Honoring Independent Filmmaking

As filmmakers, we understand and appreciate what it takes to make a quality picture. Our aim at this festival is to not only recognize the best in independent cinema from around the world, but also celebrate many of those below-the-liners who largely to unnoticed or unrewarded — those who often are not given the stage, yet play important roles in seeing a project through.  From HMU to theatrical creative; P&A to storyboarding … it all plays out here at DIFF.

Our point of view is that DaVinci was the epitome of the creative and divergent mind, and so we set out to celebrate much of the same here.

With over 50 years of combined professional industry experience, we invite our fellow film and television Creatives to submit their projects, and be a part of our mission and family, to honor those who work toward a locked picture; to celebrate Creatives who continue to raises the bar in our industry, and to award those who work silently, but in concert toward this very moment.

DIFF operates as a quarterly online film festival, awarding the “Best of” in over two dozen categories, with a few “Honorable Mentions”.  Please note that our categories are subject to change at any time without notice.  Those filmmakers who pick up the Vitruvian Award for our narrative feature and short formats, will be invited as our VIP Guest to attend a red carpet Showcase Event in Los Angeles at the end of the year, and be in the running for The Leo award.


  • Audience Award
  • Feature Film
  • Short Film
  • Director
  • Documentary
  • Cultural
  • Animation
  • Music Video
  • Sound Design
  • Actor
  • Screenplay
  • New Media
  • Original Score
  • Student
  • Color Correction
  • Cinematography
  • Editing
  • Art Direction

*  Vitruvian Awards (Feature / Short narrative & Screenwriting ONLY)

Unscripted & Branded Content

Remember when people laughed at Reality TV?  “It’s a fad — a dying trend ..”   Well, that was nearly 30 years ago, and now Reality TV is bigger than ever.  These shows are simply cheaper to produce (compared to their scripted counterpart), and ratings remain high.

At DIFF we are looking for the most compelling unscripted properties, with colorful characters, conflict, and access into new and exciting worlds.  Our founders have written, produced, developed, and sold unscripted to nearly every network, in nearly every space.  Whether it’s a docu-series or challenge show, our team knows how to package a project for success.

Our quarterly competition series at DIFF offers development Creatives the opportunity to submit a treatment and secured sizzle  for a shot at getting your show made.  DIFF’s partners have developed unscripted content for Discovery (DCI), National Geographic, History, A&E, Spike, CBS, NBC, and many others.  Our TOP THREE (3) winners in respective categories will receive development deals with DIFF to push their projects forward.  Our Creator(s) will be invited to attend the pitch meeting(s) in the Los Angeles* area, and will be with our Executives every step of the way, as they attempt to sell the show.

WINNING DIFF DOES NOT GUARANTEE YOUR SHOW GETTING MADE.  All Entrants must accept our Terms & Conditions prior to submission.  Click here to learn more.

*Creator(s) responsible their own travel and expenses.

  • Best Docu-Series (COPS, Real World)
  • Best Competition / Elimination (Iron Chef, Dancing with the Stars)
  • Best Makeover / Renovation (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition)
  • Best Dating (Love Connection, The Bachelor, Blind Date)
  • Best Hidden Camera / Amateur Content (Punk’d, Scare Tactics)
  • Best Supernatural (Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State)
  • Best Travel / Aspirational (Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous)