18th River Film Festival

1 — 16th June 2024

River staircase of Porta Portello, Padua

Each year, to an ever-increasing extent, River Film Festival projects hundreds of cinematographic works from around the world, which are viewed and voted by a qualified jury and audience.

The films selected will once again be shown on the floating screen in the middle of the 16th-century fluvial port used for trade between Padua and Venice at the city gate of Porta Portello. This enchanting setting is just one of the many features that attract people to RiFF year after year! During the 16 days of the Festival, all the directors with their crew members will be able to show their works and talk to the audience with a special Q&A after the screening.

The festival is totally free entrance.

In the seventeen editions realized so far, on the floating screen on the river Piovego, there have been projected


Cinematographic works



The Festival is among the official partners of important international cinema events: first of all Berlin Film Festival where every year, in February, RiFF presents the programme in preview.


Prestigious are also the sponsors of national and international institutions: European Parliament, Universities, Embassies, Institutes of Culture, Film Schools and Associations. River Film Festival therefore helps to place the city of Padua, with its Municipality and its University, at the center of European cultural policies.

The Festival is organized by the Cultural Association Researching Movies and it is sponsored by the Padua City Council – Cultural Office and the University of Padua. Padua has now entered the UNESCO World Heritage List thanks to Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel and Padua’s fourteenth-century fresco cycles so it is a special Art town which attracts many tourists and creative people from all over the world!

Guidelines 2024


Via FilmFreeway (a maximum of three entries per director).

Pay for your entry fee:

  • Early bird deadline, 31st October 2023 – Euro 20,00
  • Regular deadline, 31st December 2023 – Euro 25,00
  • Late deadline, 31st March 2024 – Euro 30,00

The entry fee is waived for single entries if the applicant resides in one of the List Developed Countries.


  • Films must have been completed after 1st January 2023.
  • Films can be documentary, student films schools, Virtual Reality, narrative, fiction or animation.
  • Total running time must be from 100 sec. to 30 minutes in length, including front and back credits.
  • The short film can be in any language or any genre. All non-English films must have English subtitles .srt file (Not embedded in .mp4 H264 file).
  • Entry for the Festival implies unconditional acceptance of the published regulations. Should any dispute arise, the festival organizers will have the right of final decision on all that is not specified in the Regulations. Should there be controversy, the Padova Law Courts are competent to deal with any litigation.


  • The Films will be selected by a panel of judges nominated by the Festival. The decision of the selection committee is final.
  • No work or artist will be either discriminated or favoured by their country of origin, language, age, race, education, gender, ideology, or by their economic resources. Every content, every form, every technique will be admitted with no censorship of any kind except that enshrined in current Italian Law.
  • Finalists will be notified on our website or by email the 1st May 2024. The River Film Festival will do its best to announce the selected films and winners at the designated time, but will not be held liable for any unforeseen delays.
  • The catalogue listing the films selected will be published after the 15th May 2024.
  • The owners of the winning films must deposit a ProRes H.264, .mp4 or similarly low compression/high-quality file format/codec copy of the film in the Archives of the Festival. This will only be used for study purposes. Permission will be requested from those who hold the rights to the film should it be required for any other usage.
  • Winning films must mention the prize awarded whenever shown

Award Ceremony

A Jury Laurels, certificates and GOLDEN RIVER (Murano glass sculpture made by Venetian artists) will be given to the best film short in the following category:

  • International horizons (fiction)
  • Italian gazes
  • Animation shorts
  • Documentary shorts
  • Film schools shorts
  • Queer/LGBTQIA+ shorts
  • Virtual Reality
  • Anthropocene: shorts about human rights and climate change
  • Theme in focus: shorts about travels and borders

RiFF is supported by

Municipality of Padua – Department of Culture.

With the contribution of

Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo.

Supported by an important partnership network

European Parliament, ECU Film Festival, HIT-Human Inspired Technology dell’Università di Padova, River College Virtual Reality, la7Gold, Radio Cooperativa, il Mattino di Padova, Sehstern Kommunication – Berlin, l’Associazione Progetto Portello e Comitato Mura di Padova.