Now in its 16th year, the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWFF) showcases an impressive line-up of short and feature-length films (narrative, documentary, experimental and animation) by established and emerging women filmmakers from around the world.

“Women” includes all those who identify as a woman.

This six day celebration is organized by Women in Film and Television Vancouver, a member-driven not-for-profit society which addresses systemic barriers to women’s equal participation in the production and dissemination of screen-based media.

VIWIFF provides a platform for challenging gender imbalance and the lack of diversity in the screen-based media industry through a combination of film screenings, discussions, and professional development opportunities as well as incorporating International Women’s Day events into its programming.

The festival will be held March 4-9, 2021 and will screen films with women in at least three of the following eight key creative roles: Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer, Lead Performer and Production Designer. Films completed after March 2018 are eligible.

Not only does VIWFF showcase films made by women from around the world, the festival also offers:
- Moderated Q&A sessions
- Panel discussions
- Artist talks
- Networking events
- Workshops
- Pitch sessions
- Opportunities for awards, granted during the closing awards ceremony
- Gala and industry events
- An international screenplay competition

In addition to offering independent filmmakers an opportunity to screen their film for the local community, international audiences, industry professionals and media, the festival pays filmmakers' exhibition fees and all films are entered to win cash awards. The pride of our festival is its intimacy fostering dialogue, exchange, inspiration and future collaborations.

We are excited to learn more about your films and would be honoured to consider them for our festival.

Submissions contact:

Please note that due to restrictions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, the festival may be held online as a virtual festival. This will necessarily change how the festival is delivered but we will remain committed to creating a platform for the voices of women from around the world.

All films with women in the following categories are eligible to compete for awards, with each awardee receiving a small cash award:
Best Feature
Best Performance
Best Performance in Short
Best Cinematography
Best Cinematography in Short
Best Screenplay
Best Editing
Best Editing in Short
Best Direction
Best Short
Best Documentary
Best Musical Score
Impact Award

A Matrix Award is also presented to the top three BC short films in the festival.

To see past winners and award categories visit:

The festival also offers a screenplay competition. To submit to the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival Screenplay Competition visit:

All films submitted must have a woman in at least three of the following eight key creative roles: Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer, Lead Performer and Production Designer. Films completed after March 2018 are eligible.

Should the submitted film not adhere to this eligibility requirement or to the following rules and terms, WIFTV retains the right to disqualify said film and is under no obligation to contact the submitting party and/or refund the submission fee.

Please carefully read the following terms and rules, including Selection and Notification, Submission Rules, and Terms and Conditions.

The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival accepts documentary, narrative, animated and experimental films (including music and dance) in any genre and any length.

To be eligible, at least three or more of the following key creative roles must be filled by women: Writer, Producer, Production Designer, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer, Lead Performer.
• The same woman may fill more than one role.
• In the event that any of the three eligible roles are shared, they must be shared by women, with the exception of the producer role, where 50% of the producers must be women.
• Films must reflect these credits in their submitted material including the credits of the film.

“Women” includes all those who identify as a woman.

Films completed after March 2018 are eligible.

Films that have received a theatrical release in the Vancouver, BC area prior to the festival are not eligible. (Festival screenings are not considered as theatrical release, although we prefer our films to be Vancouver premiers.)

Films that have received other forms of distribution, such as subscriber television or online platforms, are eligible. Please note that a film’s ability to generate audiences is a programming consideration.

Submitted films that are not eligible will be withdrawn. Please check eligibility before submitting. Questions may be sent to

Selection and Notification:

1. Submissions will be reviewed by a selection of judges appointed by the Festival Programming Committee, a committee of the Board of Directors of Women in Film and Television Vancouver.

2. Filmmakers will be notified of the decision by mid-January 2021.

3. All communications will be sent electronically, including selection and notification letters. Please make sure the email address and phone number provided as the submission contact on the entry form are correct!

4. If selected for VIWIFF 2021, acceptance of the invitation to screen at the festival must be received within one week of notification.

5. If selected for VIWIFF 2021, exhibition copies must be delivered to WIFTV by February 3, 2021.

6. Exhibition copies must be accompanied by a link to a password protected site where festival organizers and press can view your film.

7. Filmmakers, or their representatives, of selected films must cover the cost of shipping to the festival. The festival will cover return shipping.

8. Exhibition formats will be accepted in one of the following: DCP (preferably unencrypted) or a QuickTime compliant file. (Note we do not accept DVD’s or Blu-rays).

9. At the time of acceptance, the following electronic promotional materials must be delivered: a short synopsis, a minimum of one (1) still photograph from the film, a list of the film’s credits, links to any social media sites or reviews related to the film, a list of awards (if any) the film has received, a list of all places the film has or will have screened prior to VIWIFF 2021.

10. If selected by VIWIFF 2021, a short clip or clips from the film (up to two minutes), in high resolution, must be delivered by February 5, 2021, preferably via downloadable link. These will be used for the festival trailer and other promotional opportunities.

11. Promotional materials of films selected for VIWIFF 2021 become the property of VIWIFF 2021 and can be used to promote VIWIFF 2021 in all media, including film, television, radio, print, and the Internet.

Submission Rules:
1. Submissions are accepted through FilmFreeway.
2. Submission must include:
• The name and gender of the key creative credits (Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer, Production Designer and Lead Performer). Please be specific; names will not suffice as gender identification.
• A short synopsis
• Running time
• Genre
• Screening history (with links to any online platforms where the film is currently available, if applicable)
• Any changes to the screening history (post-submission) must be provided to the festival
• A press kit is not required at the time of submission

The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival will make every effort to ensure the safekeeping of all films and videos submitted for exhibition. However, the applicant, in applying to the Festival, agrees to release the Festival, its Officers, Directors and other representatives from any and all claims arising in any way from the submission of materials by, or on behalf of, the Applicant, whether film, video or otherwise to the Festival.

Your submission implies that you have the legal right to represent and submit this film for consideration, along with your acceptance of VIWIFF Rules &Terms. By submitting to the festival, you confirm that the film is authorized to use all images, sounds and music appearing in the film. Your submission also implies that you have read and understood the festival regulations. Finally, you agree to allow VIWIFF the use of your film and publicity materials from your film for promotional purposes.

Overall Rating
  • Markus Kaatsch

    Fantastic Festival! Amazing dedication to connect industry professionals around the globe and open deep conversations not only about the stories on screen, but also about the challenges in the industry, creating the opportunity through workshops, Artists Talks and co. to grow and learn from each other. Also fantastic selection of films - Def. recommend it and looking forward to coming back ! THANK YOU

    April 2020
  • Michelle Muldoon

    Always well organized, and always a filmmaker's festival. This is the second time VIWFF has screened a film of mine, and I hope it isn't the last. It's an outstanding festival.

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Michelle. It was pleasure to screen your film. We look forward to your next submission!

  • A utterly inspiring festival. We were so excited to see our clients screen here. Very passionate team behind VIWFF and it shows through the content.

    May 2019
  • This festival had such strong pieces and fearless women!! It was so inspiring to spend the week there and to see such incredible stories. Can't wait to go back!

    April 2019
  • Agathe Bernard

    Great festival, it was amazing to get to network with talented inspiring filmmakers. I love that we were involve in artist talk and had to chance to pitch to media network! Thank you for the hospitality and also encouraging more ladies in the film industry!

    March 2019