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Vancouver International Film Festival

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/7/2011

At look at the film submission process for the Vancouver International Film Festival and some tips to help you along the way.

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    Film in the Northwest

    The Vancouver International Film Festival stands out as one of the top five film festivals in North America, leaving it as not only one of the premiere film festivals of the northwest but in all of the U.S. and Canada. The Vancouver International Film Festival also marks itself as one of the larger film festivals focusing on international filmmaking with 379 films screened in 2009. For filmmakers, the Vancouver International Film Festival has been incredibly important for non-fiction filmmaking, and they even measured forty-two percent of 2009's feature films as documentaries. Here is a look at the Vancouver International Film Festival and some tips on how to apply for it.

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    Submission Requirements

    The most important date to mark on the calendar for those submitting films to the Vancouver International Film Festival is going to by July 15th, which is the submission deadline. Canadians, however, get special treatment and their submission date is extended to July 21st. If you are submitting a film then you must look at the requirements and restrictions to see what classification your film would go under in their listing. For example, the Dragons & Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia is dedicated to the films of a specific region. If you submit your film from this area it will be forced into this category. There are two locations for non-fiction feature films and you will find a special focus on French cinema and environmental filmmaking. What you need to be most focused on is the acceptability of your film in particular. To be eligible to be a part of the Vancouver International Film Festival you must make sure that your film has had no commercial screening or broadcast in the greater Vancouver, British Columbia area. Features only have to be over twenty minutes, which means that short films should likely be under that. This is going to actually eliminate a number of short films that go over this mark, especially if they are not able to really compete with the regular feature films. It is an international film festival and like most, it needs to either be in English or have English subtitles accompanying it.

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    The first thing that you should do when submitting to the Vancouver International Film Festival is to do so utilizing will allow you to keep the submission organized and you will get five dollars off the submission fee, which is forty dollars for features over twenty minutes and twenty dollars for those under twenty minutes. The Canadian Images section, which is only open to Canadian filmmakers, is of special note because it leaves you open to more awards and prizes as well as giving you an advantage in getting into the festival. This requires the primary filmmaker or producer to be Canadian, which really only indicates that any Canadian specific filmmakers should target the Vancouver Film Festival specifically. This is actually going to go double for non-fiction films, as the Vancouver International Film Festival is very open to them. It is also important to send some promotional material such as a couple posters, a written description, link to a website for the film, and possibly even some kind of preview DVD.