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... EIFF is your final OSCAR® Qualifying Festival of the year! We announce the two (2) OSCAR® qualifying films in the LIVE ACTION and ANIMATION categories on SUNDAY, Sept. 27. The application deadline to AMPAS (The Academy) is 5pm PT on THURSDAY, Oct. 1.

So who are we? Our love for film and filmMAKERS -- cinematic storytellers -- led us to the curtains of this not-for-profit opportunity with EIFF 15 years ago because 'how hard can it be?' Honestly. That's what we said. All of us here in EIFF land had real gigs -- film production, freelancing, broadcast, journalism, raising goats. Some 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!

Here's the official description... One of these descriptors will entice you to submit. We hope!

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.

As an OSCAR® Qualifying Festival (Short Films), the Grand Jury Award winners in our Short 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 on SATURDAY, Sept. 26 -- deadline to submit to AMPAS is MONDAY, Sept. 31.

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 cats 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. Edmonton is our CITY in Alberta (our province) in Canada. So all we require is a CITY premiere.

Before submitting, these are the MOST asked questions we receive each year...

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!

EXHIBITION FORMAT:
Feature Films - DCP and/or BluRay
Short Films - Digital file, submitted electronically

THEATRES? You are entrusting us with your Picasso. We rent the best professional theatres in Edmonton. Your film will look, and sound, GREAT! Projectors are BARCO and CHRISTIE. Size of theatres range from 100 to 425 seats.

ALBERTA FILMMAKER CATEGORY: What's goin' on in our STUDIO, eh? PASSWORD required to submit to this category to receive 40% DISCOUNT on submission fee. E-mail request: submission@edmontonfilmfest.com. Include in your e-mail: 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 e-mail.

ALUMNI FILMMAKERS: You had a film programmed at EIFF in the past 5 years (2015-2019)? That makes you ALUMNI, and eligible for a FULL FEE WAIVER! Blast an e-mail to submissions@edmontonfilmfest.com -- 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 have to track and report our Alberta'ness to select funding organizations. So go ahead and e-mail a request for ALUMNI filmmaker WAIVER Code: submissions@edmontonfilmfest.com.

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.

CATEGORIES: If your film is a better 'fit' in a category OTHER than the one you submitted to, or if you submitted to the incorrect category, we will automatically ensure your 'cinematic baby' is moved to the proper category. Don't stress!

WHERE IN THE WORLD? Wherever you are on the planet, we're interested in your cinematic story. Canada is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world and, Edmonton is rich with an incredible variety of peoples, all longing to share stories from home with their communities and neighbours.

GENRES: Whatever the genre, we're looking for films with strong story lines. Movies that make you question your own values; move you in some mysterious way; or make you laugh out loud. Genres include (but are not limited to): World Cinema, Oh! Canada, American Indie, Documentaries, Family Films, Late Night Squeam and Short Films.

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

ENTRY FEES: Entry fees are non-refundable and the fees listed are per entry, in U.S. dollars. Why U.S. dollars you ask? FilmFreeway can only process U.S. currency at this time. We have every confidence that this will change over the next few years.

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.

INELIGIBLE PROJECTS are:
• Films with a public, theatrical screening in EDMONTON (our City) prior to EIFF dates
• BROADCAST in Canada prior to EIFF dates
• Available for PURCHASE/DOWNLOAD in North America
• Available on iTunes, YouTube 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.

ATTENDING THE FESTIVAL: We are able to support visiting, “Official Selection” filmmakers with complimentary festival passes, additional tickets and airport shuttles. Every year we work to find sponsors to support awesomeness like a place to sleep, or a meal, or a bottle of something yummy – all is dependent on our fundraising and sponsorship efforts. Once you receive your ACCEPTANCE e-mail (by JUNE 30), we will confirm what goods we can help with. We want you here! We just don't have the dough to shower you in champagne -- you do deserve it!

EXHIBITION FORMATS:
• FEATURE Films: DCP and BluRay
• SHORT Films: H264 or .mp4 files (1920 x 1080 | 23.98 fps), delivered electronically

RECEIPT OF EXHIBITION FILE/DRIVE: To allow for time to test and inspect exhibition copies, EIFF must receive your EXHIBITION copy by…
• SHORT FILMS: August 1
• 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 two (2) 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
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • AJ Vaage

    Such a great experience at the EIFF!
    Sydney and the entire festival staff had incredible communication. The venue was amazing. A complete honour to have my films accepted into the festival
    Can't wait to apply again.

    November 2019
  • Manuel Trotta

    When pondering what I loved about Edmonton International Film Festival, it turns out it's easier to start with the list of things I don't love about the festival, because that list is much shorter with precisely ZERO things on it. This festival is world class...and it's Oscar qualifying, and is one of the best film festival experiences you can and will have, IF you should be blessed enough to get in. Not only should EIFF be on every filmmaker's SUBMIT TO list, but it should assuredly be on the ATTEND list too.

    I had honor and privilege of having 2 films in 3 years at the Edmonton International Film Festival so I speak from personal experience. Every part of the process from the acceptance email (JOYFUL DAY to be sure!), to the next steps including material submission and registration are so efficient, easy, and stress free that others should take note. They personally arrange to pick you up from the airport, get you to your hotel, and even buy you lunch or dinner when you arrive at the venue after settling in. Maybe the weather is chilly, but who cares when the festival's staff like Sydney Moule's hearts are so warm. With smiles and that famous Canadian hospitality, they very personally make sure you are well taken care of every step of the way.

    The festival venue is so wonderful- a huge complex within a mall in City Center, with access to anything you could want. And,.unlike many festivals where you have to stress to sprint or shuttle hurriedly from location to location for screenings, EIFF is all in one SINGLE location so that at most, you exit one giant plush theater and enter the adjacent one 15 feet away!

    The screenings themselves mostly sell out with lots of attendees, community support, and local news media! And because the Edmonton audience is VERY sophisticated and clear lovers of arts and films, you should be ready for a really fun, lively, and engaging Q&A after your film screening. The films they accept are all top notch with no weak links- programming is exceptional and watching the films leads you to quickly realize you are part of something VERY unique and special. The closing night gala is amazing- bring your formal wear; they do it right, and it's a night of a thousand memories and joyful tears.

    This isn't a platitude- it's absolute fact- the EIFF staff make you feel like FAMILY, and the day after the festival ends, they send a driver to your hotel (even at 5:30 AM if that's how early your flight is), you feel genuinely sad because you don't want it to end, you're not ready to leave, and the entire ride to the airport courtesy of their incredibly kind and friendly driver, all you're thinking to yourself is, how do I make another top notch film quickly so I can be back here next year....GO TO EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, even if you don't get in or have a film ready. It will be one of the best experiences of your life.

    Mehrdad Sarlak | Co-Producer

    November 2019
  • Mark Hosack

    We were fortunate enough to be accepted by Edmonton with our short film. It's truly a top-notch event - Kerrie and Sydney and their team take extra care to communicate with the filmmakers, and despite its size, it feels like an intimate event, and the programming was really great. Highly recommended!

    October 2019
  • 心 刘

    Amazing film festival experience for me! Thanks to EIFF19 giving me this opportunity to meet a lot of talented filmmakers from over the world, and also a great chance to communicate with so many lovely audiences!

    October 2019
  • T.J. Parsell

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this festival. They program from the heart, and this was evident from the moment we arrived and in all of their programming decisions. Saw some amazing films, met some amazing filmmakers and feel in love with their entire team. Whether you're here with a short or a feature, they treat you like superstars. What a wonderful week we had. Can't wait to come back again.

    October 2019