The sixth edition of the DaVinci International Film Festival (DIFF), scheduled from October 20-22, 2023 at AMC Theatres at The Grove in Los Angeles, has announced the addition of the new Junior Leo Program designed to celebrate the creative works of student filmmakers. The announcement was made today by DaVinci Film Foundation Inc. founder/CEO Chadwick Pelletier.

The Junior Leo Program is an all-new, free to enter competition. Official selections will be featured in a special two-hour showcase and filmmakers’ Q&A during DIFF 2023. Student filmmaker nominees will be invited to screen their works and compete for the festival’s inaugural Junior Leo Award and a monetary scholarshiphave unprecedented access to distribution partnership opportunities, and be eligible for special sponsorship prizes. 

“The Junior Leo Program celebrates the talented student filmmakers of tomorrow, burgeoning talent who pull us into compelling worlds in short format narrative, documentary, and animation,” comments Pelletier.

DIFF Founder Chadwick Pelletier

The regular and extended deadlines for all categories of the 2023 festival are July 5 and October 1, 2023 respectively. Submissions are open now on FilmFreeway at DaVinci International Film Festival – FilmFreeway. DIFF ’23 will showcase more than 100 creative projects, including 24 in-competition feature and short narrative, documentary and animation films, screenwriting finalists, and up to 80 ultra-shorts, which will compete for the festival’s Audience Award. Additionally, films competing in the ultra-short category will have a reduced submission fee of $10.

Leo Award categories include feature and short narrative, documentary (DIFFdocs), animation, screenwriting (Storyline), and now the Junior Leo Award. Panel programs will be comprehensively announced at a later date. but will include Digital Hollywood, Film Canada, In Sync with Hollywood, Creativity Conference, and Writers’ Corner Program, to anchor the slate. For its second installment at The Grove, DIFF will feature an opening night VIP reception, live and in-person screenings, a closing night Leo Award celebration, panel programs, and exclusive festival events, such as DaVinci Labs exhibition, honoring multidisciplinary creatives in architecture, sculpture, music, and invention.

About DaVinci International Film Festival (DIFF) – DaVinci International Film Festival (DIFF) is produced by 501(c)3 non-profit DaVinci Film Foundation Inc., as a premier boutique awards platform celebrating independent cinema from around the world with its Vitruvian Selections and Leo Awards. The festival hosts four signature programs, including its award-winning screenwriting series, Storyline, DIFFdocs, GENiUS – an ultra-short category, and animation. DIFF ’23 is set to introduce an all-new, free-to-enter Jr. Leo Program for burgeoning filmmakers, as well as a DaVinci Labs exhibition, honoring multidisciplinary creatives in architecture, sculpture, music, and invention. Founded in 2017, DIFF is a top best reviewed film festival, hosting annual events at The Grove in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at

Make a high-impact impression on an audience of U.S. and global filmmakers, film community professionals, and film enthusiasts through DIFF 2023 sponsorship. For details and partnership and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Everett Jacobs at