9th Edition of BIFF - 2025
BIFF provides a platform for the pressing issues of our time from sociocultural to environmental issues by listening to those most affected, and building a community of inclusivity and regeneration. The festival particularly celebrates subaltern and indigenous narratives from the Caribbean and global filmmakers. Through stories on a local level, BIFF provides the space to question the global currents of our time.

BIFF celebrates resilience and our capacity to overcome adversity. We welcome narrative, documentary and short films to our annual festival.

Filmmakers will compete for a series of jury, festival honours and audience awards. Each night films are paired with thematic events like our Gala night, shorts on the beach, the pink church and cine-cuisine night, a very special night which brings together farmers, chefs and film.

The Walled Garden-Barbados Film Festival Trust (WGBFFT) was formed in tandem with the Walled Garden Theatre Trust –whose mission is to support the conservation and restoration of the Barbados Museum and Garrison District (UNESCO world heritage sites) and invigorate them through the arts.

Best Feature Film
Best Documentary Film
Best Barbadian Film
Best Short Films (films of up to 50 mins)
Best Environmentally focused film
Best experimental film
Best Music video
Best Comedy
Best Director
Best Actor

Carmichael Award for Exceptional Storytelling- up to $5000 award for stories of any length on the theme of the human condition.

McNeel Impact Award – up to $5000 award for films of any length on the environment

Parachute Film Studios+ BIFF collaboration grant for Barbadian filmmakers (applicants must be age 18+ and resident of Barbados) for short films 10 minutes and under.

** All films that meet the thematic criteria for the McNeel and Carmichael awards will be considered by the selection committee**

All films must comply with the Submissions Guidelines including deadlines, exhibition format, entry material, etc. NO LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

The Final deadline for 2025 Festival submissions is October 4th 2024 Films should be no more than one year old and have a release date of no earlier than May 2023.

Your film will be reviewed, in its entirety, by our selection committee. We therefore suggest that you submit your film as early as possible. Films submitted must be available in English or in the original language with English subtitles.

Entrants are responsible for obtaining any necessary licenses, royalties, release forms, clearances, permits which are necessary to present their work. Neither the Walled Garden Barbados Film Festival Trust nor any of BIFF's venues are responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement related to the work.
FILMS
All film submissions must be completed online.
Films in foreign languages must be subtitled in English.
Please indicate whether your film will have its Barbadian Premiere, Caribbean Premiere or global Premiere at the time it is screened in January 2025.

MARKETING REQUIRMENTS 
When submitting your film, please provide at least:
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A poster
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Two Stills Shots

A Director’s headshot

A Director’s biography
A Synopsis

A trailer
An EPK.
All submitted files must be high resolution. A more detailed list of requested marketing materials will be submitted upon acceptance into the festival.
AWARD ELIGIBILITY
Films having their Barbadian premiere will be considered for Awards.
Waivers and screening fees:
if you are granted a waiver you forfeit the right for a screening fee. A waiver is also not a confirmation of acceptance into the festival.
Notification will be emailed on December 15, 2024. All correspondence will be conducted through EMAIL ONLY to the original submitter.

The Barbados Independent Film Festival accepts entries via FilmFreeway.com, an online submissions platform.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Joan Hillery

    I ask every film maker GLOBALLY to enter this epic Barbados Independent Film Festival. Don't be shy. Just enter because the judges are looking for OUR STORIES told OUR WAY. I was there last year (I am from uk) and it was an extremely validating experience... not just because the festival directors, producers and volunteers were so passionate about film and the people behind those films, not just because my film was screened and i got to be there, not just because I met the incredible SIR TREVOUR CARMICHAEL (the founder) Sanna Allsop, and De Carla Applewhaite who are the heartbeat of this festival, not just because the screenings themselves were held in magnficent and unique places which made the experience immersive, not just because the selection of films showed how connected we are globally, not just because i was nervous and they helped me to feel comfortable, not just because the festival has high production values and is really rather glamourous but because this festival understands that there are a lot of creative genius film makers out there that are breaking new cinematic ground and their films need to be seen by those who otherwise might not. Basically, it was one of the highlights of my year. Its helped me to realise that i am a great director and it helped me realise that there are festivals that VALUE OUR STORIES told OUR WAY. I kid you not. this is a genuine review.

    July 2024
  • Veialu Aila-Unsworth

    I feel really honoured and proud that my Indigenous short film was selected for this little gem of a festival! I attended it for the first time in 2024 and had an incredible, heartwarming experience. The BIFF organizers go above and beyond to make the filmmakers feel welcome and taken care of. The film screenings, gala night, panel talks, and workshops are held at very unique venues around Barbados: a beautiful beach, an old sugarcane factory that's been renovated, a charming walled garden, and a film studio. The selection of films was just wonderful; both local and international films with environmental and social justice messages. As a filmmaker, I was very inspired by the other films and at every screening had the chance to meet other filmmakers, film lovers, and industry experts. A very friendly vibe! BIFF also organized a wonderful visit to Walkers Reserve where we planted trees and learned about regenerative agriculture; walking amongst the trees and gardens was magical. Thank you BIFF for the most AMAZING experience and for supporting Indigenous voices! Filmmakers, submit your films and go to this truly unique festival!!

    February 2024
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    Response from festival:

    We were honoured to host Veialu and her husband with her beautiful film Butterfly/ Bataplai at the Festival and to learn about the Papuan New Guinea-American perspective. We look forward to seeing you with your next film,
    Best, the BIFF team

  • thanks for everything:) Hope to see you again

    January 2024
  • Oriana Ng

    I highly recommend this incredible festival, well worth the trip if you can make it. My 4 day trip was packed with screenings, events, workshops, tours, and a gala! You will be able to meet local filmmakers, crew, actors, visit several places on the island and experience Barbados in a unique and exciting way. The BIFF team are incredibly generous and go above and beyond to take care of their filmmakers. The programming was fantastic, featuring eye opening movies a strong social and environmental consciousness, and a lot of heart. My short was part of the screenings on the beach, a really special event that attracted a huge audience. Thank you, dear BIFF, for this unforgettable experience!

    January 2024
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    Response from festival:

    It was such a pleasure to have Oriana with her winning film Exit at the Festival. we look forward to seeing you with your next film, Best, the BIFF team

  • Deborah Anderson

    I felt so welcomed at the festival, great communication from the BIFF team and an overall sense of inclusion in all of the films and activities that were held during the festival. I met some wonderful people as well as Barbadian dignitaries that showed such a passion for the films presented. An honor to get to show my film here and an incredible backdrop to be on the island of Barbados.

    May 2023
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    Response from festival:

    It was such a honour to have Deborah at the Festival. WOTWB was an important film. The panel was lively and informative and we very much hope to see you back with your next project. Best, The BIFF Team