on or after the 1st of January 2018.
• Films entered into the Short Film category must address the festival theme.
• All materials in languages other than English must include English subtitles.
• All submissions must be the applicant’s own, original work.
• HD Quality (minimum 720p) – accepted formats: Mp4, MOV, WMV, 2K DCP.

6. Submission
All applications must be submitted through FilmFreeway.
“Local” applicants can submit their material in-person, in Dili, Timor-Leste, or through file sharing platforms, such as wetransfer or dropbox.
“International” applicants will submit their material online through FilmFreeway.

7. Prizes
All categories that receive 3 or more submissions will have a winner's certificate awarded to them.
Applicants accept that they will receive no payment for their submitted materials.

8. Successful Submission & Correspondence
Successful applicants, in the "Official Selection" will be notified by email no later than 15 September 2023 and will receive the DIFF Coffee Laurels.

For any further enquires or queries, please contact:
Lena Lenzen, Festival Director
+670-78024018 www.dili.film

Overall Rating
  • Megan Jones

    I've been fortunate to have documentaries in the Dili Festival for the last two years. Lena has been great with communications and involved the New Zealand consulate in talks about the documentary content. I would love to be there one day and see it all roll out IRL

    October 2022
  • A beautiful festival which I unfortunately could not attend. My film Mamody, the last baobab digger had the honor to be include in the official selection this year. A great program and an important festival in this part of the world.

    October 2022
  • We are thrilled to be seen in such a far land. It was a shame we could not visit. Thank you for honoring us.

    October 2022
  • I was honored to be present at this festival with the film MY PARTNER, GIRAFEE, and I am happy that my film was chosen by a professional team to participate in the festival.

    October 2022
  • Thank you for selecting The Soul of Sicily in your festival. It is a very organized festival. Great updates on social media. Appreciate it.

    October 2022