Submit your film to the 2020 Barbados Independent Film Festival! Our Fourth Edition will run January 14-19, 2020, on the tropical paradise of Barbados.

BIFF is seeking gripping NARRATIVE, DOCUMENTARY and SHORT films that celebrate resilience and our capacity to overcome adversity. In addition, special submission categories include: thought-provoking and impactful ENVIRONMENTAL films and OCEAN-THEMED environmental and adventure “short-short films” (under 10 minutes) for our SHORTS ON THE BEACH competition.

In addition to screening story-driven films from around the world, BIFF showcases the work of emerging, independent filmmakers. Central to its mission is bringing filmmakers to Barbados to share their unique story-making process and facilitating networking opportunities through filmmaker excursions, workshops and collaboration grants.

Filmmakers will compete for a series of Jury, Festival Honors and Audience Awards. Each night films are paired with locally inspired events linked to highlighting the rich cultural and physical attributes of Barbados. Whether swaying to Caribbean rhythms under the stars at the outdoor Walled Garden Theatre, local food and rum tastings linked to film themes, or integrating local experts into post film discussions, BIFF endeavors to infuse a uniquely Bajan flavor into every event.

Throughout the week, BIFF will offer opportunities to connect with enthusiastic new audiences, fellow filmmakers, film distributors and funders in relaxed, lush settings across the island. We look forward to welcoming you with a glass of rum punch and Bajan hospitality!

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. The WGBFFT’s mission is to manage the Festival and related initiatives that support the arts, historic conservation and greater awareness of the link between environmental degradation and human health. Both the Walled Garden Film Festival Trust and the Walled Garden Theatre Trust are tax-exempt, charitable trusts. BIFF founders Sir Trevor Carmichael and Jennifer Smith are also Co-Directors and Executive Trustees for the Festival.

Filmmakers will compete for:

Best of Festival
Best Feature Film
Best Documentary Film
Best Local Filmmaker
McNeel Impact Award - Feature Length Film that inspires and motivates change for a better world
Best Short Film (Under 30 minutes)
Best Short on the Beach - Short (Under 10 minutes) that celebrate our oceans
Carmichael Award for Exceptional Storytelling
BIFF Founders Award

All submitted films must comply with the Submissions Guidelines including deadlines, exhibition format, entry material, etc. NO LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Final deadline for 2020 Festival submissions is August 30, 2019.

Your film will be watched, in its entirety, by at least 4 people; 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 is responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement related to the work.

Notification will be emailed on October 1, 2019. All correspondence will be conducted through EMAIL ONLY to the original submitter.

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

Overall Rating
  • Kleon McPherson

    It was truly indeed an excellent Film Festival

    January 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks again for coming Kleon and for sharing your excellent film!

  • Our team was honored to have been selected to show our film at this festival. We were even more excited to see the line-up of filmmakers attending and the amazing weeklong events scheduled. We were disappointed that there was no marketing for our film not even on the website; we were unable to truly confirm if the film would be shown as no one responded back to our slew of emails until the week of the event. Seems to be a great festival for networking, but the lack of communication forced our team to cancel our flights.

    January 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Dear Stephen,
    We are terribly sorry for the delay in getting back to you re: when your film would be scheduled. Cancellations in two of our main shorts venues at the last minute created the delay which also made it difficult to add the films on our website and to market them appropriately. Not an excuse but as this is only our third year and we are 100% volunteer run, we are learning about the need to plan for such contingencies with each edition. Again we very much regret this and will strive to improve as we truly believe in celebrating filmmakers and films such yours and others that are submitted to the Festival. We would be eager to see any of your new submissions in the future. Sincerely, Jennifer Smith

  • Gregory Bayne

    Truly one of the best festivals I've had the opportunity to attend. Unbeatable setting, great audiences, a wonderful array of visiting filmmakers, and Jennifer and the entire festival team did an outstanding job of making us all feel welcome, and well taken care of. Highly recommend.

    January 2018
  • Melissa Simmonds

    If the inaugural year is anything to go by the Barbados Independent Film Festival is one to watch out for . We were selected for their weekend Gala Screening; it was the best launch to our film and Preview we could have wished for as it was sold out with after show drinks and catering. Our screening and the festival in general was well attended and with good workshops and Q and A with the filmmakers. Another good reason to visit the island of Barbados every January.
    Thank you Trevor Carmichael and Jennifer Smith.

    March 2017
  • A very successful first time Festival, as the scheduling and the quality of films were excellent and a great number of visiting filmmakers came in. Showing the environmental films on the beach beach was a brilliant idea ( although a tent might be an idea in future...)
    My main criticism was that the organizers were so carried away by the visiting filmmakers and their shiny feature films and Resumes that they forgot to honour the local filmmakers who were also selected for screenings. The foreign filmmakers have great access to publicity and their own screens. For local filmmakers not to be listed by name, photograph and Resume as the visitors were was a great disservice, especially to the younger ones whose only claim to fame is to be represented and recognized at a Festival. (They are unable to distribute their own work in most of their Caribbean countries!)
    One other problem: the Bahamas International Film Festival has been in existence, known to the film world as BIFF. What do you plan to do about your own intials BIFF?

    February 2017