BIFF presents world premieres and all films shown at BIFF are Bahamian premieres. There are four competition categories; Spirit of Freedom: Narrative & Documentary; New Visions; and Short Film. Special sections include World Cinema as well as Gala Screenings.

BIFF offers much to the filmmaker by way of networking in a relaxed, island atmosphere while simultaneously providing all the amenities of an excellent festival.

Jeffrey Lyons, one of Hollywood’s best-known film critics and author of “The Stories My Father Told Me” has high praise for BIFF. He says, "The Bahamas International Film Festival is a shining light among a large field of film festivals; it has an astonishing intimacy about it. Young filmmakers, many of them talented Bahamians, get to rub shoulders with movie stars and established filmmakers; contacts they might otherwise not have. It is a celebration of international artistic achievement in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and a vital part of The Bahamas' standing as a creative Mecca for all."
Michael Graf: The BIFF Screenwriter's Residency Program is a game-changer. 5 aspiring writers, and 5 A-List Producers & Writers on an island with the sole focus of taking the screenwriter's work to the next level. Rarely do writers get to experience such an in-depth program. A must for any serious and aspiring screenwriter.

The Bahamas International Film Festival is a non–profit organization dedicated to providing the local community and international visitors with a diverse presentation of films from around the world. In addition to offering films that might not otherwise be released theatrically in the Bahamas, BIFF will provide a unique cultural experience, educational programs, and forums for exploring the future of cinema.

BIFF offers Competitive Categories such as Best Screenplay, Spirit of Freedom (Narrative & Documentary), New Visions for first and second-time filmmakers, and Short Films.

Films must never have been screened anywhere in the Bahamas prior to the Festival
Films must be submitted via FilmFreeway online.
Films must have been completed after January 2023 to be eligible
Non- English-language films must be subtitled in English
Only online screenings will be accepted for preview.
All Submissions will be added to the BIFF archives and made available to buyers and distributors upon request.
Films Submitted will not receive screening fees for showcasing films
Films selected will be placed in the appropriate category by BIFF
Participants who are selected will be notified via email of the selection results approximately six weeks before the Festival. Shipping instructions for films selected for the Festival will be included. The festival accepts limited responsibility for technical damage to prints or tapes and for loss or theft for the period of time that the prints are in the Festival’s possession, up to a maximum of $100. The delivery cost of the exhibition print will be borne by the applicant. BIFF will cover the return or forwarding cost of the exhibition print but not any additional charges, which may be incurred at the consignee’s end. Programmed works may be excerpted (up to 2 minutes) for television and other promotional purposes

Overall Rating
  • Magic Team

    An incredible experience! One of the best festivals in the world. Thank you for selecting my TV script Start Over.

    March 2022
  • Julia Verdin

    The Bahamas international film festival is truly wonderful. Leslie has great energy and makes all feel very welcome. The panels and films were all fantastic and even though the festival was virtual this year, Leslie found ways for the filmmakers to meet each other and share experiences and stories. Every effort was made to celebrate film and the filmmakers and connect all. I just can't wait to be able to go in person to a future festival. Highly recommend! Thanks Leslie and team for a great experience.

    January 2021
    Response from festival:

    Julia, it is such a joy to have you as part of the BIFF family. I am a huge fan of you and your films. Your passion for your actors, the story, and your participation I am truly honored. Thank you thank you!!

  • Nick Brandestini

    I can highly recommend The Bahamas International Film Festival! Leslie and her team were truly amazing hosts! THANK YOU for including our film SAPELO! The festival was put together beautifully, and the online platform (due to the Corona situation) was really cool and innovative. Great films and special events too! I wish I could have attended in person. The location looks fantastic, and I can't wait to visit one day!

    January 2021
    Response from festival:

    Hi Nick Thank you so much for an amazing review. To anyone reviewing Sapelo, this is one of my favorite films, and can not recommend it enough. I LOVED IT and the audience did too. Thank you thank you. I can not wait to see more of your films and continue to see your career blossom to great heights

  • L Zipoy

    What a FANTASTIC festival through and through. Warm hospitality from Leslie Vanderpool and everyone at the fest. The films were outstanding. The panels discussions were extremely relevant and offered great insights into producing, collaboration, music, distribution and so much more. The fun vibe of the festival shone through even virtually. I look forward to being in the Bahamas in person for the next edition of the festival.

    January 2021
    Response from festival:

    What an amazing film THE SUBJECT and an amazing director !!! Lanie Zipoy !! You are ALWAYS welcomed back to BIFF and can wait to see more films from you and see your star continue to rise. All my best and thank you!!!

  • Susan Polk

    The Bahamas Int'l Film Festival is, hands down, the best film festival I've ever attended! Its first week is dedicated to the Filmmakers. Its second week (in which I participated in 2018) is dedicated to the Screenwriters with the BIFF Screenwriters Residency Program. Not only are the FINALISTS (not just the winner!) sponsored in their travel and lodging, you are paired with serious industry professionals. You have one on one meetings, you have workshops and panels. You have time with your fellow writers. You have time to sit on the beach with yours script mulling over notes and inspirations. You also get to see the Best of the Best from the Films week, and meet many of those filmmakers! The best value for your entry fees I've encountered. You've invested in your writing, BIFF invests in you.

    June 2019
    Response from festival:

    Susan it truly takes an amazing writer like you to understand the vision of the program. We will continue to support you and writers that are a part of BIFF. Once again thank you so much for your generosity, talent and being one of the best mouth piece for the Writers Residency Program.