The Discover Indie Film Foundation
DIFF is a nonprofit organization formed to promote the art of filmmaking by conducting annual festivals to provide unknown independent filmmakers with opportunities to display their films and by sponsoring symposiums on filmmaking. DIFF is defined as a 501(c)(3) non-profit by the IRS. The Discover Indie Film Foundation manages two annual film festivals based in Los Angeles, the Sherman Oaks Film Festival and Film Invasion Los Angeles.
The organization solicits films for the festivals through advertisements and festival submission platforms. Many of the persons who submit films are students of filmmaking, ranging from middle schools to high schools to universities. Individuals submitting films are charged a fee which is designed solely to cover the costs of exhibiting these independently financed films.
Films submitted to the festivals are screened by a selection board consisting of persons who have achieved reputations as experts in various artistic fields. The basic criterion employed by the board in determining the films to be shown at the festivals is the artistic merit of the film being screened. The board generally rejects films that have clear commercial overtones and are likely to appeal to commercial film distribution companies.
The organization does not sell films shown at the festivals. The films remain the property of the filmmakers. Also, the organization does not encourage or participate in any negotiations for commercial exploitation of the films.
In addition to showing films at the festivals, the organization conducts symposiums that are designed to educate the public, students of films, and aspiring filmmakers in new techniques and artistic developments in the film industry. These symposiums are open to the general public and consist of lectures and discussions conducted by persons with established and recognized expertise as filmmakers and by the makers of the films shown at the festivals.