***The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival's 2020 Submissions are now open!***

Full rules for short films, documentary and feature films below, please read carefully before submitting.

Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival is Ireland’s premier event and has built a formidable reputation for delivering the very best in international film and film talent to Irish and international audiences each year. Its core elements include a select programme of the most exciting international cinema currently on offer, the best new Irish cinema, a retrospective of much-loved and forgotten classics, a focus on screenwriting and unique access to a plethora of international filmmaking talent including actors, writers and directors and behind-the-scenes talent. An all-encompassing event, carefully curated and ranging from the weird and wonderful to the glamorous and exclusive, DIFF turns the city into a film mecca for cinema-goers and experience-lovers of all kinds.

Soon coming into its 18th year, the Festival has grown to a maturity with a feature programme that charts the very best in new international cinema and a history of guests that include Al Pacino, Julie Andrews, Ralph Fiennes, Bo Burnham, Joe Cornish, Stephen Merchant, Paul Schrader, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Danny DeVito, Eric Bana, Angela Lansbury, Stanley Tucci, Stellan Skarsgard, Richard Gere, Kim Cattrall, Daniel Day-Lewis, Claudia Cardinale, Russell Crowe and Kristin Scott Thomas. In addition there has been a vibrant, ongoing programming of year-round events with huge talents including Amy Schumer, Andrew Stanton, Ben Affleck, Quentin Tarantino, Bryan Cranston and Ennio Morricone.

Every year our Festival Director Gráinne Humphreys travels to international festivals such as Cannes, TIFF, LFF, EIFF and Netia Off Camera to view films for the Festival programme. However, every year we have a highly competitive submission process, with hundreds of entries from which a select choice will make the catalogue.

Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival puts films and filmmakers at its heart and understands the importance of nurturing new and experienced talent alike. So get your submissions in before the rush, and be a part of the exciting, vital, international festival that is Virgin Media DIFF.

Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival's Commitment to Greater Diversity:

As part of Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival's mission to employ greater diversity in its programming, we welcome submissions from varied ethnicities and marginalised voices, as well as seeking greater parity and a 50/50 gender-balance. Please make us aware of the diversity in your project when submitting your film.

Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival is committed to treating all peoples with respect, dignity and fairness and will take steps to welcome individuals, organizations and communities of all backgrounds including: of any race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, ability, citizenship, creed, sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, same sex partnership, age, marital status, family status, immigration status, receipt of public assistance, history of mental health issues, health status, political affiliation, learning difference, level of literacy, accent, first language, body type, physical appearance and abilities, stature or socio-economic status.

The Festival is not complacent about its progress to date, and recognises that there is more work to be done to achieve diversity in all of its activities.



The documentary jury were unanimous in choosing "Of Fathers & Sons" as the winner of the inaugural Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2019 Documentary Competition.

"Heartbound: A Different Kind of Love Story" was announced as the winner of the newly relaunched Dublin Human Rights Film Award, a partnership with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL).


The Festival audiences are central to the Festival and each year they have their say in the Audience Award.

Audience Award Feature Winners:
2019 - "Maiden", Alex Holmes
2018 - "The Breadwinner", Nora Twomey
2017 - “The Farthest”, Emer Reynolds
2016 - “Viva”, Paddy Breathnach
2015 - “The Salt of the Earth”, Wim Wenders
For full list of winners visit our previous recipients page on diff.ie

Audience Award for Short Film:
2019 - "99 Problems", Ross Killeen
2018 - "Time Traveller", Steve Kenny
2017 - “The Nation Holds its Breath”
2016 - “Little Bear”, Daire Glynn & Ger Duffy
2015 - “Boogaloo & Graham”, Michael Lennx
For full list of winners visit our previous recipients page on diff.ie


Renamed, the Virgin Media DIFF Discovery Award in 2016, the Discovery Award has enabled the Festival to shine a spotlight on emerging Irish talent since 2008. The programme offers unique mentoring opportunities with Festival guests as well as networking opportunities.

DIFF Discovery Winners:
2019 - Alexandra McGuinness (Writer/Director), Ian Hunt Duffy (Director), Oonagh Kearney (Director), Special Mention: Madonna Bambino (Make Up Artist)
2018 - TJ O'Grady Peyton (Actor), Mia Mullarkey (director), Trevor Whelan & Rua Meegan (Director/Cinematographer)
2017 - Vincent Gallagher (Director), Niamh Algar (Actress), John Connors (Actor)
2016 - Barry Keoghan (Actor), Kathryn Kennedy (Producer), Jack O’Shea (Director/Animator)
For full list of winners visit our previous recipients page on diff.ie


The Virgin Media DIFF Short Film Awards support and nurture emerging Irish and international talent in the short film form as voted for by an international jury of industry professionals.

Short Film Award Winners:
2019 - Best Irish: "Five Letters to the Stranger Who Will Dissect My Brain," Oonagh Kearney
2019 - Irish Special Mention: "The First Was A Boy," Shaun Dunne
2019 - Best International: "Inanimate", Lucia Bulgheroni
2019 - International Special Mention: "Child", Joren Molter
2018 - Best Irish: "Mother & Baby", Mia Mullarkey, Alice McDowell
2018 - Best International: "Retouch", Kaveh Mazaheri
2017 - Best Irish: “Lily”, Graham Cantwell
2017 - Best International: “Speechless”, Robin Polák
2016 - Best Irish: “Geist”, Ben Harper, Sean Mullen, Alex Sherwood
2016 - Best International: “Bathtub”, Tim Ellrich


The Fantastic Flix Children’s Jury in association with The Ark Children’s Council and the Irish Film Classification Office.

Fantastic Flix Winners:
2019 - Best Feature: "Mia and the White Lion", Gilles De Maistre
2019 - Best Short: "First Disco", Helen O'Reilly
2018 - Best Feature: "Rum 213"
2018 - Best Short: “Earthy Encounters"
2017 - Best Feature: “Zip & Zap and the Captain’s Island”, Oskar Santos
2017 - Best Short: “Litterbugs”, Peter Stanley-Ward
Watch the 2017 Fantastic Flix Children’s jury video announcement here: https://youtu.be/hCfYHqvKqis

The inaugural Young Programmers Choice Award took place in 2019.
2019 - Best Feature: "Rafiki", Wanuri Kahiu
2019 - Special Mention: "Ballon", Michael Herbig


Every year the Dublin Film Critics vote for their Best Film, Best Director, Best Irish Film, Best Documentary, Best Performances and the Michael Dwyer Discovery Award and the George Byrne Maverick Award, named in honour of the contributions of two late Irish critics, from the Virgin Media DIFF programme.


* All films considered must be Irish premières.*
Accepted Formats for Cinema Exhibition:
DCP / Digital

Submitting your film:
For viewing purposes entries should be submitted on DVD or by screening link at the submission stage. NB: If posting a DVD, please label submission clearly on the DVD with film title, contact name, duration, tracking number and email address

Submission Waivers will not be granted.

Submission envelopes must not exceed 25cm Width or 6 cm Height

All packages/envelopes should be marked NO COMMERCIAL VALUE - FOR CULTURAL PURPOSES ONLY

***DEADLINE For Submissions is midnight on Tuesday the 1st October 2019***

Applicants will be notified of the status of their submission by email by approximately 10th Jan 2020. Successful applicants will be required to supply a film print or video master for screening at Virgin Media DIFF 2019. You should pay particular attention to the shipping and customs information, which will be sent to you at that time.
- Please note that Virgin Media DIFF cannot acknowledge receipt of entries.
- Preview copies will not be returned.
- All foreign language entries must provide English subtitles
- Submissions with unpaid fees will not be considered for selection.

Runtime: Features: minimum 60 minutes

Completion Date: Projects completed after September 1, 2018

Place of Origin: Projects may originate from anywhere in the world. All non-English speaking films must have English subtitles.

Premiere Status: Projects must be a première in Ireland. Films available publicly online will not be accepted.

Distribution Status: Projects may have distribution

RUNTIME: Maximum 30 minutes

Completion Date: Projects completed after Sept 1, 2018

Place of Origin: Projects may originate from anywhere in the world. All non-English-speaking films must have English subtitles.

Première Status: Projects must be a première in Dublin. Films available publicly online will not be accepted.

Distribution Status: Projects may have distribution

TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONDITIONS OF ENTRY The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival welcomes unsolicited submissions made in accordance to the regulations below: * Virgin Media DIFF only accepts feature films or documentaries of 60 minutes or more and Short Films under 30mins in length * Submissions will only be accepted through FilmFreeway. * Virgin Media DIFF does not pay screening fees. * Films must be presented in their original format and have English language subtitles or commentary where necessary. * All films considered must be Irish premieres. * When submitting your film please include details of any public screenings and festivals that your film is being exhibited at before Virgin Media DIFF 2019. * The selection and scheduling of films screened at the Festival is entirely at the discretion of the Festival Director. * Please ensure that you include a synopsis of no more than 200 words as you would like it to appear in the programme. (NB: Please note that the Festival reserves the right to amend the copy submitted). * No cuts or changes in any film will made by Virgin Media DIFF for any reason. * Due to the large amount of submissions received Virgin Media DIFF cannot enter into any discussion regarding films that are not selected for the Festival. * The cost of shipping prints must be met by the sender. The Festival will pay for one-way return shipping of prints only (prints can be forwarded to another festival after their screening at Virgin Media DIFF by prior arrangement with the Print Transport Manager only). * The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival does not accept any responsibility for damage to prints. * Television and Internet broadcasting: Taking part in Virgin Media DIFF implies allowing broadcasting on Irish and foreign televisions and on the internet (extracts limited to and not exceeding 3 mins.) for the purpose of promoting the Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Tiernan Williams

    Simply the best festival hands down. I would 100% recommend it for so many reasons. It's brilliant for networking and also has a world class festival experience. The team are passionate and supportive. This is a festival with an excellent line up of films, with expert panels, discussions and workshops. It was a real honour to have a short and feature accepted this year. If you'd like to submit your film to a festival that is as enthusiastic about film as you are, this is the one.

    March 2020
  • Helen Reilly

    This is an amazing festival and the advertising was phenomenal - every bus in Dublin was covered in ads for the festival. The venues were also quality and very well attended. They also had some good networking events for filmmakers and we were delighted to win an award.

    December 2019
  • Meg Elwood

    Really enjoyed the festival this year. Great venue, well organised and very professional. Great pics too!

    June 2019
  • summer agnew

    Great team. Really well organized and fun to be a part of such a well curated short film Program. Thanks Dublin

    March 2019
  • An amazing first-time experience. Everyone at the festival works so hard and went above and beyond for our debut film. Some serious craic was had by all our cast and crew in such an exciting city. It was a privilege to have our film screened at a festival where genuine passion, pride, and love for filmmakers shines through. A definite film destination for film fanatics.

    March 2019