MAY 19, 2020 | COVID-19 UPDATE!
EIFF is slated for the beginning of October and at this point, we are proceeding with a ‘business as usual’ mindset. CALL FOR ENTRIES is now CLOSED for the 2020 fest and selection committees are adjudicating entries. Filmmakers will be NOTIFIED by AUGUST 15 through the FilmFreeway E-MAIL portal. As this carpet ride continues, let’s try to find the ‘magic’ of it all. Be well!

The Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF) is a truly unique festival that champions the bold and challenges the status quo. It is equal parts creative, demanding, celebratory, discriminating and, in the end, just a hell of a lot of fun.

SHORT FILMMAKERS... We announce the two (2) OSCAR® qualifying short films in the LIVE ACTION and ANIMATION categories on SUNDAY, October 11. The submission deadline to AMPAS (The Academy) is 5pm PT on TUESDAY, Dec. 1.

So who are we? In 2003, our love for film and filmMAKERS -- cinematic storytellers -- led us to the curtains of Edmonton's International Film Festival (or LOCAL HEROES as it was known back then) because 'how hard can it be?' The festival was just shy of 20 years young at that time. All of us here in EIFF land had real gigs -- film production, freelancing, broadcast, journalism, raising goats. All of us still do those things, but very part-time now. This thing, this film festival, is certainly outgrowing its tiny budget. We come from production, so when you tell us your film is a rough cut, temp audio and no color correct, we understand that! And we are passionate. We love films, and the people who MAKE them. So much so, that when you have a film screen here, you become part of our family. And for the record, it's a whole lot harder than we imagined!

Our primary objective is to encourage and support the appreciation of cinema as art. Each autumn, we hoist the curtains on a 10-day cinematic feast that celebrates the power of film. The EIFF menu consists of more than 150 films from 40 countries, ranging from short to feature-length, dramatic to documentary, comedy to gut-wrenching and studio to independent. And we sprinkle it all with a generous dose of filmmaker chats, Q&A's, gala screenings, a local filmmaker spotlight, 'buzzy' films that are travelling the festival circuit, shorts with lunch, parties (of course!) and more.

This gem of a festival from the plains of Alberta gives voice, platform and opportunity to filmmakers at all stages of their creative journey and from all parts of the world. Edmonton is North America's northernmost metropolis and is a proud outlier when it comes to art and culture. 'E-Town' does its own thing. It's home to some of the best festivals anywhere and is a favourite with artists of all stripes. EIFF is one of those events that not only puts Northern Alberta on the map -- it hotly brands it!

WHO ATTENDS? Over the years, we've had the pleasure of hosting: John Waters, Norman Jewison, Cory Bowles, Academy Award© winner Brenda Fricker, Deepa Mehta, Arthur Hiller, Werner Herzog, Paul Gross, Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis, Don McKellar, Albert Maysles, Jon Cryer, Bruce McDonald, Patrick Warburton, Rita Chiarelli, Shea Whigham, Jesse James Miller, Kris Holden-Ried, Zoie Palmer, Academy Award© winner, Luke Matheny... the list goes on! And countless emerging filmmakers, actors, writers and producers.

“I was honoured to be a juror at EIFF and I shared in the excitement of discovering new voices and visions. EIFF is more important than ever to the citizens and City of Edmonton. It is truly an international festival that doesn’t forget its local, indigenous and regional roots.”
- Carolyn B. (Canada)

At the end of the day, once the curtains close for the final time each year -- EIFF is about the power of film! And how it brings us all together in a way that only ART can. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Submit NOW and become part of Alberta's longest running international film festival.

Film categories – LIVE ACTION and ANIMATION – will be eligible for ACADEMY AWARDS® consideration, without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules. Grand Jury short film award winners eligible to apply to the Academy are notified by SUNDAY, October 11 -- deadline to submit to AMPAS (The Academy) is 5pm PT on TUESDAY, Dec. 1.

Each year our programmers and jurors acknowledge outstanding, independent films -- feature, short and documentary -- in a variety of categories. Some are tried, true, and expected -- Canadian Feature Film, International Feature, Documentary and Short Film Awards and, of course, Audience Choice awards. Others, not so traditional. If something pops our corn, we'll make an Award for it! Over the years we have doled out EIFF love to... the BIG DADDY AWARD for Family Film, the WEDGIE AWARD for Comedy, EAT MY SHORT AWARD for Tastiest Food Film, The SNOW! MAN AWARD, well, for a film that featured the cold, white stuff (that falls from the sky, of course)!

We don’t have vaults of cash to pass on to our award winners, but know that all of our filmmakers – submitters, ‘official selections’, award-winners, films we weren’t able to program – have our endless respect and admiration. It’s easy to talk about making a film. You did it! And for that, we heart you.

Films must have been completed after January 1, 2019 and be an EDMONTON Premiere at festival time (October, 2020). Edmonton is our CITY in Alberta (our province) in Canada. So all we require is a CITY premiere.

ENTRY FEES: Submission fees are non-refundable and the fees listed are per entry, in U.S. dollars.

FEE WAIVERS: Aside from ALUMNI Filmmakers, NO FEE WAIVERS will be considered. Don't e-mail us, don't phone us, don't hunt us down on the streets – we’ve worked very hard to create an affordable submission system. EIFF is a not-for-profit, charitable organization. Much like most filmmakers. We feel you!

FEATURE Films - DCP and/or BluRay
SHORT Films - H264 or .mp4 files (1920 x 1080 | 23.98 fps), delivered electronically

CAN I SUBMIT IF MY FILM IS AVAILABLE ONLINE? Your short film is available publicly on Vimeo and/or YouTube? You can still submit as long as your film was completed after January 1, 2019.

ALBERTA FILMMAKER CATEGORY: Submit your film and INCLUDE an Alberta mailing address; or for filmmakers who no longer live here but have Alberta roots (ie. you grew up here, you attended school or shot your film here), please explain your Alberta-ness in your submission cover letter.

ALUMNI FILMMAKERS: You had a film programmed at EIFF in the past 5 years (2015-2019)? That makes you ALUMNI, and eligible for a FEE WAIVER! Blast an e-mail to -- include the TITLE of your film and the YEAR it screened at EIFF -- our people will talk to your people and E-Mail a WAIVER CODE.

YOU'RE an ALBERTA Filmmaker AND an ALUMNI? Rock. Star! We still need you to submit in the ALBERTA category, simply because we are required to track and report our Alberta'ness to select funding organizations. So go ahead and e-mail a request for ALUMNI filmmaker WAIVER Code:

SUBMIT AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE! Submitting early not only allows time for proper and thoughtful adjudication, but also guarantees you won’t miss the final deadline. No late submissions will be considered at all. Seriously!

LENGTH: Submissions may be fiction, documentary, or animation and each category is length-specific.

LANGUAGE: All films with non-English dialogue must have ENGLISH subtitles.

COPYRIGHT: Filmmaker is responsible for securing all copyright clearances and music rights.

WORKS IN PROGRESS: EIFF does not accept trailers or rough assemblies but will accept work-in-progress cuts (picture lock with temp sound, color, etc.). Please be aware that EIFF will not view multiple updates/versions of your film for programming consideration.

• Films with a public, theatrical screening in EDMONTON prior to EIFF dates
• Available for PURCHASE/DOWNLOAD in North America
• Available on iTunes and/or Video On Demand (VOD)

COMPLETION DATE: Priority is given to films completed after January 1, 2019 -- and not previously submitted to EIFF. Films previously submitted to EIFF will ONLY be considered if there are substantial, creative changes to the project.

SUBMISSION CONTACT: The submitter shall be either a producer, director or authorized agent of the film. All communication will be sent to the person submitting.

CONFIRMATION OF RECEIPT: Once a submission is received, EIFF organizers will change the status of your film in the FilmFreeway online management tool and you will be automatically notified.

PRESS KITS: In keeping with our effort to become a carbon neutral festival, we request that you DO NOT SEND press kits, photo stills, or any other publicity materials. We will request these materials at a later date, once your film is accepted.

SELECTION PROCESS: All submissions are screened and evaluated by EIFF Preview and Selection Committees. Their reports and decisions are final and confidential. Online notification date for Official Selection status is AUGUST 15th.

ATTENDING THE FESTIVAL: We are able to support visiting, “Official Selection” filmmakers with complimentary festival passes, additional tickets and airport shuttles. Once you receive your ACCEPTANCE e-mail (by AUGUST 15), we will confirm what goods we can help with.

RECEIPT OF EXHIBITION FILE/DRIVE: To allow for time to package and/or test and inspect exhibition copies, EIFF must receive your EXHIBITION copy by…
• SHORT FILMS: August 30
• FEATURE FILMS: September 15

FEATURE FILMS - SHIPPING: The cost of shipping the exhibition copy to EIFF must be paid by the entrant or the festival BEFORE us, and EIFF will pay for OUTBOUND shipping (FedEx).

PLEASE NOTE: While we make every effort to follow screening times as posted in the festival program guide, EIFF cannot be held accountable for changes to the schedule after festival line-up is announced.

ACCEPTANCE: Submitting a film to the EIFF and accepting an offer for participation will be considered an approval of the film's copyright holder in accordance with the terms of these Regulations.

Once a film has been selected and an invitation to participate at the Edmonton International Film Festival is accepted, we trust that the filmmaker will not withdraw their film from the festival program. But we can’t stop you. Please understand that we put a lot of energy and passion into crafting a compelling programme. EIFF reserves the right to withdraw an ACCEPTED entry when circumstance arise that are beyond our control (ie. operating revenues decline suddenly, or a theatre is no longer available, etc.)

I understand and agree that my film entry, if selected for the Festival, may be used for promotional purposes for the EIFF and I grant EIFF organizers approval for:
• A maximum of three (3) public screenings of the film at EIFF.
• A public showing of up to a 2-min. maximum of clips from the film for media/promotional purposes.
• Up to two (2) PRIVATE screenings of your film to Media and Jurors.
• Use of film stills in Festival’s promotional materials (ie. program guide, promotional materials, website and/or multimedia presentations).

Overall Rating
  • Alec Brown

    Being a part of 34th EIFF’s program was wonderful! The lineup was astounding, and having the provided connection with other filmmakers through the pandemic made it a lovely premiere for my short film. Thank you EIFF!

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Alec! It was such a treat that you gave us the privilege to share Carnival Knowledge with our audiences! Looking forward to your next project and hopefully welcoming you to our festival next time :)

  • Zachary Kerschberg

    Thank you for putting together such an awesome program and making the films available during Covid. I loved discovering films that I otherwise wouldn't have access to. Congrats to all the filmmakers. I hope to participate again in the future!

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Aw! Thank you Zachary for your kind kind words! And for the pleasure of bringing your beautiful film to our audiences! Hopefully we can meet one day with your next film!

  • Amazing festival, it's been an honor to be part of Edmonton IFF with our films! Thanks for having Distribution with Glasses catalogue in consideration for your official programs!

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    We love Distribution with Glasses too! Thank you for always considering us for your prestigious line up of shorts!

  • Despite the most challenging of circumstances, I was so impressed and grateful for the kind and professional EIFF team. I couldn't have been more happy to have screened our short All-in Madonna there and so grateful for the opportunity to screen where I grew up. Thank you to Sydney Moule and the team who worked SO hard to support art in Canada. #Blessed

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Arnold! You make our heart smile. Thank you for the pleasure of virtually meeting you and sharing All-In Madonna with our audiences! Can't wait to see the feature!

  • Kavi Raz

    Awesome festival. Great honor being part of this years edition of this very prestigious festival

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Aw thank you for the words Kavi! Can't wait to see what comes next from you and your team. It was an honour to screen Barefoot Warriors at our festival and across Canada!