NEW FOR 2021 - Racial Justice in View submissions may be submitted directly via our main festival page (

The Buffalo International Film Festival is committed to diversity, inclusion, and community collaboration programmatically and organizationally. Our mission is to amplify diverse voices by creating and maintaining open platforms with which to tell stories through cinema. Recent events in our nation, as well as those occurring locally in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others, have underscored the urgency of addressing racial injustice, and listening to the people that experience and witness these injustices first hand. We support and stand by the Black Lives Matter movement, and its efforts to educate, bring visibility, and spark discussions around the racism, systemic injustice and violence that has plagued this country since colonization. Through our festival platform, we hope to contribute to the work that BIPOC lead movements like BLM and many others are doing to transform these systems in order to fully enable equal rights, liberty and justice for all.

In light of these concerns, we’re launching an open, submission-fee free call for RACIAL JUSTICE IN VIEW, a curated program of nonfiction film - documentary, experimental, video essays, and everything in between – exploring racism, protest, police brutality and inequality in the United States, Canada and sovereign Indigenous lands. We invite makers from Western New York, the Tuscarora Nation/Ska:Ruh:Reh, the Tonawanda Seneca Nation/Onondowahgah, the Seneca Nation of Indians/Onondowahgah, the Cayuga Nation territories/Guyohkohnyoh, the Onondaga Nation/Onundagaono, the Oneida Nation/Onayotekaono, the Mohawk Nation/Kanienkahagen, Six Nations, the Shinnecock Nation, the Poospatuck Nation of the Unkechaugi, New York State, and Southern Ontario to submit video work under 10 minutes. We welcome old and new work for this category, but the work cannot be publicly accessible already.

Topics for further consideration include (but are not limited to):

Selected shorts will screen at the 2020 Buffalo International Film Festival's new Racial Justice In View program. BIFF runs October 8-12th in Buffalo, NY.

Films that do not meet these guidelines may be submitted for consideration (with applicable entry fee) at

Films selected for the program are eligible in applicable awards categories at the 2020 Buffalo International Film Festival. Applicable awards categories include:
- Best Short Documentary Film
- Best WNY Short
- Best WNY Student Film
- Best Animated Film

Additional applicable awards include:
-BIFF Boundary Breaker Award
Issued by the executive staff of BIFF and awarded to an individual artist for groundbreaking work.

Thank you for your interest in Racial Justice in View - a program of the Buffalo International Film Festival. This program line is free to submit for films that meet and agree to the following criteria.

If your film is over 10 minutes long, does not include a social or racial justice thread, or originates from outside of New York State, Ontario, and neighboring Indigenous Nations; you may submit a project with the applicable entry fee to the 2020 Buffalo International Film Festival at Our final, extended deadline for our regular call for entries is July 10th.

Terms of Entry for Racial Justice In View:

1. Only entries submitted digitally (via FilmFreeway) will be considered. Private, password protected Vimeo links are preferred.
2. BIFF requires all feature and short films to be World, International, US, East Coast or Western New York premieres. A 'Western New York premiere' is defined as not having screened publicly in the United States within a 50-mile radius of Buffalo, NY, prior to the festival.
3. Exhibition formats vary from venue to venue. Filmmakers are expected to provide physical media which may include BluRay (Region A/1 or Region Free only), Digital Cinema Package (DCP) or .mov files. No other formats will be accepted for exhibition.
4. Only completed works 10 minutes long and under may be submitted to Social Justice in View.
5. You may replace your original submission at anytime, however any prior evaluation of your film will not be discarded. Filmmakers are strongly encouraged to provide films that are at or very near picture-locked.
6. All submissions are reviewed using the following criteria: strength of direction, storytelling, production/technical value, cultural value, and audience interest. We welcome diverse submissions that blur the boundaries between documentary, narrative and experimental work.
7. If invited to screen at the Buffalo International Film Festival, you acknowledge the festival is under no obligation to pay a screening fee.
8. The Buffalo International Film Festival endeavors to complete our selection process by the notification date and inform all submitting parties via email of their selection status.
9. Contacts designated on the submission record will receive information including print shipping and deadlines, attendance, and a general festival and Buffalo orientation guide. You agree to keep the contact information associated with your submission record up to date.
10. Showtime and venue scheduling is at the discretion of the festival and may be subject to change.
11. By submitting a project to BIFF you assert that you are the designated representative of the project’s producer and at this time have the right to enter into an agreement to exhibit the project at a film festival in the United States. You also agree should the project’s distribution status or premiere availability in Western New York change to inform the festival via email at prior to the Notification Date.
12. The Buffalo International Film Festival and its host venues aspire to provide the best quality presentation possible. All exhibition media provided in advance will receive a technical screening prior to its festival screening. BIFF and its venue partners will not be held liable for any failure in the technical quality of its presentation resulting in the cancellation or interruption of a screening or the cancelation of the festival. Submission fees are nonrefundable.
13. In the event the 2020 Buffalo International Film Festival is canceled in full or part due to COVID19 or any other unforeseen circumstance such, but not limited, to a national, state, regional or city emergency the Buffalo International Film Festival, Inc may choose to exhibit Racial Justice in View online.

By accepting our invitation to screen you agree to the following terms:

1. No project may be withdrawn after accepting an invitation to screen at the festival.
2. Your project is currently compliant with the rules set forth in the terms of entry.
3. You agree not to host a screening (of 15 or more persons) of your film in the United States, within a 100-mile radius of Buffalo, NY prior to your screening. Limited private screenings of less than 15 persons for the purposes of feedback (such as a small friends/family screening or for the purposes of fulfilling a thesis/class requirement) are permissible on a limited basis.
4. Your project has received, or will receive all applicable legal clearances required for a public screening in the United States. You agree to hold the Buffalo International Film Festival harmless and to indemnify the festival, its sponsors and venues against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees and court costs) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, and screening.
5. BIFF reserves the right to reclassify a submitted project for the purposes of programming and juried awards consideration.

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