We’ve listed a number of popular frequently asked questions below, but should you have additional questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact us for more information.  Alternatively you can fill out our general inquiry form here, and someone will get back to you soon.

What does DIFF stand for?

DaVinci International Film Festival

What is Storyline?

STORYLINE℠ is DaVinci International Film Festival’s screenwriting competition series.  Here at DIFF, we believe all this beautiful madness starts with a great screenplay, and due to the high volume of professional-level material we have received each quarter, we launched a division brand to solely represent our screenwriting competition.  Learn more here.

What is the Festival's format?

Check it out here.

Do "Finalists" screen at the Live Event?

First of all, congratulations if you’ve received a “Finalist” position at DIFF.  That’s an amazing accomplishment.

DIFF operates differently than most festivals in terms of selection and screening.  When a film is given a “Finalist” status at DIFF, it does NOT necessarily mean that it will screen at our Live Event.  It means the film (or screenplay) has made it to the next level toward our Vitruvian Selection (“Official Selection”). If the project is later selected as a Vitruvian Selection, the project will be invited to showcase at our Live Event and be in the running for the Leo Award.

Where can I learn more about DaVinci Film Institute?

COVID has stalled this program in Washington DC, but we are excited to introduce the DaVinci Film Institute in partnership with Coca-Cola and at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, soon.  Learn more about the DIFF program here.

When does the festival take place?


Where does the festival take place?

AMC Theatres, The Grove in Los Angeles

How much is the entry fee?

DIFF’s entry fee varies per category and deadline.  Please visit FilmFreeway.com/DaVinciFilmFestival for more information. We do not offer waivers or refunds.

Do you have Earlybird and Late fee structure?

Yes we do.  Our Earlybird pricing is generally $35 and Extended is $60. (Students have a reduced rate; please check our FilmFreeway submission platform for exact pricing).

Can I get refunded if my project is not eligible?

No, we do not issue refunds if your project is not eligible.  Therefore, please carefully check the guidelines of the section(s) if the film is eligible or not prior to submitting your project.

Do you accept PayPal?

Only for donations at this time.  If you are interested in submitting to DIFF directly (not on FilmFreeway), please contact us at info@davincifilm.org to learn more.

I don't have a credit card. What can I do?

Unfortunately, we do not accept checks or other forms of payment at this time.  We work with our secured payment gateway partners at both FilmFreeway and Paypal.

I'm a student. What are the conditions?

There is a reduced submission fee to enter DIFF competitions for all of our eager young filmmakers.  Please check the platform for student rates.  Valid student ID must be presented for discount.

I would like to submit my project to more than one section. Do I have to pay an entry fee for each section?


Do you have Premiere status requirements at DIFF?

We’re not looking to stake a claim on your premiere status.  DIFF does not have any formal premiere policies for any of our submissions OTHER THAN UNSCRIPTED / REALITY TV CONCEPTS.  That said, your film project can not be older than ONE YEAR (1) since lock picture.

If your unscripted concept has been socialized (shared) with any network executives, associates, or even third uncles removed from these folks at the networks — not to mention directly presented to any network, studio, or production company, then PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT your project.  We are savvy to network mandates and what’s been out there (pitched).  DIFF and its unscripted strategic partners also have reputations to uphold in the industry, and it’s never a good idea to go into a meeting and present a project we endorse that has already been seen.  There are NO REFUNDS if you accidentally forgot that you showed this to a friend of yours who serves coffee at The Shark Tank.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

Tell me about the Leo Award

The Leo is our most prized award at the DaVinci International Film Festival.  It is reserved for our BEST OF FEST in each qualifying category.  It is a 17-lb, museum-grade bust state of the luminary, Leonardo da Vinci himself.

Leo winners in each category are selected by an appointed DIFF Film Committee and Board of Directors.

(re. 2020 & 2021) I am an award winner. When/where do I get my award?

DIFF presented 2020-21 Leo statues to winners who were able to attend at their 5th Edition, September 25th 2022.  Gallery.

What are your Submission Dates?

Access fee structure and submission deadlines at FilmFreeway.

What categories do you accept?

How can I submit?

We accept submission through our festival partner, FilmFreeway, as well as direct submission via our website using our secured PayPal gateway.  For more information, please visit our submission page.

How old can my project be? (year completion restrictions)

Your film project must be no more than one (1) year old from ‘picture lock’ at the time of submission to DIFF.  We do not have any restrictions for screenwriting submissions at STORYLINE.

How can I pay?

Payment is accepted only in US dollars (U$D) through our secured Paypal payment gateway or via our festival partner platforms.  Unfortunately, we do not accept checks at this time.  A photocopy of your valid student ID must be enclosed with payment (if submitting under the STUDENT category).  Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any refunds.

What if I don't get in, can I get a refund?

Unfortunately, we are unable to issue refunds.

When will I be notified?

Please visit FilmFreeway for deadlines and notification information.

Where can I post my "Finalist" or "Vitruvian Selection" laurel?

ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE.  We are just as proud as you are!  Also, please make sure to #davincifilmfestival on Facebook and Instagram.  You can also link to your respective SELECTIONS page, where we will list our Finalists and Vitruvian Selections (the link is in our main website navigation).

How can I get my project into the DIFF Spotlight?

Projects MUST BE nominated by a third party for Spotlight consideration.  Please read review our Spotlight terms & conditions here.

How do I submit my screenplay?

Welcome to STORYLINE.  Learn more about our submission guidelines, rules, and submit!

Screenplay submissions require 1) Screenplay with name on title page ONLY.  Please do NOT have your name on script pages. 2) Payment via our payment gateway partners.  For more information, please visit STORYLINE.

Do you mail the winners their trophy?

Unfortunately, no. Leo Awards are presented in person only at our live event annually.

If a winning filmmaker cannot attend the event for whatever reason, we ask that you send someone in your place to accept the award on your behalf.  If a filmmaker is unable to attend because they are overseas and can not travel due to sanction(s), then we are happy to work with a local Consulate representative to have them receive the Leo Award on your behalf.  

Finally, if you can not attend to accept your Leo Award, but would be able to attend the following year, we are happy to hold onto your statue for one year† and present you with it at the following festival. If this is what you would like to do, it is important to contact us to make arrangements.

† One (1) year only.

Who's Leonardo da Vinci?

Hmm.  OK.  Check him out.

Something we missed?  Contact us.