What's the DIFF?

Have you ever scrolled through film festivals, wondering, “What makes this one different?” That’s a great question, and at DIFF (DaVinci International Film Festival), we believe it all starts with our name.

Leonardo da Vinci embodied a brilliantly innovative spirit, and that’s exactly what we aim to celebrate at DIFF. We’re a boutique festival seeking out independent filmmakers who push boundaries and captivate audiences with fresh storytelling.

Here’s what sets us apart:

Intimacy Meets Impact. We may be fresh on the scene, but we bring big impact. Our meticulously chosen Official Selections screen alongside other exceptional works at the world-famous Grove in Los Angeles. Our focus on exclusivity allows us to connect with filmmakers and screenwriters on a personal level, ensuring a supportive and enriching experience throughout their creative journey.

Visionary Guidance: Leading with Passion. DaVinci’s leadership is a powerhouse. Emmy winners, a BAFTA recipient, a Sundance co-founder, and award-winning WGA, DGA, and SAG professionals bring their passion and expertise to the table. Driven by excellence, they’re dedicated to fostering connections with new filmmakers and writers.

Leo Legacy: Celebrate Every Vision. Our Leo Awards honor excellence in narrative, documentary, animation, and screenwriting. Plus, we’re spotlighting future storytellers with the free Junior Leo® Awards for students and DIFF’s innovative GENIUS category for ultra-short films. Share your voice and join the DIFF family!

The Leo Award: A Symbol of Cinematic Achievement, Just like the meticulous care we put into curating films and crafting our brand, the Leo Award embodies excellence. This custom-designed, 5-pound museum-grade bust of Leonardo da Vinci is a unique trophy presented to the Best of Fest winners in our signature categories. In 2024, at DIFF’s 6th Edition, a special Leo Award was bestowed upon Michel J. Fox for our inaugural Visionary Award. The Leo Award is more than a statue; it’s a recognition of exceptional filmmaking and the hard work behind it.

Leo Winner’s Package: Amplified Recognition (New in 2024!). Winning a Leo goes beyond the stunning bust statue. In 2024, we’ve upped the ante! Our Leo winners now receive:

  • L.A. Billboard Exposure: Showcase your poster with a million+ impressions per month.
  • Streamer Distribution Control: Monetize your content with a distribution deal on a major platform.
  • Second Theater Screening: Expand your audience with an additional screening opportunity.

And More! We’re constantly adding exciting benefits for our winners.

Official Selections: Every year, we handpick the finest independent films (narrative features & shorts, documentaries, animation, and screenplays) who compete for our Leo Award at the iconic AMC Theatres at The Grove in Los Angeles.

Mastermind Panel Events: Gain insights from industry titans at DIFF’s exclusive events. Past panels featured FilmBC, FilmAsia, The Creativity Conference (Making Your First Feature), and The Writers’ Corner.

Unforgettable Recognition: Selected films compete for the coveted Leo Award, Audience Award (GENIUS category), and the brand-new Jr. Leo Award. Celebrate with an in-theater red-carpet ceremony and glamorous after-party.

Your Creative Home: DIFF is a supportive community. We understand you have options, and we’re thrilled you’re considering us. Let’s collaborate and elevate your cinematic journey!

Come experience the DIFFerence!

DaVinci International Film Festival

Chadwick Pelletier
Founder & CEO