Submit Now

Hokkaido International Film Festival discovers quality films from Japan and abroad and brings them to as many people as possible, while respecting diversity of expression and interpretation.
We also value the connections among filmmakers, audiences, and related parties, and share the joy of watching films together.
We are looking forward to our first monumental and wonderful films encounter!

Awards & Prizes

There are three categories depending on the run time of the film, and the winner of each category will receive the prize money and a plaque.

  • Best International Short Film Award (under 30 minutes): $1,000 prize money and a plaque
  • Best International Medium-length Film Award (30 min. to 60 min.): $1,000 prize money and a plaque
  • Best International Feature Film Award (over 60 minutes): $2,000 prize money and a plaque

In addition, the Audience Award and the Jury’s Special Award will be selected and presented with plaques.

Rules & Terms

  1. Eligibility Criteria:
    • Films must be completed on or after January 1, 2022.
    • Submissions must be original works by the filmmakers or their team.
    • Filmmakers of all nationalities, ages, skill levels, and qualifications are welcome to submit their films.
    • Narrative, documentary, animation, experimental, or any other genre is acceptable. However, those that promote discrimination or disregard human rights will not be accepted.
  2. Submission Format:
    • Films should be submitted in digital format, via Vimeo or YouTube.
    • Minimum resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels).
    • If the original language is neither English nor Japanese, English subtitles must be provided.
  3. Submission Fee:
    • A specified entry fee per film is required. Varies depending on status, length of film, and time of submission.
    • There are four phased submission deadlines. The earlier a filmmaker submits, the lower the submission fee.
      – Earlybird deadline until February 29, 2024
      – Regular Deadline until April 30, 2024
      – Late deadline until May 31, 2024
      – Extended Deadline until June 30, 2024
    • Entry fee is non-refundable.
    • Students must present a valid Student ID in order to receive our student discount.
    • Filmmakers who are unable to pay the entry fee due to conflicts or disasters may receive a waiver of the entry fee. Please contact us using Inquiry Form.
  4. Submission Method:
    • All submissions must be made through the official festival submission platform, Film Freeway.
  5. Rights:
    • By submitting a film, filmmakers grant Hokkaido International Film Festival the right to screen the film during the festival dates.
    • The festival reserves the right to use excerpts from submitted films for promotional purposes.
  6. Selection Process:
    • Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of industry professionals.
    • Films will be evaluated based on criteria such as originality, artistic merit, storytelling, and technical proficiency.
  7. Notification:
    • Filmmakers will be notified of the selection results via email by the notification date.
    • Filmmakers selected as finalists will receive detailed instructions regarding screening dates, venues, file formats and promotional materials.
  8. Finalists’ Conditions:
    • Finalists must provide a high-resolution digital copy (MP4 or MOV) of their film for screening at the festival.
    • Finalists will be expected to participate in post-screening Q&A sessions (either onsite or online) and promotional activities as requested by the festival.
  9. Screening:
    • Films selected as finalists will be screened at one or more venues.
    • In addition to the finalists, films that are deemed worthy of being screened may be selected for the Out of Competition, where they will be screened with the consent of the filmmakers.
    • In the event of a pandemic or other difficult situation, the films may be screened online. In such cases, only films that have been approved by the filmmakers will be screened.
  10. Subsidized travel expenses:
    • Travel expenses will be subsidized for those selected as finalists to attend the festival as follows.
      – From outside Japan: $280
      – From within Japan except Hokkaido: $140
      – From within Hokkaido: $70
      *only one time and one person per film.
  11. Winners:
    • Winners will be determined by a panel of judges and announced at the final ceremony of the festival.
  12. Receive Award Money and Travel subsidies:
    • To receive the prize money and travel subsidy, the submitter must send the prescribed invoice to the festival organizer after attending the festival.
    • The festival organizers organizer pays the filmmaker via PayPal or bank transfer
  13. Other Provisions:
    • Filmmakers are responsible for ensuring they have obtained all necessary rights and permissions for their submitted films.
    • The festival organizers reserve the right to make changes to the schedule and programming as necessary.

Please carefully review these guidelines before submitting your film to the Hokkaido International Film Festival. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us using Inquiry Form.

Submit Now