The 17th River Film Festival is an international short film festival that will be held in Padova (Italy) from the 1st to the 18th June 2023.

The Festival is organized by the Cultural Association Researching Movies and it is sponsored by the Padua City Council - Cultural Office and the University of Padua. Padua has now entered the UNESCO World Heritage List thanks to Giotto's Scrovegni Chapel and Padua's fourteenth-century fresco cycles so it is a special Art town which attracts many tourists and creative people from all over the world!

The festival is totally free entrance.

The films selected will once again be shown on the floating screen in the middle of the 16th-century fluvial port used for trade between Padua and Venice at the city gate of Porta Portello. This enchanting setting is just one of the many features that attract people to RiFF year after year! During the 18 days of the Festival, all the directors with their crew members will be able to show their works and talk to the audience with a special Q&A after the screening.

On the Final Ceremony River Film festival programmers and judges will award the winners on a boat from the Festival setting in Padua towards Venice with special guests!

A Jury Laurels, certificates and GOLDEN RIVER (Murano glass sculpture made by Venetian artists) will be given to the best film short in the following category:


How To Submit
Via FilmFreeway (a maximum of three entries per director).
Pay for your entry fee: Early bird deadline 30th September 2022 – Euro 20
Regular deadline 31st December 2022 - Euro 25
Late deadline 31st March 2023 - Euro 30

The entry fee is waived for single entries if the applicant resides in one of the Least Developed Countries

Terms & Conditions
Films must have been completed after 1st January 2022.
Films can be documentary, student films schools, queer-LGBTQ, Virtual Reality, narrative, fiction or animation.
Total running time must be from 100 sec. to 30 minutes in length, including front and back credits.
The short film can be in any language or any genre. All non-English films must have English subtitles .srt file (Not embedded in .mp4 H264 file).
Entry for the Festival implies unconditional acceptance of the published regulations. Should any dispute arise, the festival organizers will have the right of final decision on all that is not specified in the Regulations. Should there be controversy, the Padova Law Courts are competent to deal with any litigation.
The Films will be selected by a panel of judges nominated by the Festival. The decision of the selection committee is final.
No work or artist will be either discriminated or favoured by their country of origin, language, age, race, education, gender, ideology, or by their economic resources. Every content, every form, every technique will be admitted with no censorship of any kind except that enshrined in current Italian Law.
Finalists will be notified on our website or by email the 15th May 2023. The River Film Festival will do its best to announce the selected films and winners at the designated time, but will not be held liable for any unforeseen delays.
The catalogue listing the films selected will be published after the 15th May 2023.

The owners of the winning films must deposit a ProRes H.264, .mp4 or similarly low compression/high-quality file format/codec copy of the film in the Archives of the Festival. This will only be used for study purposes. Permission will be requested from those who hold the rights to the film should it be required for any other usage.
Winning films must mention the prize awarded whenever shown.

Overall Rating
  • Aglaja Filipović

    We had amazing time in Padova, the screening atmosphere is really special and communication was on highest level. It was lovely experience being the part of the festival.

    July 2022
  • Ran Yatim

    I had an amazing time in Padova. Everyone was amazing. Thank you for having us :)

    June 2022
  • Claire Marshall

    River Film Festival should be commended on their excellent communication and of course, their brilliant film festival. It was truly an honour to have my film LOVE SONG included in the programme!!!

    June 2022
  • David Desideri

    Excellent short film festival with a fantastic venue in the beautiful city of Padua. Highly recommended for independent filmmakers.

    June 2022
  • Congratulations at all 💫 Great Festival, wonderful place ⭐️ Honor and joy for hosting our film JUST LIKE WATER 🎥 Warm greetings from Athens 🇬🇷

    June 2022