The Dufferin Film Festival (DFF) celebrates Canadian independent cinema at our two day in-person festival hosted at the stunning Opera House in Orangeville, Ontario on August 9-10, 2024. Our programme features a series of Canadian made short films in all genres while shining a spotlight on Canadian Indie Filmmakers in the process. It aims to inspire, educate and connect filmmakers as well as provide an opportunity for film enthusiasts to come together and celebrate cinema in Dufferin County.

Dufferin County is full of talent and we want to create a film festival to promote local artists as well as attract provincial and national films to the event. Dufferin County has many different landscapes, businesses and locations that make it a desirable site for filming. Let's bring filmmakers of all levels of experience and film enthusiasts together by hosting a world class festival right in our own community.

DFF celebrates Canadian cinema, increases cultural capacity and develops further cultural tourism in the Dufferin/Caledon area through exploration of independent films. It aims to inspire, educate and connect filmmakers as well as provide an opportunity for film enthusiasts to come together and celebrate cinema in Dufferin County.
The festival will be host to several social events both, pre/post screening blocks including multiple industry leading speakers (Directors/Producers/Writers) offering advice and insight into the Canadian Film Industry.

Learn more about Dufferin Film Festival here:

Experience all DFF has to offer:
⭐Opening Night Film and Friday Night Social
⭐Filmmaker Industry Events
⭐Filmmaker Lounge
⭐Awards Ceremony & Gala
⭐Post Film Chats with Filmmakers

Main Categories:
🥇Jury Award for Best Overall Film - Top Award
🥇Audience Award for Best Overall Film - Top Award
🏆Best Ontario Short
🏆Best Documentary Short
🏆Best Drama Short
🏆Best Romance Short
🏆Best Action/Adventure Short
🏆Best Animated Short
🏆Best Sci-Fi Short
🏆Best Horror Short
🏆Best Mystery/Thriller Short
🏆Best Student Short

Technical & Performance Awards:
🏆Best Actor
🏆Best Actress
🏆Best Ensemble
🏆Best Director
🏆Best Screenplay
🏆Best Cinematography
🏆Best Editing
🏆Best Sound Design
🏆Best Music Score
🏆Best Production Design

Dufferin Film Festival welcomes a wide range of short film categories, including but not limited to Comedy, Drama, Horror, Action/Adventure, Mystery/Thriller, Romance, Sci-Fi, Student, Animated, Documentary. Each short film must be submitted under one of these categories. If your film does not fall into one of our pre-assigned film categories, you can still submit your film within the: “Canadian Narrative Short Film” category. All genres of short films are eligible for Official Selection and will be considered for both the Jury & Audience award as well as any awards in the Technical & Performance category. Awards within their pre-assigned genre will also be eligible for their Main Category, Best in their genre Award. Festival committee may assign or shift your film’s genre category post submission to ensure the best fit.

The maximum length for all short films is 30 minutes or less with no minimum length.

Before you submit your film to the Dufferin Film Festival, please review and understand the following Rules, Terms & Conditions. By submitting your film, you acknowledge and agree to abide by these Rules & Terms.

If you have any questions or concerns as it relates to these rules, terms and conditions or with the film submission process overall, please contact us at “”

Rules, Terms & Conditions

-Each film submission will be pre-screened by Dufferin Film Festival’s programming team to determine which films will be screened for the critics. If your film fails to meet any/all of the terms and conditions laid out below, it will be rejected and your submission will be non-refundable.
-Each category will be judged by a preselected jury consisting of professionals from different fields of the film industry who have no ties to the films in competition. The films submitted will be judged on multiple criteria including but not limited to:
-Quality of the screenplay, encompassing elements of storytelling and dialogue, as well as the caliber of acting on display.
-Technical achievements, encompassing elements such as cinematography, editing, and sound design.
-Other artistic elements such as production design, costumes, makeup & hairstyling, etc.
-For programming consideration, ALL submissions are accepted via FilmFreeway Only.. You will be able to enter this information during submission.
-Submission fees are non-refundable.
-Submission deadlines are at 11:59 PM EST on the posted date.
-All Short Films submitted must have been at least 60% filmed in Canada and/or is considered a Canadian Production created by a permanent resident of Canada. If you submit for “Ontario Short”, you must be able to prove, if required, that the project was created in Ontario, Canada specifically.
-Regardless of Genre, All submitted films that meet the eligibility requirements outlined by Dufferin Film Festival, and have been chosen as an Official Selection, will be automatically entered for awards consideration. Any selected film can win multiple awards across both categories.
-Award Winners will be announced during the Awards Gala & Dinner on the final night of the festival. You will also be notified if you won regardless of in-person attendance. -- -Award winners will have their award mailed or available for pickup from Orangeville, ON on an arranged date after the festival, if they cannot attend. Please reach out to us if you won and couldn’t attend to coordinate a date for pickup or mailing instructions.
-The Jury Award for Best Overall Film will be specifically selected by our preselected jury.
-The Audience Award for Best Overall Film will be voted on by our in-person audiences during each film screening block. We will coordinate votes via QR Code on the day and tally them prior to the Gala. The film with the highest votes across all film screening blocks will win our Audience Award.
-Recipients of each category award will receive a physical award and laurel with an official title of their award for the respective year of the festival.
-There are no festival premiere eligibility requirements however it is appreciated.
-Films that are readily available online through platforms, such as Vimeo or YouTube, are not eligible.
-Films not in the English language must be subtitled in English.
-Filmmakers are entirely accountable for addressing any technical issues related to their submitted films. In the event that, during the judging process, a video file fails to function correctly or lacks English subtitles (in the case of languages other than English), it will regrettably be subject to automatic rejection, with no refund provided. Please reach out to the Festival team if any submission-related challenges arise. Rest assured, we are committed to working collaboratively to identify and implement solutions to ensure a seamless submission experience.
-Once a short film is submitted to the Dufferin Film Festival, it is considered "finished" and will remain in its submitted form throughout the entire process, from the submission date to its showcase, if selected. This policy ensures that all submitted films are evaluated and presented consistently, preserving the fairness and integrity of the selection and screening process. Filmmakers are encouraged to carefully review their work before submission to ensure it aligns with their artistic vision and intentions, as any alterations post-submission are not permitted. Films cannot be withdrawn once submitted. We reserve the right to withdraw any film that does not meet or comply with our eligibility criteria post-submission. Your submission fee will not be refundable.
-Selected films' excerpts or stills may be displayed on the Festival website and in promotional materials, including press releases, festival brochures, and other online marketing materials. Entrants are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for their shorts, including copyrights and other relevant rights. Dufferin Film Festival reserves the right to update or modify these terms and policies without prior notice. By submitting a film, you grant Dufferin Film Festival the rights to use an excerpt from your film for festival promotion. The submitter must ensure they have the authority to commit the film for screening and accept the requirements, rules, and regulations outlined here. Dufferin Film Festival reserves the right to refuse entries.
-Films selected for Dufferin Film Festival (“Official Selection”) will be notified by June 30th, 2024. If your film is selected, you will receive a “Dufferin Film Festival” Official Selection Laurel along with a free VIP Pass for the event.
-Due to time constraints, the Selection Committee will not be able to respond individually to filmmakers if your film is not accepted.
-If selected, any and all available press materials (Trailer, Poster, Behind the Scenes Photos, Etc.) must be submitted to filmfreeway or sent to Dufferin Film Festival via downloadable link to: “” with the subject line: “Official Selection -” and the title of your film within two weeks of notification of selection.
-Upon acceptance into the festival, the scheduling of screening dates, times, and locations is the sole responsibility of festival organizers. You will be notified prior to the festival date of the screening date and time.
-Dufferin Film Festival reserves the right to modify the awards program, its categories, and awards at any given time.
-Dufferin Film Festival reserves the right to modify and update its terms and conditions at any given time.
-Participation in the Dufferin Film Festival implies understanding and acceptance of these regulations:
1) The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.
2) The submitter shall indemnify and hold harmless Dufferin Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

If selected for official programming:
• Digital submission via downloadable link (Dropbox, WeTransfer, Google Drive, etc.)
• No physical media will be accepted. Digital file submission only.
-Resolutions Accepted: 4096 x 2160; 3840 x 2160; 1920x1080; 1998x1080; 2048x858
If your Resolution is not featured, please contact for confirmation
-Formats Accepted: ProRes; .mov; High-quality H.264 MP4;
-40 minimum bitrate, 2 Pass if possible
-Stereo audio is perfectly acceptable
-5.1 splits preferred if available
5.1 Audio layout:
- 1 - Left (Front)
- 2 - Right (Front)
- 3 - Centre (Front)
- 4 - LFE
- 5 - Left Surround (Rear
- 6 - Right Surround (Rear)