The Edmonton International Film Festival Society (EIFFS) was formed in 1999 for the purpose of producing a multi-day, annual, celebration of contemporary cinema from Canada, and around the globe. From 1985 to 2001, the National Screen Institute (NSI) funded and presented Edmonton’s premier film festival, ‘Local Heroes’ with the passionate leadership of founder, Jan Miller. In 2001, the NSI moved ‘Local Heroes’ to the home of their headquarters in Winnipeg. So in 2003, the EIFFS Board of Directors, launched the Edmonton International Film Festival with the intent to continue the legacy created by Jan and the NSI. With very little budget, and a whole lotta heart, this group of industry leaders rolled up their collective sleeves and breathed life into EIFF! We can only describe these founding Board members as bold, determined and… scrappy! And here we are today – a combined 30+ years later – we’ve come a long way, baby.

EIFFS is a non-profit, charitable organization which is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, selected by a community-based steering committee. Board terms are 2-years in length. Election of new Board members takes place in February each year during the organization’s AGM.

The Edmonton International Film Festival Society was registered in the province of Alberta on September 8, 1999 under the Societies Act of Alberta (Charity number 87156-9984-RT0001).


Established in 1985, EIFF programs fifty (50) feature length documentary and dramatic films and seventy-five (75) short films annually. These films are curated from more than 3,000 submissions and organizers solicit award-winning films from the international film festival circuit. Films are contemporary (produced within twenty (20) months of the festival) and require Edmonton premiere status. In 2016, EIFF programmed all five (5) of the Academy Awards nominated films in the Foreign Language category along with MOONLIGHT, which won the Best Picture OSCAR®.


2017: EIFF ranks as ’50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee’ by MovieMaker Magazine
2016: AMPAS announces EIFF as an OSCAR® Qualifying Festival (short films)
2016: EIFF ranks as ’50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee’ by MovieMaker Magazine
2015: EIFF ranks as ’50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee’ by MovieMaker Magazine
2004: EIFFS Board of Directors moves festival dates from March to September.
2003: Re-branded as Edmonton International Film Festival and presented by the EIFF Society
2002: July 7, 2002 – EIFFS becomes a Registered Charity with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
1999: Sept. 8, 1999 – Incorporated as EIFF Society with Alberta Societies Act (#508470507)
1985: Launched as Local Heroes Film Festival – presented by the NSI