Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (#VIWIFF)

Now in its 14th year, the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWIFF) 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.

This six day celebration is organized by Women in Film and Television Vancouver, a not-for-profit society founded in 1989 to advocate for, celebrate and promote women working in screen-based media. VIWIFF continues to provide a platform for challenging gender imbalance and the lack of diversity in the Canadian 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 5-10, 2019 and screens films with women in at least three of the following seven key creative roles: Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer, Lead Performer. Films completed after March 2016 are eligible. International films, as well as films from students, are encouraged and welcomed.

Not only does VIWIFF showcase films made by women from around the world, the festival also offers:
- Moderated Q&A sessions
- Panel discussions related to film screenings
- Industry panel discussions
- Artist talks
- Networking events
- Workshops
- 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 both professional audiences and members of the general public, the festival pays filmmakers' exhibition fees and all films are entered to win cash awards.In the words of filmmakers involved in previous years, the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival “is one of the most inclusive, well-run, [and] welcoming that we have experienced.”

Filmmaker and 2018 workshop facilitator Nikki Saltz said: “My time at VIWIFF has been my favourite festival experience to date. The festival fostered such a spirit of camaraderie among the brilliant creatives who attended, and there was a true sense of community from beginning to end, which all other festivals I've attended could really benefit from. It was an absolute joy to see packed theatre after packed theatre in support of women filmmakers—a testament to the value of a festival like VIWIFF.”

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

Submissions contact:

Awards & Prizes
All films with women in the following categories are eligible to compete for awards, with each awardee receiving $250:
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

The Matrix Award is also presented to the top three BC short films in the festival with each receiving a plaque and a gift certificate from Matrix Production Services.

To see past winners and award categories visit:

To submit to the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival Screenplay Competition visit:

Rules & Terms
Please carefully read the following terms and rules, including Selection and Notification, Submission Rules, and Terms and Conditions. Should the submitted film not adhere to these 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.

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 of the following key creative roles must have been filled by women: Writer, Producer, Director, 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.

Films completed after March 2016 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.)

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.

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 2019.

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 2019, acceptance of the invitation to screen at the festival must be received within one week of notification.

5. If selected for VIWIFF 2019, exhibition copies must be delivered to WIFTV by February 6, 2019.

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 PAL or NTSC, but must be one of the following: Blu-ray, DCP or a QuickTime compliant file.

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 2019.

10. If selected by VIWIFF 2019, a short clip or clips from the film (up to two minutes), in high resolution, must be delivered by February 6, 2019, preferably via downloadable link. These will be used for the festival trailer and other promotional opportunities.

11. Promotional materials of films selected for VIWIFF 2019 become the property of VIWIFF 2019 and can be used to promote VIWIFF 2019 in all media, including film, television, radio, print, and the Internet.

Submission Rules:
1. Submissions are accepted through FilmFreeway.

2. The following submission screeners (viewing copies) are accepted:
• As an upload to FilmFreeway
• As a password protected link to an online platform like Vimeo, to be included in the cover letter of your FilmFreeway submission. The link must remain active for the duration of our jurying process (up until the time of notification)
• DVDs are not accepted

3. Submission must include:
• The name and gender of the key creative credits (Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer and Lead Performer). Please be specific; names will not suffice as gender identification.
• A short synopsis
• Running time
• Genre
• Screening history (links must be included for all films that have been made available online)
• 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 regulations. 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.


Films from the Washington Film Festival screening at the World Film Fair