We are proud to announce the 7th Durham Region International Film Festival (DRIFF) with programs running from October 19 to 21st, 2023. We invite you to submit your films to our open call for submissions.

The Durham Region International Film Festival (DRIFF), enjoyed its most successful year ever in 2022! We are eager to build on that success, and do even more to support and encourage passionate and creative filmmakers, and enrich our community by offering engaging events.

The spirit of DRIFF is flourishing! We encourage community involvement through a shared love for cinema by offering unique and diverse programming with creative community partnerships.

(please note if there are no suitable award candidates in a given category in 2023, then no cash prize will be awarded for that category this year.)

Best Student Film - $500 cash prize

Best Canadian Short Film - $500 cash prize

Best International Short Film - $500 cash prize

People's Choice Award - $500 cash prize

Best Animated Short - $500 cash prize

Best Feature Film - $1,000 cash prize

Best Regional Film - $1,000 cash prize*

* If your film contains one or more of the following criteria you will be considered for the Regional prize of $1,000.

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, 2021, will be accepted.

- Submission : The deadline for submission is August 13, 2023.

- Selection : Applicants will be informed of the results of the selection by September 06, 2023.

The following should be provided with each submission:

- Completely filled submission form.

- A secured web screener, working until the end of the Festival, October 21, 2023.

- Full payment of the submission fees.

Films must not have a scheduled theatrical release in Ontario before the festival dates: October 19 to 21, 2023. No entry shall have been screened commercially, released in video format, or available on the internet (including social media) 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 September 06, 2023. The judge’s decision is final and not subject to appeal. Scheduling screening dates, times, and locations are at the sole discretion of DRIFF.

By submitting your film to DRIFF, you consent to having your email added to DRIFF’s mailing list where you can choose to unsubscribe at any time.

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
  • Fateema Al-Hamaydeh Miller

    DRIFF does an incredible job at building a strong and supportive community & celebrating local film! I felt welcomed and appreciated as a filmmaker and had a wonderful time :)

    October 2022
  • Patrick Weiers

    DRIFF has an incredible team of passionate organizers who curated a comprehensive and engaging festival. Their communication skills are unmatched, and they're motivated to support films that will have a genuine impact on both their community and the world.

    November 2020
  • Bartle Bull

    Fantastic festival, many thanks! Great people, great films, well organized.

    October 2020
  • Henning Backhaus

    A wonderful festival! Very well organized, great in communication and really interested in the films and their makers. Thanks to Covid, many of the events took place online, of course, but this was also the chance for worldwide panels via zoom. For me on the other side of the world (seen from Canada) a nice experience.
    Basically, during the pandemic I made the experience that many A-festivals (and those who think they are) were completely overwhelmed with the new situation and some of them were not very friendly towards filmmakers. Smaller festivals, like the Durham Region Int. Film Festival, on the other hand, were more agile, much better organized, much more relaxed and much more friendly. That's something I'll not forget.

    October 2020
  • Willie Frickelton

    Extremely professionally run festival. Endless networking opportunities. Great people. You can tell they really care about growing the film community in Durham and it was an honour to screen a film with them this year!

    October 2020