Festival update – May 2021:

As our regular deadline approaches, we’re planning for a 40th edition of VIFF that allows all of our film selections to play in-cinema, with many of these titles also available online. Following the guidelines of BC's Restart, we’ll adapt the scope of our in-person events to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Should you have questions regarding your project, please email submissions@viff.org
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The Vancouver International Film Festival is a showcase of exceptional international cinema in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. VIFF takes great pride in championing international cinema's most exciting new voices, offering diverse programming and fostering enlightening dialogue. In 2019, our in-person festival had 110,000 admissions. In 2020, our online festival recorded 90,000 views. We anticipate that our 2021 edition will include 100 feature films and 100 shorts.

Furthermore, we’ll once again expand the frame to include talks, workshops, performances and other unique events that celebrate innovations in cinematic storytelling. At VIFF’s 2020 edition, these events included talks with the likes of Charlie Kaufman (I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Garrett Bradley (Time) and Eliza Hittman (Never Rarely Sometimes Always), the VIFF Immersed Exhibition of narrative-driven VR experiences, Creator Labs, the VIFF AMP Music in Film Summit, as well as an evening of music and conversation with Beverly Glenn-Copeland (Keyboard Fantasies).

FILM PROGRAMMING SERIES

Panorama - The world's boldest creators and their exceptional works. The year's most anticipated international films and new discoveries curated specifically for VIFF audiences.

True North - A celebration of the extraordinary creativity and craft being demonstrated by Canadian storytellers from coast to coast.

Impact - Uncompromising films and insightful discussions that spark action and change the way we see the world.

Insights - This acclaimed series explores the endless possibilities of nonfiction filmmaking while investigating essential subject matter.

Gateway - Journey into the cinematic reaches of East Asia with some of the world's most compelling storytellers as your guides.

M/A/D - Music, art and design receive their deserved big-screen treatment in this aesthetically alluring stream.

Altered States - Genre-bending features that defy traditional classification and demand that you play by their warped rules.

VIFF Short Forum - A showcase of the myriad perspectives, experiences and aesthetic approaches that are elevating Canadian short-form storytelling.

International Shorts - In a matter of minutes, these films immerse you in fully realized narratives that leave an indelible mark.

MODES - International short works that explore how far the form of cinema is capable of bending.

(These series are subject to change).

VIRTUAL & AUGMENTED REALITY COMPETITION STREAMS

International VIFF Immersed Competition

Virtual Reality – Cinematic Live Action
Narrative-driven VR experiences created from the live action capture of human participants using camera or volumetric methods that exemplify works of narrative fiction.

Virtual Reality – Animation
Narrative-driven VR animation experiences created using original crafted artwork to embody the characters, setting and objects of its story.

Virtual Reality – Documentary
Immersive VR stories that document and explore an aspect of the real world.

Augmented Reality - Live Action / Animation / Documentary
This category is designed to showcase narrative AR experiences. Content may be interactive and classified as fiction, documentary or animation.

BC Showcase
Virtual & Augmented Reality – BC Showcase
A curated showcase of VR and AR works emerging from the creative nexus that is British Columbia.

Awards for 2021 Vancouver International Film Festival will be announced in the spring.

At the 2020 edition, VIFF presented the following awards:

Sea to Sky Award
$20,000 cash prize. This award recognizes the outstanding work of one female key creative on a BC-produced feature or short.

Best BC Film Award
$10,000 from Creative BC and $15,000 in post-production services credit supplied by Company 3.

BC Emerging Filmmaker Award
$5,000 award from UBCP/ACTRA, plus a $10,000 equipment credit supplied by William F. White International Inc.

Best BC Short Film
$5,000 award presented by TELUS Storyhive.

Best Canadian Film
$15,000 award presented by the Directors Guild of Canada.

Emerging Canadian Director
$3,000 award presented by the Directors Guild of Canada.

Best Canadian Documentary
$15,000 prize presented by the Rogers Group of Funds.

Best Canadian Short Film
$15,000 in colour grading and/or VFX services credit supplied by Side Street Post and $2,000 award presented by VIFF.

VIFF Impact Award
$5,000 CAD presented by the Lochmaddy Foundation to an international documentary playing in the Impact competition.

Rob Stewart Eco Warrior Award
$5,000 prize presented by RBC and Cineplex to a documentary playing in the Impact competition that recognizes an outstanding contribution by an activist-storyteller.

RULES & TERMS FOR FILMS

ELIGIBILITY AND ENTRY
1) Submitted feature films and international shorts must not have been broadcast, distributed, offered on VOD or screened commercially in the Vancouver area. Given the impact of COVID-19, VIFF will consider films that have screened at online festivals as long as said festivals have geo-blocked to their regions.
2) International submissions should have been completed after June 1, 2020. Canadian submissions should have been completed after January 1, 2020.
3) All non-English language submissions must have English subtitles.
4) All applicable licenses and waivers of copyrights, moral rights, trademarks and other such intellectual property rights have been secured by the filmmaker(s)
5) Submission fees are non-refundable.

PRESENTATION
Accepted feature films for the Festival can be exhibited theatrically on DCP and in 35mm formats with optical or magnetic soundtracks. Short films can be exhibited on DCP. The dates, times, and locations of screenings of selected films is at the discretion of the festival.

SHIPPING WHEN APPLICABLE
1. Once a film has been accepted for participation in the Festival, detailed shipping instructions will be sent to the print supplier.
2. The Festival agrees to cover transportation and insuring prints both ways directly to and from the actual print supplier, or to cover one-way transportation when the print is shipped to or from other festivals.
3. Each print sent to the Festival from outside of Canada enters the country on a Canada Customs "Duty Free Temporary Admissions Permit" and must be returned after the Festival.

LIABILITY
In the case of loss or serious damage to a print or DCP, the obligation of the Festival is limited to compensating the producer or distributor only to the cost of making a new print or DCP.

CONSENT
Participation in the Vancouver International Film Festival implies understanding and acceptance of these regulations:
1) Vancouver International Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.
2) The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.
3) The submitter shall indemnify and hold harmless Vancouver International Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

RULES & TERMS FOR VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY CONTENT

1) BC Showcase. Must be story driven narratives in cinematic, documentary or animation. The creative team must be based within the provincial borders of British Columbia.
2) Animation. Projects must be story driven narratives.
3) Live Action. While backgrounds and environments may be CGI or animation actors must be captured from live action.
4) Documentary. Projects must be primarily live action and story driven narratives.
5) Projects submitted to the 2021 International VIFF Immersed Competition must have been completed after June 1, 2020.
6) Although premieres are encouraged and welcomed, there is no premiere requirement for virtual or augmented reality projects.
7) Projects may or may not have distribution but must be capable and available for commercial distribution.
8) Projects may be available for free or for purchase via any commercial distribution platform.
9) All applicable licenses and waivers of copyrights, moral rights, trademarks and other such intellectual property rights have been secured by the filmmaker(s)
10) Projects may have been exhibited at other film festivals or trade shows.
11) The entry fee is non-refundable.
12) Entries from outside Canada must be clearly marked: “FOR FESTIVAL PREVIEW ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL VALUE."
13) VIFF maintains the sole right to determine if submissions meet the eligibility requirements in each category

TERMS AND CONDITIONS


PRESENTATION
Accepted immersive projects for the Festival must be capable of being exhibited on commercially available platforms such as: Oculus (Go, Quest, Rift), HTC (Vive Pro, Focus), Google (Cardboard, Daydream), Samsung (Gear VR, Odyssey), PC Based Mixed Reality HMD’s (Microsoft, Acer, Lenovo Mirage). Augmented Reality must be able to be distributed to consumers through commercially available platforms such as mobile phones, tablets or head mounted displays (examples: HoloLens, Magic Leap). The dates, times, and locations of screenings of selected films is at the discretion of the Festival.

SHIPPING/UPLOADING
Once a project has been accepted for participation in the Festival, detailed uploading or shipping instructions will be sent to the applicant.

LIABILITY
In the case of loss or serious damage to exhibition equipment, the Festival is not obligated to replacement of said equipment.

CONSENT
Participation in the Vancouver International Film Festival implies understanding and acceptance of these regulations.

Vancouver International Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The submitter shall indemnify and hold harmless Vancouver International Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • A great festival with a wonderful and passionate staff. We were fortunate to have the film “Quality Time” as part of the 2021 festival. Thank you Vancouver IFF and I look forward to collaborating with you again in the future!

    October 2021
  • Carmen Pollard

    It was an absolute honour to bring MILITANT MOTHER home to VIFF! Thank you to all of the staff, volunteers and fellow filmmakers for creating another stellar programme and event.

    October 2021
  • Anya Chirkova

    Amazing festival! One of Canada's bests, had the pleasure of my short film Flower Boy screen at VIFF.

    October 2021
  • Lauren Grant

    Thank you VIFF for mounting such a wonderful hybrid festival. It is a tricky time to release films so getting to experience safe theatre experiences as well as online options was fantastic. And the audiences at VIFF are always the best.

    October 2021
  • Alex von Hofmann

    I have had three films at VIFF. I've attended in person once, and virtually once. Both experiences were great. It's a wonderful festival and Sandy, the head shorts programmer, really knows what makes a great line up of films and an event that the filmmakers and audiences will love alike. Highly recommended festival.

    December 2020