Please note, our dates are subject to change. We have placed tentative dates and will adjust in early 2021. We're waiting to see how spring festivals shift, and how COVID-19 is looking locally for events.

Given the ongoing reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently planning a hybrid festival that will offer a combination of online steaming (via CineSend), drive-ins and in-cinema screenings (with reduced capacity).
Founded in 2003, CUFF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to programming films that defy convention. Through the screening of contemporary works in various categories that include: feature, documentary, animation and shorts - we bring Calgarians a unique roster of films rarely seen in North American theatres.

We actively look to showcase titles in all genres, from horror, sci-fi and fantasy to comedies, thrillers and music-related films. In addition to finding great films we are committed to introducing you to the people behind the lens, by showcasing local and international indie filmmakers. We are proud to contribute to Calgary's thriving arts community and are thrilled to bring innovative and challenging selections to all film enthusiasts.

Jury Awards:
Best Narrative Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Canadian Short Film

Audience Awards:
Best Narrative Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Canadian Short
Best International Short

CUFF is currently accepting all film/video submissions. Film and Video submissions are accepted in all categories. Please note that for feature films, it must be a Calgary premiere. For short films, Calgary premieres have priority, but it's not a deal breaker.

We encourage local, national and international submissions.

We love all genres, and screen a variety of films from documentary to narrative, animation and occasionally music videos. However we do not screen experimental, non-narrative films. In terms of length, we do not accept mid-length films (30 - 60 minutes).

Note: FilmFreeway payment is in USD. We do accept submissions through our web site in Canadian Dollars.


1) Features films: must be a Calgary premiere, and not have screened in theatre, local festival or Canadian broadcast before our dates.

2) Short films: Priority is given to films which have not yet screened in Calgary.

3) We do not program films which were finished prior to last years festival.
We are looking for films which are participating in the festival circuit from May 2020 - 2021 onward.

4) Films must not have released on VOD, or available to Canadian audiences.

5) If you change your screener link or password, and do not notify us on your own, it could end up not being seen. We do our best to follow up, but can not always do so.

i.e. If screening at festivals prior to April 2020 - we do not recommend applying. Please contact if you have any questions:

Overall Rating
  • A top notch festival. They had to switch to a virtual film fest in 2020 and they were still able to make me feel like I was attending the festival. Supremely well organized and kind group of people running this festival. When I was able to attend the festival to play my first film "Vannin'" in 2014 it set the bar really high for a great festival experience for a director. Both a festival and a life highlight to be included at CUFF!

    July 2020
  • Darrin Rose

    Delightful people! Obviously COVID got in the way this year, but they quickly regrouped to get the festival online and geo-blocked. Very good communication throughout.

    July 2020
  • From incredible programming to even better people, CUFF is the most wonderful festival. Hope to be back very soon!

    May 2019
  • Thank you CUFF for showing our film “Tickle My Pickle”. While we could not attend, the festival looked amazing and really showcased a variety of unique films! The website and programming was super flashy and fun too!

    May 2019
  • Mike Hooves

    CUFF has a great venue and the atmosphere and enthusiasm is wonderful. They treat you well and make you feel very welcomed, and are great at following up with communication. It is very apparent they value film and artists and you can see love in everything CUFF does.

    May 2018