We’ve listed a number of popular Q&A below regarding How to Fest with DIFF, but should you have additional questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact us at info@davincifilm.org.  Alternatively you can fill out our contact form here, and someone will get back to you soon.

What does DIFF stand for?

DaVinci International Film Festival


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, Kudos to you, if you’ve received a “Finalist” position at DIFF.  That’s amazing, congratulations!

DIFF operates differently than traditional festivals when awarding our selected films.  When a film is given a “Finalist” status at DIFF, it does NOT mean that it will screen at our Live Event.  It means the film has been nominated for our Vitruvian Award.  If the project is [then] selected as our Vitruvian winner, it will be invited to showcase at our Live Event and be in the running for our Leo Award.

The best way to think of DIFF’s format is the Golden Globes and Oscars — the Vitruvian being the Golden Globe winning project that goes on to compete for our most coveted award, The Leo (Oscar).

Where can I learn more about DaVinci Film Institute?

We are excited to introduce the DaVinci Film Institute in partnership with Coca-Cola and The Lopez Foundation, hosted at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, 2021.  Learn more about the DIFF program here.

When does the festival take place?

DaVinci International Film Festival’s 4th Annual Vitruvian Awards take place 24-26 September 2021.

Where does the festival take place?

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.*

*Subject to change due to COVID-19

How much is the entry fee?

Price ranges from $30-60 based on category and deadline.  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 our BEST OF FEST for each qualifying category.

As a boutique festival, DIFF presents winners in FEATURE, SHORT, DOCUMENTARY, ANIMATION, and SCREENWRITING categories with our Vitruvian Award (Official Selection), who [then] go on to showcase their films each year at the Vitruvian Awards. Here, they will all be in the running for The Leo, which is presented by our title sponsor at the After Party.

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

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 winner" selection?

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 Award winners (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?

Vitruvian and Leo Awards are presented in person at our live showcase event annually. If a winning filmmaker cannot attend the event, shipping arrangements can be made†.  Please contact us for more details info@davincifilm.org

†2020 DIFF Vitruvian & Leo Award winners will be presented with their statues at 2021 LSE in Washington DC.

Who's Leonardo da Vinci?

Hmm.  OK.  Check him out.

Something we missed?  Contact us.