The inaugural Dili International Film Festival (DIFF), endorsed by the Secretary of State of Social Communication (SECOMS), will run in 4 venues across Dili over 5 days and host film premieres, feature length and short films, narrative and documentary, with international and local contributions and guests.

Festival Patron Jose Ramos-Horta invites film makers from across the world and within Timor-Leste to submit their films to be shown in his beloved country, as Timor-Leste commemorates the 20th anniversary of the referendum for self-rule, a time to look back, and to the future, within and outwards.

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, Matt Wilkinson delivering Social Engagement and Goncalo Mereilles as secretary of the association.

Patron José Ramos-Horta, who during his time as President of Timor-Leste in 2010, first brought films back to Dili with the help of the Italian Government, said “Dili is a cultural hub and I have desired International Arts and Cultural Festivals to be a part of our annual landscape. I am proud to be patron of DIFF, and 2019 is the perfect year to launch. I invite film makers from across the globe to share their stories with our nation, and lovers of film to visit and enjoy all that Timor-Leste has to offer.”

Full awards to be advised, include training and mentoring.
Awesome coffee laurels for selected films and winners

2 to 6 October 2019

Entry Conditions for the Inaugural Dili International Film Festival (DIFF)
These regulations govern the submission of all films for consideration for the Dili International Film Festival 2019. All applicants must abide by the following conditions in order for their material to be considered. 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 2019 are:

Feature Films (80 minutes or more)
• Narrative
• Documentary

Short Films (45 minutes or less)
• Narrative
• Documentary

• Music Video
• Public Service Announcement (PSA)

Festival Theme
This year’s festival theme is Take Action!
This theme serves to guide judges and inspire film makers in their short film submission.
All entries for the Local Short Film competition must address the theme Take Action!
Take Action! is about positive stories of individuals overcoming challenges peacefully – not fighting, not finding faults, but finding solutions and a way forward. 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 2019, there will be four categories for submission: Early Bird Local, Early Bird International, Regular Local and Regular International. 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: 1 September 2019

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 2017.
• All submissions must not have been screened publicly before DIFF 2019.
• Films entered into the Short Film category must address the festival theme – Take Action!
• 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 prize awarded to them. Prizes are subject to sponsorship and will be confirmed closer to the festival.
All successful Local Short Film applicants will be awarded six free entry tickets to the screening of their material.
Applicants accept that they will receive no payment for their submitted materials.
8. Successful Submission & Correspondence
Successful “International” applicants will be notified by email no later than 30th August 2019. Successful “Local” applicants will be notified no later than 15.09.2019.
For any further enquires or queries, please contact:
Lena Lenzen, Festival Director

Overall Rating
  • Tânia Prates

    For professional reasons it was not possible to be present, but the team was always very professional, attentive and dedicated. I am very grateful and happy with this selection <3

    November 2019
  • A wonderful festival! The communication was great. We truly appreciated you screening our film!

    October 2019
  • Barry Mitchell

    I was unable to attend the Festival, but very proud and pleased to have my short film ‘Legacy’ selected for the very first Dili International Film Festival. I hope the Festival goes from strength to strength in future years.

    October 2019