We are proud to announce the 4th Durham Region International Film Festival (DRIFF) with programs running from October 1-3, 2020, in addition to our monthly "DRIFF in a jiff" shorts.

DRIFF programs compelling films from around the world while fostering the regional film community that produces high-quality content in Durham.

Join us in celebrating you, the Artist, as we focus on providing a platform to screen your creative work, excite audiences and receive recognition for excellence in the arts. Filmmakers have an opportunity to engage with the public through Q&A sessions and social mixers, shining a light on the creative industry behind the lens.

Features, shorts, documentaries, animations, comedies, and student film projects are all invited for submission. Cash awards are given to winners in four categories.

DRIFF is dedicated to the education, growth, and support of local filmmaking as a cultural and economic asset, honoring the creative spirit and belief that film can effect positive change.

2020 Festival Awards:

Best Student Film - $500 cash prize
Best Short Film - $500 cash prize
Best Feature Film - $500 cash prize
Best Regional Film - $1000 cash prize*

* If your film contains one or more of the following criteria you will be considered for the Regional prize of $1000.

1. If the producer/director/screenwriter lives in Durham Region.
2. If a substantial number of your production crew is from Durham Region.
3. If more than 30% of the film was shot on location in Durham Region.
4. If more than three locations in Durham Region were used.
5. If your foley or film score was produced by Durham Region Artists.
6. If the script was written by a Durham Region screenwriter.
7. If your documentary content and subject matter profiles Durham Region.

Entrants must be at least 18 years old at the time of submission for all categories other than the Student category where they can be 14 years and over.

SHORT FILMS : Films that are over 1 minute and under 44 minutes including all genres.
FEATURE FILMS : Films that are 44 minutes and over including all genres.
Important Dates:
- Production : only works produced after January 1, 2019, will be accepted.
- Submission : The deadline for submission is July 15, 2020.
- Selection : Applicants will be informed of the results of the selection by August 28, 2020.

The following should be provided with each submission:
- Completely filled submission form.
- A secured web screener, working until the end of the Festival, October 3, 2020.
- Full payment of the submission fees.

Films must not have a scheduled theatrical release in Ontario before the festival dates: October 1-3, 2020. No entry shall have been screened commercially, released in video format or available on the internet or video-on-demand prior to the Festival (exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Festival Committee upon selection).

Filmmakers whose films have been chosen for screening at the festival will be notified by EMAIL ONLY, on or before August 28, 2020. The judge’s decision is final and not subject to appeal. Scheduling of screening dates, times, and locations is at the sole discretion of DRIFF.

All short films submitted to DRIFF are also in consideration for our monthly "DRIFF in a jiff" program. This program screens shorts only and is held at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, ON. By submitting your film, you give permission for it to be considered for screening at this free event that helps engage and build an audience for our annual festival.

Please Note. DRIFF organizers have final authority on all matters not specifically covered by these regulations.
For more information, please contact us at programming@driff.ca.

Overall Rating
  • Samantha Tong

    I think that this festival was a great way of easing into the world of film festivals. Can't wait to revisit this festival in the years to come!

    December 2019
  • Bren Burke

    I feel quite fortunate to have had the opportunity to screen a project at DRIFF '19. I found the staff, volunteers, and my fellow filmmakers to be supportive and engaging. The programming was diverse and interesting.

    I look forward to attending and participating in DRIFF in the future.

    October 2019
  • I drove down to my screening and this is such a classy festival. Very well organized. The screenings were packed.

    October 2019
  • Krystle Ferdinand

    DRIFF was an amazing festival. From the media launch night, to opening and closing events there were so many opportunities meet and network with fellow filmmakers. Kirk and Karen were extremely welcoming and the staff and volunteers went out of their way to make sure everyone was having the best experience. Would definitely submit again!

    October 2019
  • Nik Benn

    Despite being a small festival, what really stood out to me was the quality of the programming. The festival itself is still in its infancy, and the intimate nature allows for some very easy networking with organizers and fellow creatives. That being said I fully expect this festival grow substantially in the coming years and plan on submitting again next year.

    October 2019