This upstate New York international short film festival held in Ballston Spa, is celebrating its 10th year in 2017! It has become a one-of-a-kind destination on the short film festival circuit. BSFF takes place each August in a charming, walk-able, Victorian village in upstate New York not far from Albany and Saratoga Springs.

Our outdoor screenings (weather permitting) take place in the natural amphitheater of a creekside park built around a 200 year old mineral spring long thought to have curative properties. Just down the street is a historic inn where scenes from the 1973 movie “The Way We Were” were filmed.

In recent years our festival has accepted ¼ to 1/3 of films submitted for screening in competition. Our audiences typically range from 50-100 viewers for each of our two indoor screenings and from 100-400 viewers for each of our two outdoors screenings.
Over 1/3 of our films in recent years have been world and national premieres. Filmmakers have traveled to our festival from Ireland, Russia, Mexico and California to see their films debut.

Every film submitted gets screened by our selection committee.

Two of our long-time, returning festival judges were early advisors in the creation of the Sundance Film Festival.

The Ballston Spa Film Festival, Inc. (BSFF) is an independent not-for-profit, 501c3 corporation with the mission to promote an appreciation of films and filmmaking in the Ballston Spa and Greater Capital District communities of New York. We do this by presenting film festivals in which established, emerging and unknown filmmakers can display their films and by organizing public forums, discussions and workshops regarding films and filmmaking.

The Ballston Spa Film Festival will present the 10th annual International Short Film Festival, August 6 - 7, 2017.

This free, family-friendly event showcases world and national premieres along with award winning short films from around the globe and also the work of local filmmakers and area students.

Screenings will be in the Ballston Spa High School auditorium (BSHS) Friday and Saturday nights at 7pm and outdoors in Old Iron Springs Park, Front Street at 9pm both evenings. Fun pre-screening events will be held in the park 8 – 9 pm both evenings, and after parties follow the evening screenings both nights across the street at Brookside Museum.

Awards will include Best of the Fest, Best new film (for a world premiere at our festival), Young Filmmaker Best of the Fest, Committee Choice and many others.

Many films will be screened outdoors in a public park. No film will be accepted if it features excessive violence or gore, foul language or nudity. If your film were to be rated by the MPAA it should qualify for a G, PG or possibly PG-13 rating. Music videos are not an accepted category for this festival. Each film you enter must have a separate completed entry form and entry fee.

Student films should be between less than 10 minutes total running time. Non-student films should be less than 15 minutes total running time.

Filmmakers chosen to screen, may be required to fill out the BSFF Submission Form, which will be emailed with the selection email.

Overall Rating
  • Ned Daly

    I felt privileged to have my work shown here. Great line-up, sensitive programming and amazing people. Very community-oriented, but that does not imply amateurish. Thanks to the hard working volunteers and the supportive film community.

    August 2016
  • Robert Herrick

    Excellent film festival. They are very welcoming and supportive. Especially to young filmmakers.
    Well worth the entry fee!

    August 2016
  • Dylan Reiss

    Ballston Spa Film Festival is awesome! Great communication and super friendly!

    August 2016
    Bsff logo 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for being part of this year's festival, Dylan! The scenery was beautiful at our outdoor venue.

  • Victorian small town charm in a walkable village with great restaurants and antique shops and world premiere films under the stars next to a "healing" mineral spa. A great festival. Indoor screenings get 50-100 people. Outdoor screenings get crowds of 200-400. Great range of animation, drama, comedy, student and international indy films. Free to attend too. Nice goodie bags, t-shirts and free drinks at the after-party for filmmakers and judges. Oh and cool hefty award trophies.

    May 2016
    Bsff logo 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Daniel! We look forward to sharing the arts with BSpa and surrounding communities again this year!

  • Great Film Festival!

    May 2016
    Bsff logo 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Marco! We enjoy sharing your films with our audiences!