The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Will CIFF47 be in person, online, or both?
The 47th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) will take place March 22 - April 1, 2023 in person at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland, OH.
CIFF is excited to return to its new forever home, the beautiful and iconic Playhouse Square - also the largest performing arts district in the U.S., outside of New York City. CIFF will continue to follow guidance and protocols based on science and community circumstances, in relation to COVID-19. All Festival details (including dates, format, and venues) are subject to change.
At this time, details about CIFF47 Streams (the virtual/online component of CIFF) are yet to be determined. We will update this page and notify all selected films in the festival as we have news.
When and where will CIFF47 take place?
CIFF47 is scheduled to take place March 22 - April 1, 2023 at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland, OH.
What's the production deadline?
Productions completed after June 1, 2021 are eligible to submit for CIFF47.
Can I get the submission fee waived?
CIFF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Fees collected through the Call for Entries process assist in our operations, so please do not request a waiver, unless you meet the following requirement.
If you are an Applicant who is also a CIFF alum, meaning that CIFF has screened one of your feature or short films in a previous festival, then CIFF will waive your submission fee for any film meeting the CIFF47 requirements outlined herein.
To request a fee waiver, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I know that you received my submission?
Once your film has been submitted via the CIFF47 FilmFreeway portal, it is your responsibility to check your FilmFreeway account to ensure that your submission meets CIFF’s requirements; that you have provided all necessary information to CIFF; and that your film has been accepted by CIFF for consideration. Within one week after your submission date, CIFF will send you an email confirming that it has received your submission and, if applicable, requesting any further information needed from you.
Do you accept online screeners?
We do! It's actually the only way you can now submit to CIFF.
Please review how to submit your online screener through FilmFreeway on their FAQ page here. Through FilmFreeway, we accept HD uploads and Vimeo links.
If links are password-protected, passwords must be valid through April 2, 2023 or your submission will be considered INVALID and will be DISQUALIFIED with no refund.
Can I submit my film on a DVD or Blu-ray?
Sorry! CIFF no longer accepts submissions on DVD or Blu-ray - we will only consider films submitted through Vimeo links or online screeners on FilmFreeway.
What are your definitions of feature and short films?
All linear films with a total runtime of 45 minutes or over are considered feature films. All linear films less than 45 minutes are considered short films.
What genres do you accept?
All genres! The CIFF exhibits short and feature length films of all genres - including Midnight, Sci-Fi, LGBT, and Family - and categories - including Narrative, Documentary, Animation, and especially International – we screened films from over 60 countries last year!
Do you accept MUSIC VIDEOS?
We do! All Music Video submissions must be 15 minutes or under and are subject to the same pricing and rules as short films.
If you would like to submit your work in the music video category, your work must be created for a specific piece of original music that you or an associate have the legal rights to.
Do you accept WEB SERIES?
We do! All Web Series submissions must meet the requirements listed below and are subject to the same pricing and rules as short films.
All work submitted to our Web Series category must be a series of multiple videos in episodic form that pertain to the same theme and may not be longer than 45 minutes per episode. Only one episode needs to be submitted, though supplemental episodes may be requested after the original work is pre-screened. Therefore please submit what you feel is your strongest piece in the series. All episodes within the series must have been made after June 1, 2021. We unfortunately are not considering news programs, talk show, or reality show formats at this time.
Do you accept NEW MEDIA/VIRTUAL REALITY content?
At this time, CIFF regrets that it has no plans to include New Media presentations in CIFF47, due to CIFF’s concerns that it will be unable to implement reasonable measures to protect participants’ health and safety in interactive environments. CIFF therefore will not consider any New Media submissions for CIFF47, including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Video Games, or Interactive Media. Should this policy change, CIFF will update its FilmFreeway page and permit New Media submissions to remain free of charge in accordance with CIFF’s past practice. CIFF encourages any New Media creators who are interested in submitting work for CIFF47 to check CIFF’s FilmFreeway page regularly for any updates.
Do you have competitions?
Do we ever! The CIFF currently has 14 competitions for feature films and 20 competitions for short films, and we're always expanding our awards program. At CIFF46 we gave away over $130,000 in cash awards!
Is the CIFF an Academy®-qualifying festival?
Yes! The CIFF is actually one of few festivals in the world that qualifies for all three Academy Short Film categories! CIFF's Best Animated Short Film Award winner, Best Live Action Short Film Award winner, and Best Documentary Short Film Award winner will all qualify for consideration in the Short Films categories of the annual Academy Awards®. Please check the Academy® website for rules and eligibility.
Can I resubmit a film I submitted to a previous CIFF?
All work previously submitted to any prior CIFF will not be considered.
Can I submit works in progress or instructional works?
No, please do not submit works in progress or industrial/instructional works.
Does my film have to be a premiere to submit?
Can I submit if my film was, is, or will be available before the 47th CIFF for online viewing?
Any film that is available for public viewing on the web (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo) prior to our festival dates will not be considered, with the exception of Web Series content.
Should I note if I am currently a student?
Definitely! Especially if it’s a short film to be eligible for our Best Student Short Film award of $1,000!
How and when will I be notified if my film was accepted?
You will be notified by email whether your film has been selected for exhibition at the 47th CIFF. Our notification deadline is February 24, 2023, but is subject to change. We will try to let you know as soon as possible whether your film made it or not, but please be patient as our selection process does take time.
Can I get feedback about my film?
Yes! Written feedback from our screening team will be provided post-festival for all films that pay to submit in full. If you would like to see your comments, you must email@example.com between May 1 - June 1, 2023. No comments will be provided past June 1, 2023 or for any films that submit with a waiver or discount.
If my film is selected for exhibition, what formats must my film be available in?
Participants’ films - both short and feature - must be available for theatrical screenings as a DCP. For all films that will be participating in the online component of the festival, films must also be available as as a .mp4 or another CIFF-approved digital file. 35MM, BLU-RAY, AND DVD ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE FORMATS FOR CIFF46 EXHIBITION.
Selected participants must upload all exhibition files electronically to CIFF’s secure-storage platform, powered by CineSend. CIFF will not accept any exhibition files for CIFF46 that are submitted on a hard drive.
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Posted by clefilmfest at 7:00 PM
Thanks for the love everyone! Because of you, CIFF was voted as the Best Arts/Film/Music Festival in @ClevelandScene’s 2022 Best Of Cleveland! Bring on #CIFF47 March 22-April 1, followed by CIFF47 Streams April 2-April 9th! https://t.co/jSNjSR6V4r https://t.co/fo5XcGMn8Z